David Bowie tried to cover Bruce Springsteen but gave up after the Boss hated his effort

'David was quite taken by meeting Bruce'

Jack Shepherd
Friday 19 August 2016 15:12
Comments
David Bowie with dyed red hair and a yellow suit, circa 1974.
David Bowie with dyed red hair and a yellow suit, circa 1974.

During the 1975 recording sessions for Young Americans, David Bowie planned on covering Bruce Springsteen’s “It’s Hard To Be A Saint In The City” for the album.

However, when The Boss visited the studio, everything changed. In an interview with Uncut (via NME), producer Tony Visconti detailed how, after Bowie played Springsteen the cover, the track was abandoned after a private talk between the two legends.

“David was quite taken by meeting Bruce,” Visconti wrote. “We played ‘Saint’ to him and he kept a poker face the whole time. He said nothing when it was finished.

“David took him into another room for a private chat. By the time Bruce left, he was more pleasant and said his goodbyes to the rest of us. David and I never worked on ‘Saint’ after that, although it was finished or re-recorded eventually with someone else.”

Bowie’s version of the track - which appeared on Springsteen’s 1973 debut album Greetings From Asbury Park, NJ - eventually came to light in 1989 on the box set Sound + Vision.

Bowie was recently nominated for this year’s Mercury Prize alongside the likes Radiohead, Laura Mvula, and Michael Kiwanuka.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged in