For this month’s edition of “The original vs. The Cover”, we room going to take it on a 3rd version together we tackle the David Essex song “Rock On”. We will fight it out in between David Essex’s initial version vs. Covers by both Michael Damian and Def Leppard.

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The song was composed for a movie the David was starring in referred to as “That’ll be the Day” which also had Ringo Starr and Kieth Moon. The song, however, was not used in the movie. David composed the song based on his personality from the movie and also it has a pure old absent & role rebellious attitude. The song is actually a tip-of-the-hat come the old time rockers together it mentions “Blue Suede Shoes” and “Summertime Blues” as well as it offers a shout-out come an old Hollywood rebel James Dean.

Since we have actually three versions, us might also jump right right into it.


David’s version hit #3 ~ above the UK singles graph in 1973 and also didn’t carry out that good in the US, however doesn’t median we american don’t love it. The track is very unique in that there room no tools that play any type of chords which way there is No Guitar and also No Piano ~ above the tune at all. It is all bass, percussion and also horns. That is really stripped down.

You can tell a significant influence that the tune is Jamaican raggae and also the entirety dub style. The tune is thrust by the base line which was done by Herbie Flowers. Follow to Wikipedia…”(Herbie’s) double-tracked base guitar was treated through a significant “slapback” delay effect, producing a complex polyrhythmic backbeat.”

That was yes, really all the song needed musically for it to be so impactful and also powerful. The music uniqueness is what provides this track standout head & shoulders above anything else. The absence of the guitar and also piano is no missed and also actually adds to the beauty beauty of the song. How countless times can you say that no etc is a good thing. Ns didn’t think i would ever before say that as I love me some guitar rock.


In 1989, this soap opera gibbs did a cover version of “Rock On” for the movie ‘Dream a tiny Dream’ certification the Corey’s…Corey Haim and Corey Feldman. The version was substantially different from David’s. The was complete on important and included everything under the sun. It was a heavier, pop variation of the song and it ended up reaching #1 on the Billboard hot 100 which way it did far better than the original.

Michael’s version although great in its own right, totally stripped away any kind of of the heart & soul and removing all the distortion sounds consisted of in the original. The magic in the instrumentation (or lack thereof) in the original is additionally missed and also makes the song lacking of any real meaning. The only cool thing around the song was the deep, vocal styling that the surname “James Dean”.


In 2006, Def Leppard go a covering of absent On for their all consist of album ‘Yeah’. Lock did relax the tune as a single and didn’t even chart therefore why am I offering it any attention…Well, that is easy. Def Leppard is mine favorite tape for one, but two is because they quiet play this on regular basis in their live shows. The band feels they have actually made the track their own and they feel favor they wrote it therefore let’s compare it to the original.

Def Leppard’s version sticks to the initial with the base line. Stack Savage nails the bass part and is among the few times he has actually been allowed to shine in the band. Where the original adds horns and an ext percussion, Leppard litter in the guitar work instead. Phil and also Vivian include some yes, really cool and also interesting results with their etc to include some punch to the song and also Joe does great vocally.

While I carry out like this version and also find that much much better than than Michael Damian’s version it tho doesn’t organize a candle to the original. Also though the is the heaviest, many rocking variation of the three songs, the still is absent the rebellious mindset of the original.


This is basic verdict because that me. David Essex’s initial version is the stand out champion. That is the most unique version the the song, in reality it is so distinct that all other versions are an intricate Karaoke versions. The incredible bass work and overall percussion is the magic behind the song as well as the lack of any type of chords. David’s vocals showed more heart and also feeling and also I thought his version had an ext heart & soul. I need to admit, I additionally like the reggae influence as well.

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Now it is her turn. Let me know which version you prefer best and why. Also, let me recognize if there is a variation out there the is far better and must be included. Ns hope you enjoyed the walk v this month’s song. Have a great rest the week.

“Rock On”


Hey, kid, absent ‘n’ roll, rock onOoh, my soulHey kid, boogie, too, walk ya?Hey, shout, summertime bluesJump up and also down in my blue suede shoesHey, kid, rock ‘n’ roll, rock on

And where execute we walk from here?Which is a means that’s clear?Still in search of that blue jean baby queenPrettiest girl I’ve ever before seenSee she shake top top the movie screen, Jimmy Dean(James Dean)

And where perform we walk from here?Which is the means that’s clear?Still trying to find that blue jean baby queenPrettiest girl I ever before seenSee she shake on the movie screen, Jimmy DeanJimmy Dean

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