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Today’s SotW is another installment of the “Evolution Series.” The subject song is “Somebody Help Me.” It was written by Jackie Edwards, a Jamaican ska artist that was popular in the early ‘60s. He was an early “discovery” of Chris Blackwell, the founder of Island Records.
Edwards’ release of “Somebody Help Me” was on a 1966, UK album called By Demand. It has a big band sound, complete with a strong horn arrangement.
Blackwell signed The Spencer Davis Group to Island in 1964 and introduced them to Edwards’ songs. They released “Keep On Running” and “Somebody Help Me,” both #1 hits in the UK. In the US, “Somebody Help Me” only reached #47 in mid ‘67. But it shoulda been a bigger hit here too!
This take is more rock oriented and features guitar, organ, and percussion to emphasize the rhythm.
The Everly Brothers picked up on the cut and released their own take on their album Two Yanks in England (1966). This one also relies on power chords from the guitars but also highlights the Brothers trademark close harmony.
All three versions maintain the spirit of the song, yet each also highlights the unique personality of its recording artists.
Enjoy… until next week.