Cover Versions of #1s – CCR & The Slits

Last night I did two cover versions of the same band; tonight it’s two cover versions of the same song! Onwards!

‘I Heard it Through the Grapevine’, by Creedence Clearwater Revival – 1970 album track

(Originally a #1 in 1969, by Marvin Gaye)

Before we go any further, I don’t claim that any over version of ‘Grapevine’ is an improvement on one of the most perfect pop songs ever recorded. But these two gave it a right old go… First, Creedence, with an epic eleven minute take on it, from their ‘Cosmo’s Factory’ album. Does any song really need to be eleven minutes long? No, probably not. But the band sound so in-tune, firmly lodged in their groove, that we can indulge them. The first four minutes is the song, what remains is a jam session based around that timeless riff. It was eventually released as a single, in 1973, but couldn’t breach the US Top 40.

‘I Heard It Through the Grapevine’, by The Slits – reached #60 in 1979

Shorter, though not exactly sweeter, post-punk band The Slits give us an oh so sarcastic rendition. When lead singer Ari Up sings I’m just about to lose my mind… you can’t tell if she’s walking away grinning, rolling her eyes, or preparing to launch herself at her dirty, rotten ex. Plus, the bass line here is really cool.

Two final covers up tomorrow!

8 thoughts on “Cover Versions of #1s – CCR & The Slits

  1. With CCR you said they are “lodged in their groove” and that is exactly what it is a great 11-minute groove. It’s like being hypnotized… you have to keep listening to it.

    I like the other version also thought I never heard it…it’s a fun quirky take.

  2. There’s also the Gladys Knight cover, very funky, and which Motown released first, shockingly thinking the classic definitive version lacked something. Berry Gordy often got it wrong! 🙂

      • Looks like – it says here – The Miracles first recorded it in 1966, but that didn’t come out till 1968 as an album track! Then Marvin recorded his version in early 1967, and that came out as album track in summer 1968, and DJ’s started playing it, forcing Gordy to release it as a single. Then the funky Gladys version was recorded and released as a single and a huge US hit (and UK minor success). Biggest-selling Motown Record – until Marvin Gaye’s version overtook it!

  3. Oh dear GOD…I lasted about 30 seconds with The Slits. Just…no…

    Marvin, Gladys, CCR, Smokey, the California Raisins…much better. Then, there is this. It’s not a cover but, it’s an early MTV video with Felix Montano, supposedly doing this as a soundtrack promotion for The Big Chill:

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