It was interesting to be reminded from the dusty memories of my youth where The  Fabulous Thunderbird’s song came from originally – Sam & Dave. This is a whole different thing – very funky; produced and recorded in Memphis at the legendary Stax Records.

From the  Wikipedia article on Sam and Dave: “Wexler wanted the Southern roots and gospel style of their live performances [on their records], so the pair were loaned to Stax to record, although they remained Atlantic Records artists. According to Wexler’s autobiography Rhythms & Blues, “Their live act was filled with animation, harmony and seeming goodwill. I put Sam in the sweet tradition of Sam Cooke or Solomon Burke, while Dave had an ominous Four Tops’ Levi Stubbs-sounding voice, the preacher promising hellfire.”

No doubt about it; they were a real double threat, very soulful! When you add the horns and steamy Stax production, you have something that is irreducible.

The Thunderbirds version is a great interpretation; nice pop music. It’s a little more “cool” maybe, benefiting from updated production values, clean elocution, good singing – Kim Wilson at his most soulful. Keyboards and Jimmy Vaughn’s guitar play the horn parts. It’s my favorite Thunderbirds track.

Listen to the Sam & Dave original here.

Watch and listen to the Thunderbirds version here.

But the Thunderbirds’ video is kinda sleazy, yo! The message I get is, “If women are attractive, seductive – and put out – they will be rewarded materially.”    I think we’ve all heard that too many times. And you know what? It’s a really sucky, unfair message. To me, the video diminishes the music.

*

So… two kind of different things, but the original here gets my props. Who would you have rather seen live – Sam & Dave at their height? Or the Thunderbirds? Don’t answer, it’s a rhetorical question. And not to belittle the Thunderbirds – good music is always at a premium.

*

If you enjoyed this post, please leave a comment.

//