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"Cover Me"
Single by Bruce Springsteen
from the album Born in the U.S.A.
B-side "Jersey Girl"
Released July 31, 1984 (1984-07-31)
Format 7" single, 12" single
Recorded January-February 1982
Genre Rock
Length 3:26
Label Columbia
Writer(s) Bruce Springsteen
Producer Jon Landau,
Chuck Plotkin,
Bruce Springsteen,
Steven Van Zandt
Bruce Springsteen singles chronology
"Dancing in the Dark"
(1984)
"Cover Me"
(1984)
"Born in the U.S.A."
(1984)

"Cover Me" is an 1984 song, written and performed by American rock singer Bruce Springsteen. It was the second single released from his massively successful album Born in the U.S.A.

Contents

History

"Cover Me" was one of the first songs recorded for the lengthy set of sessions that produced the album, and in fact was recorded as a demo, as the song was to be given to disco queen Donna Summer. However, Springsteen's manager Jon Landau heard the result and decided the combination of Springsteen's rock impulse, fierce guitar solo, and a strong (if unsubtle) dance beat had hit potential, and so kept the song for the upcoming Springsteen album, not even bothering to re-record it. Donna Summer was given "Protection" instead. Springsteen even recorded a duet with Summer, but it was never released. Springsteen was still unsure about "Cover Me", and Landau had to constantly argue to keep it included on the album.

The song peaked at #7 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles charts[1] in late summer 1984. It was the second of a record-tying seven Top 10 hit singles to be released from Born in the U.S.A.

No music video was made for the song.

Remixes

Continuing the club play goal started with "Dancing in the Dark", Arthur Baker created the 12-inch "Undercover Mix" of "Cover Me". This was a large-scale transformation: a new bass line was cut, an unused backing vocal by industry legend Jocelyn Brown was restored, and reggae and dub elements were introduced. It was released on October 15, 1984.

As with the previous effort, the result displeased some of Springsteen's more strait-laced fans, but did gain actual club play: the remix went to number 11 on Billboard's Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart.[1]

Track listings

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7-inch single

  1. Cover Me - 3:26
  2. Jersey Girl - 6:40 or less

The B-side of the single, "Jersey Girl", was a live performance of a Tom Waits song, recorded on July 9, 1981 at Meadowlands Arena. Springsteen had introduced the song earlier in that special River Tour homecoming stand that opened the arena, slightly rewriting it to replace a Waits line about "whores on Eighth Avenue" and adding a verse that included "that little brat of yours and drop[ping] her off at your mom's." "Jersey Girl" would become a Springsteen fan favorite, although played rarely as time went on.

Differing pressings of the single had different lengths of "Jersey Girl", sometimes dropping a spoken introduction.

12-inch single

  1. "Cover Me" (Undercover Mix) - 6:09
  2. "Cover Me" (Dub 1) - 4:02
  3. "Cover Me" (Radio Mix) - 3:46
  4. "Cover Me" (Dub 2) - 4:15

Chart performance

Chart (1984) Peak
position
US Billboard Hot 100[1] 7
US Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks[1] 3
US Billboard Hot Dance Music/Club Play[1] 11
Australian Singles Chart 17
Canadian RPM Top Singles[2] 12
Irish Singles Chart[3] 6
Swedish Singles Chart[4] 15
UK Singles Chart[5] 16

Live performance history

Springsteen was unsure of how to play "Cover Me" in concert, and initially it appeared irregularly in the 1984-1985 Born in the U.S.A. Tour. Then, inspired by Arthur Baker's remix, he rearranged it to open and close with a quiet, ominous, extended, echoing segment as new E Street backup singer Patti Scialfa wailed a snippet of Martha & the Vandellas' "Nowhere to Run" (in her one spotlight role of the show) while her future husband reverbed "Cuh ... vuh ... me-ee-ee", after which the song ramped up into showcase guitar work for Springsteen and Nils Lofgren. "Cover Me" thus became a featured song on the tour, often opening the second set; such a performance was included on the 1986 Live/1975-85.

"Cover Me" continued as a regular selection on the 1988 Tunnel of Love Express and Human Rights Now! Tours, and the 1992 leg of the "Other Band" Tour (now without Scialfa's part). After December 1992 it was dropped until Springsteen's first concert in Oslo on July 7, 2008 and most recently in Philadelphia on October 20, 2009. The song has been performed 300 times through 2008. The song has turned up as a semi-regular on the Working On A Dream Tour, especially after Springsteen and the E Street Band began playing the entire "Born in the U.S.A." album in New York and Philadelphia.

References


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