“Blinded by the Light” by Bruce Springsteen
On one hand, Bruce Springsteen’s “Blinded by the Light” is primarily an exercise in rhyming. That is to say that the lyrics are not all co-related and in some cases may not refer to anything in particular. But on the other, therein lies many references to Springsteen’s life and perceptions, including some from his youth in New Jersey.
That is certainly not to say that “Blinded by the Light” is obviously not meant to be taken seriously, despite its autobiographical nature. It features for the most part Springsteen having fun with words. For instance, the “silicone sister” whom he mentions at the beginning of the fourth verse is actually a reference to a stripper he knew. Also the “all-hot, half-shot” who was “heading for the hot spot snapping his fingers and clapping his hands” is actually a reference to himself, as The Boss was a smart aleck as a child. So in a way, you can say that Bruce’s goal was to write an early-1970’s rap, whose primary purpose was just to display his lyrical wherewithal and make the listener feel good.
Thus all things considered, there does seem to necessarily be a central theme to this song. Springsteen was under pressure from his label to come up with a song they could release as a single for his debut album, and this was the result. But in general, it can said that “Blinded by the Light” is based on the singer’s past experiences as well as his take on other matters, specifically in relation to particular individuals whom he observed. Or at least that is the framework he operates in before more or less going on a lyrical freestyle.
Quick Facts about “Blinded by the Light”
- Columbia Records released “Blinded by the Light” as the debut single from Bruce Springsteen’s first-ever album on 5 January 1973. This maiden album of Springsteen’s is titled Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J.
- Being compelled by Columbia to write a single for the album, Springsteen penned this song and “Spirit in the Night”. Unfortunately it did not perform as well as they had hoped, as “Blinded by the Light” failed to chart.
- However, a cover of the song by Manfred Mann’s Earth Band in 1976 proved to be a mega success, topping the Billboard Hot 100.
- There is a 2019 British-comedy film entitled “Blinded by the Light” which was heavily inspired by the music of Bruce Springsteen.
- “Blinded by the Light” was written by the Boss and produced by Mike Appel and Jim Cretecos.