This is one of the great songs from my youth. Originally done in 1966 by the Australian band The Easybeats, it has been covered by innumerable artists since then.
I woke up this morning with this song on my mind, but since it’s been less than a year since I published The Easybeats’ version, I went looking for the best cover of the song. I listened to versions by Bruce Springsteen, David Bowie, Peter Frampton, Gary Moore, and Richard Thompson, all of which were good in their own ways, but I chose this version by Earth Quake, a relative unknown.
Originally Purple Earthquake, the band drew its influences from rock and blues bands of the 1950s and 1960s, such as the Kinks, Muddy Waters and the Yardbirds, and played clubs and ballrooms in California in the late 1960s. They got a recording contract with A&M Records, where they released two albums, Earth Quake (1971) and Why Don’t You Try Me? (1972) but with little commercial success.
After experiencing frustration at what he saw as A&M’s incompetence in handling the band, and winning some compensation for the unauthorized use of their music in the movie The Getaway, their manager set up Beserkley Records, where they recorded four albums. The band split up in the early 1980s.
To me, their adherence to the sound of the original song was a decisive plus. But I’m stuck in my ways.
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