Bruce Springsteen explains how Clive Davis changed the trajectory of his career in an archival interview in Clive Davis: The Soundtrack of Our Lives, an Apple Music documentary dedicated to the record mogul.
“I went in, sat down, played the song. This was like the biggest days of my life,” Springsteen said. The rocker received the go-ahead to record the E Street Band’s debut LP Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J.
“We went in and we did the record and sent it over to him … and he sent it back. He said, ‘There’s no singles on the record.’ And I said, ‘Well, you know, that’s probably true,” Springsteen said. “So I went down to the beach and wrote ‘Blinded by the Light’ and ‘Spirit in the Night.'”
Both songs ended up being released as singles from the 1973 album, with Manfred Mann turning “Blinded by the Light” into a Number One Hot 100 hit three years later. “So that was a good call,” Springsteen admitted of Davis’ decision.
The Soundtrack of Our Lives also dug up archival footage of Davis passionately reciting the lyrics of “Blinded by the Light” in a video that was sent to record distributors and branch managers. Springsteen also happened to view the four-minute-long video.
“It impressed me as a tremendous personal commitment to my own career but also helped explain why there was both words and music on the record,” Springsteen joked.
Clive Davis: The Soundtrack of Our Lives comes to Apple Music on October 3rd. Watch the full trailer below.