For this month’s version of The Original vs. The Cover, we are tackling the Otis Redding song “Hard to Handle”. Otis wrote and recorded the song along with Al Bell and Allen Jones back in 1967. Otis died in December 1967 before the song was ever released. It finally was released in June 1968, but not as the main single. It was the B-Side to the single “Amen”. The song did chart though as it reached #51 on the Pop Charts and got to #38 on the Billboard R&B charts. It was a modest hit. The song first appeared on an album in 1968 which was a compilation called ‘The Immortal Otis Redding’.
The song’s theme is pretty obvious. It is about a man that is so cocky and braggadocios about his sexual prowess that he is coming on to women who already have themselves a man. I mean he gets cockier and cockier as the song goes on. It is a really cool piece for Otis to write and sing as his earlier work did not come across that way.
Otis Redding’s original version of the song was a departure for him. He seemed to be experimenting with a new sound. He brought a whole James Brown funk feel to the song from the opening piano riffs, the big horn section and that driving bass line. It is quite a departure from “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of The Bay”. The song is short at just over 2 minutes, but it packs enough greatness in to that time that you don’t realize it is so short. Continue reading “The Original vs. The Cover – “Hard to Handle””
For this installment of The Original Vs. The Cover, we are discussing the classic Aretha Franklin song “Respect” which is actually a cover of the song originally written and performed by Otis Redding just two years earlier. The Otis Redding song was written for Speedo Sims and his band the Singing Demons, but they were unable to find the sound they liked and so Otis decided to sing the song.
The song came out in 1965 and went to the Top 5 on the Black Charts, but actually crossed-over to the pop charts where it reached #35. It was one of a couple songs that crossed-over for Otis. The Redding version is about a man’s plea to his woman to show him some respect for bringing home the bacon. He could care less if she does him wrong, but just wants his due from her.
In looking through his roster of musicians, he had a couple that stood out for me. There were two keyboard players on the song, one goes by the name Booker T. Jones and the other is Isaac Hayes. The rest of the band were all Booker T. & the MG’s band members except for the horn section, they were not part of Booker’s band.
Continue reading “The Original Vs. The Cover – “Respect””
Happy Friday. Not a ton of releases that have caught my attention this week. There are two that I will be diving in to and they are at opposite ends of the spectrum for sure. There are a couple more I will try out eventually, but the first two will get most of my attention. All the releases I will be checking out are highlighted in Blue. Take a look around and see what else you might like and let me know in the comments. If you want to see all the new releases coming in the universe over the next several weeks (or months), CLICK HERE.
- James Bay – Electric Light – (Republic Records): Finally, the super talented James Bay is back with his sophomore release. Is the sophomore jinx in place or not, we will have to hear it first to decide. I have heard three singles so far and the first was completely different than his last album which can be good and bad as you don’t necessarily want to alienate the fans you built off that sound. The next two were a little more in the wheelhouse we expect. He is a great songwriter, singer and guitar player so we will check this out. In the meantime, have a glass of “Pink Lemonade”
- Five Finger Death Punch – And Justice for None – (Prospect Park): Now for the other end of the spectrum, there is Five Finger Death Punch. The music is just that, a death punch to the face. Every now and again, I like it hard and I like it loud and this is exactly what I need right now. So prepare your ears to be decimated.
Continue reading “Friday New Releases – May 18th”