GIVE THE GIRL A KISS

Official studio version

Alright boys! One, two

Well now I ain't lookin' for excitement
Baby that's just a fact
If you want to get to her heart
You better let her know just where you're at

Well I say It ain't written in the sky above
Well no fortune-teller told me this
You gotta tell her that you love her
Tell her that you need her
And give the girl a great big kiss
Alright, give the girl a great big kiss

Now if you're such a fool you think
It don't matter, baby, what you say
Maybe you better tell her how you're feelin'
It ain't gonna happen any other way

'Cause darlin' it ain't written in the sky above
Well don't you tell her who told me this
You gotta tell her that you need her
Tell her that you love her
And give the girl a great big kiss
Yeah you better give the girl a great big kiss

Now baby all I wanna do
Is darlin' make sweet love to you

Danny!
Boss time!

Now I don't know what the meanin' is
Why you wanna hide the things you feel and say
But baby it's just a natural fact
Love was never meant to be that way

And darlin' it ain't written in the sky above
Well no fortune-teller told me this
You gotta tell her that you need her
Tell her that you love her
And give the girl a great big kiss
I say give the girl a great big kiss
Repeat that!
I say give the girl a great big, great big, great
Now give the girl a great big, great big
You gotta give the girl a great big, great big
You gotta give the girl a great big kiss

Well now darlin' all I wanna do
Is darlin' make sweet love to you

Give the girl a great big, great big, great big
Give the girl a great big kiss
Give the girl a great big, great big, great big
Give the girl a great big kiss
Give the girl a great big, great big, great big
Give the girl a great big kiss
Give the girl a great big, great big, great big
Give the girl a great big kiss
Give the girl a great big, great big, great big
Give the girl a great big kiss
Give the girl a great big kiss


Page last updated: 12 Jan 2012

Intro

Music and lyrics by Bruce Springsteen, GIVE THE GIRL A KISS is a Darkness On The Edge Of Town outtake that was released on the Tracks box set in 1998.

Composition and Recording

GIVE THE GIRL A KISS is loosely based on The Shangri-Las' 1964 single GIVE HIM A GREAT BIG KISS (written by George Morton).

According to the Tracks booklet liner notes, GIVE THE GIRL A KISS was recorded on 10 Nov 1977 at The Record Plant in New York, City, NY. The song was totally unknown prior to its release on Tracks in 1998. Springsteen even told Mark Hagen in an interview for Mojo magazine published in January 1999 that "there were some things that I forgot I'd done. Give The Girl A Kiss, which was a big sort of party tune, I had forgotten."

On this recording, most members of the E Street Band step out for a moment in the spotlight, even Springsteen, who introduces his guitar solo with the words "Boss time". The Horns Of Love, the horn section from the Tunnel Of Love Express Tour (Ed Manion on baritone sax, Mark "The Love Man" Pender on trumpet, Richie "La Bamba" Rosenberg on trombone, and Mike Spengler on trumpet, with newcomer and Max Weinberg 7 member Jerry Vivino, stepping in for Mario Cruz on tenor sax) overdubbed the brass parts around 1998 prior to the release of the song on Tracks.

During the 19 Mar 1999 warm-up rehearsal show in Asbury Park, NJ, Springsteen introduced GIVE THE GIRL A KISS as "something silly... we cut this for Darkness On The Edge Of Town. Now you're gonna see why we didn't use it". In a Billboard interview published in November 1998, Springsteen said, "The editing on Darkness was based around creating a record that had a seriousness of tone. Meanwhile, there were all these bar-band records that we had cut, [such as] 'Give the Girl a Kiss' and 'So Young and in Love.' So I had all this music that I couldn't use at the time."

Springsteen also told Mark Hagen in the Mojo magazine interview: "So this long period went, and then when I went in to make Darkness I had very specific ideas of the record I wanted to make. I'd bring the band in and say, 'OK, tonight we do Give The Girl A Kiss... or So Young And In Love', anything to break the tension in the studio. You're still learning how you sound and how to use the studio. So a lot of different kinds of music occurred. I edited Darkness very, very tightly and specifically for that particular emotional tone and a very hard focus on what I wanted to write about. So, a lot of music I put to the side. Basically the second half of the first CD of Tracks were all things that occurred off the Darkness On The Edge Of Town. There were things that might have fit but we didn't have the time, and other things that were just terrific but would have been very out of context on that particular record, like to 'Give The Girl A Kiss' or 'So Young And In Love', which were great bar party songs."

The Tracks Box Set

In the liner notes of his Tracks box set, Bruce Springsteen introduces the box set as follows:

During long intervals between my record releases, as I was spending more and more time in the studio, when I met a fan out on the street I was often asked, "What are you guys doing in there?" I regularly pondered that question myself.

What we were doing in there was making a lot of music, a lot more music than I could use at any one time. As a result, my albums became a series of choices – what to include, what to leave out? I based my decisions on my creative point of view at the moment – the subject I was trying to focus on, something musical or emotional I was trying to express. In certain instances, as on Darkness on the Edge of Town, Nebraska, and The Ghost of Tom Joad, these choices crystallized the album I was making. On some of my other records the reasons I had for choosing one song over another, in hindsight, feel a good deal less significant. One of the results of working like this was that a lot of music, including some of my favorite things, remained unreleased.

This collection contains everything from the first notes I sang in the Columbia recording studio, my early and later work with the E Street Band, through to my music in the 90s. It's the alternate route to some of the destinations I travelled to on my records, an invitation into the studio on the many nights we spent making music in search of the records we presented to you. I'm glad to finally be able to share this music; here are some of the ones that got away.

-- Bruce Springsteen, September 1998

Bruce Springsteen's albums were thematically linked even if they were not strictly concept albums; so some tracks that didn't fit the theme of the album ended up orphaned, not necessarily because they didn't meet his high standards, but because, he says, they didn't fit in with the tone or themes he mined for each set. Many of these unreleased studio outtakes got under the hands of bootleggers. Discussing that issue in 1984, Springsteen told Rolling Stone's Kurt Loder, "We record a lot of material, but we just don't release it all. [...] I always tell myself that some day I'm gonna put an album out with all this stuff on it that didn't fit in. I think there's some good material there that should come out. Maybe at some point, I'll do that."

During a break in The Ghost Of Tom Joad Solo Acoustic Tour, Springsteen thought that "if it's gonna be a year or longer in between records, I have all this music that I know is very good that I never released and I should release some of it whether it was just a CD or something. In that period of time, I should put something out because people would like to have it and I'd like to see it get out." He told Toby Scott (his audio archivist and recording engineer), "send me all the archives, send everything that we recorded". Scott then went to work gathering the potential material from Springsteen's massive audio library (located, along with Sony's sound archives, in the high-tech Iron Mountain facility near Buffalo, NY). "For a week or so," he told Billboard in a Nov 1998 interview, "I just listened to everything that I'd done that we hadn't put out. I made some very brief notes in a notebook, and then I just put it away. It was something that I could do at some point when I get to that place in a new project where I'm not sure how long it's going to take and it would be nice to sort of fill the gap so the fans wouldn't be so long without hearing any music from me".

Springsteen told Mark Hagen in an interview for Mojo magazine published in January 1999, "So it began just with that idea and we listened to about 250 songs, maybe more, I made quick notes in a notebook and put it away. A year went by, more maybe, and I came off the Tom Joad tour and I began to write acoustically again and I wrote about half a record. Then I got stuck and said, 'Well, I'm going to put this aside for a while.' Then I wrote half of an electric record, and hit the same place. So I thought, instead of waiting for another year to put something out I'll put some of this music together. So once again I went back to the archives." According to interview comments made by engineer Toby Scott (Springsteen's audio archivist and recording engineer), it was in February 1998 during solo sessions being conducted at Thrill Hill Recording (Springsteen's home studio) in Colts Neck, NJ, that Springsteen told Scott that the time was right to proceed with the long-anticipated box set of archived, unreleased studio takes. Thrill Hill Recording served as the main operational center for all Tracks project activities. Note that the "Thrill Hill Recording" name is used for whatever home studio Springsteen is recording at, whether it's in Rumson, NJ, Colts, NJ, or Beverly Hills, CA.

Springsteen told Billboard that the songs were culled from between 200 and 300 tunes. According to Toby Scott, the number was down to about 128 songs by late June 1998. It was then narrowed down yet again in July to about 100 songs that were prepped for the Tracks release. Although the project was originally projected to be a 6-disc set, there was a commercial decision made later in the summer to reduce the size of the release to a 4-disc (66-track) set. The package was delivered to Sony in mid-September in order to facilitate the mid-November 1998 release schedule.

Unreleased songs from the Greetings From Asbury Park, NJ sessions were not included on the box set due to ongoing and still-unresolved court proceedings involving most of these unreleased 1972 recordings. The court battle wasn't resolved until in 2001 (April 2001 in the UK and June 2001 in the U.S.), and those recordings are now free for release at any time. The opening four tracks of the box set – which were culled from Springsteen's 03 May 1972 Columbia Records audition – were not part of the court proceedings.

The Tracks box set was released on Columbia Records on 10 Nov 1998, issued on both compact disc and audio cassette formats. It's a 4-disc (or 4-cassette) set consisting of a total of 66 tracks (almost 4.5 hours long), 10 of which were heretofore unavailable single B-sides, 6 were demos and alternate versions of already-released material, and 50 (48 studio and 2 live) were never-before-released songs recorded during the sessions for Springsteen's many albums. Some tracks were treated with a recent touch-up here or there to give the older recordings a fresh polish.

  • Disc 1 consists of material from 1972 to 1980, including Springsteen's very first Columbia Records audition for legendary A & R executive John Hammond. This disc also features additional songs most of which recorded for (but never released on) Springsteen's first four albums.
     
  • Disc 2 consists of material from 1979 to 1983, taken primarily from the recording sessions of The River, Nebraska, and Born In The USA. Springsteen describes this disc as "almost the completely other album from 'The River'."
     
  • Disc 3 consists of material from 1982 to 1987, taken primarily from the recording sessions of Born In The USA and Tunnel Of Love.
     
  • Disc 4 consists of material from 1989 to 1998, taken primarily from the recording sessions of Human Touch.
[Click thumbnail to enlarge/reduce artwork]

Tracks disc 1 track list (CD format):

1.MARY QUEEN OF ARKANSASRecorded at CBS Studios, New York City, NY, on 03 May 1972
2.IT'S HARD TO BE A SAINT IN THE CITYRecorded at CBS Studios, New York City, NY, on 03 May 1972
3.GROWIN' UPRecorded at CBS Studios, New York City, NY, on 03 May 1972
4.DOES THIS BUS STOP AT 82ND STREETRecorded at CBS Studios, New York City, NY, on 03 May 1972
5.BISHOP DANCEDRecorded live at Max's Kansas City, New York City, NY, on 31 Jan 1973
6.SANTA ANARecorded at 914 Sound Studios, Blauvelt, NY, on 28 Jun 1973
7.SEASIDE BAR SONGRecorded at 914 Sound Studios, Blauvelt, NY, on 28 Jun 1973
8.ZERO AND BLIND TERRYRecorded at 914 Sound Studios, Blauvelt, NY, on 28 Jun 1973
9.LINDA LET ME BE THE ONERecorded at Record Plant, New York City, NY, on 28 Jun 1975
10.THUNDERCRACKRecorded at 914 Sound Studios, Blauvelt, NY, on 28 Jun 1973
11.RENDEZVOUSRecorded live at Nassau Coliseum, Uniondale, NY, on 31 Dec 1980
12.GIVE THE GIRL A KISSRecorded at Record Plant, New York City, NY, on 10 Nov 1977
13.ICEMANRecorded at Record Plant, New York City, NY, on 27 Oct 1977
14.BRING ON THE NIGHTRecorded at The Power Station, New York City, NY, on 13 Jun 1979
15.SO YOUNG AND IN LOVERecorded at Record Plant, New York City, NY, on 06 Jan 1978
16.HEARTS OF STONERecorded at Record Plant, New York City, NY, on 14 Oct 1977
17.DON'T LOOK BACKRecorded at Record Plant, New York City, NY, on 02 Jul 1977

Tracks disc 2 track list (CD format):

1.RESTLESS NIGHTSRecorded at The Power Station, New York City, NY, on 11 Apr 1980
2.A GOOD MAN IS HARD TO FIND (PITTSBURGH)Recorded at The Power Station, New York City, NY, on 05 May 1982
3.ROULETTERecorded at The Power Station, New York City, NY, on 03 Apr 1978
4.DOLLHOUSERecorded at The Power Station, New York City, NY, on 21 Aug 1979
5.WHERE THE BANDS ARERecorded at The Power Station, New York City, NY, on 09 Oct 1979
6.LOOSE ENDSRecorded at The Power Station, New York City, NY, on 18 Jul 1979
7.LIVING ON THE EDGE OF THE WORLDRecorded at The Power Station, New York City, NY, on 07 Dec 1979
8.WAGES OF SINRecorded at The Power Station, New York City, NY, on 10 May 1982
9.TAKE 'EM AS THEY COMERecorded at The Power Station, New York City, NY, on 10 Apr 1980
10.BE TRUERecorded at The Power Station, New York City, NY, on 21 Jul 1979
11.RICKY WANTS A MAN OF HER OWNRecorded at Record Plant, New York City, NY, on 16 Jul 1979
12.I WANNA BE WITH YOURecorded at The Power Station, New York City, NY, on 31 May 1979
13.MARY LOURecorded at The Power Station, New York City, NY, on 30 May 1979
14.STOLEN CARRecorded at The Power Station, New York City, NY, on 26 Jul 1979
15.BORN IN THE USARecorded at Thrill Hill Recording, Colts Neck, NJ, in Jan 1982
16.JOHNNY BYE-BYERecorded at Thrill Hill Recording, Beverly Hills, CA, in Jan 1983
17.SHUT OUT THE LIGHTRecorded at Thrill Hill Recording, Beverly Hills, CA, in Jan 1983

Tracks disc 3 track list (CD format):

1.CYNTHIARecorded at The Hit Factory, New York City, NY, on 20 Apr 1983
2.MY LOVE WILL NOT LET YOU DOWNRecorded at The Hit Factory, New York City, NY, on 05 May 1982
3.THIS HARD LANDRecorded at The Hit Factory, New York City, NY, on 11 May 1982
4.FRANKIERecorded at The Power Station, New York City, NY, on 14 May 1982
5.TV MOVIERecorded at The Hit Factory, New York City, NY, on 13 Jun 1983
6.STAND ON ITRecorded at The Hit Factory, New York City, NY, on 16 Jun 1983
7.LION'S DENRecorded at The Power Station, New York City, NY, on 25 Jan 1982
8.CAR WASHRecorded at The Hit Factory, New York City, NY, on 31 May 1983
9.ROCKAWAY THE DAYSRecorded at The Hit Factory, New York City, NY, on 03 Feb 1984
10.BROTHERS UNDER THE BRIDGES ('83)Recorded at The Hit Factory, New York City, NY, on 04 Sep 1983
11.MAN AT THE TOPRecorded at The Hit Factory, New York City, NY, on 12 Jan 1984
12.PINK CADILLACRecorded at The Hit Factory, New York City, NY, on 31 May 1983
13.TWO FOR THE ROADRecorded at Thrill Hill Recording, Colts Neck, NJ, in Feb 1987
14.JANEY DON'T YOU LOSE HEARTRecorded at The Hit Factory, New York City, NY, on 16 Jun 1983
15.WHEN YOU NEED MERecorded at The Hit Factory, New York City, NY, on 10 Jan 1987
16.THE WISHRecorded at The Hit Factory, New York City, NY, on 22 Feb 1987
17.THE HONEYMOONERSRecorded at The Hit Factory, New York City, NY, on 22 Feb 1987
18.LUCKY MANRecorded at The Hit Factory, New York City, NY, on 04 Apr 1987

Tracks disc 4 track list (CD format):

1.LEAVIN' TRAINRecorded at Oceanway Studios, Los Angeles, CA, on 27 Feb 1990
2.SEVEN ANGELSRecorded at Oceanway Studios, Los Angeles, CA, on 29 Jun 1990
3.GAVE IT A NAMERecorded at Thrill Hill Recording, Colts Neck, NJ, on 24 Aug 1998
4.SAD EYESRecorded at Soundworks West, Los Angeles, CA, on 25 Jan 1990
5.MY LOVER MANRecorded at Soundworks West, Los Angeles, CA, on 04 Dec 1990
6.OVER THE RISERecorded at Soundworks West, Los Angeles, CA, on 07 Dec 1990
7.WHEN THE LIGHTS GO OUTRecorded at Record Plant, Los Angeles, CA, on 06 Dec 1990
8.LOOSE CHANGERecorded at Record Plant, Los Angeles, CA, on 31 Jan 1991
9.TROUBLE IN PARADISERecorded at Soundworks West, Los Angeles, CA, on 01 Dec 1989
10.HAPPYRecorded at A & M Studios, Los Angeles, CA, on 18 Jan 1992
11.PART MAN, PART MONKEYRecorded at Soundworks West, Los Angeles, CA, in Jan 1990
12.GOIN' CALIRecorded at A & M Studios, Los Angeles, CA, on 29 Jan 1991
13.BACK IN YOUR ARMSRecorded at The Hit Factory, New York City, NY, on 12 Jan 1995
14.BROTHERS UNDER THE BRIDGERecorded at Thrill Hill Recording, Beverly Hills, CA, on 22 May 1995

Live History

In preparation for The Reunion Tour, GIVE THE GIRL A KISS was performed during one of the tour's two public warm-up rehearsal shows that took place in March 1999 in Asbury Park. The song is also known to have been practiced during at least one of the private rehearsals that took place in March 1999 in Asbury Park prior to the tour's first leg.

[Click here to display/hide detailed The Reunion Tour rehearsals performances list]

GIVE THE GIRL A KISS appeared only once on the tour's regular shows, on 28 Jul 1999 in East Rutherford, NJ. See the live 29 Jul 1999 version. The song was also reportedly sound-checked prior to the 23 May 1999 show in London, England.

[Click here to display/hide detailed The Reunion Tour performances list]

GIVE THE GIRL A KISS appeared only once during the 83-date-long Working On A Dream Tour, on 15 May 1999 at Hersheypark Stadium in Hershey, PA. Jay Weinberg substituted for his father on drums during this show.

[Click here to display/hide detailed Working On A Dream Tour performances list]

Covers

As far as it's known, only one artist has recorded and released Bruce Springsteen's GIVE THE GIRL A KISS:


The Sensational Epics -- Been There... Ain't Done Yet!

CD - Ripete (2307) - USA - 2002

Available Versions

List of available versions of GIVE THE GIRL A KISS on this website: