Friday, February 23, 1973

Bruce Springsteen “Blinded by the Light” released

Blinded by the Light

Bruce Springsteen

Writer(s): Bruce Springsteen (see lyrics here)

Released: February 23, 1973

First Charted: --

Peak: 15 CL, 7 DF (Click for codes to charts.)

Sales (in millions): -- US, -- UK, -- world (includes US + UK)

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 2.8 video, -- streaming

Blinded by the Light

Manfred Mann’s Earth Band

Released: August 6, 1976

First Charted: August 28, 1976

Peak: 11 US, 11 CB, 13 GR, 11 HR, 14 RR, 1 CL, 6 UK, 11 CN, 11 AU, 1 DF (Click for codes to charts.)

Sales (in millions): 1.0 US

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 38.6 video, 149.42 streaming

Awards (Manfred Mann):

Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

When Bruce Springsteen first emerged as an artist, many hailed him as the next Bob Dylan. While both were poetic rockers, they carved out distinctly different paths – although there were some commonalities. Neither had a #1 song as an artist although both appeared on the #1 star-studded “We Are the World” in 1985. They also each came close to the top – Dylan with “Like a Rolling Stone” (#2) and “Rainy Day Women #12 & 35” (#2), Springsteen with “Dancing in the Dark” (#2). Finally, they both had songs they wrote reach the pinnacle when the artists were at their peak. In Dylan’s case, it was the Byrds with “Mr. Tambourine” in 1965. For Springsteen, his song “Blinded by the Light” reached the top in 1976 in the hands of Manfred Mann’s Earth Band.

Springsteen signed to Columbia Records – the same label as Dylan – in 1972. His debut album, Greetings from Asbury Park, NJ, followed in January 1973 after some prompting by the label’s Clive Davis to write a hit single. Springsteen responded with “Blinded by the Light” and “Spirit in the Night” (also covered by Manfred Mann) “in a rush, later saying that he gave his rhyming dictionary a real workout that night.” SG Since most of the band wasn’t available on short notice, Springsteen played guitar, bass, and keyboards. Springsteen said the song was a “young musician’s tale, kind of a litany of adventures. It was rather on the autobiographical side.” UCR “Along the way, we hit church dances, meet campus radicals, FBI agents and several loose women.” UCR “Blinded by the Light” was released as a single, but went nowhere.

“You can hear plenty of the strengths that would eventually turn Springsteen into a star: The monster chorus, the finely observed everyday-life lyrical details, the life-affirming Clarence Clemons saxophone-bleats, the ‘whooooaa’” SG but it “is a messy scrawl of a song, played with a muddy immediacy that sounds just slightly out of sync. Springsteen was 23 when he recorded it, but he sang it in a garbled old-man mutter. And they lyrics are a sort of impressionistic pastiche of a teenage night out on the Asbury Park boardwalk. At the time, Springsteen’s lyrics were Dylan-esque poetic excursions, not the concrete storytelling he’d adapt later.” SG

“Manfred Mann was probably an unlikely candidate to take Springsteen’s music to the American masses.” SG He was a South African-born keyboardist who moved to London in 1961 and formed a jazz-blues band. Three years later, his band hit #1 in the U.S. with a cover of the Exciters’ “Do Wah Diddy Diddy.” They also hit the top 10 with a cover of Dylan’s “The Mighty Quinn.” By 1971, the band had reformed as Manfred Mann’s Earth Band “replacing the original’s garage rock with a more progressive sound that incorporated classical themes.” UCR

They recorded “Blinded by the Light” and “Spirit in the Night” for their 1976 album The Roaring Silence. Mann’s recording of “Light” is “much cleaner and heavier on showy musicianship than Springsteen’s original had been.” SG It “took the loose, folksy vibe of the original and gave it a harder edge, adding a lengthy guitar solo, Moog synthesizer and, for some reason, a snippet of the children’s piano lesson, ‘Chopsticks.’ Singer Chris Thompson skipped some verses entirely.” UCR “It sounds big and sharp and dramatic – Grand Funk-style Midwest-friendly arena-rock, but transformed into something clean and cinematic enough to compete with disco on the pop charts.” SG

Mann’s version famously confused Springsteen’s original line “cut loose like a deuce,” which alludes to a two-seater hot rod, as “wrapped up like a douche,” although Thompson is actually singing “revved up like a deuce.”


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First posted 7/24/2022; last updated 12/26/2022.

Saturday, February 17, 1973

Lou Reed charted with “Walk on the Wild Side”

Walk on the Wild Side

Lou Reed

Writer(s): Lou Reed (see lyrics here)

Released: November 8, 1972

First Charted: February 17, 1973

Peak: 16 US, 17 CB, 18 GR, 17 HR, 1 CL, 1 CO, 10 UK, 18 CN, 100 AU, 1 DF (Click for codes to charts.)

Sales (in millions): -- US, 0.2 UK, 0.2 world (includes US + UK)

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 73.87 video, 414.28 streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

Lou Reed, “who never ceased to offend somebody,” UCR references valium, oral sex, hustlers, and whores in what is likely the “the first transvestite rock song that middle America heard.” UCR The song title came from A Walk on the Wild Side by Nelson Algren. Reed was tapped to write songs for a musical based on the novel, but it never came about. RS500

On the resulting song, Reed served as the “narrator brilliantly delivering his cool rap-like observations” UCR about real people including Holly Woodlawn, Candy Darling, Joe Dallesandro, Joe Campbell, and Jackie Curtis. They were all actors and/or transsexuals Reed knew through artist Andy Warhol. WK As Reed said, “I always thought it would be kinda fun to introduce people you see at parties but don’t dare approach.” RS500

He “paints such as vivid picture of deliberate decadence that it can still be shocking…years later.” RY It also serves as “a chillingly stark portrait” RY about the underbelly of New York City, “America’s largest and darkest city.” RY When Reed “invokes the ‘colored girls’ to sing ‘do do-do do-do, do-do-do’ and their voices fade into the lush atmospheric sound of a lazy baritone sax solo, the music suggests the atmosphere of a New York City subway station at three in the morning.” RY

Reed hadn’t found commercial success with his band Velvet Underground or his first solo outing. However, David Bowie idolized Reed and he’d achieved enough clout as “the rising star of British glam-rock” TB to “freely bestow his Midas touch upon other artists who interested him.” RY “The sweet touches in the vocal harmonies, and the quick and deceptively simple arrangements are in large part due to Bowie” TC and his production on the song and Transformer album. It gave Reed his “greatest solo success.” TB


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First posted 4/28/2020; last updated 9/15/2023.

Wednesday, February 14, 1973

Patsy Cline 12 Greatest Hits released

12 Greatest Hits

Patsy Cline

Released: February 14, 1973

Recorded: 1957 to 1963

Peak: -- US, 17 CW

Sales (in millions): 10.0 US, -- UK, 10.9 world (includes US and UK)

Genre: country


Song Title (date of single release, chart peaks) Click for codes to charts.

  1. Walkin’ after Midnight (2/23/57, 12 US, 2 CW, airplay: 1 million)
  2. Sweet Dreams of You (4/20/63, 44 US, 5 CW, 15 AC, airplay: 2 million)
  3. Crazy (10/23/61, 9 US, 14 UK, 2 CW, 2 AC, airplay: 2 million)
  4. I Fall to Pieces (4/3/61, 12 US, 1 CW, 6 AC, airplay: 2 million)
  5. So Wrong (8/25/62, 85 US, 14 CW)
  6. Strange (1/27/62, 97 US)
  7. Back in Baby’s Arms
  8. She’s Got You (1/27/62, 14 US, 43 UK, 1 CW, 3 AC, airplay: 1 million)
  9. Faded Love (8/31/63, 96 US, 7 CW)
  10. Why Can’t He Be You
  11. You’re Stronger Than Me
  12. Leavin’ on Your Mind (1/26/63, 83 US, 8 CW)


4.608 out of 5.00 (average of 21 ratings)


“The perfect introduction to one of the greatest singers in country music history” – Stephen Thomas Erlewine, All Music Guide


(Click on award to learn more).

About the Album:

Patsy Cline was born Virginia Patterson Hensley in 1932 in Virginia. After she got married in 1957 and gave birth the next year, she moved to Nashville. She became a member of the Grand Ole Opry and signed with Decca Records in 1960. With producer Owen Bradley, she found major success on the country charts with hits like I Fall to Pieces, Crazy, and She’s Got You.

In March 1963, she was on a flight from Kansas City, Kansas, back to Nashville. It crashed and she was killed. She was only 30 years old. Despite her short career, she has been celebrated as one of country music’s most important performers. Ten years after her death, she became the first female performer inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

In 1967, Decca released a greatest hits collection with twelve songs. In addition to the nine featured chart hits, there are “lesser-known gems like Why Can’t He Be You, which are as good as the big hits.” AMG Overall, the set “may be brief, but it contains abosolutely no filler and leaves no gaps, making it the perfect introduction to one of the greatest singers in country music history.” AMG

It reached #17 on the country charts. MCA Records reissued the album after Cline was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. It was reissued again in the CD era in 1988 and became the first album by a female country artist to go double platinum. By 2005, the album was certified for diamond, or ten-times platinum. Despite the massive sales, the album has never charted on the Billboard album chart.

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Other Related DMDB Pages:

First posted 5/30/2008; last updated 3/20/2024.