Significant Songs (9)

I’d Rather Go Blind

In 1969, I heard a single release by the British blues band, Chicken Shack. It was sung by Christine Perfect, who went on to marry John McVie, and become part of Fleetwood Mac. I was entranced by the sadness of the lyrics, the bluesy feel, and the spot-on vocals of Christine. I went straight out and bought it, and listened to it over and over. However, something was niggling at me, and I was sure that I had heard it before, by someone else.

I did some research, not easy before the advent of the Internet. It involved reading Blues magazines and trade papers, until I discovered what I was looking for. Of course, it was Etta James, the diva of Blues, a voice without parallel. She had recorded it two years earlier, but it had enjoyed limited play and release, here in the UK, and had been marketed as a Soul record, not Blues. I knew that I could get it somewhere, and soon managed to source the vinyl single, almost three years after release. This was the genuine article. As much as I liked the Chicken Shack version, this was in another league.

If you have ever been in love, and that love has turned bad, then this is the definitive song for you. Blues, Soul, feeling and emotion, all wrapped up in one short song. This has hardly ever been bettered, despite the decades that separate it from the songs of today. Here are both versions, Etta first. You will get what I mean.

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14 thoughts on “Significant Songs (9)

  1. A wonderful song. Music was (and is) so important in your life and I am enjoying reading and listening to the songs which made such an impact on you. Some I have heard of and others I haven’t. I do know this one and remember the Chicken Shack version, though having heard the two side by side I have to say I prefer the Etta James one – such a soulful voice. Nice.
    Jude xx

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  2. Stan Webb did carry on with the band in various incarnations, but Chicken Shack never quite matched their earlier success. The ‘irrepressible’ Stan Webb still lives in Kidderminster in a house that is filled with 31 years of Chicken Shack memoribilia. The talented, yet relatively unrecognized, guitarist has this to say about the way major success has eluded him: “Some people say, ‘You should be on stage at the Albert Hall, not Eric Clapton.’ And I think, well, I don’t agree with that, but I should certainly be able to go on there as well. But I’m happy with what’s happening now. I’ve done the years and I’m getting more respect than I ever did then. It’s worked for me.” A great abdn and still going now, we bump into them sometimes at 1960s festivals. Great article and great 1960s music!
    Jamie
    The Zoots 1960s show

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    1. Thanks for the info Jamie. Great to know that he is still going strong, after all this time. Glad you liked the post, and your comment is much appreciated. Look forward to seeing you back here one day.
      Regards, Pete.

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  3. Sophe, that could be one of the nicest comments I have ever received. In fact, it probably is the nicest comment. It means that I am getting something across, which was always my original intention.
    As ever, Pete. XX

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  4. Etta takes it to another level, as you say. I love the Chicken Shack album cover.
    I wonder if the reason you can recount all these details so clearly is because you researched these things with so much passion. Even though we can find the information on the internet now, it seems to be forgotten as quickly as it is found!
    All the best, The Winkos

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    1. I think a lot of it stems from the importance that music had for me at the time Eddy. As much as I still like to listen to music now, including modern artists, it was everything to me when I was much younger. The only thing I use the Internet for on these posts, is to confirm the dates. I am often a year or so out in my memory, and I like to be accurate!
      Best wishes to the new Mum and Dad, and not forgetting the Winkette. (Register the domain name now, and copyright ‘The Winkettes’, just in case…)

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  5. I love how your posts share just how much these songs meant to you -I know that’s the point lol- what I mean is you describe so easily how each song got to you and the almost urgency or need to get it… Like we were there with you… Like we WERE you and I can’t quite put my finger on how you do that. All I know is I like it 🙂 it’s endearing… And like my last comment I’ll have to hear these versions another time xx

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