Blinded by the Light

Album: The Roaring Silence (1976)
Charted: 6 1
  • This is Manfred Mann's cover of Bruce Springsteen's "Blinded By The Light," though you'd hardly recognize Springsteen's version after being familiar with this one. And familiar you must be - it has gotten monster airplay on radio stations throughout the English-speaking world, and continues to be played daily. It is one of the most triumphant covers ever recorded.
  • Manfred Mann changed several lyrics, including changing "cut loose like a deuce" to "revved up like a deuce," which results in one of the most notorious mondegreens in rock history as generations of fans have misheard it as "wrapped up like a douche." Springsteen has even joked that his song did not become popular until it was re-written to be about feminine hygiene products. Said Springsteen: "Deuce was like a Little Deuce Coupe, as in a 2-seater Hot Rod. Douche is a feminine hygienic procedure. But what can I say, the public spoke."
  • Two other records set by this song: First, it is so far Bruce Springsteen's only songwriting credit to have a #1 hit. Check The Boss's discography; his highest chart is #2 for "Dancing In The Dark" (hey, that must be what happens after you're blinded...). The other record was the longest a group up to that time had gone between #1 hits; previous to "Blinded by the Light," their #1 was "Do Wah Diddy Diddy."
  • This cover was such a breakthrough success for Manfred Mann's Earth Band that they decided to cover another Springsteen song, "Spirit In The Night," as a re-released follow-up.
  • The piano noodling that shows up near the end of the bridge is a snippet of "Chopsticks," a very well-known piece performed by any piano player or student. Manfred Mann recalled to TeamRock:

    "When we finally finished the album track I thought it had a great vibe, but the next question was how to get that into a single. The real problem was how to get from the chorus to the verse smoothly. The way we did it on the album wouldn't work. I just couldn't figure out a way to do it. And then – and this is why you need to be in a band – our drummer Chris Slade said: 'Play Chopsticks over it'. We already had that elsewhere in the song, and I told him it wouldn't work. But he kept insisting, and I kept saying no, until I suddenly realised that he wasn't hearing Chopsticks itself, just the chords, which fitted perfectly. So we recorded those as backing vocals and added that to the original. This was in the days when you had to try and lock two tape machines in tandem, so that took another two days." >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Patrick - Tallapoosa, GA
  • In 2015, Guitar World placed guitarist Dave Flett's wah-driven solo at #17 on its list of greatest wah solos of all time.

Comments: 8

  • Ginny Helsen from UkA totally Brilliant site.
  • William from Reno, NvRicky: You've got that right. This is the BEST cover by anyone anywhere. GNR comes close with Knockin' on Heaven's door but even that doesn't come close to this (classic rock) cover. K/H D
  • Ricky from Ohsweken, -The Boss did it/wrote it 1st but (and if I may) MM (Manfred Mann) got it right.
  • Oscar from Boston, NhI always thought this song was about nuclear war. Blinded By The Light. Go Kart Mozart was checking out the weather charts to see if it was safe to go outside.
  • Brad from Topeka, KsThis song is one of my favorites in rock music. I must admit that for years I also thought he said 'wrapped up like a douche'. I liked the song even more when I discovered the actual lyric: 'revved up like a deuce'.
    This song comes from the album 'The Roaring Silence', which, in my opinion, is nothing less than a masterpiece.
  • Willie from Scottsdale, AzWhen I first heard this song, that line sounded to me like, "wrecked up like a dou**e..." Rather juvenile, but that's what it sounded like. :-)
  • Zabadak from London, EnglandYou say they went a long time between number ones - US only, btw - but, really, the songs named were by two different groups. the only common denominator was Mr. Mann himself...
  • Lester from New York City, NyManny went on to do a KILLER version of Springsteen's 'For You' Really, KILLER. On the Earth Band's early albums, they always did a Dylan cover, sometimes, obscure ones.
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