Tune du Jour: “Laugh At Me” – Sonny Bono
THE CLASH of Cover Tunes: Mott the Hoople vs Pete Stride and John Plain
Peruse, Comment and Vote (I Beseech, Implore and Urge Thee, respectively)
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Everybody's Dressin' Funny ... Cover Me Impressed!

Everybody’s Dressin’ Funny …
Cover Me Impressed!

Laugh At Me, released as single in 1965, was Sonny Bono’s only hit as a solo artist. The song  reached number #10 in the U.S. on the Billboard Hot 100 and number #9 in the United Kingdom on the Pop Singles Chart. Laugh At Me reached #1 in Canada on the RPM national singles chart, ironically to eventually be overtaken by Sonny & Cher’s Baby Don’t Go.

Sonny wrote Laugh At Me in angst after being refused service at a Los Angeles restaurant for wearing what the owner considered to be “hippie attire”. He was not happy about it!

Sonny has often been the butt of jokes, many times deservedly so, yet the guy actually had some talent and could write a decent song every now and then. I would submit that this is one of them.


The Original

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Sonny Bono:


This is an alternate version. The sound quality is not nearly as good but it’s worth checking out just to see the controlled rage Sonny seems to be in as he belts out the lyrics.

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THE CLASH of Cover Tunes

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Mott the Hoople vs Pete Stride and John Plain
Mott the Hoople:

Mott the Hoople holds the distinction of being CMI’s Reigning Exultant Virtuosic Performer of Laugh At Me. Additionally, Mott the Hoople is also a recipient of CMI’s universally coveted title of Uni-Victor Melodious Maximus in Adversarial Replication. Among the title’s myriad of rewards and benefits, perhaps most desirous is that it bestows upon the recipient the eminently yearned for privilege of having one’s name appear in print media in bold gold!

Mott the Hoople’s triumph in CMI’s THE CLASH of Cover Tunes competition is detailed below:

11/17/2013 – “Laugh At Me” (Sonny Bono) – Mott the Hoople (93%) thrash Otis Ball (7%)

You don’t suppose Ian Hunter could have related to these lyrics, possibly turning a few heads every now and then with his look? He obviously really dug the song though. He recorded it with his band, Mott the Hoople, and again during his solo career.  And he must have played it live a lot. Laugh At Me appears on no less than five Mott the Hoople/Ian Hunter live albums.

Pete Stride and John Plain:

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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?!!?

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Votes can be cast up to three months from the day and time of the original post.

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

  1. Cuspid says:

    Nice rockin’ version by Stride and Plain. But Ian Hunter’s vocals alone is enough to go with Mott. I think Hunter makes this one his own. Bono’s original sounds dated to me. But Ian Hunter sounds as good today as he did 40 years ago.

  2. RDubbs says:

    I love Mott but PS & TP’s shorter, faster version has more life – even if it did take them about 10 seconds to get going.

  3. Kerry Black says:

    Good old Sonny Bono! Bless his heart, everything about that guy proclaims “Laugh At Me”! Most reputable music business historians now believe that, at this point in his career, he could have afforded to get a better haircut. But who are we kiddin’? Nobody was ever gonna confuse him for Scott Baio anyway.

  4. Lucky H says:

    Kudos to all these guys and to each and every one of us who has bellowed this anthem dead drunk and partially clothed in someone else’s bathtub at 4 am, a personal hit list of demonic payback growing longer and more twisted with every verse …..

    Aside from that, has anyone ever looked into the possibility that Sonny Bono may have been one of Bob Dylan’s earliest and most profound influences?

  5. Arnie Plotnick says:

    I liked both versions, but I really liked the keyboards on the Mott version. Reminiscent of Al Kooper’s keyboards on Like a Rolling Stone. Mott gits mah vote.

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