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-side "The Angel"
Released February 1973
Recorded August–September, 1972
914 Sound Studios, Blauvelt, New York
Genre Rock
Length 5:06
Label Columbia
Writer(s) Bruce Springsteen
Producer(s) Mike Appel, Jim Cretecos
Bruce Springsteen singles chronology
"Blinded by the Light"
"Spirit in the Night"
Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J. track listing

Side one

  1. "Blinded by the Light"
  2. "Growin' Up"
  3. "Mary Queen of Arkansas"
  4. "Does This Bus Stop at 82nd Street?"
  5. "Lost in the Flood"

Side two

  1. "The Angel"
  2. "For You"
  3. "Spirit in the Night"
  4. "It's Hard to Be a Saint in the City"
"Blinded by the Light"
Single by Manfred Mann's Earth Band
from the album The Roaring Silence
B-side "Starbird No. 2"
Released August 6, 1976
Format 7"
Recorded 1976, Workhouse Studios, London
Genre Progressive rock
Length 7:08 (album version)
3:48 (single edit)
Label Bronze Records
Writer(s) Bruce Springsteen
Producer(s) Manfred Mann and Earth Band
Certification Gold (RIAA)
Manfred Mann's Earth Band singles chronology
"Spirits in the Night"
"Blinded by the Light"
The Roaring Silence track listing
"Blinded by the Light"
"Singing the Dolphin Through"
Audio sample
file info · help

"Blinded by the Light" is a song written and originally recorded by Bruce Springsteen, although it is mostly known by its 1977 #1 hit version recorded by Manfred Mann's Earth Band. Mann's remake was released in the United Kingdom in August 1976, where it reached No. 6 in the BMRB[1] charts.


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 in search of appropriate words. 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.


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]

Allan Clarke (of the Hollies) recorded a version of the song before Manfred Mann's Earth Band for his 1974 solo album "Sideshow". The version is quite rare to find however as a single or anywhere beyond the LP. With the Hollies at the same time he also recorded multiple other Springsteen songs, some of which became hits for the group.

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 near the end of the bridge of the song. 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. 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.


Original version[edit]


Manfred Mann's Earth Band cover[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
  6. ^ Q: "Blinded By the Light, Revved Up Like a..." What? – Blogcritics Music at
  7. ^ "Bruce Springsteen". VH1 Storytellers. Episode 62. 2005-04-23. VH1. 

External links[edit]

"Blinded by the Light" lyrics from Bruce Springsteen's official site

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