Sunday, August 1, 2010

The Spectres: (We AIn't Got) Nothing Yet

I was looking for a cover song last night when my brother called and we got into a conversation about the Blues Magoos and their song “(We Ain’t Got) Nothing Yet” from their LP “Psychedelic Lollipop.” We agreed that it was one of the greatest rock riff songs ever. Well, since it is "Covers Monday," I had to find a re-recording of this song and the British band the Spectres released their cover in 1967 to compete with the original by the Blues Magoos.

While the Blues Magoos original charted in the UK, it did not generate the interest that it did in the US where the song peaked at #5. The Spectres' (who lated became Status Quo) version failed to chart; however, their cover was musically close to the original. Unfortunately, the vocals and overall production of the song was lackluster at best. It's worth a listen for historical purposes.

The Blues Magoos’ original

As you listen to this stereo version from the Mercury label release of “(We Ain’t Got) Nothing Yet,” you can hear the superior production. The glue that holds this song together is the Vox Continental Organ and the hook is the riff.

Riff What Riff?

Did the riff originate with the Blues Magoos? Some would suggest no as Ricky Nelson used it in his version of the old Gershwin/Heyward tune from “Porgy and Bess.” Nelson recorded the riff four years before the Blues Magoos. Musical plagiarism or coincidental inspiration? You be the judge. It also has guitar elements that sound like Johnny Rivers as well.

What Comes Around Goes Around

If the Blues Magoos ripped off Ricky Nelson, then it stands to reason that someone would rip them off – and they did. In 1970, Deep Purple released their song “Black Night” as a single. It did quite well in their homeland charting at #2, but failed to make the US top 40 when it peaked at #66. In fact, the whole song was borrowed from other artists. The title came from an Arthur Alexander song and the songs tempo was inspired by Canned Heat.

No comments:

Post a Comment