Everybody Loves to Write about "To Love Somebody"

After Chris’s excellent post on the Bee Gee’s “To Love Somebody” and its covers, I couldn’t resist popping over to Wikipedia to get a list of other covers and then to MOG to listen to them. Wikipedia’s list has some hilarious artists covering it, and for once Mog’s library failed me in ways that please: thank the heavens they don’t have Billy Corgan’s or the double evil of Damien Rice WITH Ray LaMontagne’s version (!?!).

But after having listened to Chris’ versions (of which, I agree, Dara Puspita’s is the highlight) and a dozen more, the song itself still remains incapable of being ruined. Yes, even Bonnie Tyler’s “screaming equals passion” version, Michael Bolton’s douchebag version, Lulu’s just plain worthless version, and The Animals’ House of the Rising Suck version (amidst countless other middling ones) could not fool me into thinking that this song isn’t superb. As country, rock, R&B, or Indonesian garage, it excels.

Given my recent Booker T & the MGs post, it should be no surprise that one of my favorite covers involves Booker T & The MGs. And given my recent countrification, the second shouldn’t be a surprise either. Thanks, Chris, for shining a certain kind of light on this great song. I make no apologies for posting Rod Stewart.

Rod Stewart, “To Love Somebody w/Booker T & The MGs (Early Take)”

Flying Burrito Brothers, “To Love Somebody”

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5 Responses to Everybody Loves to Write about "To Love Somebody"

  1. Heh. I was going to check out the Booker T & and the MGs version myself when I saw it existed, but Rod Stewart made me drag my feet about it. He murdered (in the bad way) Curtis Mayfield’s “People Get Ready,” and I’ll never forgive him for it. So thanks for doing the legwork.

    But I wasn’t going to look for the Flying Burrito Brothers’, and it turns out that’s the one of these two that I really like. The song’s definitely well-suited to the slide of the lap guitar.

  2. David G says:

    I can’t really blame you for that: Rod Stewart is a bit of a song-ruiner. But I do dig the organ on the track.

    I agree that the FBB version is rad, rad, rad. You can come over and listen to it on the roofdeck (if we ever get one, looking less likely now, sadly).

  3. material lives says:

    Man, you guys obviously aren’t women. Also, how awesome is the name the Flying Burrito Brothers? Although I don’t care about their cover.

  4. Pingback: Everybody Loves to Love Somebody in Italian | Noise Narcs

  5. Dan says:

    I think Gram’s stamp of approval helped legitimize this great song for country bands everywhere, but it’s funny that the song’s Wiki page lists covers by both Parsons and the FBB — I think only one recording exists, of a rehearsal demo. In which Gram doesn’t quite remember the words. Oh well, same with Rod … although his lyrical changes are good enough.
    I really love the Rod/Booker T. version, it’s played straight, soulful, emotional – it’s right up there with Nina Simone’s for me. Don’t hate on Stewart – and especially his early work – for what he’s done since going Disco.
    PS – Slobberbone’s is pretty good, too.

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