Friday, November 25, 2011

David Bowie: Knock on Wood

Although Eddie Floyd co-wrote the song with Steve Cropper and released it originally in 1966, his version only topped the charts at only #28. Years later, Amii Stewart had a number 1 hit with song and I remember vividly playing this hit version at WAMX. Between those releases, David Bowie recorded a live version in 1974 from his LP “David Live.”

In the UK, the song was released as an “A” side with “Panic in Detroit” as the flip; however, in the US, “Knock on Wood” was released as a flip to “Young Americans” – “do you remember your President Nixon?” I really like Bowie’s treatment of this old Stax/Volt classic. If you are wondering who played the killer tenor sax parts, it was the great David Sanborn. I had a chance to meet Sanborn in 1982 when he opened for Al Jarreau in Pittsburgh. A real classy guy.

Other top musicians on this cut include Earl Slick on guitar, Herbie Flowers on bass, Michael Kamen on keys, and Tony Newman on drums. There were others, but those four along with Bowie and Sanborn make up the cast of the better known performers. I’m not sure why RCA didn’t pursue this as an “A” side in the US. It was top 10 hit in the UK and Norway and peaked at 4 in the Republic of Ireland. For our purposes, it is our Friday Flipside.

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