It’s Covered: For What It’s Worth
Sorry about the lack of posting yesterday, but I fell a bit under the weather, as it were. Of course, dear ol’ Ma immediately thought it was swine flu, but I’m pretty sure it was just an alien exploding in my gut. I’m all better now, though, thanks for asking.
Though written and originally performed by Stephen Stills as part of Buffalo Springfield in 1967, the song has since been covered by any number of artists. Probably owing to its funky bass line, it’s seemingly a standard now on the groove circuit. Everyone seems to think it’s a Viet Nam protest song, but Stills maintains it actually was written in reaction to cops fucking with club kids back in the day. And you thought your parents weren’t just as much a bunch of punks as you fancy yourselves. Think about it.
A quick, meaningless aside about Buffalo Springfield, first. BS is the only way I can stomach Neil Young. There. I’ve said it. His nasally delivery is like my aforementioned alien birth, but in my audio canal versus my stomach. If the Mynah Birds (Neil’s prior band) had managed to keep Rick James in their line-up (swear to Dolemite; see for yourself), I’m sure I would have felt differently, but there you have it.
Anyway, where was I? Ah yes, the grooveliciousness of “For What It’s Worth.” Well, instead of me just rambling on, let’s get into it, shall we? In addition to the original, today we’ve got the following menu items. Keb Mo’ puts his spin on things, adding a bit of additional soulfulness to the procession. Next up is a Sergio Mendes and Brasil ’66 cover that probably is going to free your mind, with little doubt that your ass will follow. If it is humanly possible, an arguably even funkier version by Sex Mob. It’s instrumental, and it’s not just awesome, but it’s amazing, too. And just to muddy the waters even further, Public Enemy’s slant, wherein Chuck D. was able to get Stephen Stills to re-record the bridge.
And that, children, is all you need to keep your rainy days funky. But since I’m in a giving mood, you probably want to hear the Muppets version, too. At heart, I’m a reductionist–all incredible music that predates the early 90s has to be featured prominently in either a Muppets or Looney Toons feature.