Feb 222007

Townsman Trolleyvox hipped me to the following performance of a young Billy Preston doing a version of the song your Moderator believe best satisfies the objectives of rock ‘n roll:

Billy Preston, “Satisfaction”

That’s right, if you haven’t heard me on this already, I believe that no song better satisfies the objectives of rock ‘n roll than The Rolling Stones’ “Satisfaction”. Every now and then I stumble across another version of this classic, and when I’m not dazzled by the outrageous treatment of the song (eg, both The Residents‘ and Devo‘s versions) or horribly offended (Cat Power‘s version), I’m usually about as unimpressed by versions such as Billy Preston’s as I am Otis Redding‘s version.

I know, I know, rock nerds – Mick and Keef wrote the song for Otis – but the black artists I’ve heard cover “Satisfaction” can’t get to the song’s cool and sly teenage rage. Otis belts it out like he’s expecting the exhaltation of a heavyweight boxer who’s gone the distance against The Champ. Here, Billy Preston just has fun with what the song has to offer. He’s satisfied. He’s not fooling me. Granted, those sorority girls who come out to dance in front of him and the band don’t help matters.

I can say that it’s a good thing the following dynamic duo is not documented having covered “Satisfaction”:


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