Unreleased – Bruce Springsteen – Protection

Bruce Springsteen 1981

The Unreleased series

This is a new series (hopefully). We we seek out and present unreleased songs by various artists. Check out the About Us page and you’ll get a picture of what artists we are concentrating this series on. This does not mean that we will only do songs by these artists/groups, but our focus will be on that list.

We will start with a Born in the U.S.A. outtake by Bruce Springsteen. We are eagerly waiting for Tracks part 2, The Boss have a lot of great songs that are still unreleased.

I stand alone at my window
I see you waiting in the shadows down below
I feel your fingers on my face
I know I want to stay, but I want to run away

Our first unreleased track is Protection, here in a studio version by Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street band:

It was recorded in Jan-Feb 1982 at the Hit Factory in New York. “Protection” is written by Bruce Springsteen for Donna Summer. It was originally featured on the 1982 Donna Summer album which was produced by Quincy Jones.

Record executive David Geffen, a friend Jon Landau, asked Landau if his client could write something for Donna Summer who had joined his label Geffen Records. The idea was that Springsteen and Summer record the song as a duet, so Springsteen wrote Cover Me!

She could really sing and I disliked the veiled racism of the anti-disco movement
– Bruce  Springsteen (Songs)

However when Landau heard the result, Cover Me, he persuaded Springsteen to keep that song for himself. Bruce then wrote Protection.

Donna Summer’s Protection:

Bruce Springsteen plays guitar (including a great guitar solo), and there was recorded a duet version of the song (…or so the legend says). Maybe it is Springsteen we hear on the fade out of the song?

Bruce wrote the song for me, and in fact, came to my house in Los Angeles for several days to get it done. I love the song as well as being a big Bruce Springsteen fan. It was the icing on the cake and a big moment in my life. Hey Bruce, let’s do it again.
– Donna Summer

There are several other versions of the song both Springsteen demos/rehearsal and cover versions by other artists.

Bruce Springsteen, Protection (acoustic demo):

And finally here is a fan-made mix of Donna Summer and Bruce Springsteen giving us an indication of what the duet track might sound like:

very fine song and it could have been a big hit I think!

– Hallgeir

Sources: Songs – Bruce Springsteen (book), Liner notes  One Step Up / Two Steps Back: The Songs Of Bruce Springsteen (tribute album), Wikipedia, Springsteenlyrics.com, Born in the USA – The Studio Sessions (Brucebase)

2 thoughts on “Unreleased – Bruce Springsteen – Protection”

  1. My father has always been a big fan of Springsteen… When i heard that he’d be performing at Telenor Arena… i never let the moment pass… took a lot of photos for posterity… feel free to watch http://moment.me/n/1442197 (needs registration – administrator)

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