The Black Crowes – Hard to Handle
On a recent Rolling Stone podcast, Chris Robinson talked about Otis being a major influence and there was no way he would want to or could cover “These Arms of Mine.” Robinson had always been a fan of this lesser know song and chose to cover it for their first album, Shake Your Money Maker. Personally, I went decades not knowing this song was a Redding cover and with a browse of this YouTube video’s comments, many are like me.
Elvis Presley – Hound Dog
Elvis was known for stealing covering and purchasing the rights to a lot of songs. He infamously tried to purchase “I Will Always Love You” from Dolly Parton who was one of the very few that told him, “No.” Fast forward a couple decades and Whitney Houston made Dolly millions. Big Mama Thornton is one of the truest OGs influencing all the major blues artists we know that influenced the Beatles, Rolling Stones and Elvis. It’s so refreshing and illuminating listening to the rawness of these very early recordings of Black music.
UB40 – Red, Red Wine
If you’ve seen the movie, Saving Silverman, then you already know Neil Diamond is the greatest song writer of all time. I could do an entire article on just Neil Diamond, shit, which I will do.
The Doors – Back Door Man
There’s a common theme going here with major rock bands covering old school Blues songs. Howlin’ Wolf of course is at the top of the food chain when it comes to the original Blues artists. The Doors added such a unique take on Howlin Wolf’s version they seem like two completely different songs. They’re both so great in their own ways.
George Thorogood – One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer
This song is one of those gems that had multiple legends cover it. John Lee Hooker made this song notorious in 1966, but the original artist, Amos Milburn, wrote it 13 years earlier about “a guy in a bar at closing time trying to get enough booze down his neck to forget that his girlfriend’s gone AWOL.” We’ve all been there.