The last post felt like work-these two didn't. It's better when they don't feel mandatory.
It works pretty simply.
Two (or, in today's case, three) versions of a song, and you, the unsuspecting reader, pick the one you like best and say why in the comments.
If you think this is a pointless exercise, blame these two bloggers:
Far Away Series
STMcC Presents BATTLE OF THE BANDS
If you like the idea, these guys are bandwagon jumpers like me:
Tossing It Out
Your Daily Dose
And those who came after:
Curious As A Cathy
The Creative Outlet of Stratplayer
The Sound Of One Hand Typing
Today's post was sparked by a recent Stephen T. McCarthy post (which I am pretty sure was recycled....figures a guy who used to work on the TV show MASH would subject us to reruns).
A lot of rock and roll guitarists cite Robert Johnson as a key influence.
Legend has it that Johnson sold his soul to Satan to obtain his musical talent, and his music, recorded on low fidelity euqipment in hotel rooms, has certainly endured.
As an itinerant musician who played mostly on street corners or in juke joints, Johnson saw little success in his lifetime.
The release of King Of The Delta Blues SIngers in 1961 brought his music to a wider audience. Eric Clapton has called Johnson "the most important blues singer who ever lived," and one of his earlier hits (with Cream) was a Johnson cover ("Crossroads"), and he has returned to that well many times, including an entire album (Me And Mr. Johnson).
While it's not my favorite Johnson song, I thought "Crossroads" might be the best choice for today as Clapton's version will be the most recognizable to those not familiar with Johnson.
Here is the Robert Johnson original. Try not to let the fidelity of the recording sway you-it was recorded in 1936 in a San Antonio hotel room.
Here is the Eric Clapton/Cream cover from Wheels On
And finally, here is Todd Rundgren's version from Todd Rundgren's Johnson, his album of RJ covers.
Todd described the album more as covers of British rock guitarists covering Johnson rather than a tribute to the blues legend himself (since RJ's recordings were all acoustic).
You know what to do and where to do it.
I could spend the next several years featuring covers of Johnson tunes-while Johnson only recorded a couple of dozen tunes, I own a much larger selection of albums by a wide range of artists devoted to his songs.
But let's see what people think about this one...