BLINDED BY THE LIGHT

Album version


Madman drummers bummers and Indians in the summer with a teenage diplomat
In the dumps with the mumps as the adolescent pumps his way into his hat
With a boulder on my shoulder, feelin' kinda older I tripped the merry-go-round
With this very unpleasing sneezing and wheezing the calliope crashed to the ground
Some all-hot half-shot was headin' for a hot spot snappin' his fingers clappin' his hands
And some fleshpot mascot was tied into a lover's knot with a whatnot in her hand
And now young Scott with a slingshot finally found a tender spot and throws his lover in the sand
And some bloodshot forget-me-not whispers, "Daddy's within earshot, save the buckshot, turn up the band"

And she was blinded by the light
Oh, cut loose like a deuce another runner in the night
Blinded by the light
She got down but she never got tight, but she'll make it alright

Some brimstone baritone anti-cyclone rolling stone preacher from the east
He says, "Dethrone the dictaphone, hit it in its funny bone, that's where they expect it least"
And some new-mown chaperone was standin' in the corner all alone watchin' the young girls dance
And some fresh-sown moonstone was messin' with his frozen zone to remind him of the feeling of romance

Yeah, he was blinded by the light
Oh, cut loose like a deuce another runner in the night
Blinded by the light
He got down but he never got tight, but he's gonna make it tonight

Some silicone sister with her manager's mister told me I got what it takes
She said, "I'll turn you on sonny, to something strong if you'll play that song with the funky break"
And Go-cart Mozart was checkin' out the weather chart to see if it was safe to go outside
And little Early-Pearly came by in her curly-wurly and asked me if I needed a ride
Oh, some hazard from Harvard was skunked on beer playin' backyard bombardier
Yes and Scotland Yard was trying hard, they sent a dude with a calling card who said, "Do what you like, but don't do it here"
Well, I jumped up, turned around, spit in the air, fell on the ground
Asked him which was the way back home
He said, "Take a right at the light, keep goin' straight until night, and then, boys, you're on your own"

And now in Zanzibar a shootin' star was ridin' in a side car hummin' a lunar tune
Yes, and the avatar said, "Blow the bar but first remove the cookie jar we're gonna teach those boys to laugh too soon"
And some kidnapped handicap was complainin' that he caught the clap from some mousetrap he bought last night
Well I unsnapped his skull cap, between his ears I saw a gap and figured he'd be all right


He was just blinded by the light
Cut loose like a deuce another runner in the night
Blinded by the light
Mama always told me not to look into the sights of the sun
Whoa, but mama that's where the fun is
Ooh, yeah
(I was blinded) Oh my my, oh my my
(I was blinded) Oh my my
(I was blinded) I was blinded by the light
(I was blinded) I was blinded by the light
(I was blinded) I was blinded by the light
(I was blinded) I was blinded by the light
(I was blinded) I was blinded
(I was blinded)
(I was blinded)


Info

BLINDED BY THE LIGHT is a song written by Bruce Springsteen and released on his 1973 album Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J.. The above lyrics are for Bruce Springsteen's album version of BLINDED BY THE LIGHT as released in 1973.

The album version of BLINDED BY THE LIGHT clocks at 5:06, while the edited single version clocks at 3:58. In the above lyrics the parts in bold are edited out on the single version.

The album version of BLINDED BY THE LIGHT was included on The Essential Bruce Springsteen (2003 edition) compilation album and the Greatest Hits (2009 Europe edition) compilation album.

Bruce Springsteen's BLINDED BY THE LIGHT was most notably covered and released by Manfred Mann's Earth Band whose version became a #1 hit single in 1977. See Manfred Mann's Earth Band's cover version for more details.

Composition and Recording

Along with SPIRIT IN THE NIGHT, BLINDED BY THE LIGHT was composed in August 1972 and was completed by early September. These are the only two tracks on Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J. that feature Clarence Clemons, and they would both become the album's (unsuccessful) singles. See the "Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J." section below for more details.

In April 2005, during the taping of his episode of VH1's Storytellers television series, Springsteen revealed that he wrote the words before arranging the music for BLINDED BY THE LIGHT. This is one of the few songs for which Springsteen used this method. He also mentioned that he used a rhyming dictionary to write the song after Clive Davis didn't hear any "hits" for his debut album. See the live 04 Apr 2005 version for more details.

The nature of the lyrics in BLINDED BY THE LIGHT prompted Columbia Records to market the album stating, "This man puts more thoughts, more ideas and images into one song than most people put into an album." The slogan adorned a full-page ad for Springsteen's Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J., along with lyrics experts from BLINDED BY THE LIGHT. The below scan if for an ad published in the March 1973 issue of National Lampoon magazine.

Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J. album release ad from the March 1973 issue of National Lampoon
Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J. album release ad from the March 1973 issue of National Lampoon

BLINDED BY THE LIGHT was recorded late during the Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J. album recording sessions, sometime in August or early September 1972 at 914 Sound Studios in Blauvelt, NY. Bruce Springsteen plays guitar, electric bass, keyboards, and sings vocals on this track, and is backed by Clarence Clemons on saxophone and backing vocals and Vini Lopez on drums and backing vocals, in addition to session musician Harold Wheeler who handles piano. The track, as well as the whole album, was produced by Mike Appel and Jimmy Cretecos. According to Sony's database of Springsteen recording sessions, BLINDED BY THE LIGHT was cut on 11 Sep 1972 at 914 Sound Studios. The version that was released on the album is possibly from that 11 Sep 1972 session.

Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J.

After signing the contract with CBS Records, Laurel Canyon Productions was to receive an immediate cash advance from CBS and this money was to be used to pay for the studio time to record Springsteen' debut album. A delay by CBS in delivering the advance money to Laurel Canyon Productions resulted in delaying the sessions till early July 1972. During June Springsteen had finalized the selection of the musicians that would be used for the initial sessions. The musicians chosen, with an ok from Appel and Cretecos, constituted the entire line-up of the former Bruce Springsteen Band: David Sancious on keyboards, Gary Tallent on bass, Vini Lopez on drums, and Steve Van Zandt on quitar. Van Zandt ended up partaking in almost none of the 914 Sound Studios band sessions because of a prior commitment to tour as a member of The Dovells backing group.

The recording sessions for Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J. spanned a period of five months, from early June to late October 1972 (the majority were in June), and they all took place at 914 Sound Studios in Blauvelt, NY. The core "band" sessions were completed in only about two weeks. No unreleased band recordings from the debut album sessions have surfaced. Following these band sessions the various band members scattered. It should be noted that Springsteen had not decided to form a touring band at this stage.

Springsteen spent the next few weeks recording solo material. It was during this period that differences of opinion surfaced about what material was going to dominate the eventually released album. There were two sides in this disagreement: Mike Appel and John Hammond wanted a solo-dominated LP while Jim Cretecos was in favor of a band-dominated one. Springsteen was undecided at first, but soon sided with Cretecos. Appel later said that he was so impressed by Bruce's lyrics and told him, "Who needs a band when you can write lyrics like that?" In early August a compromise was reached and the album track selection was decided upon, featuring five band recordings (DOES THIS BUS STOP AT 82ND STREET?, GROWIN' UP, IT'S HARD TO BE A SAINT IN THE CITY, FOR YOU, and LOST IN THE FLOOD) and five solo recordings (THE ANGEL, MARY QUEEN OF ARKANSAS, JAZZ MUSICIAN, ARABIAN NIGHTS, and VISITATION AT FORT HORN). On 10 Aug 1972 Laurel Canyon transferred the sound recording copyrights to these ten songs to CBS. It seemed the album was finalized, but when then CBS president Clive Davis listened to the tracks he commented that not only did he prefer the band tracks, but he also felt the album lacked a potential hit single. In essence Davis was siding with Springsteen's vision of the album as being more rock-orientated.

In August 1972 Springsteen composed two more commercial-sounding songs, BLINDED BY THE LIGHT and SPIRIT IN THE NIGHT. Consequently a further "band" session was required. However both Sancious and Tallent, then-employed at Alpha Sound Studios in Richmond, NJ, were unable to return to New York to record. Bruce wished to incorporate saxophone in both new songs and contacted Clarence Clemons, a then-member of Norman Seldin & The Joyful Noyze. So the studio session line-up for these two songs was Clemons, Lopez, and Springsteen who played all other instruments, except for the piano on BLINDED BY THE LIGHT which was handled by Harold Wheeler. BLINDED BY THE LIGHT and SPIRIT IN THE NIGHT were completed by early September. These two band recordings bumped three solo recordings: JAZZ MUSICIAN, ARABIAN NIGHTS, and VISITATION AT FORT HORN. Therefore the final album was reduced from 10 tracks to 9, encompassing 7 band tracks and 2 solo tracks. Columbia Records' original intention was to release the album in late November 1972, but decided the album might get overlooked among the massive amount of pre-Christmas releases so the LP was held back for until early January.

Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J. was released on Columbia Records on 05 Jan 1973. It was produced by Mike Appel and Jim Cretecos. The album received mixed but mostly positive reviews and some critics found it under-produced, as Appel and Cretecos tried to spend as little as possible from Columbia's $65,000 advance and recording budget. The album sold 25,000 copies only in its first year of release and did not chart until the summer of 1975 when the hype over the BORN TO RUN single attracted buyers to Springsteen's earlier albums.

Bruce Springsteen -- Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J.
Bruce Springsteen -- Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J.

The album features 9 new Springsteen compositions and clocks at 37:08.

Single Release

BLINDED BY THE LIGHT was the lead single from the Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J. album, but it failed to appear on the music charts. The single was issued in February 1973 in the United States only, with THE ANGEL on the B-side. BLINDED BY THE LIGHT was edited to fit the 45rpm record; the lyrics in bold above are edited out on the single version. This 3:58 edited version is unique to this release and its promotional counterpart. This is one of the rarest Springsteen records, mainly due to its extremely low original sales, but the promo issue is more common than its commercial counterpart.

The album version of BLINDED BY THE LIGHT was also released in January 1973 on a promotional single issued in the United States exclusively to members of Columbia/Epic Records' "Play:Back" subscription club for test purposes. The song was also released as a single in Spain in 1977, with SPIRIT IN THE NIGHT on the B-side.

Bruce Springsteen -- "Blinded By The Light / The Angel"
Bruce Springsteen -- "Blinded By The Light / The Angel"

7" single - Columbia (4-45805) - USA, 1973

Comes in a die-cut Columbia logo sleeve.

A1- BLINDED BY THE LIGHT
B1- THE ANGEL
Bruce Springsteen -- "Blinded By The Light / Blinded By The Light"
Bruce Springsteen -- "Blinded By The Light / Blinded By The Light"

7" single - Columbia (4-45805) - USA, 1973

Comes in a die-cut Columbia logo sleeve, but some promo copies were issued with the rare picture sleeve. The sleeve has the lyrics to the song printed on the rear and missing the lines that are edited on the single version.

A1- BLINDED BY THE LIGHT [mono]
B1- BLINDED BY THE LIGHT [stereo]
Various artists -- "Avenging Annie / Blinded By The Light"
Various artists -- "Avenging Annie / Blinded By The Light"

7" single - Columbia/Epic (AS 45) - USA, 1973

Issued exclusively to members of Columbia/Epic Records' "Play:Back" subscription club for test purposes. Plays at 33 1/3 rpm.

A1- Andy Pratt: AVENGING ANNIE
B1- Bruce Springsteen: BLINDED BY THE LIGHT
Various artists -- "Avenging Annie / Blinded By The Light"
Various artists -- "Avenging Annie / Blinded By The Light"

7" single - Columbia (AS 45) - USA, 1973

A very rare white label pressing of the above "Play:Back" release.

A1- Andy Pratt: AVENGING ANNIE
B1- Bruce Springsteen: BLINDED BY THE LIGHT
Bruce Springsteen -- Blinded By The Light
Bruce Springsteen -- Blinded By The Light

7" single - CBS (5121) - Spain, 1977

Spain-only single, comes in a unique picture sleeve. Reissued in 1985.

A1- BLINDED BY THE LIGHT
B1- SPIRIT IN THE NIGHT

The Essential Bruce Springsteen

The Essential Bruce Springsteen is a compilation album released as part of Sony BMG'S (previously Sony Music Entertainment) series of "Essential" sets. According to Springsteen's liner notes comments, the collection was intended as an introduction to his music for new fans who attended shows on The Rising Tour.

The collection is fundamentally a 2-disc set (clocking at 153:37) compiling songs from all of Springsteen's studio albums to date plus his Live In New York City release. A 3-disc limited edition (clocking at 201:04) was also released. It includes a bonus third disc comprising of a selection of rarities and previously unreleased recordings.

The Essential Bruce Springsteen was released on 11 Nov 2003 on Columbia Records. It debuted and peaked at #14 on the U.S. Billboard 200 album chart where it spent 13 weeks. It also reached #28 on the UK Albums Chart. The album was awarded certified gold and platinum records by the RIAA on 16 Dec 2003.

Bruce Springsteen -- The Essential Bruce Springsteen (2003 edition)
Bruce Springsteen -- The Essential Bruce Springsteen (2003 edition)

The Essential Bruce Springsteen was reissued on 16 Oct 2015, this time as a 2-disc set (clocking at 156:25) with an updated track list, compiling songs from all of Springsteen's studio albums to date plus his Greatest Hits (1995 edition) collection. This 2015 reissue features remastered tracks not found in that form on other Springsteen releases.

Bruce Springsteen -- The Essential Bruce Springsteen (2015 edition)
Bruce Springsteen -- The Essential Bruce Springsteen (2015 edition)

Greatest Hits 2009 Edition

Greatest Hits (2009 edition) is a compilation album released by Columbia Records on 13 Jan 2009 in the United State where it was sold exclusively through Wal-Mart retailers. The album was also released (but non-exclusively) in Canada. Unlike the 1995 Greatest Hits release and The Essential Bruce Springsteen in 2003, this compilation was billed to "Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band" instead of just "Bruce Springsteen". The album contains 12 previously released studio tracks and clocks at 53:08.

Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band -- Greatest Hits (2009 USA edition cover art)
Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band -- Greatest Hits (2009 USA edition cover art)

On 01 Jun 2009, Columbia Records released a European edition of the compilation album with an alternative track listing to promote Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band's European leg of the Working On A Dream Tour. The European edition was also released in Israel and Mexico, and in Australia in August 2009. The album comes in a standard jewel case, but a limited digipack edition was also released in Europe. Greatest Hits (2009 European edition) contains 16 previously released studio tracks and 2 live bonus tracks taken from the Live/1975-85 box set. It clocks at 79:03.

Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band -- Greatest Hits (2009 Europe edition cover art)
Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band -- Greatest Hits (2009 Europe edition cover art)

The album charted in several countries, but only made it to # 1 in Sweden. In general, the album did much better in Europe than in North America.

Other Official Releases

BLINDED BY THE LIGHT can also be found on six Bruce Springsteen promo-only samplers and at least one various artists promo album.

Bruce Springsteen -- Last American Hero From Asbury Park, N.J. (sampler cover art)
Bruce Springsteen -- Last American Hero From Asbury Park, N.J.

LP – CBS/Sony (YAPC 95) – Japan, 1978

Japan-only promotional LP sampler issued to promote Springsteen's fourth album Darkness On The Edge Of Town, though strangely including tracks from his first three albums only. This is one of the rarest Springsteen records ever.
Bruce Springsteen -- Bruce Springsteen Sampler (side 1 label)
Bruce Springsteen -- Bruce Springsteen Sampler

LP – Columbia (CDN-57) – Canada, 1980

Canada-only red label promotional LP sampler compiling 10 tracks from Springsteen's first five albums. Issued in a white die-cut cardboard sleeve.
Bruce Springsteen -- Storia E Musica Rock: Bruce Springsteen (sampler cover art)
Bruce Springsteen -- Storia E Musica Rock: Bruce Springsteen

Cassette – CBS (ROCK 05) – Italy, 1982

Italy-only cassette tape sampler issued exclusively with domestic magazine Storia E Musica Rock and compiling 7 tracks from Springsteen's first four albums.
Bruce Springsteen -- The Future Of Rock'n'Roll / 70's To 80's
Bruce Springsteen -- The Future Of Rock'n'Roll / 70's To 80's

2-CD – CBS/Sony (XADP 90009~10) – Japan, 1988

Japan-only promotional 2-CD set sampler compiling 28 tracks from Springsteen's first nine albums plus two 1988 live B-sides.
Bruce Springsteen -- Rocks Vol. 1 (1973 - 1982)
Bruce Springsteen -- Rocks Vol. 1 (1973 - 1982)

CD-R - Sony (no catalog number) - Japan, 2005

Japan-only promotional "Digest" CD-R advance sampler tying in with the release of the first six Japanese 2005 "mini-LP"-style Springsteen CD album reissues. This disc comes in a plain slimline jewel case with no artwork.
Bruce Springsteen -- The Albums Collection Vol. 1, 1973-1984 - Radio Sampler (Sampler cover art)
Bruce Springsteen -- The Albums Collection Vol. 1, 1973-1984 - Radio Sampler

CD-R – Columbia / Legacy (no catalogue number) – USA, 2014

US-only promotional CD-R radio sampler tying with the release of Springsteen's box set of his first seven albums in remastered form.
Various artists -- CBS Nice Price Line 1800
Various artists -- CBS Nice Price Line 1800

2-CD - CBS/Sony (XADP 90011/12) - Japan, 2005

Japan-only various artists promotional sampler promoting Sony's "Nice Price" CD catalog. This release was presumably issued for record store in-house use.

Other versions of BLINDED BY THE LIGHT were also officially released.

Bruce Springsteen -- VH1 Storytellers
The live 04 Apr 2005 version of BLINDED BY THE LIGHT was released on the VH1 Storytellers home video in 2005.
Bruce Springsteen with The Sessions Band -- Live In Dublin
The live 19 Nov 2006 version of BLINDED BY THE LIGHT was released on the Live In Dublin album and home video in 2007.
live.brucespringsteen.net
Audio recordings for most High Hopes Tour shows were officially released on live.brucespringsteen.net. These include one version of BLINDED BY THE LIGHT.

  1. 15 Apr 2014 at Nationwide Arena, Columbus, OH

Live History: on-tour

BLINDED BY THE LIGHT is known to have been performed at least 8 times during what is considered the Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J. Tour (October 1972 to September 1973). Many of that period's setlists are incomplete or unknown, and therefore, the song must have been played on some more dates during the Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J. Tour. Bruce Springsteen opened for headliner Biff Rose in 1973 during a 6-night stand (from 31 January and 05 February, two shows each night) at Max's Kansas City in New York City, NY. In the 17 Feb 1973 issue of Billboard magazine, Jim Melanson wrote a review on one of twelve shows Max's Kansas City mentioning five songs performed by Springsteen, including BLINDED BY THE LIGHT. The review could be for any of the twelve shows in the stand, but is more likely from one of the latter ones considering the late publication of the review. On this tour, the song was played in a full-band album-style arrangement, usually played as the penultimate song of the set, before THUNDERCRACK or another show-closer.

  1. 07 Dec 1972 at Kenny's Castaways, New York City, NY
  2. Feb 1973 at Max's Kansas City, New York City, NY
  3. 14 Feb 1973 at Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA
  4. 02 Mar 1973 at Berkeley Community Theatre, Berkeley, CA
  5. 18 Apr 1973 at Christian Brothers Academy, Lincroft, NJ
  6. 28 Apr 1973 at Cole Field House, College Park, MD
  7. 14 Jun 1973 at Madison Square Garden, New York City, NY
  8. Jun 1973 at Fat City, Seaside Heights, NJ

BLINDED BY THE LIGHT is known to have been performed at least 15 times during what is considered The Wild, The Innocent, & The E Street Shuffle Tour (September 1973 to March 1975). Some of that period's setlists are incomplete or unknown, and therefore, the song must have been played on some more dates during The Wild, The Innocent, & The E Street Shuffle Tour. On this tour, the song was played in a full-band arrangement, much like the versions from the Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J. Tour, but with a somewhat more experimental, "Dylanesque" vocal. In the 1974 part of the tour, the song also featured a three-to-four minute extended jazzy instrumental opening, perhaps the closest the E Street Band ever came to progressive rock. BLINDED BY THE LIGHT was usually played at or near the end of the shows.

  1. 20 Oct 1973 at Franklin Pierce College, Rindge, NH
  2. 26 Oct 1973 at Geneva Theatre, Geneva, NY
  3. 30 Oct 1973 (late show) at The Main Point, Bryn Mawr, PA
  4. 31 Oct 1973 (late show) at The Main Point, Bryn Mawr, PA
  5. 06 Jan 1974 at Joe's Place, Cambridge, MA
  6. 12 Jan 1974 at The Joint In The Woods, Parsippany, NJ
  7. 25 Jan 1974 at The Mosque, Richmond, VA
  8. 29 Jan 1974 at Muther's Music Emporium, Nashville, TN
  9. 01 Feb 1974 at Allen Theatre, Cleveland, OH
  10. 12 Feb 1974 at University Of Kentucky, Lexington, KY
  11. 03 Mar 1974 (early show) at Georgetown University, Washington, DC
  12. 09 Mar 1974 (late show) at Liberty Hall, Houston, TX
  13. 15 Mar 1974 at Armadillo World Headquarters, Austin, TX
  14. 06 Apr 1974 at Burlington County College, Pemberton, NJ
  15. 28 Apr 1974 at Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, PA

BLINDED BY THE LIGHT was sound-checked prior to the 26 Jul 1975 show in Kutztown, PA, (as far as it's known) but it was not performed on any of the Born To Run Tour's regular shows.

BLINDED BY THE LIGHT is known to have been performed at least 5 times during the so-called Chicken Scratch Tour (35 know dates, March to May 1976). Some of that period's setlists are incomplete or unknown, and therefore, the song may have been played on some more dates during the Chicken Scratch Tour. On this tour, the song was played in a full-band album-style arrangement.

  1. 26 Mar 1976 at Fox Theatre, Atlanta, GA
  2. 28 Mar 1976 at Duke University, Durham, NC
  3. 07 Apr 1976 at Allen Theatre, Cleveland, OH
  4. 09 Apr 1976 at Colgate University, Hamilton, NY
  5. 12 Apr 1976 at Cambria County War Memorial Arena, Johnstown, PA

BLINDED BY THE LIGHT was sound-checked prior to the 02 Oct 1985 show in Los Angeles, CA, (as far as it's known) but it was not performed on any of the Born In The U.S.A. Tour's regular shows.

In preparation for World Tour 1992-1993, BLINDED BY THE LIGHT was performed during the tour's public warm-up rehearsal show that took place on 23 Mar 1993 at Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank, NJ. The song was played in a solo acoustic guitar arrangement.

  1. 23 Mar 1993 at Count Basie Theatre, Red Bank, NJ (public rehearsal)

BLINDED was performed once during World Tour 1992-1993 (104 dates, June 1992 to June 1993), on 26 Jun 1993 in New York City, NY. The 26 Jun 1993 show in New York City, NY, was billed as "Kristen Ann Carr Fund Benefit Concert" (see the live 26 Jun 1993 version). The song was played in a solo acoustic guitar arrangement.

BLINDED BY THE LIGHT was performed 8 times during The Ghost Of Tom Joad Solo Acoustic Tour (128 dates, November 1995 to May 1997). On this tour, the song was played solo on acoustic guitar, usually during the encore. The two renditions in London in April 1996 were the first ever outside of the United States, while the three renditions in Australia in February 1997 remain the only performances outside of North America or Europe.

  1. 09 Dec 1995 at Tower Theater, Upper Darby, PA
  2. 22 Apr 1996 at Royal Albert Hall, London, England
  3. 27 Apr 1996 at Royal Albert Hall, London, England
  4. 29 Oct 1996 at Paramount Theatre, Seattle, WA
  5. 24 Nov 1996 at Paramount Theatre, Asbury Park, NJ
  6. 10 Feb 1997 at Capitol Theatre, Sydney, Australia
  7. 11 Feb 1997 at Capitol Theatre, Sydney, Australia
  8. 16 Feb 1997 at Palais Theatre, Melbourne, Australia

BLINDED BY THE LIGHT was performed 5 times during what is known as The Reunion Tour (132 dates, April 1999 to July 2000). It was the show closer in 1999 and was played in the encore (but not a show closer) in 2000. The song was played in a full-band rock arrangement featuring a new false ending.

  1. 24 Sep 1999 at First Union Spectrum, Philadelphia, PA
  2. 23 Oct 1999 at Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA
  3. 28 Oct 1999 at Oakland Arena, Oakland, CA
  4. 15 Nov 1999 at Gund Arena, Cleveland, OH
  5. 27 Jun 2000 at Madison Square Garden, New York City, NY

BLINDED BY THE LIGHT was performed twice during The Rising Tour (120 dates, August 2002 to October 2003), both in the United States and in 2003. The song was played in a full-band rock arrangement.

  1. 11 Mar 2003 at Blue Cross Arena At The War Memorial, Rochester, NY
  2. 06 Aug 2003 at PNC Park, Pittsburgh, PA

In preparation for the Devils & Dust Solo Acoustic Tour, BLINDED BY THE LIGHT is known to have been practiced during at least on1 of the private rehearsals that took place in March and April 2005 in Asbury Park prior to the tour's first leg.

  1. 11 Apr 2005 at Paramount Theatre, Asbury Park, NJ (private rehearsal)

BLINDED BY THE LIGHT was performed 6 times during the Devils & Dust Solo Acoustic Tour (72 dates, April to November 2005). The song was played solo on acoustic guitar.

  1. 25 Jun 2005 at Hovet, Stockholm, Sweden
  2. 24 Jul 2005 at Charlotte Coliseum, Charlotte, NC
  3. 13 Aug 2005 at Pontiac Theatre At GM Place, Vancouver, Canada
  4. 15 Oct 2005 at Dane County Arena At Alliant Center, Madison, WI
  5. 04 Nov 2005 at St. Pete Times Forum, Tampa, FL
  6. 11 Nov 2005 at Constant Convocation Center At Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA

BLINDED BY THE LIGHT was performed 8 times during The Seeger Sessions Tour (56 dates, April to November 2006), all in November 2006 in Europe. The song was played in a radically revamped full-band arrangement. The live 19 Nov 2006 version of BLINDED BY THE LIGHT was released on the Live In Dublin album and home video in 2007.

  1. 07 Nov 2006 at Sportpaleis, Antwerp, Belgium
  2. 09 Nov 2006 at The NEC Arena, Birmingham, England
  3. 11 Nov 2006 at Wembley Arena, London, England
  4. 12 Nov 2006 at Wembley Arena, London, England
  5. 14 Nov 2006 at Hallam FM Arena, Sheffield, England
  6. 17 Nov 2006 at Point Theatre, Dublin, Ireland
  7. 19 Nov 2006 at Point Theatre, Dublin, Ireland
  8. 21 Nov 2006 at Odyssey Arena, Belfast, Northern Ireland

BLINDED BY THE LIGHT was performed 4 times during the Magic Tour (100 dates, October 2007 to August 2008), all in 2008. The song was played in a full-band rock arrangement.

  1. 25 Apr 2008 at Philips Arena, Atlanta, GA
  2. 14 Jun 2008 at Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, Wales
  3. 29 Jun 2008 at Parken Stadium, Copenhagen, Denmark
  4. 31 Jul 2008 at Giants Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ

BLINDED BY THE LIGHT was performed twice during the Working On A Dream Tour (83 dates, April to November 2009). The song was played in a full-band rock arrangement.

  1. 18 May 2009 at Verizon Center, Washington, DC
  2. 22 Nov 2009 at HSBC Arena, Buffalo, NY (complete Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J. album performed)

BLINDED BY THE LIGHT was performed 4 times during the Wrecking Ball Tour (133 dates, March 2012 to September 2013). On this tour, the song was played twice times in a solo acoustic guitar arrangement (on of which during the solo acoustic pre-show) and twice in a full-band arrangement.

  1. 31 Jul 2012 at Olympiastadion, Helsinki, Finland (solo acoustic guitar, during the pre-show)
  2. 14 Sep 2012 at Nationals Park, Washington, DC (full band)
  3. 16 Mar 2013 at Brisbane Entertainment Centre, Brisbane, Australia (solo acoustic guitar)
  4. 08 May 2013 at HK Areena, Turku, Finland (full band)

BLINDED BY THE LIGHT was performed once during the High Hopes Tour (34 dates, January to May 2014). On this tour, the song was played in a full-band arrangement. Audio recordings for most High Hopes Tour shows are officially available for purchase. See the live 15 Apr 2014 version for more details.

Live History: off-tour

In 1973, Bruce Springsteen performed BLINDED BY THE LIGHT on one radio performance. See the live 09 Jan 1973 version for more details.

BLINDED BY THE LIGHT was performed off-tour on 18 Aug 2001 at Asbury Park Waterfront in Asbury Park, NJ, during the 26th annual Clearwater Festival. See the live 18 Aug 2001 version for more details.

BLINDED BY THE LIGHT was performed off-tour on 20 Feb 2003 at Somerville Theatre in Somerville, MA, during the DoubleTake Magazine benefit shows. The song was played solo on acoustic guitar. See the live 20 Feb 2003 version for more details.

BLINDED BY THE LIGHT was performed on 04 Apr 2005 at Rechnitz Theater in Red Bank, NJ, during the taping of Bruce Springsteen's episode of VH1's Storytellers television series. The song was played solo on acoustic guitar. An edited version of the concert was released on the VH1 Storytellers home video in 2005. See the live 04 Apr 2005 version for more details.

Covers

Several artists have recorded and released Bruce Springsteen's BLINDED BY THE LIGHT.

Manfred Mann's Earth Band -- The Roaring Silence
Manfred Mann's Earth Band -- The Roaring Silence

LP - Warner Bros. (BS-2965) - USA, 1976
LP - Bronze/Island (ILPS 9357) - UK, 1976

Manfred Mann's Earth Band's cover of BLINDED BY THE LIGHT was included on many more releases, including three various artists Bruce Springsteen tribute albums. See Manfred Mann's Earth Band's cover version for more details.
Allan Clarke -- I've Got Time
Allan Clarke -- I've Got Time

LP - EMI (EMC 3130) - UK, 1976
LP - Asylum Records (7E-1056) - USA, 1976

Allan Clarke's cover of BLINDED BY THE LIGHT was also included on the 2004 various artists Bruce Springsteen tribute album Reason To Believe: A Country Music Tribute To Bruce Springsteen.
The All Stars -- The Bruce Springsteen Mix
The All Stars -- The Bruce Springsteen Mix
12-inch single - Rams Horn (RHR 3450) - Holland, 1985
12-inch single - ZYX Records (ZYX 5331) - Germany - 1985
12-inch single - Famous Records (FM 6009) - Greece - 1985
12-inch EP - EMI (31C 052 420341Z) - Brazil - 1985
12-inch EP - Tróbol (TI-70998) - Mexico - 1985

BLINDED BY THE LIGHT is part of a medley of 8 Springsteen songs. Reissued in 2009 as a download-only digital release (consisting of 8 separate tracks) titled "A Tribute To Bruce Springsteen: Hits Of The 80's Megamix" and is credited to "Top 40 Cover Band". BLINDED BY THE LIGHT is listed as "Light Me By The Light" on this release.
Chris Thompson -- Backtrack: 1980-1994
Chris Thompson -- Backtrack: 1980-1994

CD - Stringville (SVR 1112) - Germany, 1999

Also includes a live version of FOR YOU. Chris Thompson's version of BLINDED BY THE LIGHT was originally released on the 1993 various artists album Wimbledon '93 - The Champions Of British Rock.
Session musicians -- Pickin' On Springsteen: A Tribute
Session musicians -- Pickin' On Springsteen: A Tribute

CD - CMH (CD-8510) - USA, 1999

This is a Bruce Springsteen tribute album. It was reissued in 2007 under the title "Bluegrass Interpretations Of Bruce Springsteen", under the same label and with catalog number CD 5227.
The Exboyfriends -- Karaoke Bar Brawl
The Exboyfriends -- Karaoke Bar Brawl

CD - no catalog number (no label) - USA, 2002
SAS Band -- The Show
SAS Band -- The Show

CD - Andrew Brel Music (ABMCD02) - UK, 2000

This is a live album. BLINDED BY THE LIGHT features Chris Thompson of Manfred Mann's Earth Band.
Matt Vemanis -- Blinded By The Light
Matt Vemanis -- Blinded By The Light

CD5 EP - Subsonic (SR 201) - Australia, 2002

This EP contains four Matt Vemanis remixes of Manfred Mann's Earth Band's BLINDED BY THE LIGHT: "Radio Edit", "Mala 'N' Marsh Mix", "Vemanis Hi-Fli Mix", and "Mala 'N' Marsh Extended".
Various artists -- Light Of Day: A Tribute To Bruce Springsteen
Various artists -- Light Of Day: A Tribute To Bruce Springsteen

3-CD - Good Sounds (DM 797-02) - Spain, 2003

This is a various artists Bruce Springsteen tribute album. BLINDED BY THE LIGHT is performed by The Hesh. There are six issues of this album (with three track configurations) and this track was only included on the issue listed above.
The Hit Crew -- 30 Greatest 70's
The Hit Crew -- 30 Greatest 70's

2-CD - Turn Up The Music (TUTM 1471-2) - USA, 2003
Leslie Mandoki -- Man Doki Soulmates Allstars: Legends Of Rock
Leslie Mandoki -- Man Doki Soulmates Allstars: Legends Of Rock

CD - Paroli/Sony (unknown catalog number) - Germany, 2004

This album was recorded live. BLINDED BY THE LIGHT features Chris Thompson of Manfred Mann's Earth Band.
Plan 9 -- Rearview
Plan 9 -- Rearview

CD - Plan 9 Partners (P9P006) - USA, 2004

Plan 9 changed their name to Planet 9 in 2005 and the album was reissued with the new band name.
Last Call -- Brewed In The Attic
Last Call -- Brewed In The Attic

CD - unknown label (unknown catalog number) - USA, 2007
The Soundtrack Tribute Band -- A Tribute To Blow
The Soundtrack Tribute Band -- A Tribute To Blow

Digital EP - Suite 102 (unknown catalog number) - unknown country, 2007

This is a download-only digital 5-track EP release.
Rock Heroes -- Top Rock Instrumentals
Rock Heroes -- Top Rock Instrumentals

Digital album - Big Eye Music (unknown catalog number) - unknown country, 2008

This is a download-only digital 3-disc album.
The Studio Sound Ensemble -- 70 Covers Of The 70's
The Studio Sound Ensemble -- 70 Covers Of The 70's

Digital album - Countdown Media GmbH (unknown catalog number) - Germany, 2008

This is a download-only digital release.
PMC All-Stars -- Super Songs of the 90's vol. 11
PMC All-Stars -- Super Songs of the 90's vol. 11

Digital album - Paris Music Ltd (unknown catalog number) - unknown country, 2009

This is a download-only digital release.
Graham BLVD -- FM Radio Classics Vol. 4
Graham BLVD -- FM Radio Classics Vol. 4

Digital album - Suite 102 (no catalog number) - unknown country, 2009

This is a download-only digital release.

Credits / References

Thanks Jake (ol'catfishinthelake at BTX and Greasy Lake) for the lyrics help. Thanks Robert Winters for the National Lampoon ad scan. Thanks Carlo Bondi for the Storia E Musica Rock: Bruce Springsteen cassette tape scan.

Some of the above info about the studio recording and the live performances is taken from Brucebase. Scans and info for the some of the above official Springsteen releases are taken from the Lost In The Flood website. Info for some of the above BLINDED BY THE LIGHT cover releases is taken from the Nebraska website.

Request

Any additions, comments, or corrections to this page are welcome. You can contact me via the below form or by email: . You will be credited. Thanks in advance.

Available Versions

List of available versions of BLINDED BY THE LIGHT on this website:

BLINDED BY THE LIGHT [Album version]
BLINDED BY THE LIGHT [Live 09 Jan 1973 version]
BLINDED BY THE LIGHT [Live 02 Mar 1973 version]
BLINDED BY THE LIGHT [Live 31 Oct 1973 (late show) version]
BLINDED BY THE LIGHT [Live 06 Jan 1974 version]
BLINDED BY THE LIGHT [Live 07 Apr 1976 version]
BLINDED BY THE LIGHT [Live 26 Jun 1993 version]
BLINDED BY THE LIGHT [Live 22 Apr 1996 version]
BLINDED BY THE LIGHT [Live 23 Oct 1999 version]
BLINDED BY THE LIGHT [Live 18 Aug 2001 version]
BLINDED BY THE LIGHT [Live 20 Feb 2003 version]
BLINDED BY THE LIGHT [Live 06 Aug 2003 version]
BLINDED BY THE LIGHT [Live 04 Apr 2005 version]
BLINDED BY THE LIGHT [Live 25 Jun 2005 version]
BLINDED BY THE LIGHT [Live 11 Nov 2006 version]
BLINDED BY THE LIGHT [Live 19 Nov 2006 version]
BLINDED BY THE LIGHT [Live 31 Jul 2008 version]
BLINDED BY THE LIGHT [Live 22 Nov 2009 version]
BLINDED BY THE LIGHT [Live 15 Apr 2014 version]
BLINDED BY THE LIGHT [Manfred Mann's Earth Band's cover version]

Page last updated: 17 Apr 2016