In any era of fantastic music, great cover songs are frequently released. In the 60s, bands like the one featured today made their jump to fame by releasing covers of popular songs. Some covers from the 60s/70s are so well-known and well-done that it would surprise you to find out who originally recorded the song. I’ll name a few for the heck of it. “Feeling Groovy (The 59th Street Bridge Song)” was written by Simon and Garfunkel, but many prefer the version recorded by Harpers Bizarre. “Mr Tambourine Man” is, of course, recognized as a Byrds song, but it is a Dylan original. ”You Shook Me,” and “I Can’t Quit You Baby,” on Led Zeppelin are Willie Dixon songs.
How about “Gloria” which hit the charts with Shadows of Night, but was written by Van Morrison and Them? Did you know another band named The Human Beinz also lent their sound to this hit, just after the Shadows of Night recorded the song?
The Human Beinz thrived on covers. The band recorded covers of songs like “Foxy Lady” and “The Pied Paper.” They did hit it big with one of these covers in the United States, and then hit it really big with another cover in Japan. Actually, The Human Beinz was a 60s band that found more popularity in Japan then in the United States.
The Human Beinz were formed as the Premiers in 1964 and changed their name to the Human Beingz in 1966. They were a garage/frat rock band from Ohio formed by John “Dick” Belley (vocals, guitar), Joe “Ting” Markulin (vocals, guitar), Mel Pachuta (vocals, bass) and Gary Coates (drums).
Garage rock was big in Ohio during this time. Rick Zehringer (Derringer) was from Ohio and recorded “Hang on Sloopy” with the McCoys in 1965. Phil Keaggy and Glass Harp gigged in Youngstown, Ohio in 1968. Actually, and I love when you find out about incestuous rock relationships, Steve Markulin, Joe’s cousin, was in Glass Harp and left the band to join the Human Beinz.
The Human Beinz became the Beinz (instead of Beingz) because after signing to Capitol Records in 1967, their band name was misspelled, the g left out. In 1967 they hit it big with a cover of the Isley Brothers’ “Nobody But Me,” and the song kicked butt on the charts peaking at #8 in February of ’68. The name remained Beinz
It’s an awesome cover. They added rock flavor to an R&B song and did it well. I love the initial call and response that just makes you nod your head and move your legs. One of the strongest parts of the song is the defined bass guitar that carries the rhythm (even getting a brief solo prior to a buzzy guitar solo) along with repetitive claps and the repetition of “No.” The Isley Brothers loved repetition.
“Nobody But Me” was not their most popular song though. They released a cover of “Turn On Your Love Light” (recorded first by Bobby Bland in ’61 – and then covered by, you guessed it, Them, and the Grateful Dead).
A basic garage rock piece also carried by clangy drums, loud keys, vocal looseness, and a strong bass guitar. The song did not do much in the United States, but it reached #1 in Japan.
FUN FACT: “Nobody But Me” was used in Kill Bill: Vol. 1, and I would have included the video if it wasn’t full of black and white trademark Tarantino gratuitous gore.