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Podcast 005: Dig To The Roots - July 19, 2005
I am a fanatic for original recordings. Here, we indulge my fanaticism
and bring you original versions of songs that you thought... "hey,
I thought that was the original!"
Opening the show: Stevie Ray Vaughn, "Texas
Flood," 1983. The best-known version
of this blues classic, but not the best. That honor belongs to the
man who wrote it...
Davis and His Band, "Texas Flood,"
1958. A classic slow blues showcase, you can hear where SRV lifted
some of his solos from. Stevie always acknowledged Larry Davis as
an influence, and Davis actually outlived Stevie Ray.
Peggy Lee, "Fever,"
1958. The best-known version of this as well, but it somehow has
a sheen on it that the original doesn't have... and doesn't need.
Little Willie John, "Fever,"
1956. He was 19 years old when this record came out, and lived only
to age 30, dying in prison in 1968 after a 1964 manslaughter conviction.
He recorded scores of other singles, almost all R'n'B classics.
The Kingsmen, "Louie,
Louie," 1964. Not sure what can be
said about this that hasn't already been said, except that it's certainly
not an original. Even the Kingsmen's version was lifted from another
Richard Berry and the Pharaohs, "Louie,
Louie," 1956. The original intelligible
lyrics are pretty innocuous, almost a calypso. If you click the link
for either the Kingsmen or Richard Berry, it takes you to the same amazing
compilation of some great versions of the song over the years.
The Beatles, "Money
(That's What I Want)," 1963. The
Beatles spent a lot of time on their early records covering recent American
R'n'B hits, including this LP, With
The Beatles, from November, 1963. This
was one of those covers, but the vocals lack the punch of the original...
Barrett Strong, "Money (That's
What I Want)," 1959. This is the
version used in Animal House, in the background during one of the
scenes when the Delta House boys are tearing around Faber in that black
Lincoln Continental. The only hit Barrett ever recorded, though he
co-wrote several other Motown hits over the years, including "Papa
Was A Rollin' Stone" for The Temptations. And that ain't
The Flying Lizards, "Money
(That's What I Want)," 1979. Don't
ask, don't tell. A UK minimalist/new wave band that released few
albums and are most likely remembered for this cover. This version
was used in The
Wedding Singer and once appeared on a compilation
Do 'Em Our Way, now long out of print,
featuring punk and new-wave bands covering well-known songs, such as The
Stranglers' cover of Burt Bacharach's "Walk On By." One
other I remember: DEVO's cover of The Stones' "Satisfaction."
Led Zeppelin, "When
The Levee Breaks," 1971. Long and violent
and dreamy, best enjoyed with a little weed or whiskey. The last
track on the album commonly known as Led Zeppelin IV but which was
Kansas Joe and Memphis Minnie, "When
The Levee Breaks," 1929. Minnie was one
of the first women to use an electric guitar on blues recordings. Kansas
Joe's vocal style reminds me a little of Big Bill Broonzy crossed with
here for the MP3 file (21.5
megabytes, 31:13 duration).
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