This song is about the meltdown at the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant in 1979. At the time, there was a great deal of debate over the use of nuclear energy, as it presented safety and environmental concerns.
This was the first song recorded during sessions for The River, but Springsteen decided not to use it on the album. Even though it was recorded in 1979, it was not released until 1988 as the B-side of "One Step Up." It resurfaced on the 1998 album Tracks, a collection of Springsteen outtakes.
Andy Caulton from New HampshireSays everything you need to know about the quality of Springsteen's songs, that a song as dynamic as this DID NOT make The River. Driven, passionate new wavesque lyrics...[the Costello comparison is excellent], all framed by Max Weinberg's incomparable drumming.
Steve from Fenton, MoI always thought this song was written and sung in the style of Elvis Costello with the breakneck pace and the cramming of lyrics into the song so that Bruce can barely get them out and keep up with the tempo. A great song and great performance of the song in my opinion.