Dec 022011

Our recent wake for Andrea True and her disco classic, “More, More, More,” exposed one of the finer things about the song: its use of the cowbell. This lowly instrument has been the butt of Saturday Night Live skits but over time has made a resounding impact on the rock world. I ask you, can we list all songs that feature a cowbell? And can we determine, once and for all, what was the first song to highlight its use?

I’ll start us off with Ian Drury‘s “Reasons To Be Cheerful”


  89 Responses to “Last Man Standing: The Cowbell”

  1. Mississippi Queen – Mountain

  2. tonyola

    Chambers Brothers – “Time Has Come Today”. This song is also the clear winner in the Most Blatant Overuse of Cowbell category.

  3. Lest we forget the song on which the SNL skit was based:

    “Don’t Fear The Reaper” by Blue Oyster Cult (formerly the Soft White Underbelly).

    If I knew how to create the umlaut above the O in Oyster, I would. Forgive me misterioso.

  4. shawnkilroy

    it’s all over the first Motley Crue album.
    Every song, probably.
    (sorry no umlauts!)

  5. hrrundivbakshi

    Come on, people! Number one iconic use of cowbell in rock history: “Honky Tonk Woman.”

  6. hrrundivbakshi

    #2 Iconic use of cowbell in rock history: “We’re an American Band.”

  7. I give you Heads, Hands and Feet’s Warming Up the Band – featuring Albert Lee on slide

  8. Great skit!

  9. ladymisskirroyale

    Mr. Royale and I were betting which would be the first song posted and he thought it would be this one. Thanks for putting our minds at rest.

  10. mockcarr

    You Can’t Do That by the Beatles.

  11. The cowbell rattle in Big Star’s “In the Street.”

  12. BigSteve

    It makes a crucial appearance in the chorus of the immortal You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet:

  13. The Beatles, “A Hard Day’s Night.”

  14. The Beatles – Drive My Car

  15. pudman13

    “Come Back And Take This Hurt Off Me” by the Small Faces. Best use of cowbell ever, and it dates back probably to 1965. Must be pre-dated by “You Can’t Do That,” though.

  16. Maybe my favorite Small Faces song!

  17. Hugh Masekela – “Grazing in the Grass”.

  18. Don’t forget the two-armed cowbell assault in Def Leppard’s “Rock of Ages”

  19. Funk 49 — The James Gang. Joe Walsh says he getting them back together again.

  20. mockcarr

    CCR – Down On The Corner

  21. cliff sovinsanity

    Working Too Hard by The Beat(Paul Collins). I never get tired of this one.

  22. “It’s So Easy” Guns & Roses.

    Kilroy is on to something, it’s all over those party-boy hair metal tracks.

  23. ladymisskirroyale

    I like this one a lot:
    Liquid Liquid’s “Optimo”

  24. bostonhistorian

    The Dirtbombs “Do You See My Love” is cowbell heavy….

  25. trigmogigmo

    Me neither! A lot of awesome crammed into 1:57.

  26. Working for the Weekend – Loverboy

  27. Dear Lurker who texted me:
    Come on, log on and step up to the mic!

    I’ll use your suggestion if you still want to remain in the shadows but this is a great opportunity for you to bust out of your cocoon and real your self as the rock nerd butterfly that deep down inside you know that you are.

  28. Cool, that may be the first reported “offlist text!”

  29. ladymisskirroyale

    Beastie Boys: “Hey Ladies”

  30. Nazareth “Hair of the Dog”

  31. H. Munster

    Procul Harum “Whiskey Train”

  32. ladymisskirroyale

    David Bowie – “Diamond Dogs”

  33. H. Munster

    CCR — “Born on the Bayou”

  34. Ah man, I was seconds away from playing that song this morning!

  35. ladymisskirroyale

    Michael Jackson – “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough”

  36. H. Munster

    Ricky Nelson — “Hello Mary Lou”

  37. ladymisskirroyale

    Oh, that could be our earliest example!

  38. ladymisskirroyale

    Evil Ways – Santana

  39. “Gold Dust Woman”

  40. H. Munster

    Robin Trower — Lady Love

  41. Gimme Three Steps – L Skynyrd

  42. H. Munster

    I just discovered a website devoted to cowbell songs.

    I propose that we limit our submissions to songs not found on the list there. I’ll start with “Watermelon Man” by Mongo Santamaria.

  43. The Roots – Without a Doubt

  44. H. Munster

    The Hollies — “Jennifer Eccles”

  45. H. Munster


  46. H. Munster

    I have a couple more that I’d hate to see go to waste. I’ll start with:
    “Tell Me All the Things You Do” from Fleetwood Mac’s “Kiln House” album.

  47. H. Munster

    “Dirty Boulevard” — Lou Reed

  48. H. Munster

    “Baby Scratch My Back” — Slim Harpo

  49. hrrundivbakshi

    “Soul Limbo,” Booker T & the MGs


  50. alexmagic

    Sorry, Mod has ruled that the MGs are not eligible for this contest, either.

  51. I thought about making that cut myself, but it would have been mean coming from me. Thanks.

  52. H. Munster

    “She Pays the Rent” (slow version) — The Lyres

  53. H. Munster

    “Move with Me Sister” — The Del Fuegos

  54. H. Munster

    “Out of Limits” — The Marketts

  55. H. Munster shows the true, everlasting spirit of a Last Man Standing! Someone must be holding a song that will top this one!

  56. H. Munster

    “Sweet Sixteen” — Iggy Pop

  57. hrrundivbakshi

    “Cold Gin” intro, KISS (from Alive!)

  58. H. Munster

    “Lovin’ You Ain’t Easy” — Pagliaro (1972)

  59. hrrundivbakshi

    “Move On Up” by the Jam, percussion breakdown section

    LMS, baby!

  60. H. Munster

    “Let It Go Let It Flow” — Dave Mason

  61. H. Munster

    “Circle Sky” — The Monkees
    I never heard this great song before the video was posted here last week.

  62. Just heard a song by a newer band, Concrete Knives’ ‘Time for Disciple.”

  63. H. Munster

    “I Don’t Need No Doctor” — Humble Pie

  64. H. Munster

    “Casino Queen” — Wilco

  65. hrrundivbakshi

    “Luncheon” by the Upper Crust. LMS.

  66. H. Munster

    “Thirty Days in the Hole” — Humble Pie

  67. Wanted to throw my 2 cents in here…I just launched my own cowbell site here:

    2000+ songs!

  68. H. Munster

    gutner, that is really impressive!

    See #59 below.

  69. H. Munster

    I propose that from now on we use only songs that do not appear on gutner’s remarkable list. (See #38 above.)

    I’ll start with “Still I’m Sad” by Richie Blackmore’s Rainbow.

  70. Certainly, now that the list has been made publish (thanks for sharing, gutner), we must avoid repeating it moving forward.

  71. Thanks for the kind words. I’ve been really dragging my feet getting it launched, but I figured 2000 was a good place to put it out there with.

  72. Here’s a direct link to my full list:

    Hope you guys like it!

  73. New update!

    2083 songs!

    Thanks for all the suggestions guys!

  74. H. Munster

    “Moonlight Dream” — Wire Train
    Are you there, gutner?

  75. Here I am…I made sure to include Wire Train – Moonlight Dream in my update tonight (

    Thanks for the tip, H. Munster!

    I got 2227 songs now!

  76. H. Munster

    Steve Miller Band — “Steppin’ Stone”

  77. Thank you very much, kind sir. I am quickly approaching 2500 songs! “Steppin’ Stone” is #2471 and I got a few more to check in the latest list I have found.

    Keep your ears open, guys!

  78. H. Munster

    “Sweet Little Sixteen” John Lennon
    from the “Rock ‘n Roll” album

    Got that, Gutner?

  79. I do not have that one. Very nice find. Love the reverb. It should be in this week’s update.

    I’m gonna need to check out his solo discography.


  80. H. Munster

    “Do Your Thing”
    Charles Wright and the Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band

  81. H. Munster

    “Hi De Ho”
    Lee Michaels

  82. Thanks for keeping for ears open. I am quickly approaching 3000 songs!

    There is an app version of the site in the works, so I haven’t really updated the site due to restructuring the backend of the site.

  83. H. Munster

    “Fools Rush In”
    Ricky Nelson

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