Sunday, July 31, 2011

Bruce Springsteen - "For You" (the song remains the same)

I recently reviewed "Blinded by the Light", the song from Bruce Springsteen's first LP, "Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J." that was made famous by Manfred Mann's Earth Band. For MMEB's 1980 LP "Chance", they went back to the well again, recording "For You" from Bruce's 1973 debut LP. (Bruce never released "For You" as a single, so I chose MMEB's covert art.)

I don't recall ever hearing Bruce's version on the radio, only occasionally for the MMEB version, and nothing on classic rock radio in I don't know how many years. Which is too bad, since this is quite a good song. MMEB used the same formula they used on BBTL: increasing the production complexity and greatly simplifying the lyrical complexity (three stanzas to 1.5 stanzas), even to the point of removing half of the chorus. The LP version clocked in at almost 6 minutes, but the 7" version is just under 4 minutes. Bruce's version:
I came for you, for you, I came for you, but you did not need my urgency
I came for you, for you, I came for you, but your life was one long emergency
and your cloud line urges me, and my electric surges free
MMEB's version:
I came for you
I came for you
I came for you
For you
I came for you
Eliminating the urgency/emergency portion significantly changes the meaning of the song; explore the original version and the MMEB version for additional changes.

For You: Bruce Springsteen (studio version, 1978 live version), Manfred Mann's Earth Band (7" single version, LP version, 1986 live version).

And for completeness, I suppose I should mention the 2005 release by The Disco Boys, based on the MMEB version: Radio Edit version, Freemasons Remix version.


  1. My favourite version is by Greg Kihn, on the "Greg Kihn Again" album. It's edited down without losing the meaning and has a great power-pop, A-side arrangement.

  2. beeflin: I didn't know about Greg Kihn's version! Very cool -- thanks for the tip! links below:

    Greg Kihn: "For You"

    from 1977's "Greg Kihn Again".