2nd Anniversary Special! Cover Versions of #1s Part III – Mae West

It’s two years since I started this blog and I’m exactly 250 number ones in! To celebrate, I am doing a week-long special: cover versions of #1 singles! Whenever I write a post, I not only discover and enjoy the #1 singles, I also often discover and enjoy other recordings of these hit songs.

Our next two covers come from a lady not best known for her recording career… the one and only Mae West. (Is that a pistol in your pocket, or are you just pleased to see her…?)


‘Day Tripper’, by Mae West (1966)

(Originally reached #1 in 1965, with The Beatles.)

After spending decades scandalising and chucking saucy bon-mots around like confetti, the Queen of Camp turned to rock ‘n’ roll. Bear in mind that she was seventy-three when she recorded this… I love that she is now the ‘big teaser’, the one who only does one-night stands. And check out the scuzzy solo mid-way through, accompanied by some lascivious moans…

‘Great Balls of Fire’ by Mae West (1972)

(Originally reached #1 in 1958, with Jerry Lee Lewis.)

A few years later, she repeated the trick. This one isn’t so much a cover version as a re-imagining, with some ridiculous new lyrics: My bells they ring when you shake that thing… Sung by a woman born in 1893. Both this album, and ‘Way Out West’ are surprisingly good, and not completely tongue in cheek. She also does a rocking version of ‘Shakin’ All Over’, and an outrageous re-write of ‘Happy Birthday Sweet Sixteen’. I’ve gone for ‘Great Balls of Fire’, though…

All together now: You shake my nerves and you rattle my brain, I just adore your sensational frame…

Phew. I’ll give you time to recover, and see you tomorrow for two more…


3 thoughts on “2nd Anniversary Special! Cover Versions of #1s Part III – Mae West

  1. This shocked me…she sounds good! I never knew she covered any songs like this…this is great. I like her early movies also…
    Just never watch Sextette…well it has it’s moments…Keith Moon and Alice Cooper are in it with Mae.

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