THE ORIGINAL: Paul Revere and the Raiders (1966)
Here’s another mind blower. I’m sure you thought the original was by the Monkees, but you’re wrong!
You already know the song. This original version has a lot more yelling in it by the lead vocalist. The arrangement is pretty soft and sparse, the keys are kind of quiet, the fuzz on the guitar is turned way down and the backing vocals are like a cotton ball and sound like they were recorded in a cave.
This isn’t good. I can see why it wasn’t a hit, especially after you hear the Monkees do it.
THE COVER: The Monkees (1966)
Now, this is a much better version of the song. Despite the fact that this was recorded when Don Kirshner ruled the band – meaning that the only Monkee listed on this cut is Micky Dolenz and the other musicians are from Don’s stable.
This starts out with the little hit on the snare with a loud and driving bass line, with the backing vocals that sing the chorus, with Micky on top. He sounds really great here — I’ve always thought he is one of the most underrated singers in Rock and Roll history — his voice is strong and angry, like he’s actually singing it to some slutty chick who thought she could walk all over him.
WHO DOES IT BETTER?
Obviously, Micky and the session musicians did it better. Just listen to the two versions back to back and you’ll see, Paul Revere and the Raiders had a bona fide hit on their hands, and they blew it.
NOW YOU DECIDE!