Music Routes Blog

Blinded By The Light Project: Painted Into A Corner?

23 April 2009

As previously noted, two of the three goals of the Blinded By The Light Project have been achieved.

I am concerned about the third goal, which is to get "Blinded By The Light" by Bruce Springsteen and "Blinded By The Light" by Manfred Mann's Earth Band two steps apart.

When the project started, the tracks were four steps apart.

<Now they are three steps apart.

(By the way, you really do have to listen to that Manfred Mann version of "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" in that last link.  It really is the best thing ever.)

Let's look at that route.  David Sancious is on the Springsteen version.  He in turn played on a Jack Bruce record.  That's one step.  Jack Bruce in turn played on that wacky Stones cover by Manfred Mann mentioned above.  That's two steps.  Manfred Mann, of course, played on Manfred Mann's Earth Band's version of "Blinded By The Light", and that's three steps.

If the goal of the project is to get the two tracks to be two steps apart, that leaves us in a bit of a bind.

In order to shorten the above or any similar route to two steps, we need to remove one track from the route such that there are only three tracks (and thus two steps).

Any such route will take the form of:  Person A performed on Springsteen's "Blinded By The Light" and also played on Track X with Person B.  That's one step.  Person B in turn played on "Blinded By The Light" by Manfred Mann's Earth Band.  That's step number two.

In other words, it requires that someone that played on the Springsteen version and someone that played on the Manfred Mann's Earth Band version recorded together at some point.

Springsteen's track was performed by Springsteen, David Sancious, Clarence Clemons, Vinnie Lopez, and Harold Wheeler.  Manfred Mann's Earth Band's version had Mann, Chris Slade, Chris Thompson, Colin Pattenden, and Dave Flett.

I have spent more energy than I care to admit in an effort to find a track that has at least one person from each set of musicians above.  I don't think such a track exists.

This leaves me with these options:

Concede failure quietly and move on. This is, of course, not a realistic option.

Concede failure loudly and move on. This too is not a realistic option.

Hope that such an intermediary track really does exist and that someone will come forward soon with the information. If you happen to know this information, for the love of Go-Cart Mozart, please tell me!

Hope that, although such a track does not exist now, it may come into existence in the future. Perhaps Manfred Mann and Bruce Springsteen will record a collaborative version of "Blinded By The Light" for a charity album.

Change the rules. I can start by loosening it so that it can be any recorded version of "Blinded By The Light" by Manfred Mann's Earth Band or Bruce Springsteen.  At least in the case of the former, that opens the door for some live versions with different personnel.  I don't think that will be sufficient, though.  At the same time, loosening it to three steps instead of two steps or two steps between the artists rather than the tracks both seem like cheating.

I hate to say it, but that last one seems the most likely path.