RADIO NOWHERE

Album version

I was trying to find my way home
But all I heard was a drone
Bouncing off a satellite
Crushing the last lone American night

This is radio nowhere, is there anybody alive out there?
This is radio nowhere, is there anybody alive out there?

I was spinning 'round a dead dial
Just another lost number in a file
Dancing down a dark hole
Just searching for a world with some soul

This is radio nowhere, is there anybody alive out there?
This is radio nowhere, is there anybody alive out there?
Is there anybody alive out there?

I just want to hear some rhythm
I just want to hear some rhythm
I just want to hear some rhythm
I just want to hear some rhythm

I want a thousand guitars
I want pounding drums
I want a million different voices speaking in tongues

This is radio nowhere, is there anybody alive out there?
This is radio nowhere, is there anybody alive out there?
Is there anybody alive out there?

[Instrumental]

I was driving through the misty rain
Yeah searching for a mystery train
Bopping through the wild blue
Trying to make a connection with you

This is radio nowhere, is there anybody alive out there?
This is radio nowhere, is there anybody alive out there?
Is there anybody alive out there?

I just want to feel some rhythm (I just want to)
I just want to feel some rhythm (I just want to)
I just want to feel your rhythm (I just want to)
I just want to feel your rhythm (I just want to)
I just want to feel your rhythm (I just want to)
I just want to feel your rhythm (I just want to)
I just want to feel your rhythm (I just want to)
I just want to feel your rhythm (I just want to)


Page last updated: 30 Sep 2013

Intro

Music and lyrics by Bruce Springsteen, RADIO NOWHERE is the opening track and the first single from his 2007 album Magic.

The above lyrics are for Springsteen's studio version of RADIO NOWHERE as released on Magic. This album version was also included on the Greatest Hits (both the 2009 U.S. edition and the 2009 European edition) compilation album in 2009 and the Collection: 1973-2012 compilation album in 2013.

Composition

It's unknown when exactly RADIO NOWHERE was written, but it's probably late 2006. In an interview published in the 01 Nov 2007 issue of Rolling Stone, Bruce Springsteen told Joe Levy: "It's an end-of-the-world scenario – he's seeing the apocalypse. All communications are down: 'Trying to find my way home/All I heard was a drone bouncing' – trying to connect to you. It comes down to trying to make people happy, feel less lonely, but also being a conduit for a dialogue about the events of the day, the issues that impact people's lives, personal and social and political and religious. That's how I always saw the job of our band. That was my service. At this point, I'm in the middle of a very long conversation with my audience."

Studio Recording

In late 2006, Bruce Springsteen invited producer Brendan O'Brien up to his New Jersey house to play him a batch of new songs he had been working on. "We literally sat in his living room, he hands me a book of lyrics and he played me the songs on the guitar," O'Brien told Rolling Stone. He said that the version of RADIO NOWHERE recorded for Magic changed very little from the version Springsteen played him at his house the previous year. "It's a pretty straight-ahead rocker," O'Brien described it. "The most straightforward song I've heard him do in years." Manager Jon Landau told Rolling Stone that the track "has a real anthemic quality to it. If it doesn't get you out of your seat, I don't know what will."

The song was recorded during the Magic recording sessions which took place between March and May 2007 at Southern Tracks Studios in Atlanta, GA. Springsteen plays guitar and sings vocals on the album version of the song, and is backed by Max Weinberg on drums, Garry Tallent on bass guitar, Clarence Clemons on saxophone and background vocals, Steven Van Zandt on background vocals, Patti Scialfa on background vocals, and Nils Lofgren on guitar.

Release Date and Reception

On 22 Aug 2007, six days prior to its official release, RADIO NOWHERE leaked on the internet and to satellite radio the following day and to regular radio the day after that. New York's 95.5 WPLJ, with co-hosts Scott Shannon and Todd Pettengill, gave commuters a surprise double-shot of RADIO NOWHERE on the morning of 24 Aug 2007. WPLJ's Programming VP Tom Cuddy told Backstreets that "the response by listeners was overwhelming. Our request lines lit up like a Christmas tree! Fans loved it... it's three minutes and 16 seconds of straight-ahead rock 'n' roll with a terrific Clarence solo!" He continues: "We received a call from Sony Music this morning after we played it the first time, requesting that we stop. However, we told him we promised fans we'd play it one more time – which we did."

Later in the day, classic rocker Q104.3 in New York City reportedly played the song several times in a row. The song was also played twice in the afternoon of that day by 93.3 WNCD in Youngstown, OH, but they stopped after being contacted by a Columbia Records representative. On 26 Aug 2007, Steven Van Zandt also played RADIO NOWHERE on his Underground Garage radio show.

The official release for radio was set for Tuesday 28 Aug 2007 and RADIO NOWHERE received some of its biggest promotion and early airplay from sports talk host Chris "Mad Dog" Russo on WFAN in New York. Being a big huge Springsteen fan, he could not stop raving about the song. In fact, callers frequently opened their conversations with Russo by chanting Springsteen's "Is there anyone alive out there?" line from the song.

RADIO NOWHERE was released as a free limited-timespan digital single on 28 Aug 2007, available for download at the iTunes store. Sony BMG created the website "www.radionowheredownload.com" (now offline) at this time, which also offered the single free for Springsteen's fan base in Europe (for whom iTunes is not always an option), making it available for free well in advance of the commercial release of the album.

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The single was issued on CD-R for promotional purposes worldwide.

Bruce Springsteen -- Radio Nowhere

CD-R single - Columbia (88697 17050 2) - USA, 2007

1-track promotional CD-R, comes in a slimline jewel case with picture insert.

01- RADIO NOWHERE
Bruce Springsteen -- Radio Nowhere

CD-R single - Columbia (no catalogue number) - UK, 2007

1-track promotional CD-R, comes in a clear plastic sleeve with title inlay.

01- RADIO NOWHERE
Bruce Springsteen -- Radio Nowhere

CD-R single - Sony/BMG (no catalogue number) - Holland, 2007

1-track promotional CD-R, comes in a slimline jewel case with picture insert.

01- RADIO NOWHERE
Bruce Springsteen -- Radio Nowhere

CD-R single - Sony/BMG (no catalogue number) - Denmark, 2007

1-track promotional CD-R, comes in a clear plastic sleeve with stickered title inlay.

01- RADIO NOWHERE
Bruce Springsteen -- Radio Nowhere

CD-R single - Columbia (no catalogue number) - France, 2007

1-track promotional CD-R, comes in a stickered cardbaord sleeve.

01- RADIO NOWHERE
Bruce Springsteen -- Radio Nowhere

CD-R single - Sony Music (no catalogue number) - Japan, 2007

1-track promotional CD-R, comes in a slimline jewel case with picture insert.

01- RADIO NOWHERE

Despite all this initial drama, RADIO NOWHERE was not a chart success in the United States, failing to reach the Billboard Hot 100. The song charted significantly higher in European countries.

Country Chart Peak position Weeks in chart Charting period
Canada Canadian Hot 100 55 8
Germany Media Control Charts 90 1
Ireland IRMA 24
Italy Top Digital Download 25
Norway VG-lista 2 23 Sep 2007 to Jul 2008
Poland 45
Portugal 25
Sweden Sverigetopplistan 60 1 Oct 2007
Switzerland Singles Chart 87 2 Nov 2007
UK UK Singles Chart 96

RADIO NOWHERE was awarded Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance and Best Rock Song at the Grammy Awards of 2008. The primary ceremony took place on 10 Feb 2008 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, CA, and was televised in the United States on CBS; however, most of the awards (included the ones Springsteen won) were handed out during a pre-telecast portion of the show held at the Los Angeles Convention Center and broadcast on XM Satellite Radio. Springsteen did not attend either ceremonies.

Music Video

The music video for RADIO NOWHERE, directed by Thom Zimny, premiered on 04 Sep 2007 on Amazon.com. It consists mostly of Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band playing the song in a darkened studio, interspersed with filmed Manhattan street scenes and a few shots of a recent promotional photograph of Springsteen being torn. Of the E Streeters, Patti Scialfa, Steve Van Zandt, Max Weinberg, and Nils Lofgren get the most face time in the video; quasi-member Soozie Tyrell is absent altogether.

Tommy Tutone's Song

The opening guitar riff and chord progression are so reminiscent of Tommy Tutone's 1982 hit 867-5309/JENNY that Tommy Tutone lead singer Tommy Heath told the Chicago Tribune that "everybody's calling me about it," and that, "I think it's close enough that if I wanted to [take legal action], I could work with it." "I don't really get into that sort of thing," he added, "but the kids do need braces so maybe I will." Most musical plagiarism cases hinge on borrowed melodies, while these two songs' similarities lie more in the chord changes and beat.

Heath never took action, and there's really no ground for any case. The chord progression used in RADIO NOWHERE may be the same as the Tommy Tutone's song, but it is in a completely different key and the lick played at the beginning of 867-5309/JENNY is different than the one played at the beginning of RADIO NOWHERE. The Em-C-G-D has been used in countless other pop rock songs.

Magic

Magic is Bruce Springsteen's fifteenth studio album. It was released on 02 Oct 2007 on Columbia Records. The album was officially announced, along with its track listing, on 16 Aug 2007. It was produced by Brendan O'Brien and was recorded between March and May 2007 at Southern Tracks Studios in Atlanta, GA.

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Magic was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Rock Album but failed to win. It debuted at number one on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart, becoming Springsteen's eighth number one album in the U.S. and selling about 335,000 copies in its first week. In addition to the U.S., Magic peaked at number one in several European countries including the UK.

The album features 12 new Bruce Springsteen compositions and clocks at 50:48. The twelfth track is bonus hidden track that was added to the album two weeks after the album was announced.

Magic track list:

  1. RADIO NOWHERE
  2. YOU'LL BE COMIN' DOWN
  3. LIVIN' IN THE FUTURE
  4. YOUR OWN WORST ENEMY
  5. GYPSY BIKER
  6. GIRLS IN THEIR SUMMER CLOTHES
  7. I'LL WORK FOR YOUR LOVE
  8. MAGIC
  9. LAST TO DIE
  10. LONG WALK HOME
  11. DEVIL'S ARCADE
  12. TERRY'S SONG [hidden track]

The album is also available as a vinyl record.

Greatest Hits 2009 Edition

Greatest Hits (2009 edition) is a compilation album released by Columbia Records on 13 Jan 2009 in the United State where it was sold exclusively through Wal-Mart retailers. The album was also released (but non-exclusively) in Canada. Unlike the 1995 Greatest Hits release and The Essential Bruce Springsteen in 2003, this compilation was billed to "Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band" instead of just "Bruce Springsteen". The album contains 12 previously released studio tracks and clocks at 53:08.

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[Click here to display/hide detailed track listing]

On 01 Jun 2009, Columbia Records released a European edition of the compilation album with an alternative track listing to promote Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band's European leg of the Working On A Dream Tour. The European edition was also released in Israel and Mexico, and in Australia in August 2009. The album comes in a standard jewel case, but a limited digipack edition was also released in Europe. Greatest Hits (2009 European edition) contains 16 previously released studio tracks and 2 live bonus tracks taken from the Live/1975-85 box set. It clocks at 79:03.

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[Click here to display/hide detailed track listing]

The album charted in several countries, but only made it to # 1 in Sweden. In general, the album did much better in Europe than in North America.

Collection: 1973-2012

Collection: 1973-2012 is a Bruce Springsteen compilation album released on Columbia Records in 2013. It was released on 08 Mar 2013 in Australia and 15 Apr 2013 in Europe. The compilation was not released commercially in the United States. Instead, a promotional version was given out exclusively to $1,500 ticket holders at the "MusiCares Person Of The Year" tribute event held in Los Angeles, CA, on 08 Feb 2013. The event honoured Springsteen for both his artistic achievements and philanthropic efforts. The compilation consists of 18 previously released studio tracks.

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[Click here to display/hide detailed track listing]

Other Official Releases

Other versions of RADIO NOWHERE were also officially released:


The live 28 Jun 2009 version of RADIO NOWHERE was officially released on the London Calling: Live In Hyde Park home video in 2010.

The live 25 Sep 2009 version of RADIO NOWHERE was officially released on the Spectacle: Elvis Costello With... (season 2) home video in 2011.

Live History

In preparation for the Magic Tour, RADIO NOWHERE was performed during all of the tour's three public warm-up rehearsal shows that took place in September 2007 in Asbury Park and East Rutherford. The song is also known to have been practiced during at least 5 of the private rehearsals that took place in September 2007 in Asbury Park prior to the tour's first leg, and during at least 2 of the private rehearsals that took place in February 2008 in Asbury Park prior to the tour's second U.S. leg.

[Click here to display/hide detailed Magic Tour rehearsals performances list]

RADIO NOWHERE was performed 99 times during the 100-date-long Magic Tour, dropped from the set only on 05 Jul 2008 in Gothenburg, Sweden. The song was played in its full-band album arrangement. It was the show opener on most of these dates, and the second or the third on the set list on the remaining ones. The 30 Aug 2008 performance was during Harley-Davidson's 105th Anniversary Celebration. See the live 30 Oct 2007 version.

[Click here to display/hide detailed Magic Tour performances list]

RADIO NOWHERE was performed on the morning of 28 Sep 2007 at Rockefeller Plaza in New York City, NY, during Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band's live broadcast on The Today Show. The song was played in its full-band album arrangement.

[Click here to display/hide detailed 2007 off-tour performances list]

In preparation for the Working On A Dream Tour, RADIO NOWHERE was performed during both of the tour's two public warm-up rehearsal shows that took place in March 2009 in Asbury Park. The song featured Jay Weinberg on drums. The song is also known to have been practiced during at least one of the private rehearsals that took place in March 2009 in Asbury Park prior to the tour's first leg.

[Click here to display/hide detailed Working On A Dream Tour rehearsals performances list]

RADIO NOWHERE was performed 42 times during the 83-date-long Working On A Dream Tour. The song was played in its full-band album arrangement. Jay Weinberg substituted for his father on drums on 21 of these performances. The complete 28 Jun 2009 show was released on the London Calling: Live In Hyde Park DVD in 2010. See the live 28 Jun 2009 version for more details.

[Click here to display/hide detailed Working On A Dream Tour performances list]

Springsteen performed RADIO NOWHERE off-tour on 25 Sep 2009 in New York City, NY, during the taping of "Spectacle: Elvis Costello With Bruce Springsteen". The song was played in a full-band arrangement, with Bruce Springsteen, Roy Bittan, Nils Lofgren, and Elvis Costello & the Imposters. The 25 Sep 2009 show was released on the Spectacle: Elvis Costello With... season 2 DVD and Blu-ray in 2011. See the live 25 Sep 2009 version for more details.

[Click here to display/hide detailed 2009 off-tour performances list]

Since 2002, Springsteen has been playing private benefit shows for schools and colleges that his kids attended — Rumson Country Day School of Rumson, NJ, and Ranney School of Tinton Falls, NJ, and Boston College of Chestnut Hill, MA. RADIO NOWHERE was performed at one of these fundraisers, on 23 Jan 2010 at The Stone Pony in Asbury Park, NJ, backed by Bobby Bandiera and his band.

[Click here to display/hide detailed 2010 private benefit shows performances list]

RADIO NOWHERE was performed off-tour on 04 Nov 2011 at Soldiers And Sailors Memorial Hall in Pittsburgh, PA, when Bruce Springsteen appeared at Joe Grushecky and the Houserocker concerts.

[Click here to display/hide detailed 2011 off-tour performances list]

RADIO NOWHERE was performed 21 times during the 133-date-long Wrecking Ball Tour. The song was played in its full-band album arrangement.

[Click here to display/hide detailed Wrecking Ball Tour performances list]

Covers

A few artists have recorded and released Bruce Springsteen's RADIO NOWHERE, including:


Steve Lieberman -- Shake The Missile Base

CD - no label (no catalogue number) - USA, 2007

Lullaby Players -- Sleepytime Tunes: Bruce Springsteen Lullaby Tribute

CD - Copycats Entertainment (CCE 9048) - USA, 2009

This is a Bruce Springsteen tribute album.

Various artists -- For You 2: A Tribute To Bruce Springsteen

2-CD - Route 66 Music (DTCDA005-2) - Italy, 2010

RADIO NOWHERE is performed by Daniele Groff on this various artists Bruce Springsteen tribute album.

Noush Skaugen -- Soho Sessions

Digital EP - Storytown (unknown catalogue number) - UK, 2010

This is a download-only digital EP.

George Mileson -- Leap of Faith: A Tribute To Bruce Springsteen

CD - Growin' Up Records (8471812289631) - Spain, 2012

This is a Bruce Springsteen tribute album.

Catch This Beat -- Tribute To Bruce Springsteen

Digital album - Talking Clive (unknown catalogue number) - USA, 2012

This is a download-only digital Bruce Springsteen tribute album.

Available Versions

List of available versions of RADIO NOWHERE on this website:

References

Info about the RADIO NOWHERE music video is copied from Wikipedia.

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