Monday, October 19, 2009

Compare and Contrast (An Occasional Series): Part II

And speaking as we were last time of white boys covering Bobby Womack -- and because commenter Walking Oliver, Ltd asked for it -- please enjoy Bobby with The Valentinos and their epochal 1963 r&b hit "Lookin' for a Love"...

...and then from their 1971 sophomore album, it's The J.Geils Band with their blues-rock take on the song, a staple of their live act for years.

To be honest, I'd never heard the Valentinos record until last week (Womack, of course, had a gorgeous solo hit with a 1974 remake), and the Geils cover has always been a favorite of mine. On reflection, however, as much as I enjoy the way the Boston Jewish kids turned the song into a party anthem, I have to admit -- the original has oodles more soul.


Walking Oliver Productions, Ltd said...

Many thanks, Steve! I enjoyed both of those. And not to be too pedantic but since you mentioned the soulful quality of the Womack recording, it's a pretty clear distinction between a good R&B record and good rock record. Both satisfy in their own way but one is more about feel and heart and the other more about changes, guitars and a back beat.
Great stuff! Thanks again. :-)

Cleveland Bob said...

It's always amazing to me how many of those '70's groups found dusty tunes from the doo-wop era and made made them party songs/albums.

J. Geils was a huge hit here in Celveland via Kid Leo and WMMS. Springsteen and Southside Johnny fared pretty wel here due to the same radio station.

Noam Sane said...

Here's a link to mp3s of a recent (2009) J Geils show in Detroit

Soundboard, and the band sounds fine.

Remakes of old soul tunes are a losing proposition, but Geils play 'em as well as anyone.

I only saw them once, at a racetrack in the 70s on a bill with Blue Oyster Cult and Foghat. I'm sure much warm Genny Cream Ale was involved, though I don't really remember.

dSmith said...

I think I remember reading that "I'm Looking for Love"
was originally a gospel song called "I Heard Somebody Pray" also by the Womack Brothers. There was a big rift in the family when the brothers started doing secular music.