My Top 1000 Songs #160: I Want You Bad
Brinsley Schwarz and Nick Lowe's early solo work, but with a distinctly American spin. Yet "I Want You Bad" leaps out, a catchy guitar riff and earworm melody, one of the better recreations of mid-60s Beatles this side of the pond. It the context of album, it feels like the band saying, hey, we've got some decent songs you're gonna dance to, and maybe we'll just toss off a perfect British Invasion pop tune in the middle of it and see if you notice.
Nearly a decade later, Paisley Underground early Americana greats The Long Ryders covered the song (on their 3rd LP, 1987's Two-Fisted Tales). It felt a little odd at the time, as the Ryders' studio albums are predominantly originals (fun covers on the live discs aside), but a few seconds in and it all makes sense. They knew better than to muck about with such a letter-perfect pop tune, but with the addition of some country-rock twang and just a bit more rock & roll punch they still managed to make it their own. And as much as I like the original, the additional energy on the cover gives it the gravitas NRBQ almost seemed too shy to include. Great stuff.
Here's the NRBQ version:And the Long Ryders' cover: