I loved Bill Withers. Lean on Me is an amazing song. But when John Legend covered this song with the Roots some years back I was surprised because it was powerful and unforgettable and I didn’t know it. Thinking about politics and music making lately, I’m not sure there is much value in trying to change minds, but this tune is a testament to deep feelings that affected us all once upon a time. Beautifully.
Never heard this before and it might be the best anti-war song I’ve ever heard. Beyond agit-prop to the real. It belongs in the movie version of The Things We Carried. A book crying our for a movie BTW.
As a musician, I wish the backup vocals developed as the song goes on. That had to be a conscious decision, to keep them so repetitive.
I know the Carnegie Hall album pretty well, but it just occurred to me that he says they recorded the song. I’d love to hear the studio version of this. If you’ve seen the Still Bill documentary, you know he’s written and recorded music since his last album in 1985 too. How great would it be to hear new Bill Withers?
I thought the line….. getting shot at didn’t scare him but the getting shot really shook him up was such a powerful statement. They just threw those boys out there with some adrenaline and patriotism but reality set in very quickly.