It could be one of the more covered tunes in rock over the past four decades, and yet many modern-day listeners don’t really know where it came from.
“Hard to Handle” became a big hit for American rockers The Black Crowes, coming off of their 1980 debut album, “Shake Your Money Maker.” It has since been one of the highlights of the band’s live shows, even as the group has gone on to amass quite an impressive resume of music.
It’s hardly the only version of the song. “Hard to Handle” has been covered repeatedly over the years, including by The Grateful Dead, New Riders of the Purple Sage, Tom Jones, King Floyd and Gov’t Mule.
The original tune was recorded in 1967 by Otis Redding, who co-wrote it. But he never got a chance to hear the final product. Redding died in a plane crash in December of that year, and the song was released posthumously the following year. It became a Top 40 hit for Redding.
The Crowes’ version does borrow from a more recent Buddy Guy tune, but is generally true to the original. Obviously, the band also gives it a raunchier rock edge, particularly on stage. So, here are the tunes. Enjoy.
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