THUNDER ROAD

Live 22 Sep 1992 version


[Spoken intro:] Alright... Alright. Can I get any more water, is there... We're out of water, right? There's no more water left. (chuckles) I couldn't figure out like any of that stuff's at when I came out here... Flew all the way out west... If you can't ???, you can't watch ??? either. Can't flush your toilet. And that's when the earth is standing still! Shit! Everything is relative. That tastes so good. Alright Roy... Well, did they fly you guys from all over the states? Is that, is that the story then? Anybody from uh... the great state of New Jersey out there? (cheers) Oh, good Lord! Alright, this is for you then. (chuckles) This is for you. I thought they were just kidding.

Well the screen door slams, Mary's dress sways
Like a vision she dances across the porch as the radio plays
Roy Orbison singing for the lonely
Hey that's me and I want you only
Don't turn me home again
I just can't face myself alone again
Well don't you run back inside, darling you know just what I'm here for
So you're scared and you're thinking that maybe we ain't that young anymore
Show a little faith, there's magic in the night
You ain't a beauty, but hey you're alright
Oh and that's alright with me

You can hide 'neath your covers and study your pain
Make crosses from your lovers, throw roses in the rain
Waste your summer praying in vain for a savior to rise from these streets
Well now I'm no hero, that's understood
All the redemption I can offer is beneath this dirty hood
With a chance to make it good somehow
Hey what else can we do now
Except roll down the window and let the wind blow back your hair
Well the night's busted open, these two lanes will take us anywhere
We got one last chance to make it real
To trade in these wings on some wheels
Climb in back, heaven's waiting down on the tracks

Well oh oh come take my hand
We're riding out tonight to case the promised land
Whoa oh oh oh Thunder Road, whoa Thunder Road, Thunder Road
It's lying out there like a killer in the sun
Hey I know it's late but we can make it if we run
Whoa oh oh Thunder Road, sit tight, take hold, Thunder Road

Well I got this guitar and I learned how to make it talk
And my car's out back if you're ready to take that long walk
From your front porch to my front seat
The door's open but the ride it ain't free
And I know you're lonely, there's words that I ain't spoken
Tonight we'll be free, all the promises'll be broken
There were ghosts in the eyes of all the boys you sent away
They haunt this dusty beach road in the skeleton frames of burned-out Chevrolets
They scream your name at night in the street
Your graduation gown lies in rags at their feet
In the lonely cool before dawn
You hear their engines roaring on
But when you get to the porch they're gone on the wind, so Mary climb in
It's a town full of losers and we're pulling out of here to win


Info

The above lyrics are for the live 22 Sep 1992 performance of THUNDER ROAD at Warner Hollywood Studios (Stage #4) in Los Angeles, CA, during the taping of Springsteen's episode of MTV Unplugged. This was a stripped-down rendition with Bruce Springsteen playing guitar and harmonica, and accompanied only by Roy Bittan on keyboards. It was released on the In Concert / MTV Plugged home video in 1992 and the corresponding audio album the following year.

Bruce Springsteen performing THUNDER ROAD on 22 Sep 1992 at Warner Hollywood Studios, Los Angeles, CA (from the "In Concert/MTV Plugged" DVD)
Bruce Springsteen performing THUNDER ROAD on 22 Sep 1992 at Warner Hollywood Studios, Los Angeles, CA (from the "In Concert/MTV Plugged" DVD)

MTV Plugged Concert

MTV Unplugged is a popular MTV series that began in the 1989/1990 TV season and first aired on 26 Nov 1989. Produced by Viacom and most frequently directed by Milton Lage and Beth McCarthy, the program showcases popular musicians primarily known for playing electric amplified instruments (usually the electric guitar and electric bass) performing live using only acoustic instruments.

MTV Unplugged logo
MTV Unplugged logo

During a break in his World Tour 1992-1993, Bruce Springsteen was booked on 22 Sep 1992 for the taping of an episode of MTV Unplugged. The taping took place at Warner Hollywood Studios in Los Angeles, CA. Springsteen opened the show with a solo acoustic version of RED HEADED WOMAN, but he then brought his 1992-93 touring band onstage, and in a twist on the program's theme, put the plug back in and played a full-band concert – though there were also stripped down renditions of GROWIN' UP and THUNDER ROAD. Reportedly Springsteen had been unhappy with the touring band's rehearsals of acoustic arrangements, and this was what led him to break the unplugged format.

  • RED HEADED WOMAN
  • BETTER DAYS
  • LOCAL HERO
  • LUCKY TOWN
  • ATLANTIC CITY
  • DARKNESS ON THE EDGE OF TOWN
  • BOOK OF DREAMS
  • 57 CHANNELS (AND NOTHIN' ON)
  • THE BIG MUDDY
  • LIVING PROOF
  • IF I SHOULD FALL BEHIND
  • LEAP OF FAITH
  • LEAP OF FAITH [second take]
  • MAN'S JOB
  • ROLL OF THE DICE
  • GROWIN' UP
  • HUMAN TOUCH
  • SOUL DRIVER
  • SOULS OF THE DEPARTED
  • I WISH I WERE BLIND
  • THUNDER ROAD
  • MY BEAUTIFUL REWARD
  • LIGHT OF DAY
  • LOCAL HERO [second take]
  • DARKNESS ON THE EDGE OF TOWN [second take]
  • GLORY DAYS
Handwritten setlist for the 22 Sep 1992 show at Warner Hollywood Studios, Los Angeles, CA
Handwritten setlist for the 22 Sep 1992 show at Warner Hollywood Studios, Los Angeles, CA
(Taken from Brucebase)

Springsteen was the first to insist on an electric performance, and MTV executives were reportedly furious at his decision to abandon the acoustic format of the show. "When you have the chance to work with Bruce Springsteen, he can do what he wants," MTV Unplugged producer Alex Coletti told UK's Q magazine. "It was a fantastic show, and it still had a lot of Unplugged's feel. It was very small, very intimate, very loose, and that's all part of what makes Unplugged special. But it was very loud!" To make best of the situation, the "Un" was crossed out from "Unlugged", and the concert premiered on MTV on 11 Nov 1992 as MTV Plugged.

  1. RED HEADED WOMAN
  2. BETTER DAYS
  3. LOCAL HERO
  4. ATLANTIC CITY
  5. DARKNESS ON THE EDGE OF TOWN
  6. MAN'S JOB
  7. GROWIN' UP
  8. HUMAN TOUCH
  9. LUCKY TOWN
  10. I WISH I WERE BLIND
  11. THUNDER ROAD
  12. LIGHT OF DAY
  13. THE BIG MUDDY
  14. 57 CHANNELS (AND NOTHIN' ON)
  15. MY BEAUTIFUL REWARD
  16. GLORY DAYS

A VHS release of the show preceded any audio release, coming out on 15 Dec 1992. It was titled In Concert / MTV Plugged, with "Plugged" written as "UnPlugged" on the cover art. The concert was not released in its complete form, but the home video release included the complete broadcast in addition to two bonus tracks, LIVING PROOF and IF I SHOULD FALL BEHIND. In Concert / MTV Plugged was also released on LaserDisc on 31 Jan 1993, which included all the tracks found on the VHS release, in addition to a third bonus track, ROLL OF THE DICE.

Bruce Springsteen -- In Concert / MTV Plugged (VHS, front)
Bruce Springsteen -- In Concert / MTV Plugged (VHS, front)
Bruce Springsteen -- In Concert / MTV Plugged (USA LaserDisc, front)
Bruce Springsteen -- In Concert / MTV Plugged (USA LaserDisc, front)
Bruce Springsteen -- In Concert / MTV Plugged (Japan LaserDisc, front)
Bruce Springsteen -- In Concert / MTV Plugged (Japan LaserDisc, front)

The audio album of the same title was released in Europe (CD and double disc vinyl) on 12 Apr 1993 to promote the 1993 European (and final) leg of World Tour 1992-1993. It was not released in the United States until 26 Aug 1997. The album contains only 13 tracks, two of which were not part of the broadcast, IF I SHOULD FALL BEHIND (which was not even released on video) and LIVING PROOF.

  1. RED HEADED WOMAN
  2. BETTER DAYS
  3. ATLANTIC CITY
  4. DARKNESS ON THE EDGE OF TOWN
  5. MAN'S JOB
  6. HUMAN TOUCH
  7. LUCKY TOWN
  8. I WISH I WERE BLIND
  9. THUNDER ROAD
  10. LIGHT OF DAY
  11. IF I SHOULD FALL BEHIND
  12. LIVING PROOF
  13. MY BEAUTIFUL REWARD
Bruce Springsteen -- In Concert / MTV Plugged (album cover art)
Bruce Springsteen -- In Concert / MTV Plugged (album cover art)

In Concert / MTV Plugged was reissued on DVD on 09 Nov 2004. The DVD release includes the same 19 tracks found on the LaserDisc release.

Bruce Springsteen -- In Concert / MTV Plugged (DVD cover art)
Bruce Springsteen -- In Concert / MTV Plugged (DVD cover art)

Official Releases

In addition to its release on the MTV Plugged album and home video, the live 22 Sep 1992 performance of THUNDER ROAD was also released on the B-side of SECRET GARDEN in 1995, tying with the release of the Greatest Hits album. It was also included on several Secret Garden EPs that same year.

Bruce Springsteen -- Secret Garden
Bruce Springsteen -- Secret Garden

CD single - Columbia (661281 2) - Australia, 1995

01- SECRET GARDEN
02- THUNDER ROAD [Live 22 Sep 1992 version]
Bruce Springsteen -- Secret Garden
Bruce Springsteen -- Secret Garden

CD single - Columbia (661295 5) - Australia, 1995

01- SECRET GARDEN [LP Version]
02- SECRET GARDEN [String Version]
03- MURDER INCORPORATED [Live 21 Feb 1995 version]
04- THUNDER ROAD [Live 22 Sep 1992 version]
Bruce Springsteen -- Secret Garden
Bruce Springsteen -- Secret Garden

CD single - Columbia (661295 1) - Austria, 1995

01- SECRET GARDEN
02- THUNDER ROAD [Live 22 Sep 1992 version]
Bruce Springsteen -- Secret Garden
Bruce Springsteen -- Secret Garden

CD single - Columbia (661295 1) - Austria, 1995

Austrian pressing (with sleeve printed in Holland) for exclusive distribution in France.

01- SECRET GARDEN
02- THUNDER ROAD [Live 22 Sep 1992 version]
Bruce Springsteen -- Secret Garden
Bruce Springsteen -- Secret Garden

CD EP - Columbia (661295 5) - Austria, 1995

01- SECRET GARDEN [LP version]
02- SECRET GARDEN [with strings]
03- MURDER INCORPORATED [Live 21 Feb 1995 version]
04- THUNDER ROAD [Live 22 Sep 1992 version]
Bruce Springsteen -- Secret Garden
Bruce Springsteen -- Secret Garden

CD single - Columbia (44.045/2-661295) - Brazil, 1995

01- SECRET GARDEN
02- THUNDER ROAD [Live 22 Sep 1992 version]
Bruce Springsteen -- Secret Garden
Bruce Springsteen -- Secret Garden

CD single - Columbia (38K 77847) - Canada, 1995

01- SECRET GARDEN
02- THUNDER ROAD [Live 22 Sep 1992 version]
Bruce Springsteen -- Secret Garden
Bruce Springsteen -- Secret Garden

CD EP - Columbia (44K 77854) - Canada, 1995

01- SECRET GARDEN [LP version]
02- SECRET GARDEN [with strings]
03- MURDER INCORPORATED [Live 21 Feb 1995 version]
04- THUNDER ROAD [Live 22 Sep 1992 version]
05- PINK CADILLAC
Bruce Springsteen -- Secret Garden
Bruce Springsteen -- Secret Garden

7" single - Columbia (661295 7) - Holland, 1995

This Dutch pressing was issued with small (comes in a picture sleeve) and large center hole for jukebox use (comes either in picture sleeve or in plain white sleeve).

A1- SECRET GARDEN
B1- THUNDER ROAD [Live 22 Sep 1992 version]
Bruce Springsteen -- Secret Garden
Bruce Springsteen -- Secret Garden

12" EP - Columbia (661295 6) - Holland, 1995

Believed to have been pressed for the Swedish market in limited quantities.

A1- SECRET GARDEN [LP version]
A2- SECRET GARDEN [with strings]
B1- MURDER INCORPORATED [Live 21 Feb 1995 version]
B2- THUNDER ROAD [Live 22 Sep 1992 version]
Bruce Springsteen -- Secret Garden
Bruce Springsteen -- Secret Garden

12" EP - Columbia (661295 6) - Holland, 1995

This is a withdrawn second Dutch pressing for exclusive distribution in France.

A1- SECRET GARDEN [LP version]
A2- SECRET GARDEN [with strings]
B1- MURDER INCORPORATED [Live 21 Feb 1995 version]
B2- THUNDER ROAD [Live 22 Sep 1992 version]
Bruce Springsteen -- Secret Garden
Bruce Springsteen -- Secret Garden

CD EP - Sony (SRCS 7632) - Japan, 1995

01- SECRET GARDEN [LP version]
02- SECRET GARDEN [with strings]
03- MURDER INCORPORATED [Live 21 Feb 1995 version]
04- THUNDER ROAD [Live 22 Sep 1992 version]
05- PINK CADILLAC
06- ROULETTE
Bruce Springsteen -- Secret Garden
Bruce Springsteen -- Secret Garden

MC EP - Sony (no catalog number) - Japan, 1995

One-sided promo tape.

A1- SECRET GARDEN [LP version]
A2- SECRET GARDEN [with strings]
A3- MURDER INCORPORATED [Live 21 Feb 1995 version]
A4- THUNDER ROAD [Live 22 Sep 1992 version]
A5- PINK CADILLAC
A6- ROULETTE
Bruce Springsteen -- Secret Garden
Bruce Springsteen -- Secret Garden

MC single - Columbia (661295 4) - UK, 1995

A1- SECRET GARDEN
B1- THUNDER ROAD [Live 22 Sep 1992 version]
Bruce Springsteen -- Secret Garden
Bruce Springsteen -- Secret Garden

7" single - Columbia (38-77847) - USA, 1995

A1- SECRET GARDEN
B1- THUNDER ROAD [Live 22 Sep 1992 version]
Bruce Springsteen -- Secret Garden
Bruce Springsteen -- Secret Garden

MC single - Columbia (38T 77847) - USA, 1995

A1- SECRET GARDEN
B1- THUNDER ROAD [Live 22 Sep 1992 version]
Bruce Springsteen -- Secret Garden
Bruce Springsteen -- Secret Garden

CD single - Columbia (38K 77847) - USA, 1995

01- SECRET GARDEN
02- THUNDER ROAD [Live 22 Sep 1992 version]
Bruce Springsteen -- Secret Garden
Bruce Springsteen -- Secret Garden

CD EP - Columbia (44K 77854) - USA, 1995

01- SECRET GARDEN [LP version]
02- SECRET GARDEN [with strings]
03- MURDER INCORPORATED [Live 21 Feb 1995 version]
04- THUNDER ROAD [Live 22 Sep 1992 version]
05- PINK CADILLAC

Credits / References

Thanks Jake (ol'catfishinthelake at BTX and Greasy Lake) for the lyrics and spoken intro help and Jyrki for the help with the official releases.

Request

Please contact me if you have scans or info about any official release containing the live 22 Sep 1992 version of THUNDER ROAD that's not mentioned on this page. Any additions, comments, or corrections to this page are welcome. You can contact me via the below form or by email: . You will be credited. Thanks in advance.

Available Versions

List of available versions of THUNDER ROAD on this website:

THUNDER ROAD [Album version]
THUNDER ROAD [Early draft]
THUNDER ROAD [Alternative version #1]
THUNDER ROAD [Alternative version #2]
THUNDER ROAD [Alternative version #3]
THUNDER ROAD [Alternative version #4]
THUNDER ROAD [Live 05 Feb 1975 version]
THUNDER ROAD [Live 20 Jul 1975 version]
THUNDER ROAD [Live 17 Oct 1975 (early show) version]
THUNDER ROAD [Live 18 Oct 1975 (early show) version]
THUNDER ROAD [Live 18 Nov 1975 version]
THUNDER ROAD [Live 31 Dec 1975 version]
THUNDER ROAD [Live 07 Apr 1976 version]
THUNDER ROAD [Live 25 Mar 1977 version]
THUNDER ROAD [Live 13 May 1977 (early show) version]
THUNDER ROAD [Live 13 Sep 1977 version]
THUNDER ROAD [Live 19 Sep 1978 version]
THUNDER ROAD [Live 08 Dec 1978 version]
THUNDER ROAD [Live 22 Sep 1979 version]
THUNDER ROAD [Live 03 Oct 1980 version]
THUNDER ROAD [Live 03 Jul 1981 version]
THUNDER ROAD [Live 08 Jun 1984 version]
THUNDER ROAD [Live 19 Nov 1984 version]
THUNDER ROAD [Live 27 Jul 1988 version]
THUNDER ROAD [Live 02 Sep 1988 version]
THUNDER ROAD [Live 16 Nov 1990 version]
THUNDER ROAD [Live 22 Sep 1992 version]
THUNDER ROAD [Live 28 Sep 1992 version]
THUNDER ROAD [Live 24 Jun 1993 version]
THUNDER ROAD [Live 15 Feb 1995 version]
THUNDER ROAD [Live 21 Feb 1995 version]
THUNDER ROAD [Live 05 Apr 1995 (Sony Music Studios) version]
THUNDER ROAD [Live 09 Jul 1995 version]
THUNDER ROAD [Live 05 May 1997 version]
THUNDER ROAD [Live 22 May 1997 version]
THUNDER ROAD [Live 31 Jan 1998 version]
THUNDER ROAD [Live 23 Oct 1999 version]
THUNDER ROAD [Live 27 Jun 2000 / 01 Jul 2000 version]
THUNDER ROAD [Live 19 Oct 2001 version]
THUNDER ROAD [Live 29 Aug 2002 version]
THUNDER ROAD [Live 04 Oct 2002 version]
THUNDER ROAD [Live 16 Oct 2002 version]
THUNDER ROAD [Live 19 Feb 2003 version]
THUNDER ROAD [Live 29 Apr 2003 version]
THUNDER ROAD [Live 22 Jun 2003 version]
THUNDER ROAD [Live 01 Nov 2004 version]
THUNDER ROAD [Live 04 Apr 2005 version]
THUNDER ROAD [Live 12 Oct 2005 version]
THUNDER ROAD [Live 07 Nov 2007 version]
THUNDER ROAD [Live 09 Nov 2007 version]
THUNDER ROAD [Live 14 Mar 2008 version]
THUNDER ROAD [Live 07 May 2008 version]
THUNDER ROAD [Live 18 Jun 2008 version]
THUNDER ROAD [Live 23 Aug 2008 version]
THUNDER ROAD [Live 04 Oct 2008 version]
THUNDER ROAD [Live 16 Oct 2008 version]
THUNDER ROAD [Live 30 May 2009 version]
THUNDER ROAD [Live 17 Nov 2009 version]
THUNDER ROAD [Live 22 Nov 2009 version]
THUNDER ROAD [Live 04 Nov 2010 version]
THUNDER ROAD [Live 15 Jan 2011 version]
THUNDER ROAD [Live 03 Nov 2011 version]
THUNDER ROAD [Live 04 Nov 2011 version]
THUNDER ROAD [Live 14 Jan 2012 version]
THUNDER ROAD [Live 09 Mar 2012 version]
THUNDER ROAD [Live 06 Apr 2012 version]
THUNDER ROAD [Live 07 Nov 2016 version]
THUNDER ROAD [Greg Kihn's cover version]
THUNDER ROAD [Badly Drawn Boy's cover version]
THUNDER ROAD [Cowboy Junkies' cover version]
THUNDER ROAD [Kevin Rowland's cover version]

Page last updated: 10 Jul 2011