Original v. Cover — #3 of a Series

(midnight. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

Jumping Jack Pictures, Images and Photos

The featured number this week was released on May 24, 1968, and was referred to as “supernatural Delta blues by way of Swinging London” by Rolling Stone.  This song was hailed as evidence of the band’s return to their blues roots after the psychedelia of their preceding albums.  This hit reached #1 on the UK charts, #3 in the United States, and was the most played in concert of this group’s extensive and impressive repertoire.  

In 2004, Rolling Stone rated this song 124th on its list of 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.  In March, 2005, Q Magazine placed this superhit at #2 in its list of 100 Greatest Guitar Tracks. VH1 placed it at #65 on its show “100 Greatest Rock Songs.”

So, without further ado, the featured original this week is the Rolling Stones’ “Jumpin Jack Flash.”  

Here’s the original version from 1968 by the Rolling Stones, along with a fascinating slide show:

George Harrison and Friends performed a great cover version at the Concert for Bangladesh, held on August 1, 1971 at Madison Square Garden.  Among the friends:  Leon Russell, Eric Clapton and Carl Radle.

“Jumpin Jack Flash” comprises about the first four minutes of this medley:

Here’s one of Johnny Winter’s many great renditions of this song, assisted by Dr. John on piano and vocals. Look for a bit of a surprise from 6:45 to 7:30 mark:

And for just a slightly different twist, check out this interpretation that includes the incomparable Aretha Franklin AND Keith Richards appearing with Whoopi Goldberg in video footage from the 1986 film, “Jumpin Jack Flash”:

Is the Pony/Pie/Hide rating system too cutsie?

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  1. by groups such as AC/DC, Guns N’ Roses, Thelma Houston, Tina Turner, Elton John, Motorhead, Elite Beat Agents, Bon Jovi, the Progressive Blues Experiment and many others.  

    Some versions were not chosen for the final four because, in the opinion of this writer, they seemed to too closely resemble one of four already presented here, or the sound quality was lacking.  

    Perhaps the version that most differs from the others presented here is one by Ananda Shankar, Ravi Shankar’s nephew.  No, Ananda did not learn to play from his uncle.

    Granted, there is at least one other cover that may compete for these honors, a 1968 instrumental rendition featuring brass and the Hammond B-3 — by Wynder K. Frog.  

    I’ve surely overlooked some great versions, not having time to review the literally hundreds out there in cyberspace.

    As always, please feel free to add your favorites.

    • justCal on December 12, 2009 at 5:31 pm

    Keep ’em comin’.

    Had to go with The Stones on this one.Sometimes the original is hard to beat.

    Here’s one of my fav’s from proto-rocker and all around wild man Louis Prima.

    And a great cover from The Brian Setzer Orchestra.Nice sax solo at about the 50 second mark.

    • justCal on December 12, 2009 at 6:56 pm

    I couldn’t resist putting up one more set.

    A few days ago RiaD put up this excellent Allman Bros. cover of that wonderful and timely old blues standard “Nobody Knows You”.

    That’s all it took to get me started and I came up this:

    First the original from the great Bessie Smith,the first artist to break the “race records” color line.

    Next Alberta Hunter creates a teachable moment.

    Here’s some nice guitar work by Josh White accompanied on vocals by his strikingly beautiful daughter Judy

    B.B.King brings it home with some solid keyboard backup.

  2. no band will ever top that original

    I’ll go back a little further that the big band swing era (although I luvs me some Louis Jordan), back to the awe inspiring song Amazing Grace. I wont post the original because, well, what was the original, but I’m sure you’ll get a kick, or is that a dropkick?, from this version.

    The band is Dropkick Murphy’s from the Boston area. A buddy of mine saw these guys in a pub in Chicago and turned me on to them. The song has a hard driving rockin’ rhythm with a bagpipe for the lead, yes a bagpipe, and it is awesome. You’ll have to listen closely to hear the vocals, they were intentionally muffled.

    I’m going to have this played at my funeral.

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