The Four Tops: “It’s the Same Old Song”

Posted: February 3, 2016 in RDubbs' Approved Proclamations, THE CLASH of Cover Tunes
Tags: , , , , ,
Tune du Jour: “It’s the Same Old Song” – The Four Tops
THE CLASH of Cover Tunes: The Motions vs. The Pietasters vs. Third World
Peruse, Comment and Vote (I Beseech, Implore and Urge Thee, respectively)


Broc 3 - Cover Me Impressed

Everybody’s Dressin’ Funny … Cover Me Impressed!


The Original


The Four Tops:


THE CLASH of Cover Tunes


The Motions vs. The Pietasters vs. Third World


The Motions:

The Pietasters:

Third World:


Oh the disharmony! Much like Harlan County there are no neutrals here. It is your solemn responsibility to decide which cover song prevails. In other words … Which Side Are You On?!!? 


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


Unrelated But Not Without Ample Merit


Won’t You Listen to What the Man Says?e)

“If you’re going to kick authority in the teeth, you might as well use two feet.”   Keith Richards as quoted in the The Wall Street Journal.



  1. Cuspid says:

    All right! My favorite song by my favorite Motown band! That bass line will get me dancing no matter where I am and what I’m doing. And even though Levi Stubbs didn’t write his own hits, nobody from that era could sing ’em any better. Loved the video from 1966. The Tops look very cool. I also got a kick out of seeing the silhouettes of the dancers in the far background; very 1960s. What exactly were they supposed to be there for?

    Now, where was I? Oh, yeah; the covers… the Motions’ version annoyed me at first because the singer got half the words wrong. But then I learned that since he’s Dutch, English most likely was not his first language. So I decided to give him a break. I then kinda forgot about the music and focused on their really bad haircuts and all the wrong lyrics. In the end I had a very nice laugh.

    Third World really irritates me. I loved their late ’70s to the early ’80s music, and had a number of their albums from this era. But by the mid-’80s it became very trendy in reggae to use lots of electronics and semi-disco dance beats. This kind of studio production ruined some of my favorite reggae bands, Third World and Steel Pulse being two that immediately come to mind. What a waste – some great reggae bands relegated to irrelevance by trying too hard to be trendy.So this cover from 1989 could have been great if it didn’t sound like Madonna was in the control room helping to produce it.

    But it was all worth it to get to hear The Pietatsers. I’ve always felt that this great song needed to be covered in a ska style. And The Pietasters absolutely nail it. Fantastic! Thank you Dubbs! This one is a keeper.

    True story: In the early ’80s I spent a few months trying to put together a ska band in Baltimore. When we practiced, this was one of the songs we played.

    (BTW – Nice day-to-day transition, Dubbs: from Billy Bragg to Levi Stubbs (tears)).

  2. RDubbs says:

    Wow, Doug, that was some dissertation. You should write for a blog!

    The sneer on the face of the lead singer of The Motions almost distracted me from his hair. Almost … I liked Third World’s version. But the Pietasters take it, not only for their excellent ska cover but also for having a really cool band name.

  3. Pete Black says:

    This was tough…to vote for any of them. I love this song but I think all 3 covers rot. I love the sound of 1966. British 1966 especially. The Motions I expected to like but …so boring! I don’t expect The Who or Small Faces but just so weak. Pietasters with their boring take was probably the least offensive because Third World should be fined if not imprisoned for one of the cheesiest, most devoid of feeling waste of tape attributed to reggae ever. I couldn’t help but think of Peter Patrick when I was watching The Motions. He could elevate any material with his amazing personality and stage manner. He would eat this band alive all by himself. He had something special. Too many that have it don’t become famous.

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