Baby here I am I’m a man on the scene
I can give you what you want but you gotta go home with me
I have got some good old lovin’
And I got some in store
When I get through throwin’ it on you
You gotta come back for more
‘Throwin’it on you?’ Ha! This song has it all: good groove, ballsy feel – and more than a touch of good old male sexual braggadoccio. In other words, the perfect rock song! But it’s not a rock song at all, or at least it wasn’t initially.
In fact, Otis Redding co-wrote it and it was released in 1968 after his death. Frankly, I did not become all that familiar with this song till I heard the Black Crowes’ version. (The Grateful Dead had been doing it but I wasn’t a super-big fan of theirs. But see below). Here’s Otis:
While Otis’ version has a nice horn-driven groove I greatly prefer the Black Crowes’ balls-to-the-wall take on it. (Although the more I listen to Otis the more I’m diggin’it.)
Where Otis states his case, the Crowes make it sound all the more urgent. With the jacked-up tempo, the guitar solo – and the aforementioned male bullshit swagger – I consider this to be a practically perfect rock song. (“Despite having exactly no evidence to support my case, baby, I can love you better than THAT guy. Darlin’ I just KNOW it to be true”).
Action speaks louder than words
And I’m a man of great experience
I know you’ve got another man
But I can love you better than him
I mentioned that the Dead did this song for years. I vaguely remember having heard it when I started looking for a third version. When I started listening to it, I thought, hmm, they’re “Deadifying it.” And they are. And it’s really good. Nice shuffle groove to it. This goes way back to ’71 because singer Pigpen left us in ’72. Garcia finds the blues on this one.
Boys – they run along a dime by the dozen
That ain’t nothin’ but drugstore lovin’
Hey little thing let me light your candle
‘Cause mama I’m sure hard to handle now
Yes, I am
What’s your vote on this one? And is there any more important word in rock, soul and blues than – baby?