Wednesday, March 19, 2014


You know Little Richard, you know his rockin' sides and, if you've been hanging around here for any length of time, you know he's royalty in these parts. Absolutely, the shit. Because he recorded so much essential early rock 'n' roll, there is a tendency to overlook his later stuff. I'm guilty of that. Whenever I see anything that isn't on Specialty, I don't exactly recoil, but I don't go running either. I just don't cut him enough slack. The guy raised his bar, his rock 'n' roll bar, so high, that it's hard to listen to his other stuff objectively, particularly if you tilt toward wild stuff. 

But, damn, today I heard him doing a Don Covay song, "I Don't Know What You Got, But It's Got Me", that, if it was done by anybody else, would be seen as the great, great record that it is. I'm sure Covay's version kicks ass. But I gotta tell you, this Little Richard version, the raw production of it, and the spare instrumentation (guitar, bass, drums sax, and a little organ) and the pace just kinda sucks you in. Being Little Richard, he does of course insert some tomfoolery, in this case an extended melodramatic monologue, in which, in just over a minute, he manages to name-drop himself in the third person about a half dozen times. The guy just can't help himself. Even with that, if this song was by anybody else, the soul mob would be doing backflips. That the guitarist on it is a pre-fame Jimi Hendrix (1965) is icing on the cake. His work on this is just tasty enough, and remarkably restrained, particularly knowing what he was capable of.

Little Richard - I Don't Know What You Got, But It's Got Me mp3 (via DivShare) at On The Flip-Side
NOTE: Once you get to DivShare, click on the green "Download" button, and scratch your head for fifteen seconds while the timer counts down. When the button reappears, you're good to go. (From On The Flip-Sides post, click on the streaming thing where it says "share", a "download" button will appear. Click on that and it'll take you to the DivShare page.)
More Little Richard- If you need a rock 'n' roll chaser, scroll down to the older posts. A lot of the links are still good.

1 comment:

Strontiumchin said...

Nice track.... legends at work...