The Ties That Bind was closer to accomplishing Springsteen’s stated goals than he was willing or able to recognize at the time. Everything he wanted to achieve had been captured by material that the band had already recorded, and throwing the album out just opened the door for Bruce to get bogged down in the recording process. The songs that got written or introduced later in the process would have had more room to breathe on the next album, if they weren't usurped by even better songs. There are fans — including Bruce’s main man Steve Van Zandt — that swear the best material from The River is sitting in some of the boxed set’s outtakes.I agree with Little Steven re: some of (or a lot of, really) the outtakes being better than some of the album.
They also valiantly try to pare it all down to a single album again.
"But Xmastime", you say in the voice of Craig “Ironhead” Heyward from those soap commercials (RIP), “don't you already have a definitive list of what should have been on The River as a single album?"?"
Sigh. OF COURSE I ALREADY HAVE A DEFINITIVE LIST OF WHAT SHOULD HAVE BEEN ON THE RIVER AS A SINGLE ALBUM!!!!
The Ties That Bind
I Wanna Marry You
I'm a Rocker
The Price You Pay
Wreck on the Highway
Where the Bands Are
Living on the Edge of the World
Take 'em as They Come
I Wanna Be With You