The Bruce Springsteen Timeline

March 1982

Bruce brings in the E Street Band to help Gary U.S. Bonds in the studio with his new album. Bruce writes seven songs for the album and is credited as producer along with Steve Van Zandt.

April 1982

Bruce enters the studio to record the follow-up to The River. The songs he recorded on January 3 are used as demos to these sessions, but only a few of them work out satisfactorily with the band. These include "Born in the USA" and "Downbound Train".

Summer 1982

Simultaneously with the Born in the USA sessions, Bruce makes an unprecedented number of guest appearances with various bands at Jersey Shore bars. Sometimes he can be experienced onstage several times a week with a local band (on at least one occassion twice in one day). Most of these gigs take place at the Stone Pony in Asbury Park, and the band Cats on a Smooth Surface is among his favorites. On a lesser scale, the club performances will continue for the rest of the year and through 1983.

October 4 1982

Nebraska is released the way it was recorded back in January.

December 22 1982

Bruce's first real music video premieres on MTV. The chosen song is "Atlantic City". Bruce himself does not appear in it.

Spring 1983

Bruce stays in California where he records by himself. The recordings have been known as the Hollywood Hills Garage Tapes and include songs like "Follow That Dream", "Your Hometown" (an early version of "My Hometown") and "County Fair". Some of these recordings end up as b-sides on the Born in the USA singles.

Summer 1983

The E Street Band resumes the recording sessions in May. They will continue on and off throughout 1983. By this time Steve Van Zandt is no longer in the band, but is concentrating on his own solo career.

Spring 1984

Bruce and the band work extensively on the new album. By April when the sessions end, 80-100 songs have been recorded since 1982. Of these only 12 will be used on the album, plus a few more as b-sides.

May 9 1984

"Dancing in the Dark" is released as the first single to promote the upcoming album. The single helps build up the immense excitement and expectations that fuel the music world around this time.

June 4 1984

Born in the USA is released. It is Bruce's most commercial album to date and it's ripped from the shelves by fans as well as many casual listeners whose first exposure to Bruce has been the "Dancing in the Dark" single.