YOU CAN LOOK (BUT YOU BETTER NOT TOUCH)

Official studio version


Well yesterday I went shopping, buddy, down to the mall
Looking for something pretty I could hang up on my wall
I knocked over a lamp, before it hit the floor I caught it
A salesman turned around and said, "You break it you bought it"

You can look but you better not touch
You can look but you better not touch
If you keep messing around you're gonna end up in dutch
You can look but you better, look but you better not touch

Well I came home from work and I switched on Channel 5
There was a pretty little girly looking straight into my eyes
Well I watched as she wiggled back and forth across the screen
She didn't get me excited, she just made me feel mean

'Cause you can look but you better not touch
'Cause you can look but you better not touch
If you keep messing around you're gonna end up in dutch
You can look but you better, look but you better not touch
Look out!

Well I called up Dirty Annie on the telephone
I took her out to the drive-in just to get the girl alone
I found a lover's rendezvous, the music low, I'm set to talk
A tapping on the window and a voice said in the dark
"Hey you, out of the car"

You can look but you better not touch
You can look but you better not touch
If you keep messing around you're gonna end up in dutch
You can look but you better, look but you better

You can look but you better not touch
You can look here but you better not touch
If you keep messing around you're gonna end up in dutch
You can look but you better, look but you better

You can look but you better not touch
You can look here but you better not touch
If you keep messing around you're gonna end up in dutch
You can look but you better, look but you better

You can look but you better not touch
You can look here but you better not touch
If you keep messing around you're gonna end up in dutch
You can look but you better, look but you better

You can look but you better not touch
You can look... [fades out]


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Info

SECTION NOT YET COMPLETED

This official studio version of YOU CAN LOOK (BUT YOU BETTER NOT TOUCH) was planned for release on Springsteen's 1979 album had it seen the light. See "The Ties That Bind" section below for more details. It was included on The Ties That Bind: The River Collection box set in 2015.

The Ties That Bind

Bruce Springsteen wrapped up the Darkness On The Edge Of Town Tour on the first day of 1979. For the next few months, he altered between composing and practicing solo demos at his home in Holmdel, NJ (between January and June 1979), rehearsing with the band at his Telegraph Hill Road property in Holmdel, NJ (between March and May 1979), and recording in studio at The Power Station in New York City, NY (from March to late August 1979).

By the end of August, enough quality material had been recorded at The Power Station, and it was looking like an album might be released in Christmas 1979. A title, "The Ties That Bind", and tracks were selected and wheels put in motion to produce artwork for the cover. Around September, at least ten tracks were mixed to completion. On 04 Oct 1979, the ten selected tracks were dubbed to two half-track reel-to-reel tapes at The Power Station, and labeled "side one" and "side two". The producer was Jon Landau and the engineers were Neil Dorfsman and Bob Clearmountain. These selected tracks were as follows:


Bruce Springsteen -- The Ties That Bind (reel #1, front)
Bruce Springsteen -- The Ties That Bind (reel #1, front)
Bruce Springsteen -- The Ties That Bind (reel #2, front)
Bruce Springsteen -- The Ties That Bind (reel #2, front)

Mock covers with "The Ties That Bind" title were roughed out early in the planning. The cover shot was to be a picture of Bruce Springsteen in front of a barn, with the back cover being a shot of his face behind a screen door. In late September 1979, and for reasons never fully explained, The Ties That Bind album was scrapped as Springsteen's writing process continued.

The Ties That Bind: The River Collection

The Ties That Bind: The River Collection is a Bruce Springsteen box set released in 2015 on Columbia Records to celebrate the 35th anniversary of The River album. The 10"x12" box set contains four CDs, two Blu-Ray discs or three DVDs, and a hardcover 148-page coffee table book featuring 200 mostly unseen studio and live photographs, pages from Springsteen's notebooks, single covers, images and outtakes from the original album package, and other memorabilia documenting the album, plus a new essay by Mikal Gilmore. The box set was announced on 16 Oct 2015 and released to retail on 04 Dec 2015.

The Ties That Bind: The River Collection (box set cover art)
The Ties That Bind: The River Collection (box set cover art)

The first two discs consist of the 2014 remastered version of The River album. The third disc contains The River: Single Album, a 10-track album originally planned for release in 1979, under the title "The Ties That Bind". "The songs lacked the kind of unity and conceptual intensity I liked my music to have. So we went back in the studio," Springsteen wrote in his 1998 book Songs. He scrapped the project and went on to rework some of the songs and write and record some others, leading to the double-disc release the following year. All but one of these ten tracks were previously released.

1.THE TIES THAT BINDDifferent version previously released on The River
2.CINDYPreviously unreleased
3.HUNGRY HEARTPreviously released on The River
4.STOLEN CARPreviously released on Tracks
5.BE TRUEPreviously released as a B-side and on Tracks
6.THE RIVERPreviously released on The River
7.YOU CAN LOOK (BUT YOU BETTER NOT TOUCH)Different version previously released on The River
8.THE PRICE YOU PAYDifferent version previously released on The River
9.I WANNA MARRY YOUPreviously released on The River
10.LOOSE ENDSPreviously released on Tracks

The fourth discs contains The River: Outtakes, a 22-track album collection consisting of outtakes from the 1979-1980 sessions that didn't make the cut for either the single- or double-album versions of The River. The CD is divided into two parts, "Record One" (the first 11 tracks) and "Record Two" (the remaining 10 tracks). The former consists of unreleased songs while the latter consists of previously released songs.

1.MEET ME IN THE CITYPreviously unreleased
2.THE MAN WHO GOT AWAYPreviously unreleased
3.LITTLE WHITE LIESPreviously unreleased
4.THE TIME THAT NEVER WASPreviously unreleased
5.NIGHT FIREPreviously unreleased
6.WHITETOWNPreviously unreleased
7.CHAIN LIGHTNINGPreviously unreleased
8.PARTY LIGHTSPreviously unreleased
9.PARADISE BY THE "C"Live version previously released on Live/1975-85
10.STRAY BULLETPreviously unreleased
11.MR. OUTSIDEPreviously unreleased
12.ROULETTEPreviously released on Tracks
13.RESTLESS NIGHTSPreviously released on Tracks
14.WHERE THE BANDS AREPreviously released on Tracks
15.DOLLHOUSEPreviously released on Tracks
16.LIVING ON THE EDGE OF THE WORLDPreviously released on Tracks
17.TAKE 'EM AS THEY COMEPreviously released on Tracks
18.RICKY WANTS A MAN OF HER OWNPreviously released on Tracks
19.I WANNA BE WITH YOUPreviously released on Tracks
20.MARY LOUPreviously released on Tracks
21.HELD UP WITHOUT A GUNPreviously released as a B-side
22.FROM SMALL THINGS (BIG THINGS ONE DAY COME)Previously released on The Essential Bruce Springsteen (2003 3-disc edition)

The fifth disc contains the 60-minute documentary, The Ties That Bind, produced and directed by Grammy and Emmy-winning filmmaker Thom Zimny. The documentary features an intimate interview with Bruce Springsteen as he reflects on writing and recording of The River. The film transitions between Springsteen telling the stories behind the music — and illustrating them with solo acoustic guitar performances — interspersed with period concert footage and rare photos of him and the band in and out of the studio.

The sixth disc (on the Blu-Ray release) or sixth and seventh disc (on the DVD release) feature(s) The River Tour, Tempe 1980, a new professionally shot film consisting of 24 songs from Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band's 05 Nov 1980 concert at Arizona State University in Tempe, AZ. The film uses four cameras and is recorded in multitrack audio and clocks at 2 hours and 40 minutes. The tapes were edited by Thom Zimny and the audio was mixed by Bob Clearmountain and mastered by Bob Ludwig.

  1. BORN TO RUN
  2. PROVE IT ALL NIGHT
  3. TENTH AVENUE FREEZE-OUT
  4. JACKSON CAGE
  5. TWO HEARTS
  6. THE PROMISED LAND
  7. OUT IN THE STREET
  8. THE RIVER
  9. BADLANDS
  10. THUNDER ROAD
  11. NO MONEY DOWN
  12. CADILLAC RANCH
  13. HUNGRY HEART
  14. FIRE
  15. SHERRY DARLING
  16. I WANNA MARRY YOU
  17. CRUSH ON YOU
  18. RAMROD
  19. YOU CAN LOOK (BUT YOU BETTER NOT TOUCH)
  20. DRIVE ALL NIGHT
  21. ROSALITA (COME OUT TONIGHT)
  22. I'M A ROCKER
  23. JUNGLELAND
  24. DETROIT MEDLEY

The ten songs that are not included on The River Tour, Tempe 1980 (DARKNESS ON THE EDGE OF TOWN, INDEPENDENCE DAY, FACTORY, RACING IN THE STREET, CANDY'S ROOM, THE TIES THAT BIND, STOLEN CAR, WRECK ON THE HIGHWAY, POINT BLANK, and BACKSTREETS) were later officially released on Live.BruceSpringsteen.net.

The last disc also contains The River Tour Rehearsals, which consists of a 5-song 20-minute bonus footage from Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band's private rehearsals in late September 1980 at Clair Brothers Audio in Lititz, PA. Springsteen and the band can be seen working through live arrangements of what was then unreleased material from the upcoming album.

  1. RAMROD
  2. CADILLAC RANCH
  3. FIRE
  4. CRUSH ON YOU
  5. SHERRY DARLING

Bootleg Releases

Prior to its release on The Ties That Bind: The River Collection, this official studio version of YOU CAN LOOK (BUT YOU BETTER NOT TOUCH) appeared on several bootlegs, including The Ties That Bind (unknown label) [track 07] and The Definitive River Outtakes Collection Volume 2 (E. St. Records) [disc 1, track 12].

Bruce Springsteen -- The Ties That Bind (unknown label)
Bruce Springsteen -- The Ties That Bind (unknown label)
Bruce Springsteen -- The Definitive River Outtakes Collection Volume 2 (E. St. Records)
Bruce Springsteen -- The Definitive River Outtakes Collection Volume 2 (E. St. Records)

Available Versions

List of available versions of YOU CAN LOOK (BUT YOU BETTER NOT TOUCH) on this website:

YOU CAN LOOK (BUT YOU BETTER NOT TOUCH) [Album version]
YOU CAN LOOK (BUT YOU BETTER NOT TOUCH) [Official studio version]
YOU CAN LOOK (BUT YOU BETTER NOT TOUCH) [alternative version 2]
YOU CAN LOOK (BUT YOU BETTER NOT TOUCH) [alternative version 3]
YOU CAN LOOK (BUT YOU BETTER NOT TOUCH) [alternative version 4]
YOU CAN LOOK (BUT YOU BETTER NOT TOUCH) [Live 25 Jun 2006 version]

Page last updated: 03 Dec 2015