Although the release of the song as a single was unsuccessful in the U.S., "Spirit in the Night" has remained a live favorite in Springsteen concerts. Live versions of the song have appeared on the live CD Live/1975–85 and on both the CD and video versions of Hammersmith Odeon London '75. A version with Springsteen playing the song solo on piano appears on the DVD Live in Barcelona. This version is memorable as Springsteen has to start the third verse over again after playing the wrong chords on piano. The studio version of the song was released on the compilation album The Essential Bruce Springsteen.
With 514 live performances as of May 2013, "Spirit in the Night" is by far the most frequently played song from Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J. The song live involves important crowd participation, with the audience singing the "all night" verse during the chorus while Springsteen interacts very closely with the front rows, sometimes even throwing himself into the pit.
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