Musical Monday: Cover songs #11

I’ve started 2023 with a series of my favourite cover songs. It’s quite amazing how many artists cover one another’s songs. Sometimes they’re not artists you might expect, sometimes they are.

I Just Don’t Know What to Do With Myself written by Burt Bacharach and lyricist Hal David was first recorded by Chuck Jackson in 1962. The song was then recorded, also in 1962, by Tommy Hunt and released as single which didn’t chart. The former version was shelved and remained unreleased until it appeared on a 1984 compilation where, according to the sleeve notes of that album, Jackson’s vocals were substituted for Tommy Hunt’s while the original backing track was retained.

UK singer Dusty Springfield whose first solo recordings had included covers of the Bacharach/David compositions  Anyone Who Had a Heart and Wishin’ and Hopin’  – had brought back I Just Don’t Know What to Do with Myself from an overnight trip to New York City where she met up with Bacharach in February 1964.

I Just Don’t Know What to Do with Myself was Springfield’s first UK single release to display her signature vocal style; rising to number 3 in the summer of 1964 the track remained Springfield’s highest UK Singles Chart hit, until she reached number 1 in 1966 with You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me, which was Springfield’s only UK solo hit to chart higher than “I Just Don’t Know…”. Her version didn’t chart in US.

In 1966 Dionne Warwick recorded I Just Don’t Know What to Do with Myself which was a moderate success reaching number 26 on the US Hot 100 and number 20 on US Hot R&B.

These two weren’t the only covers but a more surprising version is that by American alternative rock band The White Stripes released in September 2003 which reached the top 40 pretty much everywhere. The accompanying black-and-white music video, directed by Sofia Coppola, cinematographed by Lance Acord and choreographed by Robin Conrad, features British model Kate Moss pole dancing in black underwear.

Which version do you prefer? Let me know below.

16 Comments on “Musical Monday: Cover songs #11

  1. I loved Dusty Springfield! Preacher Man and I Only Want to be With You are my all-time favorites songs. What a voice she had.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It has to be Dustys version for me but I love the White Stripes and their version with a hard edge is just so different 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What a great idea for a blog post series! Dusty’s original gets my vote. The White Stripes’ version isn’t one of their finest hours… Very sad that we lost Burt Bacharach recently.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I remember most all of these, BUT here is the question I have never found an answer to: why do they call a musician doing a song that someone else did first a cover? What is getting covered and why does it need to be covered? When did it get uncovered? Never has made sense to me, so any help will be appreciated.

    Liked by 1 person

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