(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:
- Far Away Series
- Stephen T. McCarthy’s Battle of the Bands Blog
- Tossing it Out
- Mike’s Ramblings
- Curious as a Cathy
- The Sound of One Hand Typing
- dcrelief ~ Battle of the Bands
- Shady Dell Music & Memories
- Cherdo on the Flipside
- THE DOGLADY’S DEN
- Jingle Jangle Jungle
- Janie Junebug Righting and Editing
- J.A. Scott
- Novel Brews
- Holli’s Hoots and Hollers
- Quiet Laughter
- Your Daily Dose
- Evil Pop Tart