100 Greatest Bruce Springsteen Songs of All Time

An expert panel of writers and artists pick Springsteen's best songs, from "Rosalita" to "Wrecking Ball"

32

"Because the Night"

bruce springsteen
Richard E. Aaron/Redferns

The Promise, 2010

In 1977, Springsteen was working on an early version of this cathedral-size passion play when Patti Smith, recording in the same studio, heard about it from producer Jimmy Iovine. Iovine, who was working with both musicians, brought Smith a demo of the song, and Smith added her own lyrics, recording it for her album Easter, and scoring her first and biggest hit single. "Bruce did the hook, Patti the words and we [the Smith band] gave it the cannon-blast beat," said Smith's guitarist Lenny Kaye. Springsteen's excellent studio version wasn't officially released until The Promise, more than 30 years later.

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