Cover Me (Bruce Springsteen song)

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"Cover Me"
Single by Bruce Springsteen
from the album Born in the U.S.A.
B-side"Jersey Girl"
ReleasedJuly 31, 1984 (1984-07-31)
RecordedJanuary 25, 1982
StudioThe Hit Factory
Songwriter(s)Bruce Springsteen
Bruce Springsteen singles chronology
"Dancing in the Dark"
"Cover Me"
"Born in the U.S.A."
Born in the U.S.A. track listing

"Cover Me" is a Gold-certified 1984 hit song, written and performed by American rock singer Bruce Springsteen. It was the second single released from his successful album Born in the U.S.A. Springsteen wrote the song for Donna Summer. However, his manager, Jon Landau, decided the song had hit potential, and so he kept it for the upcoming Springsteen album.[1]


The song was recorded on January 25, 1982 at The Hit Factory, during the first wave of the Born in the U.S.A. sessions. At the time, the song was originally suggested for Donna Summer, but rejected by Jon Landau in favor of "Protection" (another song written by Springsteen). An unreleased "outtake" of the song, titled "Drop On Down and Cover Me", has long been considered a precursor to the officially released "Cover Me", but was actually recorded in June 1983.

The song peaked at #7 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles charts[2] in October 1984. It was the second of a record-tying seven Top 10 hit singles to be released from Born in the U.S.A.

No music video was made for the song.

Charts and certifications[edit]


Continuing the club play goal started with "Dancing in the Dark", Arthur Baker created the 12-inch "Undercover Mix" of "Cover Me". This was a large-scale transformation: a new bass line was cut, an unused backing vocal by industry legend Jocelyn Brown was restored, and reggae and dub elements were introduced. It was released on October 15, 1984.

As with the previous effort, the result displeased some of Springsteen's more strait-laced fans, but did gain actual club play: the remix went to number 11 on Billboard's Hot Dance/Disco chart.[12]

Track listings[edit]

7-inch single[edit]

  1. Cover Me - 3:26
  2. Jersey Girl - 6:15 with an edited spoken introduction, or at 6:10 without a spoken introduction.

The B-side of the single, "Jersey Girl", was a live performance of a Tom Waits song, recorded on July 9, 1981 at Meadowlands Arena. Springsteen had introduced the song earlier in that special River Tour homecoming stand that opened the arena, slightly rewriting it to replace a Waits line about "whores on Eighth Avenue" and adding a verse that included "that little brat of yours and drop[ping] her off at your mom's."[21] "Jersey Girl" would become a Springsteen fan favorite, although played rarely as time went on.

Differing pressings of the single had different lengths of "Jersey Girl", sometimes dropping most of a spoken introduction of 0:31 seconds in length. The UK 12-inch single contains the full-length version with the complete spoken introduction at 6:36. Both the sleeve and label erroneously state a playing time of 5:50.

12-inch single[edit]

  1. "Cover Me" (Undercover Mix) - 6:09
  2. "Cover Me" (Dub 1) - 4:02
  3. "Cover Me" (Radio Mix) - 3:46
  4. "Cover Me" (Dub 2) - 4:15

CD single (1988)[edit]

  1. "Cover Me" - 3:26
  2. "Pink Cadillac" - 3:33

Live performance history[edit]

Springsteen was unsure of how to play "Cover Me" in concert, and initially it appeared irregularly in the 1984-1985 Born in the U.S.A. Tour. Then, inspired by Arthur Baker's remix, he rearranged it to open and close with a quiet, ominous, extended, echoing segment as new E Street backup singer Patti Scialfa wailed a snippet of Martha & the Vandellas' "Nowhere to Run" (in her one spotlight role of the show) while her future husband reverbed "Cuh ... vuh ... me-ee-ee", after which the song ramped up into showcase guitar work for Springsteen and Nils Lofgren. "Cover Me" thus became a featured song on the tour, often opening the second set; such a performance was included on the 1986 Live/1975-85.

"Cover Me" continued as a regular selection on the 1988 Tunnel of Love Express and Human Rights Now! Tours, and the 1992 leg of the "Other Band" Tour (now without Scialfa's part). After December 1992 it was dropped until Springsteen's first concert in Oslo on July 7, 2008 and most recently in Philadelphia on October 20, 2009. The song has been performed 300 times through 2008. The song has turned up as a semi-regular on the Working On A Dream Tour, especially after Springsteen and the E Street Band began playing the entire Born in the U.S.A. album in New York and Philadelphia.


  • Born in the U.S.A. The World Tour (tour booklet, 1985), Tour chronology.
  • Marsh, Dave. Glory Days: Bruce Springsteen in the 1980s. Pantheon Books, 1987. ISBN 0-394-54668-7.
  • Brucebase recording sessions history
  1. ^ "Cover Me — Bruce Springsteen -". Retrieved 21 April 2018.
  2. ^ a b "Bruce Springsteen Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved 16 October 2016.
  3. ^ "Forum – ARIA Charts: Special Occasion Charts – Chart Positions Pre 1989". Hung Medien. Archived from the original on 20 October 2013. Retrieved 16 October 2016.
  4. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 8968." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 16 October 2016.
  5. ^ "Chart Number 1449 – Saturday, October 06, 1984". Archived from the original on 7 November 2006. Retrieved 2016-10-16.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link) CHUM.
  6. ^ Nyman, Jake (2005). Suomi soi 4: Suuri suomalainen listakirja (in Finnish) (1st ed.). Helsinki: Tammi. ISBN 951-31-2503-3.
  7. ^ "Le Détail par Artiste". InfoDisc (in French). Select "Bruce Springsteen" from the artist drop-down menu. Retrieved 16 October 2016.
  8. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Cover Me". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved 16 October 2016.
  9. ^ " – Bruce Springsteen – Cover Me". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved 16 October 2016.
  10. ^ "Lista Przebojów Programu 3" (in Polish). LP3. Retrieved 16 October 2016.
  11. ^ "Bruce Springsteen Chart History (Mainstream Rock)". Billboard. Retrieved 16 October 2016.
  12. ^ a b "Billboard Volume 96 No. 47, November 24, 1984" (PDF). Billboard. New York, NY, USA. 24 November 1984. p. 54. Retrieved 16 October 2016.
  13. ^ "Cash Box Top 100 Singles – Week ending September 29, 1984". Archived from the original on 1 October 2012. Retrieved 2017-06-03.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link). Cash Box magazine.
  14. ^ " – Bruce Springsteen – Cover Me" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 16 October 2016.
  15. ^ " – Bruce Springsteen – Cover Me". Singles Top 100. Retrieved 16 October 2016.
  16. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 16 October 2016.
  17. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 9638." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 16 October 2016.
  18. ^ "Volume 96 No. 51, December 1984" (PDF). Billboard. New York, NY, USA. 22 December 1984. p. TA-19. Retrieved 16 October 2016.
  19. ^ "The Cash Box Year-End Charts: 1984". Archived from the original on September 30, 2012. Retrieved 2012-09-11.. Cash Box magazine.
  20. ^ "American single certifications – Bruce Springsteen – Cover Me". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH. 
  21. ^ Zimmerman, Lee (7 December 2011). "Happy Birthday, Tom Waits!". New Times Broward-Palm Beach. Retrieved 16 October 2016.

External links[edit]