Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

Help support this site! Consider clicking an ad from time to time. Thanks!


Blinded by the Light

Written and first recorded by Bruce Springsteen (1973).
Hit version by Manfred Mann’s Earth Band (US #1/UK #6 1975).

From the wiki: “‘Blinded by the Light’ is a song written and originally recorded by Bruce Springsteen after Columbia Records 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. ‘Blinded by the Light’ was the first song on, and first single released from, the 1973 album. But, Springsteen’s version was commercially unsuccessful and did not appear on the music charts.

“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’.

“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’. 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). 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.”

Manfred Mann’s Earth Band, “Blinded by the Light” (1975):