Wednesday, December 2, 2009

ROCK Sex: "I'm A Man" - Bo Diddley > Muddy Waters > Spencer Davis > Chicago > Devo

ROCK Sex gives you the rewind of the throughline!

Here's how the declarative statement, "I'm a Man!", took some terrific and unlikely paths.


Bo Diddley was inspired by the riff and swagger of Muddy Waters' Hoochie Coochie Man" (1954) to rewrite it as a youthful boast:

BO DIDDLEY -"I'm a Man" (1955)

Muddy Waters was a labelmate with Bo at the legendary Chess Records. He responded with a wry wink in this response:

MUDDY WATERS -"Mannish Boy" (1956)

Later, as a generation of rock groups kept homaging his work, Waters responded by re-recording his song in an Acid Rock style:

MUDDY WATERS -"Mannish Boy" (1968)

Acolyte JIMI HENDRIX can be heard in this candid studio jam taking that further:

JIMI HENDRIX -"Mannish Boy" (1966?)

Jimi also used the phrase "I'm a man/ at least I'm trying to be" to kick off his song, "Steppin' Stone".

Coming round lately, here's BLACK STROBE (France) merging the tough Blues with a touch of Electronica:

BLACK STROBE -"I'm a Man" (2007)

Taking the electronic angle to fruition, here's perennials DEVO protesting violence against the common people:

DEVO -"Don't Shoot (I'm a Man)" (2008)

On a parallel track, The Spencer Davis Group, propelled by the soulful organ and vocals of young Steve Winwood, kicked out the jams with this proto-Funk classic of their own:

SPENCER DAVIS GROUP -"I'm a Man" (1967)

Here's organist Mick Weaver, working under the band name WYNDER K. FROG, tearing up the party some more:

WYNDER K. FROG -"I'm a Man" (1967)

And here's how many people know the song, in this stellar cover by the emerging band CHICAGO, with lead guitar and vocals by the late Terry Kath, along with bassist Peter Cetera:

CHICAGO -"I'm a Man" (1970)

The song was done in Disco versions by the appropriately named MACHO from Italy in 1978, and by rocker KEITH EMERSON for a 1981 film soundtrack.

Lately the song has been covered by these Texican brothers:

LOS LONELY BOYS -"I'm a Man" (2008)

© Tym Stevens

See Also:
-The Real History of Rock and Soul!: A Music Player Checklist

-ROCK Sex: "I'm A Woman"

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