"This Hard Land"
Greatest Hits, 1995
"We recorded about 80 songs for Born in the U.S.A. Some of them are great," said Max Weinberg. "'This Hard Land,' which didn't make it on the record, is just fantastic. That's probably my favorite song we've done." The song's mix of stark Dust Bowl folk and swirling Jersey Shore barroom rock is a perfect split between that LP's rave-up Americana and the dark acoustic demos of Nebraska. It didn't appear on either album. But it became a concert staple and was rerecorded in 1995 for Greatest Hits; the folk-rockier, superior original surfaced later on Tracks. "I don't understand how I could let it be unreleased for so long," Springsteen said in 1998.