THUNDERCRACK

Live 31 Jan 1973 (early show) version


[Spoken intro:] Thank you. Can you turn this mic up? And maybe the sax mic too? And uh... the monitor or something, this mic a little bit maybe. This is a song about my girlfriend who lives in New Jersey... and is 21 [someone in the band: "16"]. (chuckles) Alright, kids. Here we go, one minute. ??? I think the sound is ready. (strums guitar) It's not ready, it's not ready. (strums guitar) Hey bully, you in a band? (strums guitar) I just got this echo box. ??? Right, turn it up, who cares, right? (chuckles) Or burn it up. You see, as I played in heavy bands for so long, you know, like I have this big Marshal amp behind me on stage when I played on a Les Paul. Hey, ??? easy, man. Then, I just bought this thing. It was a two hundred watt Marshal. And we started this one song, we started it on this big E chord, just went (strums guitar), but really loud. Actually ??? embarrassing. (chuckles) It was really loud. And... and... and I... and I was so deafening I could hear nobody else in the band, so ??? I said, "Oh, hey, was that too loud?" And you always get somebody who goes, "Louder! Louder!" Bizarre. Alright.

Well her brains they rattle and her bones they shake
Oh she's an angel from the Innerlake
Her brains they rattle and her bones they shake
Oh she's an angel from the Innerlake
Don't dance with her Henry, don't you dance with her Jake (her brains they rattle and her bones they shake)
Oh she's an angel from the Innerlake
She gives me all the loving any good man can take (her brains they rattle and her bones they shake)
Oh she's an angel from the Innerlake

Sha-na, na-na, na na, ooh ooh
Sha-na, na-na, na na, ooh ooh
Sha-na, na-na, na na, ooh ooh
Sha-na, na-na, na na, ooh ooh
Thundercrack, baby's back
This time she'll tell me how she really feels
And bring me down to her lightning shack
You can watch my partner reeling
She moves up, oh, and then she moves back
Out on the floor there ain't nobody cleaner
She does this thing she calls the "jump back jack"
She's got the heart of a ballerina

Straight from the Bronx, hung off the line
She slips, she slides, she slops, she bops, she bumps, she grinds
Even them dance hall hacks from the west side of the tracks move in close to catch her timing
She moves up, oh, and then she moves back
Out on the floor there ain't nobody cleaner
She does this thing she calls the "jump back jack"
She's got the heart of a ballerina

She ain't no little girl, she ain't got no curls
Her hair ain't brown and her eyes
(Round and round and round and round and round and round and round and round)
(Round and round and round and round and round and round and round and round)

My heart's wood, she's a carpenter
She's an angel in the night, what she does is alright
Dance with me, partner
Dance with me, partner
Dance with me, partner, 'til the dawn
Until the dawn

Ah-ah-ah-ah ah-ah ah-ah
Ah-ah-ah-ah ah-ah ah-ah
Ah-ah-ah-ah ah-ah ah-ah
Ah-ah-ahhh ah-ah ah-ah
Ah-ah-ahhh ah-ah ah-ah
Oh-oh-oh-oh oh-oh alright
Oh-oh-oh-oh oh-oh alright
Oh-oh-oh-oh oh-oh alright
Ah-ah-ahhh ah-ah ah-ah
Ah-ah-ahhh ah-ah ah-ah

[long instrumental break]

[Spoken:] ???. Soda pop! (sax blow) Here you go, here you go. Give him a chance. Pop corn! (sax blow) And the only man ??? (chuckles). Try it. Mars bars! (sax blow and drum cymbal hit) Hershey bars! (sax blow and drum cymbal hit) Soda pop! (sax blow and drum hit)

Thundercrack, (baby's back)
This time she'll tell me how she really feels
And bring me down to her lightning shack
You can watch my partner reeling
She moves up, oh, and then she move back
Out on the floor there ain't nobody cleaner
She does this thing she calls the "jump back jack"
She's got the heart of a ballerina

She has parents, she has religion, she has sisters
Hap! Chap! Chap! Hap! Hap! (Round and round and round and round and round and round and round and round)
Alright (Round and round and round and round and round and round and round and round)

My heart's wood, she's a carpenter
She's an angel in the night, what she does is alright
Dance with me, partner
Dance with me, partner
Dance with me, partner

[Spoken:] Ok, kids, we got a new dance. It's called "The Limp". You don't have to stand up or anything, all you gotta do is go limp. You can do it with your pimp, you can do it on a blimp, you can do it with a chimp. This is the really uh... important part of the number where the band is... has...

All night, (all night, all night, all night, all night, all night, all night, all night, all night)
All night, all night, all night, all night, all night, all night, all night, all night, all night
All night, all night, all night, all night, all night, all night, all night, all night, all night
All night, all night, all night, (all night, all night)

[Spoken outro:] Thank you.


Info

The above lyrics are for the live 31 Jan 1973 (early show) performance of THUNDERCRACK at Max's Kansas City in New York City, NY, during what is considered the Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J. Tour. A recording for this live 31 Jan 1973 (early show) performance of THUNDERCRACK was used by Mike Appel in 1974 for publishing purposes. Exclusing the spoken intro and outro, the original recording of the song clocks at 11:35, but it was professionally edited to a slicker and more focused version clocking at 6:40 (cut following the long instrumental break). It is this edited version that was distributed (on tape or acetate) to select industry people during the period.

The 31 Jan 1973 Shows

Bruce Springsteen opened for headliner Biff Rose in 1973 during a 6-night stand (from 31 January to 05 February, two shows each night) at Max's Kansas City in New York City, NY.

Promotional ad for the Jan-Feb 1973 six-night residency at Max's Kansas City, New York City, NY
Promotional ad for the Jan-Feb 1973 six-night residency at Max's Kansas City, New York City, NY

Soundboard recordings of both shows from the first night are in circulation among collectors. The recording from the early show consists of eight songs (two solo and six with the band) and is believed to be the complete show. The recording from the late show consists of only the first two songs of the show (the solo segment). The remaining setlist for the first night's late show (the band segment), as well as the setlists for the remaining ten shows from this six-night residency, are unknown. In the 17 Feb 1973 issue of Billboard magazine, Jim Melanson wrote a review on one of twelve shows Max's Kansas City mentioning five songs performed by Springsteen. The review could be for any of the twelve shows in the stand, but is more likely from one of the latter ones considering the late publication of the review.

The soundboard recordings from the 31 Jan 1973 shows were commercially released in Europe. Since 2005 some enterprising record labels in Europe (mostly in the UK) have been releasing Bruce Springsteen radio and TV broadcasts (and some soundboard recordings) from the seventies, eighties, and nineties. Though these releases are not authorized by Bruce Springsteen or his record company, they are lawful due to a legal loophole in Europe.

Bruce Springsteen -- Max's Kansas City
Bruce Springsteen -- Max's Kansas City

Digital album - BKC (no catalog number) - UK, 2015

This is a download-only digital album. It contains the 31 Jan 1973 show at Max's Kansas City, both the early show and part of the late show.
Bruce Springsteen -- Max's Kansas City Night 1973
Bruce Springsteen -- Max's Kansas City Night 1973

Digital album - Doxy Records (no catalog number) - UK, 2015

This is a download-only digital album. It contains the 31 Jan 1973 show at Max's Kansas City, both the early show and part of the late show, plus two bonus tracks
Bruce Springsteen -- Max's Kansas City 1973
Bruce Springsteen -- Max's Kansas City 1973

CD - Zip City (ZCCD059) - UK, 2017

This release contains the 31 Jan 1973 show at Max's Kansas City, both the early show and part of the late show, plus one bonus track.

King Biscuit Flower Hour

By prior arrangement with Columbia Records and Springsteen's then-manager Mike Appel, the D.I.R. Broadcasting Corp. (New York City, NY) recorded Bruce Springsteen's 31 Jan 1973 early and late shows at Max's Kansas City for use on its upcoming new weekly syndicated radio program called "King Biscuit Flower Hour". The D.I.R. Broadcasting engineers had been in Buffalo two days earlier recording the Mahavishnu Orchestra and the week before that in Dallas recording a Blood Sweat & Tears concert. The radio show used a two to four weeks delayed broadcast formula and made its debut on 18 Feb 1973. The debut episode featured mostly Blood Sweat & Tears who were major stars at this time, only one track by Mahavishnu Orchestra, and only one track by Bruce Springsteen (BISHOP DANCED). D.I.R. Broadcasting still retains in its archives a master tape of the entire 31 Jan 1973 early show and the solo segment from the late show. There are conflicting reports as to whether the company also has any of the band segment from the night's late show.

The company has repeatedly sought and been declined permission to commercially release its recording of the Springsteen show as part of its ongoing King Biscuit Flower Hour archive CD reissue series. The radio show ended in 2007, although new programming ceased in 1993 and previous shows were repeated from that point. During its prime time, the program was carried by more than 300 radio stations throughout the United States. In 2006, the King Biscuit Flower Hour tape archives were acquired by Wolfgang's Vault which began streaming concerts online, including Springsteen's original King Biscuit Flower Hour recording from 31 Jan 1973. Streaming of the Springsteen recording started in February 2008, and is considered to be a considerable improvement in sound quality over what has been circulating on bootlegs.

Other Official Releases

The live 31 Jan 1973 (early show) version of THUNDERCRACK was issued in 1974 on a U.S. 12-inch two-sided acetate for use by Intersong Music, Springsteen's music publishing agency in the UK. The acetate contains six tracks recorded in 1973 but not released on Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J. or The Wild, The Innocent & The E Street Shuffle. Instead, the six songs were used as publishing demos.

Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band "Intersong Music" acetate (side 1 label)
Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band "Intersong Music" acetate (side 1 label)

References

Some of the above info about the 31 Jan 1973 shows is taken from Brucebase.

Requests

The above lyrics may not be 100% complete or correct. If you have any additions, comments, or corrections to this page, please contact me via the below form or by email: . You will be credited. Thanks in advance.

Available Versions

List of available versions of THUNDERCRACK on this website:

THUNDERCRACK [Official studio version]
THUNDERCRACK [Live 31 Jan 1973 (early show) version]
THUNDERCRACK [Live 02 Mar 1973 version]
THUNDERCRACK [Live 24 Apr 1973 (early show) version]
THUNDERCRACK [Live 01 May 1973 version]
THUNDERCRACK [Live 29 Jan 1974 version]

Page last updated: 21 Oct 2013