Spirit In The Night

Album: Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J. (1973)

Songfacts®:

  • Greasy Lake is a lake near Howel NJ. It gets its name from the idea that homeless people living around the lake used it for bathing, washing dishes, etc. The homeless people were known as "Gypsy Angels" or the "Spirits In The Night." >>
    Suggestion credit:
    kevin - elizabeth, NJ
  • Part of Springsteen's first album, it was a #40 US hit for Manfred Mann's Earth Band when they covered it in 1977. They also covered "Blinded By The Light" and "For You" from Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J.
  • Springsteen wrote this after Columbia Records rejected his first attempt at an album, telling him to make some songs that could be played on the radio. He came up with this and "Blinded By The Light."
  • This was Springsteen's second single. It was released only in the US and did not chart.
  • The lyrics refer to "Route 88," a road that runs through Ocean County, New Jersey. Springsteen would later sing about "Highway 9" in "Born To Run."
  • Along with "Blinded By The Light," this was one of 2 songs on Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J. featuring Clarence Clemons on saxophone. Springsteen's band didn't have a name when this was recorded. By his next album, they were The E Street Band - named after the street where they used to rehearse.
  • This has been a popular live song throughout Springsteen's career. He still occasionally plays it live.
  • The version on Live 1975-1985 was recorded at The Roxy in 1978.

Comments: 10

  • Rene from Horseheads, NyI received an early Christmas present from my husband, tickets to see Bruce perform in Buffalo, NY (the last WOAD concert). When I saw that Bruce would be performing the entire album "Greetings From Asbury Park, NJ" I was thrilled. "Spirit In The Night" was one of my favorites from that album.
  • Ekristheh from Halath, United StatesThis got a fair amount of airplay when it came out, usually late at night on local stations. I felt it was a crazy beautiful song and I loved his passion. I used to think it was about twice as long as it really was because I never heard it all the way through - I kept catching it in the middle. I hadn't heard it in many years, but they played it on KSWD the other night and it brought it all back.
  • Bill from Martinsville, NjThe "Dark side of Route 88" is the west end of the road after it crosses Route 9. Route 88 runs east-west, Route 9 runs north-south.
  • Rich from Bellevue, WaGene: My reading is that the singer is the mission man. After all, he's with Janey at the start of the song, and he's making love to her at the lake, they seem to be together throughout the song. I don't pretend to know what "mission man" means, but as it's used here, it seems more a description than a name.
  • Gene from San Diego, CaGreat song, but I don't understand where he comes into the song. In the first verse, only Janey, the mission-man, g-man, Davey, and Joe were present. Then in the second verse, he just appears in the car.
  • Brandon from Bloomington, IlI think Carlos means that October 16th 2002 was the first time Bruce performed the piano solo on this, I'm sure he knows it's from '73.
  • Bill from Philadelphia, Pa"First performed in Barcelona, 2002"? What are you people talking about? Sorry, I saw Bruce do this in 1974, in Newtown, PA USA. It was great, even if it was 28 years before your version.
  • Shawna from Cornwall, Canadahey people,
    does anyone know who the original singer to the song pieces by sum*41,or what song does it sound like?
  • Kyle from Belleville, Canada"This song was first performed with bruce playing the piano solo in Barcelona, October 16th 2002"

    I have that DVD and he messes up the lyrics and what becomes a hilarious mess.
  • Carlos from Albacete, SpainThis song was first performed with bruce playing the piano solo in Barcelona, October 16th 2002
see more comments

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