Friday, March 28, 2008

It's All Over Now

12 x 5
Side 1, Track 6
"It's All Over Now" (Bobby Womack/Shirley Jean Womack) – 3:26

Bobby Womack. In addition to having many hits under his own name and with others, Womack was the author of dozens of classic soul songs (including the epic "Woman's Got to Have It"), was a session guitarist and helped arrange many more (including the apocalyptic There's a Riot Goin' On). He was, in a word, a professional.

In 1964, at 20 years of age, Womack had composed "It's All Over Now" and had somehow impressed someone over at Sam Cooke's SAR label enough to get Womack's group, The Valentinos, a deal to release the song as a single. The single barely broke Billboard's Hot 100, peaking at #94, during the summer of 1964. At this time, the Stones were touring the USA for the first time, and when passing through New York City met up with well-known DJ Murray the K, who, it is said, played them The Valentinos' single and suggested that they should cover the song[*] -- which they did a few days later, recording it at Chess Studios in Chicago.

Wikipedia takes up the story:

Years later Bobby Womack said in an interview that he told his manager that he did not want the Rolling Stones to record their version of the song, that he told Mick Jagger to get his own song. His manager convinced him to let the Rolling Stones record a version of the song. Six months later when he received the royalty check for the song he told his manager that Mick Jagger can have any song he wants.
Bobby Womack, after all, was a pro.

I go into some detail because I don't really feel like talking about the Stones' version of the song. For a hit, it's a dull little number. It's not particularly memorable, nor is it offensive. It just is. Nothing to see here, move along please.

[* Mick Jagger mentions the Murray the K connection in a famous Rolling Stone interview from 1968:
Murray the K gave us "It's All Over Now" which was great because we used to think he as a cunt but he turned us on to something good. It was a great record by the Valentinos but it wasn't a hit.
The Rolling Stone Interview, Jonathan Cott, Oct 12, 1968.]