Blinded by the Light

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"Blinded by the Light"
Single by Bruce Springsteen
from the album Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J.
B-sideThe Angel
ReleasedFebruary 1973
RecordedAugust–September, 1972
914 Sound Studios, Blauvelt, New York
GenreFolk rock
Length5:06
LabelColumbia
Writer(s)Bruce Springsteen
ProducerMike Appel, Jim Cretecos
Bruce Springsteen singles chronology
"Blinded by the Light""Spirit in the Night"
Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J. track listing
"Blinded by the Light"
(1)
"Growin' Up"
(2)
 
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"Blinded by the Light"
Single by Bruce Springsteen
from the album Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J.
B-sideThe Angel
ReleasedFebruary 1973
RecordedAugust–September, 1972
914 Sound Studios, Blauvelt, New York
GenreFolk rock
Length5:06
LabelColumbia
Writer(s)Bruce Springsteen
ProducerMike Appel, Jim Cretecos
Bruce Springsteen singles chronology
"Blinded by the Light""Spirit in the Night"
Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J. track listing
"Blinded by the Light"
(1)
"Growin' Up"
(2)
"Blinded by the Light"
Single by Manfred Mann's Earth Band
from the album The Roaring Silence
B-sideStarbird No. 2
ReleasedAugust 6, 1976
Format7"
Recorded1976, Workhouse Studios, London
GenreProgressive rock
Length

7:08 (album version)

3:48 (single edit)
LabelBronze Records
Writer(s)Bruce Springsteen
ProducerManfred Mann and Earth Band
Manfred Mann's Earth Band singles chronology
"Spirits in the Night"
(1975)
"Blinded by the Light"
(1976)
"Questions"
(1976)
The Roaring Silence track listing
"Blinded by the Light"
(1)
"Singing the Dolphin Through"
(2)
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"Blinded by the Light" is a song written and originally recorded by Bruce Springsteen, although it is mostly known by its 1976 #1 hit version recorded by Manfred Mann's Earth Band. It was released in the United Kingdom in August 1976, where it reached No. 6 in the BMRB[1] charts.

History[edit]

The song came about when Columbia president Clive Davis, upon listening to an early version of Greetings from Asbury Park N.J., felt the album lacked a potential single. Springsteen wrote this and "Spirit in the Night" in response.

According to Springsteen, the song came about from going through a rhyming dictionary and looking for rhymes. The first line of the song, "Madman drummers, bummers, and Indians in the summers with a teenage diplomat" is autobiographical- "Madman drummers" is a reference to drummer Vini Lopez, known as "Mad Man" (later changed to "Mad Dog"); "Indians in the summer" refers to the name of Springsteen's old Little League team; "teenage diplomat" refers to himself. The remainder of the song tells of many unrelated events, with the refrain of "Blinded by the light, cut loose like a deuce, another runner in the night".

"Blinded by the Light" was the first song on, and first single from Greetings from Asbury Park N.J. Springsteen's version was commercially unsuccessful and did not appear on the music charts.

Lyrics[edit]

Manfred Mann's Earth Band's recording of the song features several changed lyrics. The most prominent change is in the chorus, where Springsteen's "cut loose like a deuce" is replaced with "revved up like a deuce."[2][3][4] This is commonly misheard as "wrapped up like a douche (the V sound in "revved" is almost unpronounced, and the S sound in "deuce" comes across as "SH" due to a significant lisp)."[5][6] Springsteen himself has joked about the controversy, claiming that it was not until Manfred Mann rewrote the song to be about a feminine hygiene product that it became popular.[7]

Cover versions and reissues[edit]

Manfred Mann's Earth Band released a version of the song on their album The Roaring Silence. Their version includes the "Chopsticks" melody played on piano. The song reached #1 on both Billboard's Hot 100 and on the Canadian RPM chart on 19 February 1977. The Manfred Mann's Earth Band recording of "Blinded by the Light" is Springsteen's only Number 1 single as a songwriter on the Hot 100. In 2002, Danish act Funkstar Deluxe released its disco version of this song. In 2012, the song was covered by Tim Armstrong within his "Tim Timebomb" project.

A "jazzified" version can be found on Springsteen's Live in Dublin album, recorded with the Sessions Band.

The song is featured in the films Blow and Running with Scissors.

Personnel[edit]

Original version[edit]

with

Manfred Mann's Earth Band cover[edit]

with

References[edit]

  1. ^ British Market Research Bureau
  2. ^ Buzzelli, Mike (2010-04-26). "Revved up like a deuce, another runner in the night". Observer-Reporter. Retrieved 2010-08-08. [dead link]
  3. ^ "VH1 Storytellers: Bruce Springsteen". Retrieved 2010-08-08. 
  4. ^ The word deuce, in both the Springsteen and Earth Band versions, refers to a 1932 model Ford.
  5. ^ Search results for misheard lyrics at kissthisguy.com
  6. ^ Q: "Blinded By the Light, Revved Up Like a..." What? – Blogcritics Music at blogcritics.org
  7. ^ "Bruce Springsteen". VH1 Storytellers. Episode 62. 2005-04-23. VH1.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
"Torn Between Two Lovers" by Mary MacGregor
Billboard Hot 100 number one single
February 19, 1977
Succeeded by
"New Kid in Town" by Eagles