Why is Manfred Mann and not Bruce Springsteen's version of 'Blinded By the Light' always on the radio?

There are few things in my life so puzzling as this.

Did you realize that 'Blinded By the Light' was written and originally performed by Bruce Springsteen? For anyone who has grown infinitely sick of the M.M. version, please do yourself the extreme pleasure of listening to Bruce Springsteen's version. It might very well renew your faith in mankind, if only for a moment.

The populous of 1977 is directly to blame for sending Manfred Mann's Earth Band's version of this song to #1. I have to think that the whole country at that point must've been in some catatonic state, or perhaps a mass delusion caused by a sudden spike in fluoride levels in our municipal water systems.

I don't know what kind of music you like, but to me the Manfred Mann is the real life Spinal Tap; a shape shifting, zero integrity, sham of a rock and roll outfit trying to play pop music. For being a huge fan of British music it pains me to say this, but I can truthfully say that I wish their plane had crashed into Atlantis.

If you agree or feel the same way, maybe we need to organize a national campaign to erase "the Earth Band" and their utterly decadent, contrived and excessive take on this excellent song from our airwaves. I don't think I want to raise kids in a world where that song wins out over the original.


I'll concede that their version of the Mighty Quinn is awesome. As are some more of their older hits, but when the 70's came around, they should've went the way of the Beatles.

Update 2:

However... they're still nothing better than a mediocre cover band.

Update 3:

Bruce's version is alive, raw, frenetic; just like rock & roll should be. The band is wailing.. did you hear those drums?? (thanks for the responses guys... this is fun)

10 Answers

  • 9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    "Blinded by the Light," *was* released by Bruce as a single. You can see the sleeve on the little 45 here: http://bruce.orel.ws/singles-70s.html

    The song was on "Greetings From Asbury Park, NJ," his first album, released on January 4, 1973. No one had heard of Springsteen outside of the Jersey shore where he was a local hero (ummm, sounds like maybe a good song title for him;-)).

    The song received no AM air play, the album only sold about 15,000 copies, and the single didn't do better. (Greetings is now multiple platinum - I think he may have become somewhat better known and people went back and took a look (or listen) at his early stuff.)

    M.M. was fairly well known. Based on that alone, not that their version was better, it received that AM play which is necessary to have a "hit." It is a great song and they had a number one hit with it. They have covered half-a-dozen Springsteen songs. (I'm sure he appreciated the royalties.)

    Thus the simple answer is that their version made it into AM rotation and Bruce's did not. Some radio stations are programmed to play past Number 1s, obviously without regard to the treatment of the song. Bruce's version wasn't heard and never had a chance to sell, let alone reach number one. Thus we're stuck with MM's. I still yell, or whisper, depending on the context, "Bruuuce," when I hear it, or any Springsteen song.

    In fact, I'm pretty sure he's never had a number one. And come on, how many songs are better than Born to Run, or Thunder Road (or Backstreets or Jungleland, although those are too long for AM play) or She's the One - ya know, that Born to Run record holds up pretty well after 36 years - or Badlands (Something in the Night is my favorite song on Darkness, although it isn't...accessible enough to be a hit.) or the fun rockers on The River (Wreck on the Highway is my favorite River song. Man, talk about being confronted with your own mortality. That song gives me goosebumps, but it wouldn't be a hit if released as a single), or No Surrender or I'm Going Down, or Human Touch, or Lucky Town, or Land of Hope and Dreams - although also too loong for AM play. I can't remember ever hearing it on the radio, maybe because it isn't on a studio album, but what a great, **GREAT** song.


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    Girls in their Summer Clothes is a stunningly great song, although I'm sure for most people it's about being ignored by pretty girls on the beach, and yeah, it's that, but also the realization that your dreams, the things your hoped to accomplish or be, are becoming less and less likely, if not completely out of reach.


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    It's very, very hard to beat Bruce's presentation of his own songs, although he has been covered by over 200 artists and groups. In my opinion he's one of the three greatest living song writers. His peers are Dylan and McCartney, and I'm not so sure about Sir Paul.

    He has no peers as a live performer. I've seen The Rolling Stones, The Who (with and without Keith Moon) and virtually every band of note since 1968, and I've never seen anything close to what I experienced at the Fox Theater, in Atlanta, on September 30, 1978. That was the first time I saw Bruce Springsteen. I walked out of there thinking, *knowing*, I had just seen the greatest rock & roll that ever had been or ever would be. Hands down, IMO, he is greatest performer in the history of amplification, then, and 58 shows later, in mid-November in Nashville, in 2009, near the end of the Dream tour.

    Your assessment of MM made me laugh. I hadn't thought of them as Spinal Tap, but see your point. I've praised them as a good cover band on YouTube and gotten one of two reactions. Either a claim that *they* wrote the song, or that their version is better than the original, to which I usually respond, "oh really, how would they have done with the song if Bruce, or whomever, hadn't written it.

    One of my pet peeves is any cover artist getting more credit than the song writer. Status Quo on on John Fogerty's, Rockin' All Over the World, which Bruce has covered live, but he wouldn't put it on an album for Pete's Sake; Whitney Houston on Dolly Parton's, I Honestly Love You; 10,000 Maniacs (Natalie Merchant) on Bruce's, Because the Night; the Pointer Sister's on Bruce's Fire.

    Here is a bootleg of Bruce playing Blinded in 1974. Before he begins playing he says, "This is our first single. It went straight to the bottom of the charts."


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    and a version that, IMO, blows MM out of the water, complete with audiece sing-along. After the somg ends he talks about MM's number one. Great question. I enjoyed answering it.


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    Source(s): Bruce has been my hobby, my passion, my wife says my obsession, since first seeing him live, on 9/30/78
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  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    Springsteen never released it as a single.It is on his 1973 LP Greetings From Asbury Park NJ

    You can hear his version on most AOR(Rock Oriented Radio Stations)Manfred Mann formed

    his Earth Band after his original band Manfred Mann broke up they are not the same.The

    original was one of the better early British Invasion Bands.Their lead singer Paul Jones

    (nee Pond) had one of the great voices in Rock history.To be more precise even the Manfred

    Mann that did The Mighty Quinn was an entirely different band than the original or the Earth

    Band.The only common denominator is they were all led by Keyboardist Manfred Mann.

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  • 9 years ago

    Nothing wrong with Manfred Mann's version. Then again I'm 18 and I didn't have to put up with replayed songs during the late 70's (only the 2000's...yuck...).

    Just got done listening to Bruce's version, though. Perhaps it's that I'm just not used to it yet or it was a poorly recorded version or I've never listened to that much Springsteen in the first place, but it was... "eh."

    Source(s): I'd pick either version over all the music created over the last 10 years...
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  • 5 years ago

    This Site Might Help You.


    Why is Manfred Mann and not Bruce Springsteen's version of 'Blinded By the Light' always on the radio?

    There are few things in my life so puzzling as this.

    Did you realize that 'Blinded By the Light' was written and originally performed by Bruce Springsteen? For anyone who has grown infinitely sick of the M.M. version, please do yourself the extreme pleasure of listening to Bruce...

    Source(s): manfred mann bruce springsteen 39 version 39 blinded light 39 radio: https://shortly.im/MMrxh
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  • garon
    Lv 4
    3 years ago

    Blinded By The Light Springsteen

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  • 9 years ago

    I have heard Springsteen's original on the Classic Rock radio.

    Besides, this was Mann's only hit still playing, while Springsteen has countless songs on the radio

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  • 4 years ago

    Manfred Mann

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  • 9 years ago

    I knew it was Bruce Springsteen's song! I had forgotten though. I thought that all of these years I was just confused.

    You don't like this? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-qoyWU_EDDU

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    Is it a cover too?

    Thanks for my laugh for the day :-)

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  • 3 years ago


    Source(s): Is the end Near? http://givitry.info/EndTimesProphecy/?KYyK
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  • 4 years ago

    You REALLY have to like Bruce s ridiculously forced I m trying sooooo hard sing in a unique mumbling style vocals to like that version better than MM s. And how hard are they trying to sound like the Grateful Dead on that? Anyway, it s more fun to sing along with revved up like a douche, another roaner in night .

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