It has been a while since I have done one of these but the cover of this song inspired me to pull the old Cover Me Monday out of the mothballs. And don’t be alarmed this isn’t the Rick Astley song (that catchy bit of pop trifle is actually “Never Gonna Give You Up“) and you are not being Rickrolled either. Scout’s honor.
The original version of “Never Give You Up” was done by soul legend Jerry Butler who was able to pull off desperate longing in possibly the coolest way possible which was something Jerry had a knack for doing pretty easily in any song.
Jerry Butler – Never Give You Up
The bluesy/rock duo The Black Keys did a cover of “Never Give You Up” on their 2010 cd BROTHERS. The guys recorded that album at the defunct Muscle Shoals Studio in Muscle Shoals Alabama, a hallowed musical institution that had seen greats of rock from Bob Dylan to Lynyrd Skynyrd record there before closing its doors in 2005. You can really feel the spirit of Muscle Shoals flowing through The Black Keys on the entire BROTHERS album but never more than on their version of “Never Give You Up”. The used a different arrangement and couldn’t produce the innate soulfulness that Butler brought to the song but the Black Keys version is a much more sorrowful song that makes you feel the pain of the song in ways that the original never does.
The Black Keys – Never Give You Up