1973 (ALL US-ONLY RELEASES)
Avenging Annie (by Andy Pratt) / Blinded By The Light (COL AS 45)
33 1/3 rpm promotional single with blue labels; issued exclusively to members of Columbia/Epic Records’ "Playback" subscription club for test purposes. The disc came with a “Playback” logo title sleeve (two different variants of which exist) and was originally accompanied by a booklet and a questionnaire; all sent out to subscribers inside a special mailing envelope, although fully intact copies are almost impossible to find nowadays. Note that there also is a very rare white label pressing of this single that features an alternate design of the “Playback” logo and contained a different booklet (depicting Bruce and the E Street Band on its cover) as well.
Blinded By The Light / The Angel (COL 4-45805)
Extremely rare commercial release. Contains an edited 3:58 version of Blinded (with the last three lines of the penultimate verse and the complete final verse omitted) which is unique to this 45 and its promotional counterpart (see below). Disc has orange/yellow labels and came in a die-cut Columbia logo sleeve. An unknown number of stock copies was also distributed to radio stations and music journalists, featuring purple or white “Promotional Record For Broadcast & Review - Not For Sale” stickers on either the A-side or B-side labels. Some of these were issued with the rare picture sleeve (see details below).
Blinded By The Light (Mono) / Same
(Stereo) (COL 4-45805)
White label promotional release which is a lot more common than the above stock copy. Note that both sides, however, feature the same edited version.
[ FOR FULL BACKGROUND INFORMATION ON THE MYSTERIOUS U.S. "BLINDED BY THE LIGHT" PICTURE SLEEVE, CLICK ON ONE OF THE SCANS BELOW ]
Spirit In The Night /
For You (COL 4-45864)
One of the rarest Springsteen 45s ever due to its virtually non-existent original sales. Disc has orange/yellow labels and came in a die-cut Columbia logo sleeve; an unknown number of stock copies were also distributed as promos with purple “Promotional Record For Broadcast & Review - Not For Sale” stickers added to the labels.
Spirit In The Night
(Mono) / Same (Stereo) (COL 4-45864)
White label promotional release of the above; again more common than the commercial issue.
Factory Blues (by Albert Hammond) / Circus Song (live) / Down At The Bar (by Loudon
Wainwright III) / Little Red
Hen Blues (by Taj Mahal) (COL AS 52)
Second "Playback" release; same overall packaging as AS 45. Plays at 33 1/3 rpm. Bruce's live track - an early version of "Wild Billy's Circus Story" with partially different lyrics - never was issued commercially on any record and is still exclusive to this EP in audio-only form (although video footage of the complete song from the same performance was officially released as part of the "Born To Run" 30th anniversary box set in 2005), making it one of the most collectable Springsteen items ever.
Stone County (by Johnny Winter) / Transatlantic Westbound Jet (by The Hollies) / Rosalita (Come Out Tonight) (COL AS 66)
The final "Playback" release featuring Bruce. Same overall packaging as AS 45 and AS 52, and again playing at 33 1/3 rpm.
Spirit In The Night / Growin' Up / Rosalita (Come
Out Tonight) (COL AE7 1088)
Very scarce US-only promotional EP with white labels and 33 1/3 rpm running speed; issued in a die-cut Columbia logo sleeve. An unknown number of mislabelled copies exist with the B-side (“Rosalita”) label originally attached to both sides, but subsequently overlaid with the correct one.
4th Of July, Asbury Park (Sandy) / The E Street Shuffle (CBS S 3512)
The very first Springsteen 45 ever issued outside the US; unique to Germany and released under the incorrect song title of "Sandy (4th July, Asbury Park)". Exists as both a commercial pressing with exclusive colour picture sleeve and regular orange/yellow labels, and as a promotional issue with special "CBS Blitzinformation" title/text sleeve and white labels featuring a red "thunderbolt" logo (same catalogue number). While the promo version is rare enough, stock copies have proved to be even twice as hard to track down.
Born To Run / Meeting Across
The River (CBS 3661)
The first Springsteen single released worldwide, although failing to make any dent beyond the US charts. This particular configuration was issued in most parts of the globe except Japan and South Africa (see below). Picture sleeve copies exist from Germany (where there again was a simultaneous "CBS Blitzinformation" promo released with title/text sleeve), Holland, Italy and Spain (reissued in 1985 with red labels). Other pressings of note include the US white label promo (COL 3-10209, featuring Mono/Stereo versions of the A-side), a scarce Mexican issue (CBS 7547), the New Zealand release (CBS BA 461634) and an unusual UK copy with 4-prong "push-out" center. By far the rarest of all international variants, however, is the Greek pressing, which - despite carrying standard orange/yellow stock labels - was presumably issued for promotional use only and distributed in a die-cut CBS/"Music-Box Athens" logo sleeve.
European "Born To Run" sleeve variations from Germany ("Blitzinformation" promotional issue and stock copy), Holland, Italy and Spain (left to right)
Born To Run / Backstreets (CBS/SONY
Japan-only release in this particular form; unique B-side and spectacular picture/lyric insert with misprinted title of "Back Streets". Also pressed as a white label promotional issue with same catalogue number and packaging.
(by George Harrison) / Born To Run / Something Better To Do
(by Olivia Newton-John) / He’s My Rock (by Olivia Newton-John) (EXP. 138)
Obscure Thailand-only “Express Songs” Various Artists EP in colour picture sleeve with a live shot of George Harrison on front.
Born To Run / Hurricane (Part I) (by Bob Dylan) (CBS YD 452)
Italy-only white label promotional release for jukebox use; issued in a die-cut CBS logo sleeve with title strip. An unknown number of copies also featured a wrap-around CBS promo sheet, although this item is virtually impossible to find with circulating examples (or even separately) nowadays.
Born To Run / Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out (CBS SSC 1420)
Unique configuration exclusive to South Africa. Disc carries orange labels (although they appear to be red in our scans below) and comes in a pink die-cut "CBS - The Music People" logo sleeve. Extremely rare.
Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out
/ She's The One
Released in the US (COL 3-10274; also as Mono/Stereo white label promotional copy), Japan (CBS/SONY SOPB 350), Mexico (CBS 7592) and most of Europe (CBS 3940). Picture sleeve copies exist from Germany, Holland and Spain (reissued in 1985 with red labels, and the letters “SG” in brackets added to the original catalogue number on rear sleeve); the ultra-scarce Japanese version came with a totally unique picture/lyric insert. Again, there also is a special German "CBS Blitzinformation" promotional pressing.
Left to right: Dutch picture sleeve, German "Blitzinformation" promotional sleeve/label, Spanish picture sleeve and Japanese picture insert for "Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out"
Born To Run / Spirit In The Night (COL 13-33323)
North America-only "Hall Of Fame" double-A reissue in die-cut logo sleeve. Pressed with both light blue/purple “Hall Of Fame”/“Disques D’Or” labels (Canada) and red/black labels (US). A later US "Hall Of Fame" release from 1983 featured different, grey labels instead.
Blinded By The Light / Spirit In The Night (CBS 5121)
Spain-only release in unique black-and-white picture sleeve. Song titles translated to Spanish on both sleeve and labels. Reissued in 1985 with both orange/yellow and red labels, but additionally featuring the letters “SG” in brackets added to the original catalogue number on rear sleeve.
Prove It All Night / Factory
Released in Europe (CBS 6424) and Japan (CBS/SONY 06SP 256) with some interesting picture sleeve variations; Australian pressings (CBS BA 222430) came in plain die-cut CBS logo sleeves. "Prove It All Night" also was the only Springsteen 45 ever released in (former) Yugoslavia (CBS/SUZY 6424), where an extremely rare misprint was produced carrying a wrong B-side label for the Johnnie Taylor disco song "Keep On Dancing" (the record, however, does in fact play Bruce’s "Factory" as it should). "CBS Blitzinformation" promotional version issued in Germany; this time with standard front artwork and text on rear. The Spanish pressing featured song title translations on both the sleeve and labels.
Left to right: Dutch picture sleeve, rear sleeve of German "Blitzinformation" promotional issue, Italian picture sleeve, Japanese picture insert and Spanish picture sleeve for "Prove It All Night"
Badlands / Something In The Night
Released in Germany and Holland (with identical picture sleeves) and the UK (without picture sleeve; all CBS 6532). A German promotional "CBS Blitzinformation" issue - the last one related to Springsteen - exists as well. The same configuration also was used for pressings from Australia (CBS BA 222445) and New Zealand (CBS BA 461872), both of which came in die-cut CBS logo sleeves.
Dutch/German picture sleeve (left) and rear sleeve of German "Blitzinformation" promotional issue (right) for "Badlands"
Badlands / Streets Of Fire
Standard coupling used in all countries other than the ones mentioned above. Varying picture sleeve releases include pressings from Italy (see separate entry below), Japan (CBS/SONY 06SP 256) and Spain (CBS 6838; reissued in 1985 with both orange/yellow and red labels, and the letters “SG” in brackets added to the original catalogue number on rear sleeve).
"Badlands" picture sleeves from Japan (left) and Spain (right)
Badlands / Streets Of Fire (CBS 6532)
Italian issue with unique colour picture sleeve; very rare due to its virtually non-existent original sales. In fact, this 45 did so poorly on the Italian market that unsold copies were eventually given away as freebies with October 1980 issues of domestic magazine “Music”, which had special white/red “Omaggio Music” logo stickers added to the front sleeves and A-side labels.
Badlands / Candy's Room (CBS 6678)
Dutch export pressing for France. Colour picture sleeve and unique B-side. One of the rarest Springsteen 45s ever.
The Promised Land / Streets Of Fire
(S CBS 6720)
UK-only release; also pressed as a white label promotional version with large orange/yellow "A" logo, although regular stock copies are much less common. Plain die-cut CBS sleeve. Both issues featured incorrect/incomplete song title "Promised Land".
Born To Run / Meeting Across The River (S CBS 7077)
First UK reissue in the "Golden Decade 1967-1976" series. Black die-cut logo sleeve.
Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)
/ Night (CBS 7753)
Extremely rare Holland-only release in weird colour title sleeve.
Born To Run / Badlands (CBS/SONY 06SP 363)
Japan-only "Gold Disc" reissue with unique colour picture/lyric insert.