Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Can I Get a Witness

England’s Newest Hitmakers

Side 2, Track 4

"Can I Get a Witness" (Brian Holland/Lamont Dozier/Eddie Holland) – 2:55

This was the first song from this album I really loved, and I'm still not exactly sure why. The original version was a generic Marvin Gaye semi-hit, the kind he was chugging out at a regular clip in those days. The Stones didn't really do anything to it to change it up, but where Gaye and his Motown confederates' professionalism make their "Witness" a fairly routine R&B exercise, Mick's earnestness generates a much more exciting rhythm number – it is, I believe, Jagger's first distinctive vocal, particularly the "up early in the morning!" line.

So far, the only song on the album without a solo, although I think the next track is missing one as well.

For your amusement, here is Dusty Springfield's hilariously over the top treatment of the song: