Saturday, August 27, 2016

40 Year Itch : Revved Up Like a Deuce

Manfred Mann's Earth Band : Blinded by the Light

And here it is: Bruce Springsteen's only number one hit. Never mind the fact that it was recorded by by the English group Manfred Mann's Earth Band who substituted Springsteen's Dylanesque acoustic guitar strumming ( on Greetings from Asbury Park)  with spacey organ, electric guitar lyrics, "Chopsticks" on piano  and the backing vocals of the legendary Chanter Sisters.

There were also a few changes to the lyrics. Most notably, they exchanged "cut loose like a deuce" for "revved up like a deuce". Not that it sounded like that to anyone with a 5th graders sense of humor. No. We all decided they were singing "wrapped up like a douche". Springsteen even joked on VH1 Storytellers that it was not until Manfred Mann rewrote the song to be about a feminine hygiene product that it became popular. In a way, it was only fair

I loved this song in 1976 and 1977 when, in February, it topped the US charts. I have no idea what it's about and I don't care. I don't even care about the awkward transitions.

"Blinded By the Light" leads off The Roaring Silence, which was released on August 27, 1976.  There are far better Earth Band albums by the way . The debut is great all the way through and was among three 1972 albums to receive an A+ rating from Robert Christgau. The other two were Paul Simon's solo debut and the Rolling Stones classic Exile on Main Street.

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