Blinded By The Light. The real one.
My Review: 10
I love Bruce Springsteen. And this song, I think, is nothing short of brilliant. Please listen to it in my Box.net widget in the side bar.
First of all, let me say one thing. Douche is not part of this song.
Bruce wrote this song in the early seventies, and it was first recorded on his album Greetings From Asbury Park N.J. in 1973. It did not achieve broad commercial success.
Manfred Mann recorded the song in 1977, and that reached #1 on the pop charts (according to Wikipedia, “…Manfred Mann’s Earth Band recording of “Blinded by the Light” is still Springsteen’s only Number 1 single as a songwriter on the Hot 100.”
I think the writing and poetry in this song is tremendous. The lyrics are outlandish and silly in a nearly Shel Silverstein-esque manner (Shel didn’t just write “Where the Sidewalk Ends” you know, he also penned “Boy Named Sue” [Johnny Cash] and “Cover of a Rolling Stone” [Dr. Hook & the Medicine Show.] among others.) Bruce’s lyrics are fanciful, fun and fantastic (in the “way out there” sense.) They are evocative and as close to poetry as anything Bruce has written. To me, this kind of writing puts him in the same class as Dylan and Simon.
I also love Bruce’s rendition of the song. His vocals are at their scratchy best, and the musicianship is raw. Powerful, and raw.
I can (and have) listened to this song on repeat, over and over again. It leaves me happy, sad, curious, mystified, and sometimes a little maudlin. Not really sure why. But it’s evocative, and strong. For me, this song is a solid 10 out of 10. Not just because I love Bruce (which, as I said, I do) and not just becasue the lyrics are poetic and zany (which they are.) This song is a 10 because it symbolizes freedom for me, every single time I listen to it. It’s about the open road, about America, about living your life and be damned to the consequences. This song kicks ass.
Oh, and in case I wasn’t clear before, let me be abundantly so now. I think Bruce’s version is infinitely superior to Manfre Mann’s. Manfred Mann IS a douche.