Spencer Davis Group
Listen – Spencer Davis Group – Every Little Bit Hurts – MP3
Greetings all, and welcome once again to the ‘Intersection of Iron Leg and Funky16Corners’.
The selections I bring you today – here and over at my funk and soul blog Funky16Corners – are two versions of the same song that I found during a recent vinyl excavation. Neither one is rare, but I think you’ll agree that they are both outstanding.
The original version of ‘Every Little Bit Hurts’ was recorded by the artist featured at Funky16Corners, Brenda Holloway (make sure to head over and hear her original version), first for Del-Fi, and shortly afterward (and to much greater success) for Tamla/Motown in 1964.
The version featured here is a cover of the tune from the following year by the Spencer Davis Group.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock somewhere, you’ll probably already be aware of the Spencer Davis Group via their huge, mid-60’s hit ‘Gimme Some Loving’, the opening riff (and wailing organ) of which have become something close to musical shorthand for that decade. That, and the fact that the band was the starting point for the career of an otherwise unassuming Birmingham (UK) teenager named Steve Winwood.
The Spencer Davis Group was formed in 1963 in Birmingham, with Davis on guitar and vocals, Steve Winwood on keyboards/guitar/vocals, his brother Muff on bass and Pete York on drums. They had their first hit (in the UK) with their cover of Jackie Edwards’ ‘Keep On Running’ in 1965, and first hit the US Top 40 with that same song in January of 1966.
They recorded their cover of ‘Every Little Bit Hurts’ for their first UK LP in 1965 (where it was a hit) but the Spencer Davis Group recording of the song wouldn’t hit the US until it was included on their second US LP ‘I’m a Man’ in 1967 (the single actually charted briefly in Canada early that year).
The Spencer Davis Group take the tune at a slightly slower pace, with Winwood’s soulful vocal and piano taking the lead. Their interpretation of the song is a great exaple of UK musicians infatuation with American soul music (the song was also covered by the Small Faces). I’d even go as far as to say that Winwood’s interpretation is a touch bluesier that Holloway’s original.
Ironically, by the time US audiences were hearing Steve Winwood sing ‘Every Little Bit Hurts’, he had already been playing with Dave Mason, Jim Capaldi (from Deep Feeling) and Chris Wood (from Locomotive), and would shortly leave Spencer Davis to form Traffic. The Spencer Davis Group would continue to record and play without Winwood, and like the Tremeloes (without Brian Poole), and the Mindbenders ( without Wayne Fontana), their later recordings are actually pretty good. Not long after the formation of Traffic, both that band and the Spencer Davis Group would appear side by side on the soundtrack to ‘Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush’.
As always, I hope you dig the tune, and make sure to head over to Funky16Corners to check out the original version by Brenda Holloway.