The calliope crashed to the ground

I just bought The
Essential Bruce Springsteen
— $20 for a triple CD! There’s a lot of great stuff on here, though I get
the impression that I’m going to listen to disk one a lot more than the other two.
The first song is 1973’s “Blinded by the Light”, which was covered by Manfred Mann’s Earth Band in 1977. The Springsteen version is very upbeat, almost dance-able, but
the lyrics are frequently indecipherable. The Manfred Mann version is much better
known, and is a little more “interesting”,
in that there are more speed changes, guitar licks, and keyboard fills. The lyrics are obviously the same, but I can
understand them a little better (in that I can hear the words – I have no idea
what the song actually means). I’ve always loved the Manfred Mann version — this is one of the fairly rare times that
I prefer the remake of a song to the original.

I’ve always been impressed with people who are creative, like songwriters and
artists and such. I can’t draw worth a damn, but I’d love to be able to. Gail
says that writing software is creative, and I suppose it is (you could even
consider it an “art” if you try), but it’s not the same thing. I can play the
guitar, but creating music rather than playing something that someone
else wrote seems much harder. Just as difficult, I would think, is the
ability to take a song that someone else wrote and re-work it, as Manfred
Mann did on this song, or as Joe Cocker did on his version of the Beatles’ “With A Little Help From My Friends”. It’s kind of hard to believe that this is the same
guy that wrote recorded the bubblegum “Doo Wah Diddy Diddy” twelve years
before (according to Wikipedia, Manfred Mann
didn’t write that song either).


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