For this month’s edition of “The original vs. The Cover”, we space going to take on a 3rd version together we handle the David Essex song “Rock On”. Us will fight it out between David Essex’s original version vs. Consists by both Michael Damian and Def Leppard.

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The song was created for a movie the David to be starring in called “That’ll be the Day” which likewise had Ringo Starr and Kieth Moon. The song, however, to be not used in the movie. David composed the song based on his personality from the movie and it has a pure old rock & role rebellious attitude. The track is actually a tip-of-the-hat to the old time rockers as it mentions “Blue Suede Shoes” and also “Summertime Blues” and it gives a shout-out come an old Hollywood rebel James Dean.

Since we have three versions, we might as well jump right into it.


David’s version hit #3 top top the UK singles chart in 1973 and also didn’t do that good in the US, however doesn’t median we americans don’t love it. The track is really unique in the there space no tools that play any chords which way there is No Guitar and also No Piano top top the song at all. It is every bass, percussion and also horns. The is really stripped down.

You deserve to tell a significant influence the the song is Jamaican raggae and also the whole dub style. The tune is moved by the bass line which was done through Herbie Flowers. Follow to Wikipedia…”(Herbie’s) double-tracked base guitar was treated with a influential “slapback” delay effect, creating a complex polyrhythmic backbeat.”

That was yes, really all the song needed musically because that it to it is in so impactful and powerful. The musical uniqueness is what makes this song standout head & shoulders above anything else. The absence of the guitar and piano is not missed and also actually adds come the beauty beauty of the song. How numerous times have the right to you say that no guitar is a good thing. Ns didn’t think i would ever say that as I love me some guitar rock.


In 1989, this soap opera actor did a cover variation of “Rock On” for the movie ‘Dream a little Dream’ certification the Corey’s…Corey Haim and also Corey Feldman. The variation was substantially different indigenous David’s. It was full on critical and added everything under the sun. It was a heavier, pop variation of the song and it finished up getting to #1 ~ above the Billboard warm 100 which way it did better than the original.

Michael’s version although good in its very own right, completely stripped away any of the love & soul and removing all the distortion sounds included in the original. The magic in the instrumentation (or absence thereof) in the initial is additionally missed and also makes the song doing not have of any kind of real meaning. The just cool thing about the track was the deep, vocal styling the the surname “James Dean”.


In 2006, Def Leppard did a cover of rock On for your all consist of album ‘Yeah’. Castle did release the track as a solitary and didn’t even chart for this reason why to be I offering it any type of attention…Well, the is easy. Def Leppard is mine favorite tape for one, yet two is because they still play this frequently in your live shows. The band feels they have made the track their own and they feel favor they created it therefore let’s compare it to the original.

Def Leppard’s version sticks come the initial with the bass line. Rick Savage pond the bass component and is just one of the few times he has actually been permitted to shine in the band. Where the original adds horns and much more percussion, Leppard throws in the guitar job-related instead. Phil and Vivian add some yes, really cool and interesting results with their etc to include some beat to the song and also Joe does great vocally.

While I execute like this version and find it much much better than 보다 Michael Damian’s version it quiet doesn’t hold a candle to the original. Even though the is the heaviest, many rocking version of the three songs, that still is missing the rebellious perspective of the original.


This is an easy verdict for me. David Essex’s initial version is the stand the end champion. The is the most unique version that the song, in fact it is so distinctive that all other versions are sophisticated Karaoke versions. The incredible bass work and also overall percussion is the magic behind the song and the absence of any type of chords. David’s vocals showed more heart and also feeling and I believed his variation had much more heart & soul. I have to admit, I additionally like the reggae influence as well.

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Now the is your turn. Permit me know which variation you choose best and why. Also, let me know if over there is a variation out there the is far better and must be included. I hope you took pleasure in the walk through this month’s song. Have a an excellent rest that week.

“Rock On”


Hey, kid, absent ‘n’ roll, absent onOoh, mine soulHey kid, boogie, too, walk ya?Hey, shout, summertime bluesJump up and down in my blue suede shoesHey, kid, rock ‘n’ roll, rock on

And where do we walk from here?Which is a means that’s clear?Still looking for that blue jean baby queenPrettiest girl I’ve ever before seenSee she shake on the movie screen, Jimmy Dean(James Dean)

And where do we walk from here?Which is the method that’s clear?Still searching for that blue jean baby queenPrettiest girl I ever seenSee she shake top top the movie screen, Jimmy DeanJimmy Dean

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