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"
(1973)
"Spirit in the Night"
(1973)
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, hard 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"
(1975)
"Blinded by the Light"
(1976)
"Questions"
(1976)
The Roaring Silence track listing
"Blinded by the Light"
(1)
"Singing the Dolphin Through"
(2)
Audio sample
file info · help

"Blinded by the Light" is a song written and originally recorded by Bruce Springsteen which first appeared on his 1973 debut album Greetings from Asbury Park N.J.. A cover by British rock band Manfred Mann's Earth Band reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States in February 1977 and was also a top ten hit in the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Canada.

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 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.

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."[1][2][3] 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).[4][5] 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.[6]

Cover versions and reissues[edit]

For his 1974 solo album "Sideshow", Allan Clarke of The Hollies recorded a version of the song. At the same time he also recorded a number of other Springsteen songs with the Hollies, some of which became hits for the group.

Manfred Mann's Earth Band released a version of the song on their 1976 album The Roaring Silence. Their version includes the "Chopsticks" melody played on piano near the end of the bridge of the song. The track reached #1 on both the Billboard Hot 100 and the Canadian RPM charts. Manfred Mann's Earth Band's 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 2007 video and audio release Live in Dublin, 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

Chart performance[edit]

References[edit]

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