Friday, June 25, 2010

Cover Your Tracks: Taj Mahal, "Take A Giant Step"

Originally written by famed 60s hitwriters Gerry Goffin and Carol King (the same team known for such immortals as "Up On The Roof", "Will You Love Me Tomorrow", "One Fine Day", and many many others), this track was first recorded by the Monkees in 1966. Their version is upbeat but pretty slight (and I say this as a Monkees fan), a chipper throwaway. Blues handyman Taj Mahal recorded it first with his little-known band Rising Sons (which also featured Ry Cooder), but that version, while gruffer and bluesier than the Monkees', still sounded a little off. The third time was the charm: rerecorded for Taj's 1969 Giant Steps, it became a gentle stroll, an invitation to better days. This was on almost every mixtape I made in college.

Taj Mahal covers The Monkees' "Take A Giant Step":

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