Sunday Music – Blinded By The Light

Posted on Sun 06/18/2017 by


Today’s music video is Blinded By The Light and the song is performed here by the English band Manfred Mann’s Earth Band.

Link to Video at You Tube

This video was posted to You Tube by Mark Graham

In these regular music Posts, I have often said that there’s no rhyme or reason as to why someone likes the music and songs from one artist or band that others may not like all that much, and the same applies in my case. I have a group of favourite artists and bands, and with some of them, my family or friends would be hard pressed to name one song from the artist or band.

I was always a fan of Manfred Mann. His original band had a series of major hits in the 60s and four of those songs were Number Ones, and perhaps the biggest of them all was their cover of the Bob Dylan song, Mighty Quinn from 1967. They faded out in 1969, and the next I heard of them was a planned tour of Australia in 1972. As a fan already, I shelled out the money for a ticket to their concert, held in The City Hall in Newcastle. That concert was packed solid, but if the truth be told here, perhaps half of the crowd, or even more, would have been there to see the second band on stage, the band immediately prior to Manfred Mann, and that band was the Australian group, The La De Da’s, and at that time, they were probably one of the biggest bands in Australia.

When Manfred Mann came on stage, he introduced the band with their new name, Manfred Mann’s Earth Band. The band only played only one song I recognised from those early days, and that was an extended version of The Mighty Quinn. I was not disappointed though, as, without doubt, it was the best concert I had ever been to. The band played for two hours, and probably it might have even been longer than that.

After that concert, I went and saw my record guy, and asked if he could find me some of their records, but, oddly, and a first for me, he had never heard of then, and that was natural I suppose, as this was their first outing with their new name.

Almost two years later, after I had almost forgotten the band, my record guy showed me their latest album release, Nightingales And Bombers, and I bought the album. When I played it, that concert returned to my thoughts, and I realised why I liked the music, as much with this album, as with that concert.

On that album was a cover version of the Bruce Springsteen song Spirits In The Night, and while I had not heard the Springsteen original, I found that I really liked this cover. The whole album was just so good.

The following year, I got hold of their next album, and there is a bit of a quirk with this. Just before I got hold of the album, the Single which was lifted from that album started to get regular airplay on the radio. That single was another Bruce Springsteen cover, this one Blinded By The Light, the featured song for today in the video above. The song slowly made its way up the charts here in Australia, and just made it into the National Top Ten, probably on the back of the fact that it was a Monster Number One Hit for the band in the U.S. the biggest music market in the World. While that song was still in the charts, the radio started playing the original Springsteen cover from the earlier album, albeit a shortened version for radio, as the original album song went for more than six minutes, and the radio version was shortened to just three and a half minutes. I was never one for liking those shorter versions as I always loved hearing the extra music in the extended versions, so album cuts were always what I preferred. Even the new Single was a shorter version, so when I got hold of the album The Roaring Silence, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the song lasted just a little over seven minutes, and there were extra lead breaks from the guitar, and also on Manfred’s keyboards where he had an extended solo as well.

Now, here’s where the quirk comes in. The album I went out and purchased also included an extra track, the shorter version of the original Springsteen cover, Spirit In The Night. As I found out a lot later, the original release of this album had a yellowish coloured cover where the image was more visible as an open mouth inside that ear you see, a hint as to one of the songs on the album, Waiter, There’s a Yawn In My Ear. This newer album cover was in black and grey and included the text you see along the top of the image which was that this album also included Spirit In The Night, here under the original title of Spirit, without the added letter ‘s’, and the spirit title is also shown in the text on the vinyl disk itself.

Again, this album was just so good, and I enjoyed every track on the album.

As it was, I got hold of their next three studio albums, Watch, Angel Station and Chance.

With respect to the video clip above, the album version is (as it always is) better than this video clip, but I included it to show a couple of things. This was the first outing for the band’s new vocalist. Previously, Mick Rogers was the vocalist, and he left the band prior to the release of Nightingales And Bombers album, when the band just shared the vocals. The new vocalist Chris Thompson was also a guitarist as well, doubling as the Rhythm Guitarist while now, Dave Flett could just concentrate on lead guitar. Chris Thompson is the man out front of the band. You see Manfred on the keyboards, and here it looks like he’s playing one of those huge Hammond’s he used regularly, as most bands had now included them with their keyboards, and they would have been a difficult instrument to cart around to concerts as they were just so heavy. Dave Flett on lead guitar is playing one of those beautiful Gibson Flying Vee guitars. Manfred on the keyboards again does what he does best, be masterful on that big Hammond.

So, while not many people are fans of this band, probably because of not taking the time to really listen to a range of their music, I am a huge fan of the band, and while this song is a cover of a Bruce Springsteen song, incidentally, one of many Springsteen songs this band has covered, it is perhaps the best version of this song out there, unless of course you are a dedicated Springsteen fan, when a cover is just that, a cover of The Boss. Ironically, it is the only Springsteen song to make it to Number One in the U.S. National Singles Charts, while he has had Number One Singles in other Countries. He has however, had ten Number One albums in the U.S. and is arguably one of the biggest names in rock music.

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