Friday, 9 December 2011

Johnny Kidd gets Fulminated - Baroness Thatcher will be pleased


"A Shot of Rhythm and Blues" was originally cut by country soul singer, Arthur Alexander in 1961 (released in the UK a year later). What's now probably his most famous record, "You Better Move On"  - which practically half of Britain covered at some stage - was on the other side (the other half of Britain did a cover version of "A Shot of Rhythm and Blues").

The first version of the song I heard was by Johnny Kidd and the Pirates - and it's still my favourite. (The B-side was a cover of Bo Diddley's "I Can Tell", my version of which I posted a few days ago.) For those who didn't catch my post on the late, great Mr. Kidd, he was about as cool as it got in Britain before The Stones and The Beatles showed up - for instance,he was the first British recording artist to regularly cover tough US R&B hits in a convincing manner. He really should be more celebrated.

I first worked on the track last week, but it sounded a bit dead. Since then, I've discovered how to download songs from Garageband without the stuffing being knocked out of them (the secret turns out to be to do the opposite of what the Garageband Help section recommends) - and I've been experimenting with the various master settings on GB. The downside is some distortion: the upside, I hope, is an audible increase in liveliness.


  1. Good job! I thought the lead breaks were just great! You still need to get that high pitched squeal in somewhere, but otherwise pretty good vocals too. Definitely a catchy version.

    My favourite number by Johnny Kidd was always "I'll Never Get Over You". A real classic in its day. I always enjoyed watching him on Top of the Pops with his eye patch!

  2. Thanks, TropicalRob - I copied the guitar breaks straight off the record, and think I almost got them right, despite not having a very good ear for that sort of thing. I'd always assumed the guitar part was played by Joe Moretti, who played on "Shakin' All Over", but it was Mick Green, who led the revamped Pirates when they re-emerged to enjoy unlikely success in the Punk era. "I'll Never Get Over You" was - I seem to remember - Johnny Kidd's last record to chart. Anyway, I'm glad there some of us who still remember him - the eye-patch, as I'm sure you know, was fake: how people suffer for their art!