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What does it take?

Junior Walker and Jon Anderson of Yes on the same stage?

What?

This particular song happens to be an addiction of mine, so just for good measure, I’ll throw in a couple of inferior but interesting alternate versions.

Here’s Alton Ellis’s reggae version. (Or maybe it’s rock-steady or proto-ska or something. I don’t know. Ask somebody else.)

Carlos Santana, from 1982. A little too laid-back for me.

Garland Jeffreys, from around the same time period. Better than Santana’s, but still kinda slick and polished.

B.J. Thomas (B.J. Thomas?) Five points to Beej for interjecting “C’mon, blow it for me” instead of “Gonna blow for ya,” which rings false coming from any singer who doesn’t also blow horn.

The Fifth Dimension. This is better than I would have imagined, maybe because it’s a lot like Junior Walker’s version, except tricked out with a couple extra voices.

The Electrifying Cashmeres, whom I know nothing about except that they have the best name of any act in this blog post (even though I almost called them the Electrifying Cashews by mistake). The frontman gives it plenty of post-Otis Redding uuuhhhhh!, which works for me.

(For the record, that weird spliced-in James Brown owwww! at 1:35 or so is present in both YouTube videos I found, and presumably on the original record as well.)

Finally, Motherlode from Canada, with a version that sounds like Sugarloaf, or the Sanford-Townsend Band, or someone like that:

There are a bunch of smooth-jazz versions on YouTube, too, but you’re gonna have to find those yourself.

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One response »

  1. +1 for mentioning Garland.

    Reply

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