This is my first COVER vs COVER! It was pitched to me by my Z Review colleague and all around nice guy, Dan Bukszpan. This song was written by Paul and John, in the same room and right in front of Mick and Keith! The story is that The Stones were looking for songs, and Paul & John wrote one on the spot for them.
THE COVER: The Rolling Stones (1963)
This opens with a few measures of a Bo Diddley beat before Mick and Brian start singing. Wyman’s bass is the loudest thing in the mix, and it moves this song along like a locomotive.
Brian’s slide guitar glides along, and Keith’s rhythm guitar is lost in this horrifically muddy, yet sharp and fuzzbox-y recording that sounds like the studio was in a sardine can at the bottom of a sink full of dirty dishes.
There’s no real production here, someone just flipped on the switch of the tape machine. This is gritty and slightly annoying because of the lack of a recording engineer, which is a bummer.
THE COVER OF THE COVER: The Beatles (1963)
The Beatles followed the Stones’ arrangement pretty closely, but jump right in with Ringo shouting his face off doing the lead vocals, Paul and John do the louder and more harmonized background vocals. Paul does a lot of shouting and hooting, his Little Richard imitation.
This version is super snappy-peppy, driven by the bashing and slamming drums — lots of cymbal action — the lead guitar with lots of Tremolo happening, hand claps and a Hammond organ in the background that was played by George Martin.
The sound is brighter and cleaner, because it was really produced by Mr. Martin, and this version is just more fun. You can envision those old black and white videos of British chicks, twisting so hard in their Kitten heels that they’re wearing grooves into the dance floor, and then almost trip over them, losing their balance.
WHO DOES IT BETTER?
I have to give it to the Beatles. If the Stones had recorded this better, it might have been a tie…no it wouldn’t have. Just the sheer force of Ringo’s super-hyper-enthusiastic shouting/singing makes the Beatles version better! I put on my Kitten heels and did the twist for a half hour, and I know you will too!
NOW YOU DECIDE!