Broccoli For Miles And Miles And Miles And Miles And Miles ... Oh Yeah!

Broccoli For Miles And Miles And Miles And Miles And Miles … Oh Yeah!

Love of the Common People was written and composed by John Hurley and Ronnie Wilkins and eventually released in 1970 on Hurley’s album John Hurley Sings about People. However, its first release was in 1967 when The Four Preps covered the song. In 1982 Paul Young released what was to become the most popular version of Love of the Common People, reaching No. 2 on the UK Singles Chart. The prior year Stiff Little Fingers had covered the song on their album Now Then. Jake Burns of SLF recalled this amusing anecdote pertaining to the song. Paul Young met SLF at one of their concerts in support of the album Now Then. Young asked Burns whether SLF were planning to release the song as a single. When Burns told them they weren’t, Young asked if they minded him releasing it as a single. They said he could, not thinking the single would do well. Years later Burns jokingly recalled his feelings at the time: “Pfft! Go ahead. You’ll never get anywhere with that, mate. Yeah, number 2, that’ll teach me!”

The Original

The Four Preps (1967):


CMI’s Millenial Most Distinguished Name Award

The Winstons (1969):

In researching this song I came across a few individuals who felt The Winstons’ cover was the best overall version.


The Most Popular

Paul Young (1982):


The Cover Songs Competition


Battle of a couple of heavyweights …


Bruce Springsteen & The Sessions Band vs. Stiff Little Fingers


Bruce Springsteen & The Sessions Band (2007):

Stiff Little Fingers (1982):


Oh the disharmony! Much like Harlan County there are no neutrals here. Only one cover tune will live to play another day and it is your solemn responsibility to decide which one prevails. So tell me … Which Side Are You On?!!?

Also, keep in mind that if you should spontaneously self-actualize while playing a cover then you could – and probably should – nominate it for Top 10 (i.e. “Impeccable”) consideration.



Votes can be cast up to seven days from the day and time of the original post.

Disclaimer: Votes cast from Florida may or may not be counted.

  1. Cuspid says:

    Dubbs: Fantastic call! I’ve loved SLF’s version for 30 years now. Driving guitar and drums. What could be better? It certainly beats to death Paul Young’s version. But then I listened to Springsteen’s cover, which I had never heard before, and was absolutely in love with it after the first 90 seconds. The horns and the sax make the song for me. And I think the tempo that Springsteen chose to play the song is THE tempo this song should be played. Forget about dancin’ in my seat. I had to resist the urge to stand up on my seat and start dancing. What a great way to start the day. Thanks Dubbs! .

  2. Arnie Plotnick says:

    Wow… I’ve now listened to all five versions this morning, and I have to say, they’re all excellent (except maybe Paul Young’s version, which is not bad, but only because the song itself is such a good song that it’s hard to screw up.) I had never heard the original. Wow. Blown away by it. Really great. And despite the horrible, repellent band name, The Winstons do a remarkable version. Like Cuspid, I too have enjoyed SLF’s version for many years. But nothing prepared me for the truly fantastic Springsteen version. Not sure where he conjured up that particular singing voice, but I couldn’t believe those first few lines were actually sung by Bruce. Amazing vocals. This is a real working-class song,and Bruce and SLF are both working class heroes, but this one goes to Bruce, hands down. Truly spectacular.

  3. bornunderabadsign says:

    Ha Ha! I note Leon Russell arranged and conducted the original!

  4. RDubbs says:

    This was a painful decision. As others have noted, we have been rocking and loving SLF’s rousing rendition for years. And SLF is one of my favorite bands of all time. But after numerous listenings of both (and enjoying the heck out each) I too had to go with The Boss. Et tu Dubbte … afraid so guys.

  5. Lucky H says:

    I’m holding Stiff …. although Bossman does deserve honorable mention for best facial wince

  6. Pete Black says:

    Anybody else notice that The Four Preps’ version was arranged and conducted by the young Leon Russell. 1967, before anyone knew his name.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s