THE ORIGINAL: Eddie Floyd (1966)
This is another textbook example of the power of Stax Records – the slow and hard groove that’s perfect for dancing by yourself or with a partner, the horns, and the lyrics that don’t pussyfoot around.
Eddie’s vocal is perfect. He’s not begging or yelling about the woman he loves to have sex with. He’s afraid of how much she loves him, and he keeps it real.
I want you to listen to this as loud as you can and dance around to it. It will make you smile.
THE COVER (#1): Otis Redding & Carla Thomas (1967)
This cover has the same Stax band and arrangement as the original, but two dynamic vocalists work this song harder than the original with this driving, uptempo version. They divide up the lyrics and sing them to each other, instead of a man singing about a woman.
I wish I could have seen this live, because Otis and Carla kick ass here. I can imagine them onstage, giving each other the business!
Now, I want you to listen to this as loud as you can and dance around to it. Your smile will be bigger.
THE COVER (#2): Amii Stewart (1979)
This song starts with what sounds like someone clanging a fork on a drinking glass, then you hear loud thunderclaps and electronic zaps that are supposed to be lightning. It takes off like a rocket, with a big, thumping, 4/4 disco beat that cannot be stopped.
Amii’s vocal is as clear as a bell, and she’s selling it hard, like she’s in a Baptist Church, especially when the church chorus comes in, repeating, “Think I’d better knock, knock, knock on wood.”
You can’t help but get up and jump around when you hear this, which is why I play it at every DJ gig I have. Eight to 80-year-olds just love it.
Take a listen and you’ll be transported back to Studio 54 in no time, with the biggest smile on your face.
WHO DOES IT BETTER?
Eddie keeps it real and matter of fact. Otis and Carla bring the heat. Amii whips you into a coke-fueled frenzy.
It’s a three-way tie! I dig them all the most.
NOW YOU DECIDE!