Battle of the Bands – Taxman


(If you’re looking for my A-Z post, please scroll to the next post)

Today is April 15th, the dreaded deadline for filing U.S. income taxes. I’m always relieved when this day is over because my tax returns are mailed off and I’m done for another year. I thought it fitting for today’s Battle of the Bands to feature the Beatles song, Taxman.

“Taxman” is a song written by George Harrison and released as the opening track on the Beatles’ 1966 album Revolver. Its lyrics attack the high levels of progressive tax taken by the British Labor government of Harold Wilson. I couldn’t find a YouTube version of this song performed by the Beatles but I did find this one of George Harrison and Eric Clapton performing it in Tokoyo, Japan in 1991. This is just provided for your enjoyment and not part of the battle.


Taxman has been covered by a number of artists. Presented here today are two versions: one by Blues great Stevie Ray Vaughn and the other by Technopop artist Rockwell. I really like both versions here and it will be a hard choice for me. How about you? Give a listen to the contenders and then vote on which one you like best. I’ll post the results in 6 days.


Stevie Ray Vaughan: Stephen “Stevie” Ray Vaughan (October 3, 1954 – August 27, 1990) was an American musician, singer, songwriter, and record producer. In spite of a short-lived mainstream career spanning seven years, he is widely considered one of the most influential electric guitarists in the history of blues music, and one of the most important figures in the revival of blues in the 1980s. AllMusic describes him as “a rocking powerhouse of a guitarist who gave blues a burst of momentum in the ’80s, with influence still felt long after his tragic death.”

Stevie covered Taxman on his posthumous Greatest Hits album:



Rockwell: Kennedy William Gordy (born March 15, 1964), better known by his stage name Rockwell, is the son of Motown founder and CEO Berry Gordy and Margaret Norton. His father named him Kennedy William Gordy after John F. Kennedy and William “Smokey” Robinson. To avoid the appearance of nepotism, he secured his record deal without his father’s knowledge. Motown actually came up with the name Rockwell and the young Gordy agreed to the change because he believed he “rocked well.”

In 1984, Rockwell released his biggest hit single, “Somebody’s Watching Me” from the album of the same name. Also featured on that album is his cover of Taxman:



TIME TO VOTE! Which version do you like better and why?

And when you’re done voting, please visit these other BOTB participants and check out their cool battles:






30 thoughts on “Battle of the Bands – Taxman

    • Thanks for coming by to vote Mary! You’re amazing, with what you’re going through right now. So sorry.
      I’ll put you down for Rockwell!


  1. Hi again, One L!

    Although I enjoyed “Somebody’s Watching Me,” the hit single by Berry Gordy’s son Rockwell, I don’t think his brand of 80s synthpop R&B is well suited to a song like “Taxman.” I am not a huge fan of Stevie Ray Vaughan and didn’t particularly care for his vocals on this one, but the wailing blues guitar in the middle of the song won me over. I give my vote to Stevie!

    Thank you very much, dear friend Michele!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I Love Rockwell’s song Somebody’s Watching Me! I can play that over and over.

      Stevie Ray catches your vote today. Thanks for coming by Shady…


  2. This is a very tough choice! Very different takes on the song and both are excellent. From the perspective of personal taste being which version I would prefer to listen to more often I’m going to go with the version by Rockwell. Smoother sound for my morning ears, but it’s also the version I’d probably pick at night unless I was rollicking in a bar somewhere and the likelihood of that is almost nonexistent.

    Put me down for Rockwell.

    Arlee Bird
    A to Z Challenge Co-host
    Tossing It Out

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Angel. I’ll put you down for Stevie Ray.
      I’m so glad I finished my taxes!! whew… I’ve had to do extensions in the past but haven’t done that for years!


    • Yeah, others are finding the same. Thanks for your vote Brendan. I have you down for Rockwell.
      Hey, what’s your blog address??? I want to come visit!


  3. I was expecting to love Stevie Ray Vaughan’s version but I didn’t! That said, Rockwell’s didn’t do it for me either. Stevie’s guitar solo saved it, so he gets my vote. Can’t argue with blues guitar. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  4. MICHELE ~
    First, I want to say that your comment on my blog really made me laugh! I responded there fairly extensively.

    Second, this was very clever of you to tie your BOTB song into Tax Day. Ha! I don’t think any BOTBer has ever done that before (at least not that I can remember).

    A) I like Stevie Ray Vaughan quite a bit, and B) I do NOT like Technopop. So, when I read this: “Technopop artist Rockwell”, I figured my vote would be a slam-dunk.

    In fact, it was closer than that, because I thought the Rockwell version was pretty dern good. Don’t hate me, but I think I prefer it to the Beatles’ original.

    But… I’m still voting for Stevie. Yeah, his vocals are rather harsh on this recording, but then again… taxes are damned HARSH, too! So, it thematically works.

    ~ Stephen T. McCarthy (D-FensDogG)
    ‘Loyal American Underground’

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lol. I meant every word Stephen! 🙂

      I’m glad you liked the Rockwell version. I think it’s quite good. And I like your reasoning for voting for Stevie Ray (“it thematically works”). Another Lol… 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by on your break! Much appreciated.


  5. SRV’s vocals were pretty bad. I didn’t like hearing him sing on this track at all. Rockwell, on the other hand, was smooth (like I imagine a fine bourbon or whiskey, though I don’t partake in either). So, my vote goes easily to Rockwell on this one. Creative battle celebrating Tax Day!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Robin! Others are having similar dislike to Stevie’s vocals. I’ll put you down for Rockwell. Thanks for taking the time to vote…


    • Batman theme song?? Really?? I’ll have to go back and listen…
      I guess I can see where you’d think that, with all that techno sound.
      Thanks for your vote. I’ve gotcha down for Stevie Ray…


  6. Pingback: The Week That Was for I-N Week, 2016 – The Sound of One Hand Typing

  7. Michele, oopsie my comment got lost. Okay, sorry for the late return visit. This is a great song cover for this round of BoTB. I liked both artists and I thought Vaughn would be the better pick, but surprisingly it was the 80s vibes of Rockwell that won me over. Go figure, right? Nicely done!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Cathy! I’m glad you liked Rockwell. That’s where my vote is going as well. It’s pretty neck and neck now so will be interesting to see how it shakes out…
      Thanks for your vote.

      Liked by 1 person

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