23 August 2016, No. 182, Eddie Floyd, ‘Knock on Wood’

From one Eddie to the next, though I’ll confess that the Amii Stewart version of No. 182 (itself the third song from the last of this list) served as my introduction to Eddie Floyd’s work. Tons of covers of this tune. Redding/Thomas, even a Bowie version. But the original Eddie Floyd recording of “Knock on Wood” has a grandiose, big-room horn sound belied by the cleanliness and closeness of the guitar riffs, the bass panned heavily left, and the small-room reverb on the snare drum. That contrast makes it extra funky, adds a little rawness that complements Floyd’s vocals. Plus after he sings “knock,” the drummer punctuates it with four staccato snare drum “knocks,” and it reminds me of the three-against-two “gunshots” in “I Fought the Law (and the Law Won),” which song I also like, and which was also covered many times, most notably by The Clash and Stray Cats. That would be a fun collaboration, but alas, each band covered it independently. Dead Kennedys and Mike Ness from Social Distortion have covered it too, as evidenced by a video where you can hear those four versions back to back. Thankfully it’s not a mashup. [Edit: Video is unavailable.]