One of my regular stops is Flea Market Funk, run by DJ Prestige, one of the great crate diggers of our time. (You ought to make it one of your regular stops, if you haven’t already done so.)
DJ Pres is forever hitting The Spot, that mysterious East Coast open-air flea market, and coming up with remarkable tune after remarkable tune.
Last night, he posted a cover of “Whole Lotta Love” by Collective Consciousness Society, or C.C.S. No matter what you call them, I’d never heard of this British group.
But once I heard the cut, I said … hey, I’ve heard this before. And, no, not by Led Zeppelin, either.
I just about fell over. The arrangement on the C.C.S. cover is almost exactly the same as the one on King Curtis’ cover of “Whole Lotta Love.” What’s more, both covers were recorded in 1970. Why they sound almost alike, I don’t know and can’t say.
DJ Pres says:
“’Whole Lotta Love’ by C.C.S. is right up there with Dennis Coffey and Ike and Tina Turner’s cover versions of the mighty Zep. I think it might even be better IMHO. The flute, which many people may be annoyed by, just furthers this band legitimacy. Their interpretation, often out of time, and a bit odd and Jazzy, is definitely a hit for me.”
He has a whole bunch of detail about the studio musicians backing C.C.S., but I have none about who might be backing King Curtis. All I know is that he’s on tenor sax, recorded in New York on Dec. 14, 1970. Larry over at Funky 16 Corners also wrote about the King’s version a while back, but he didn’t know much more than I do. The comments on Larry’s post also point out the similarity between the two versions.
Grab this, then head over to FMF and grab the C.C.S. cover, then enjoy.
“Whole Lotta Love,” King Curtis, 1970, from “Atlantic Honkers,” a terrific 1986 compilation of R&B sax tunes on the Atlantic label. It’s out of print.