Cover Versions, Gone but not forgotten, Hard-to-find, Sampled

A Right Coupla Tramps

Now and again I’ll get emails from people requesting stuff. Sometimes specific (“Got any Mogwai outtakes?” – Nope.) Sometimes more general (“Can you re-post that (insert anything from the past 3 years) please – Come on! Gie’s a break! “More Smiths!” “Radiohead!” “White Stripes!” “More soul please!”) OK! OK! More soul I can do. I like my soul music a lot. I think I have all the relevant bases covered in my collection. Just to make sure, I listen every Saturday night to Craig Charles‘ excellent Funk and Soul show on BBC 6 Music. As it says on the tin, the show covers a whole range of funk and soul, from the rarest northern to the most commercial Motown, the downright wilfully obscure and elitist to the phatest tooth-loosening funk-heavy slab of right up to date contemporary release. It’s probably my favourite show on the radio, ideal for cooking to if the mood takes me. You’d like it. Click on the link above and give it a try.

Otis Redding and Carla Thomas.

Anyone know who the piano player is?

Nothing particularly obscure and elitist here though. I’ve had a bit of a Stax attack recently. My 9CD 68-71 Complete Stax/Volt Singles Box Set has been given a good going over and Carla Thomas & Otis Redding‘s Tramp has had a fair few plays. When you hear the pistol crack drums and tight-as-a-teenage boy’s trousers horn section, it’s no surprise to learn it’s been heavily sampled by hip hoppers across the globe. Especially as there’s an instrumental version that made it out the Stax vaults a few years ago. The piano riff, with it’s big bluesy bass notes really does it for me. Who says white men can’t dance? If you want to listen to the complete track, here it is. If you fancy a bit of bedroom remixing, here‘s the instrumental track.

Tramp was also covered by Lowell Fulson. A fairly straightforward rendition, it’s still worth a listen. The guitar sound during the solo on Lowell’s track reminds me a lot of this…

‘Baby Let Me Take You (In My Arms)’ by the Detroit Emeralds. I posted it a while ago, and I’m putting it back up purely because it’s a stone cold soul classic. It’s maybe not a piece you’re familiar with, but you’ll certainly recognise it. Doing their best John Peel impression, De La Soul took the intro, played it at 45 instead of 33 and used it as the basis for their ‘Say No Go’ single. You can read more about De La Souls’ other sampling delights here and here. And before you ask – Sorry. I cannae re-post the files. They’ve been missing since the internet police found them and nearly closed this blog down. Hence the reason I don’t re-post old stuff. The Grinch, that’s what they call me at home.

PostscriptI’m A Numpty

Oh dear! Thanks to the ever vigilant amongst you I now know that;

1. That’s Booker T in the picture above. How could I fail to recognise the greatest ever organ grinder alive? Duh.

2. Lowell Fulson wrote and recorded the original version of Tramp. Otis & Carla’s version is, indeed, the cover version. Oops. 

My team of highly paid researchers are at this moment being emailed their P45s. Thanks to James and Cold Iron Kevin who pointed  this out.

3 thoughts on “A Right Coupla Tramps”

  1. That straightforward ‘Tramp’ cover by Lowell Fulsom? That’s actually the original. Otis and Carla remade the song that Fulsom had co-written and recorded first.

  2. Aye, I commandeer the DAB radio on saturday nightshifts at work for the Craig Charles Funk and soul show…so once a month i get to hear it, and aye this saturday as well…yes XMAS NIGHT..instead of playing Ker-Plunk or Mousetrap (unhappily the guys wouldn’t take me up on the naked Twister) i’ll get to listen again…..did you get to hear the Allstar Funksoulorchestra band or whatever they were called that done the live session the other week…had me gyratin’ around the bloody control room….

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