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Blinded by the Light

“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. Mann’s remake was released in the United Kingdom in August 1976, where it reached No. 6 in the BMRB[1] charts.


1 History
1.1 Lyrics
1.2 Cover versions and reissues
2 Personnel
2.1 Original version
2.2 Manfred Mann’s Earth Band cover
2.3 Joyce Berry cover
3 References

4 External links

“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"
Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J. track listing
"Blinded by the Light"
(1) "Growin' Up"

“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

7:08 (album version)
3:48 (single edit)
Label Warner Bros. Records
Writer(s) Bruce Springsteen
Producer(s) Manfred Mann and Earth Band
Manfred Mann’s Earth Band singles chronology
“Spirits in the Night"
(1975) "Blinded by the Light"
(1976) "Questions"
The Roaring Silence track listing
"Blinded by the Light"
(1) "Singing the Dolphin Through"

“Blinded by the Light”

Single by Joyce Berry
from the album Sunrise
B-side Promise Me, I Can Count On You
Released July 7, 1981
Format 7"
Recorded 1981
Genre(s) Pop, Disco, Soul
Length 3:17
Label MCA Records
Writer(s) Bruce Springsteen
Producer(s) Artie Fields for “Blinded By The Light” and Larry Santos for “Promise Me, I Can Count On You"
Joyce Berry singles chronology
"Look For The Rainbow"
(1981) "Blinded by the Light"
(1981) "We Can Make Everything All Right"
Sunrise track listing
"We Can Make Everything All Right"
(1) "Blinded by the Light"


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.


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

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 1981 blue-eyed soul-flavored pop singer and backing vocalist from North Dakota Joyce Berry covered Manfred Mann’s Earth Band’s single edit version in a pop/disco/soul style without the strange bizarre spacey sound effects from the Moog synthesizer when the Moog synthesizer was replaced with the soulful percussion, played by Lenny Castro where the bridge and third verse are omitted, which she sings it lower in her smoky deep contralto than Christopher Hamlet Thompson from that group from England and towards the end of the song, she sings Manfred Mann’s counterpoint end vocal line, which is “Now Scott with a slingshot finally found a tender spot/And throws his lover in the sand/And some bloodshot forget me not his daddy’s within earshot/Save the buckshot turn up the band./Some silicone sister with her manager mister
told me I got what it takes/She said "I’ll turn you on, sonny, to something strong”“, which is a bit shorter than their original from her MCA Records debut album, "Sunrise”. 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

Bruce Springsteen – vocals, guitar, bass, keyboards
Vini “Mad Dog” Lopez – drums, backing vocals
Clarence Clemons – saxophone, backing vocals

Harold Wheeler – piano

Manfred Mann’s Earth Band cover

Manfred Mann – organ, piano, keyboards, backing vocals
Colin Pattenden – bass
Dave Flett – electric guitar
Chris Hamlet Thompson – vocals, electric guitar
Chris Slade – drums, backing vocals
Doreen Chanter – backing vocals
Irene Chanter – backing vocals

Susanne Lynch – backing vocals

Joyce Berry cover

Joyce Berry — lead and harmony vocals
Dennis Belfield — bass
Paul Jackson, Jr. — guitar
John Robinson — drums
Lenny Castro — percussion
Robbie Buchanan — electric piano
Mark Hallman — acoustic piano

Gene Page -- string and horn arrangements

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