Saturday, November 1, 2014


Let's make this brief and to the point.

Two versions. 

One song. 

You pick one.

If you think this is foolishness, these are the delinquents who started the insanity:

Far Away Series


If you like the idea, check out these enlightened blogs:

Tossing It Out

Your Daily Dose

Curious As A Cathy

The Creative Outlet of Stratplayer

The Sound Of One Hand Typing

Before he changed the music business in 1975 with Frampton Comes Alive, Peter Frampton was a featured player on another classic live album, Humble Pie's Rockin' The Fillmore.

The closing song on that 1971 album is "I Don't Need No Doctor," an FM radio rock staple that showcases Frampton's exceptional guitar talents. 

The song fell short of the top 40, peaking at #73, but has become the band's signature tune.

Here is that classic rock gem.

Now what many do not know is that the original version of this song was released a few years earlier (1966) by Ray Charles. 

The song was written by Nick Ashford, Valerie Simpson and Jo Armistead. 

Interestingly enough, Charles' version stalled one position below the Humble Pie version, at #74. 

Here is Ray's original.

This version is really not meant to be part of the BOTB, but I thought you might find it interesting to know Styx also covered the song on their 2004 release, Big Bang Theory, although they are clearly covering the Humble Pie arrangement.

You know the drill, comment, vote, I'll mock your choice and basically one tune will win, although there's no prize for winning.

I'd say we'd take the losing band out and have them flogged, but both Steve Marriott and Ray Charles are reading this right now from the afterlife, wondering why the heck I think I'm so amusing. 


  1. I've been a longtime Frampton fan and my friends and I used to listen to a lot of Humble Pie. I remember going to see the band when they played Knoxville. They really rocked.

    I've never been much of a Ray Charles fan and this version of "Doctor" is in the vein of songs he does that I don't particularly enjoy hearing.

    Hit the road, Ray, I'm voting for the rocking Humble Pie.

    Ah, those were the days!

    Tossing It Out

    1. Lee-

      I only saw HP once, when they reformed (sans Frampton) in the late seventies, and I used my trusty fake ID to see them at a club in Philly.

      I loved the show, having been a fan of the band since their first incarnation. My oldest brother played Frampton's solo debut, Wind Of Change, to death, which is how I got into Frampton, and then a little digging led me to Humble Pie. I got the Fillmore album as a 1974 Christmas gift.

      So while I do like Ray, this is a case (like my last BOTB post) where I think the cover version is the signature version.

  2. Well, LC, you certainly found two very dissimilar versions to put up against each other.

    Humble Pie plays the kind of stuffs I liked when I was in high school but which I lost my taste for a few years later. Today it just sounds to me like English blokes masturbating on stage. (Well, how I imagine that might sound, I mean.)

    I'll take the Ray Charles version. It's funkier and it gets to the point and knows when to stop.

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

    1. See my comment to Robin below (when I opened the window it put me at the bottom, so I started answering from the bottom)-same thought process-hard to fault you for picking Ray.

      One of the reasons I posted the Styx version was I have always wish the Pie had done a studio version without the long soloing...Styx did a good job of capturing what I think that might have sounded like, but since they didn't really vary from the Pie arrangement, I did not see them as a serious BOTB choice.

  3. I liked the Ray Charles version of this song much better. I think it comes down to whether you like the hot guitar or the soul music. Turns out, I am just not a hot guitar fan. Or maybe that song just went on too long for my taste. Not really sure. But the Ray Charles version made me want to sing along (no way could I sing along to that first one!). So, I might be saving him from a shut-out (because I imagine many folks will like that Frampton version), but this girl will take some Ray Charles.

    1. I don't understand it-I have been singing along to that first version since around 1974...and probably did not hear the Charles' version until I saw the film Ray-if it was earlier, it was probably not a whole lot earlier, so the Pie version had a two decade head start.

      But I certainly cannot fault you for liking you some Ray!

  4. I never thought I would say this... I like the Styx version best. Although Ray would be second.

    1. Interesting Alex, since I think Styx pretty much did a note-for-note cover of the Pie's cover...unless you just don't like HP's sound.

  5. Humble Pie is definitely classic rock. Love it. I'm also a fan of Styx and Ray Charles; but I listened to the entire 9 minutes of Humble Pie. Perhaps Frampton makes them the clear choice, but they certainly had my interest.

    1. You have to love Frampton's guitar work.

      It is a long version, which I was worried would turn some off (and a couple comments confirmed that concern).

  6. Ahhh, *blush* I don't like the song! And, I have NEVER heard it before now. I am so ignorant when it comes to music sometimes. I remember Peter Frampton and I did like him as a teenager, but I do NOT remember this song. Putting aside for the moment that I'm not overly fond of this song or that I do not remember it I think I can chose between the two, though.

    The original is nice. I like Charles' jazzy style. However, I think Frampton's cover barely squeezes Charles out of the running and that's only because I like Peter's music over all better. My vote goes to PF!!

    1. Huh? Ya don't like the song?

      Somebody get Cathy a doctor!

      Humble Pie was a true band, with Frampton handling guitar duties, so this predated the music you're familiar with. I remember getting the album back when I was a yewt, and being surprised that it sounded nothing like the Wind Of Change album that accidentally made its way from my brother's stack of records to mine when he went off to college.

  7. Well if I was in a purple haze fix laying on some matress digging the amazing guitar of Frampton, I would pick the first one but it went on forever and it is actually not my style although the guitar, as I said, is unmatched. I prefer the Ray Charles version. It is quick and to the point although he probably did need a Dr at that time or Betty Ford

    1. You're not the only one turned off by the long version

  8. I gotta go with Mr. Charles. There probably was a time when PF and Humble Pie did it for me, but not today (or anywhere in the next few decades). I like the funky jazz sound of Ray length of the two versions notwithstanding (is that really all one word - oh well, it is here and now.)

    BTW - did you really call me a delinquent? Ha! I guess in reality I have been called worse.

    1. I have a shirt that reads "if it's too loud you're too old."

      I'm just sayin'...

    2. Now you're calling me an 'old' delinquent?

    3. Wow...I could swear I just felt myself getting slapped upside the head!

  9. If that's considered nine minutes of onstage masturbation, then just call my listening experience an eargasm. Give me Frampton or give me death.

    1. Keep in mind that The Carpenters are his favorite rock band....and he considers the Coven song "One Tin Soldier" to be heavy metal...

      But for me the Pie version takes me right back to my early teenage years...and it's still "a gas!"

  10. See, here's the problem I have with Peter Frampton (and a lot of the "guitar heroes" I had in my teen years)... with hindsight, and greater music awareness and knowledge that came to me over the decades, I realized that those guitar heroes weren't really all that great.

    Oh, sure, they could play well enough, for Rock noodling and getting into girls' panties, but they were pretty mediocre - and often kind of boring - when compared to real masters of the electric guitar.

    I remember when I thought the 3-lead guitar playing in Skynyrd's 'Free Bird' was awesome. Today it bores me right into Zzz-mode. So many of those 1960s and '70s guitar players were overrated and were simply recycling the same licks over and over without coming up with anything truly unique stylistically or creatively.

    Peter Frampton, Alvin Lee, Ritchie Blackmore... whatever. Heard it all a gazillion times. (Now David Gilmour and Mark Knopfler had unique sounds; it wasn't just the same ol', same ol'. Knopfler could play circles around Frampton, and he could get to the guitar point in well under 9 minutes.)

    Gary Moore, once he got his head out of the stale Thin Lizzy-like Hard Rock trap and started to incorporate some blues licks and a little more originality into his playing, reached a point where he could blow Frampton off any stage anywhere:

    And DANNY GATTON would blow Peter Frampton AND Gary Moore off the stage:

    I'm just sayin' that as I got older and was introduced to more types of music (Wes Montgomery anyone?), I wasn't nearly so easily impressed by all those dime-a-dozen loud, 100-note Rock noodlers like when I was a yewt.

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

    1. The operative words being I got older

      Actually, I never liked the Free Bird solo-especially the live version which went on for almost an hour when I saw them (with Frampton, actually).

      So much of music is really taste, and your tastes changed. Mine broadened-changing but not at the expense of my earlier tastes-so I still enjoy the Humble Pie song.

      I would argue that rock is not so limited as you posit, but a lot of the more creative output is a sub-genre (progressive) that you dislike.

      As we've often discussed, good guitar playing is not just about quick fingers, the really good players get emotion across in their playing (maybe that's why Clapton's nickname is "Slowhand")

      The argument of "blowing off the stage" just feels like another way of saying "your band sucks" or "my band rocks" to me.

      I do not think there's any dispute about Frampton's popularity in the mid-70's, when a lot of acts had the chance to "blow him off the stage.".

      Or was there a Danny Gatton show in front of 100,000 people that I missed

      I was at two Frampton shows at JFK Stadium with audiences that size-and he stayed on stage the whole time (Yes and Skynyrd were the support acts, respectively, and they may have huffed and puffed, but all it did was make his purple hair wave in the breeze).

      There is a lot of guitar work on Frampton's part that I am suspecting you've never heard that is quite emotive (less flashy)-but what got played on the radio is what most people heard-still good guitar work, but geared towards a young rock audience.

      But at the end of the day, we can argue who is better, we can argue technique, we can argue whose tastes are more sophisticated or eclectic, or we can cite chart positions, record sales, concert attendees, and two simple facts remain.

      (1) It comes down to what you like

      (2) You still owe me two Blizzards


    2. Hey, Stephen-this is probably not news to you, but there is a book about Danny Gatton called "Unfinished Business-The Life And Times Of Danny Gatton."

      In case ya didn't know...

    3. Actually, I did NOT know about that book, but I am definitely interested in getting a copy and reading it.

      One more observation about the guitar playing - which I didn't touch on previously - and then I'll move on to the next person in line for me to pester...

      There's also a rhythmic sense that is missing with a lot of those Hard Rock guitarists of that era. If you listen closely to the 3 songs I posted URLs for, although there is a lot of blazing speed to be heard (especially in the Gatton tunes, who was faster on the fretboard than ANY OTHER guitarist I've ever heard), more importantly there's a lot of rhythm being played, even in the lead solos.

      Gatton, for example, will play a lead but it has a groove that underlies all the flashy top notes, and usually each solo section he plays seems to arrive at a certain rhythmic point. Then perhaps the drums will come in, or the horns will play a number of bars. And then when Gatton's guitar takes over the lead again, he's starting from a new Point A and grooving toward a rhythmic conclusion for this new segment.

      And this is basically what I'm referring to when I call the '70s Hard Rock guitarists "noodlers". The playing is like a plate of spaghetti with a bunch of notes run together with no real rhythmic pattern or sense of traveling to a musical destination in each soloing segment. The notes just kind of go willy-nilly anywhere until it's time for the 10-minute drum solo. (Ha!)

      This is not true of ALL the guitarists of that era, of course. I mentioned Knopfler and he had a very pronounced rhythmic sense (and was technically damned impressive the way he would weave notes in and out with such flexibility). That solo in The Eagles' 'Hotel California' is nearly as rhythmic as it is searing; despite being a lead solo, it has a melody to it. A lot of Jeff Beck's playing still impresses me greatly (especially his Jazzier tracks) - he's one player I do NOT think was overrated back in the day.

      And that's what I DON'T find in so much of the over-the-top "guitar hero" playing in the late '60s and '70s - a rhythm and musical destination in their soloing.

      Lastly, while my taste in music did change considerably as I got older - it became much more expansive and I began to notice nuance and melody and the creativity of arranging the instruments - I would not say it was "at the expense of my earlier tastes", because I do STILL really dig some of what I loved as a teenager (e.g., some Golden Earring, Nils Lofgren, David & David, even those first two Bruce Springsteen albums), but I did become much more selective. Bands that once wowed me, like Styx and Thin Lizzy, no longer impress me; they seem too basic and one-dimensional.

      Anyway, thanks again about the heads-up regarding the Gatton book. I am absolutely interested in reading that.

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

    4. We've covered this before, and while I'm poking a little fun atcha, I get what you are saying and really do not disagree.

      While I'll still listen to those acts that once made me sit in awe, I see the same thing in many of them.

      Heck, I'd figured out the Styx formula right when they released "Pieces Of Eight," and even in Bruce it was a formula, so by "Born In The USA," I was not as interested.

      What kept me a Rundgren fan all these years was his refusal to stick to the formula, even though the songs that came from his formula were usually my favorites.

      I am not as familiar with Gatton. While I picked up the two disc set as your recommendation, as you know I purchase so much music these days I don't listen as repeatedly as I used to.

      Furthermore, despite the "old" joke I zinged at you, I am right up there, and music simply does not sink in for me as readily as it used to.

      If you ever get a chance, check out Frampton's recent album Fingerprints, an instrumental affair that shows the side of him I do not think you have heard.

      Unrelated comment-just last week I was talking to someone, and it was a replay of a conversation we've had more than once-while I wish I could, I am not ready to call an end to the Patriots as a dynasty yet.

      And look what they did to Denver.


    5. PS-Boomtown came out in were well beyond teenager-hood by then!

    6. LC ~
      Well, I was using the word "teenager" as a euphemism for the more general word "yewt". But technically, you're right, I was years past my teenager stage when David & David released 'BOOMTOWN'. So, scratch DAVID & DAVID off my list and in place of them add the Beach Boys... and Simon & Garfunkel... and Paul Simon as a solo artist... and Traffic... The Eagles, The Doobie Brothers, Pink Floyd, Steely Dan, The Babys, Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers, War, Manfred Mann's Earth Band, Bob Dylan, Chicago, Waylon Jennings, Warren Zevon, Dire Straits, and Rickie Lee Jones. (Yeah, I checked the math and I bought Rickie's first album about 2 months before I turned 20.)

      Hmmm... Come to think of it, maybe I ain't so selective after all.

      I'll see Spotify includes the Frampton album 'Fingerprints' and if so, I'll give it a listen.

      And as for the NFL... who the hell can figger it out this year? Very little of it makes sense to me from week to week. And the Airheadzona Cardinals are 7 and 1? If that's not a sign of the End-Times, I don't know what would be!

      ~ D-FensDogg

    7. Do you like Spotify?

      There's an industry guy whose blog I follow that is high on it...and I am thinking it may be a good idea for me to consider, especially for the types of things I listen to once and stick on a shelf.

      Couldn't resist pointing out the David and David thing...

      I do it to my friend DFLY all the time, because he keeps telling stories from the late 90's and referring to that as "two years ago."

      I'll be curious what you think of "Fingerprints." I'd be stunned if Spotify does not have it, although I just read where Taylor Swift pulled all of her music from the service. So you missed your chance on her stuff....

    8. Yeah, I do like Spotify, for the limited way I use it. You can pay, like, 9.99 a month (I think) and get all your music commercial-free, and there are probably some other benefits for a paid subscription that I'm unaware of.

      But I've signed up solely for the free service, which means I'm required to listen to a 30-second commercial every 4 or 5 songs or so. No big deal to me. And you can store music in certain files there, and let Spotify select songs randomly for you to hear based on other music choices you've made.

      I mostly use it at work though, because half of my shifts are spent at the desk monitoring security cameras, so I can select an album and let Spotify play it while I'm sitting there.

      What they have is pretty hit and miss, but I think they're adding new stuff all the time. Some musicians, however, like Taylor Swift, as you mentioned (oh, well, I guess I'll have to find a way to live without her, which won't be easy but...), and apparently Bob Seger (who is another musician you can add to that teenage list that's still valid for me today) don't want their music included.

      [They don't have Peter Frampton's 'Fingerprints', but they have the album with that same title by Larry Carlton, whose 'Fingerprints' album I'd probably like better than Frampton's anyway.]

      I'm like you though in that if I REALLY DIG a certain album, I'll want a hard copy of it on CD, with the liner notes, etc., and not just some computer music file of it.

      But the last two nights at work I spent listening to Rickie Lee Jones' 1984 album 'THE MAGAZINE'. I'd forgotten how much I liked that back then and now I'm thinking I ought to have a CD copy of it. (So, letting people hear your music free on Spotify CAN lead to CD sales for the artists!)

      This morning, while composing comments on my blog... and yours, et al., I was listening to RLJ's 2003 album 'THE EVENING OF MY BEST DAY' which I'd never heard before. I was digging it right away, which I didn't expect. So now I'm thinking I'll listen to it again a few times and could even wind up buying a copy of that one, too.

      I'm sure there's no Dylan music on Spotify because he's such a cheap bastard and thinks every YouTube video featuring a song by him is costing him a potential sale.

      Sometimes though it's a matter of finding the right word combination to search Spotify with. It's like doing a Google search in that the same words put in different orders sometimes give different search results. But I know there's no Seger originals, just knock-offs and Karaoke versions.

      Spotify is better than NO Spotify, but its usefulness to me is limited. To you it would probably be even less useful. But it IS free, and it could save you money by hearing some albums before deciding whether or not to plunk bills down on the counter to obtain a CD copy.

      ~ McDogg

    9. I may have told you this-but the first time I went on Spotify I did a search on Todd (who else) and got only a handful of songs.

      This industry guy used to run a label, and he was so high on it that I tried again on a Saturday, and spent a few hours and was pretty impressed with the depth. I thought I'd seen Seger, but it must have been the knock-offs you refer to.

      The artists do get paid by Spotify, I think they just object to the rate. What I think they are missing is that this will be the future, so to fight it is a mistake. Maybe not for Seger-he's nearing the end of his career (I think he said he's done touring and that the recent album is his last)-so maybe he figures the additional revenue is not worth compromising his principles.

      But for a Taylor Swift, not even 25, she's going to have to face the fact that CD sales are going to keep going down-young people, unlike you and me, do not care to own the CD, they just want to play it on their phone or computer.

      I do not think I'd use Spotify to replace my collection, but there are an awful lot of titles that I may listen to once every ten years....and probably will stream them at work off of my cloud storage why bother with storing the CD, uploading it to the cloud, etc when I can just play the album on Spotify and suffer through a commercial or two.

      It saddens me that young people do not know the experience we do, of listening to their music through a real stereo rather than on a computer file with 1/10 the fidelity. But that's the way things have gone, and I doubt Taylor Swift, even if she is cute as a button, is going to change that.

      I am still amazed that DVD's seem to be a booming business, although I wonder how long that will last.

      In fact, you're the one who opened my mind to the idea of streaming-when you introduced me to Netflix.

      Movies, to me, are the ULTIMATE fodder for a streaming service. How often will you watch it, and why bother getting up to take it off the shelf when you can push a couple of buttons and watch it right on the TV through the magic of a $50 Roku box?

    10. LC ~
      >>... It saddens me that young people do not know the experience we do, of listening to their music through a real stereo...

      Yeah, better sound and... you can't crank a computer or iPod "up to eleven". I mean, you can try but it's just gonna be more distorted than loud.

      Plus, you and I like to absorb the whole experience, by reading liner notes, music credits, etc. I learned an awful lot about music just from album (and CD) liner notes alone!

      >>... Movies, to me, are the ULTIMATE fodder for a streaming service. How often will you watch it...?

      I own quite a few movies on DVD now, and in hindsight I see where it wasn't necessary to have purchased SOME of them. (Like, how often am I really going to watch 'Support Your Local Sheriff' and 'Support Your Local Gunfighter'? But I got them both used and therefore cheap, so it wasn't really a bad deal.)

      But there are some movies that I do watch so often that it makes sense to own them. 'THE WILD BUNCH' I almost always watch once or even twice a year. 'KOYANNISQATSI' I'm liable to pop in the player ANY time. Also, some of the more obscure movies may become harder to find as time goes on.

      But what I've found were really good investments for me were TV series DVDs, some Concert and Sports DVDs, because I watch those quite often. A lot of times, if I've just got a spare 30 minutes to kill, I might pop in a Bob Dylan or Pat Metheny DVD to watch and hear a few songs before I have to leave the house for some reason. Or I might have just enough time to watch an episode of 'FRASIER' and laugh myself silly.

      Incidentally, I spent most of today listening to that Rickie Lee Jones album 'THE EVENING OF MY BEST DAY' while fooling around on the computer and doing laundry at the house.

      Do you have that CD? If not, you might want to listen to it on Spotify and see what you think. Man, I am SHOCKED by that album. It's like no other RLJ album I've ever heard: Parts brassy Jazz; parts grungy, guttural Country Blues; some distorted angry-sounding Blues-Rock; and even a couple tracks that sound like Rickie Lee Jones.

      I'm already hooked on this thing! I had it playing repeatedly but I kept having to go to the computer to check because I'm thinking: That CAN'T be Rickie Lee Jones! That's not her voice at all.

      So I'd double check and sure enough, it's RLJ.
      This has to be one of her very best albums! No, not as good as the first two, but something COMPLETELY DIFFERENT and damned good, with hooks and passion. I think you'd really dig this album after several listenings, giving yourself time to believe and accept that this is indeed RLJ.

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

    11. I do have "Evening Of My Best Day." Haven't listened to it since that week we went and saw her, but remember liking it.

      Sadly, she stopped getting any kind of publicity whatsoever by the mid-80's, and has put out a couple of solid efforts recently that no one has heard of.

  11. Ah, yes -- I remember the Humble Pie version of this song well. It was a staple of late-night FM when I was starting to get into music.I enjoy the rough, rock 'n' roll anthem feel, and the guitar playing by Frampton is fun and blazing. From a guitarist or rocker perspective, it would definitely be my favorite, although the lead-singer caterwaulin' does little for me..

    But the Styx version doesn't really add anything to the Humble Pie version -- what it gains in production it loses in energy and the rush of a live performance. So I'll remove it from consideration.

    Howerver -- while I definitely enjoy the Humble Pie version, as I've gotten older, I've realized that -- *Gasp* -- there's more to music than just rock strut and blazing guitar. These days, I often connect more with subtle soul and groove than I do with testosterone-fueled fretboard frenzies. Which brings me to the Ray Charles version. Here, the groove and the feel is everything. The bombastic rock anthem is now a funky, grooving love song, which is what it's supposed to be.

    Although that jerky phone video is horrible, I vote for Ray.

    By the way, I looked on YouTube and found this version of Ray doing it live:

    It's much better than the phone-recorded 45 record, especially with the audio crap from moving the phone all around.

    1. Chris-

      What I would say, I've already said a bunch of times-while I also like the RC version, I still feel that the Humble Pie version is the definitive one for me.

      Agree on the Styx version-I like it because it gives a glimpse of what a Humble Pie studio version might have been.

      Right before he died, Marriott and Frampton were working on a record. To my knowledge, three songs exist, and were great. Gone were the "swagger for swagger's sake" from their earlier work-all three songs were works from men who had been around the block a few times, and in my opinion, the resulting album would have been a masterpiece..

  12. Well, I'd have to say, I got bored halfway through Humble Pie. Ray wins this one easily for me.

    1. You're just following the crowd!

    2. I expected a return volley-just kidding, of course-if you read my responses above, there's not much else I could say that I haven't already said.

      I am surprised how many people seemed unfamiliar with the song-it was definitely a radio staple in Philly...

  13. Great song. Thanks for sharing them.

  14. I'll vote for Humble Pie, but it was close. Ray Charles has that sound that I am more drawn to these days.

  15. Ray Charles, no question. His style matches better with the song. Humble Pie did a good version, but I like Ray's better.