Hard to Handle (song)

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"Hard to Handle"
Song by Otis Redding
Released June 1968
Recorded 1967
Genre Soul
Language English
Length 2:17
Label Atco
Composer Allen Jones, Al Bell, and Otis Redding
Producer Steve Cropper

"Hard to Handle" is a 1968 song originally recorded by Otis Redding and written by Redding, Al Bell and Allen Jones. It was released after Redding's death in 1967 on the album The Immortal Otis Redding. Redding's version reached #38 on the Billboard R&B charts and #51 on the pop charts.

"Hard to Handle"
Single by The Black Crowes
from the album Shake Your Money Maker
Released 1990
Recorded 1989
Genre Hard rock, blues rock
Length 3:08
Label Def American
Writer(s) Allen Jones, Al Bell, and Otis Redding
Producer(s) George Drakoulias
The Black Crowes singles chronology
"Jealous Again"
(1990)
"Hard to Handle"
(1990)
"Twice As Hard"
(1990)

Cover versions[edit]

It has been covered by many artists, including Patti Drew (with perhaps the earliest cover in 1968), King Floyd, Liquid Smoke, Grateful Dead, The Black Crowes, Tom Jones, Toots & the Maytals, Rustix, Band from TV, Harpers Bizarre, Gov't Mule, Tony Joe White, Magic Slim and the Teardrops, New Riders of the Purple Sage, Matt Giraud, Etta James and Snafu as well as by Mae West in the film Myra Breckinridge.

"Hard to Handle" was a mainstay of the Grateful Dead's live set from 1969 to 1971, as sung by Ron "Pigpen" McKernan. The song has been brought back recently by Furthur, Bob Weir and Phil Lesh's band.

The Stanford Band performs a cover as part of their standard repertoire. A recording is on their album The Wind of Freedom Blow (Greatest Hits 1970-1998).

Gov't Mule with Toots Hibbert covered the song on Gov't Mule's 2006 album, Mighty High.

In August 2007 soul singer Guy Sebastian recorded a tribute version of Hard to Handle at Ardent Studios in Memphis, Tennessee, for his album of soul classics, The Memphis Album with many of the original Stax music band members including Steve Cropper, Donald "Duck" Dunn, Lester Snell, and Steve Potts.

The song also featured prominently in the movie The Commitments.

American Idol contestant Phillip Phillips performed the song on the eleventh season of the show. The studio version is available for download on iTunes.

15-year-old singer and actor Greyson Chance performed "Hard to Handle" on Raising Hope as young Jimmy.

Country singer Joe Diffie recorded a bluegrass album called Homecoming in 2010, and remade the song for the final track.

Gerald de Palmas sang it in his show in 2012.

The Black Crowes version[edit]

Perhaps the most notable cover is that by The Black Crowes, for whom it was their breakout hit single from their 1990 debut album Shake Your Money Maker. Two versions of the song exist: the original album version and the hit single remixed with an overdubbed brass section. The Crowes' version reached number one on the Billboard Album Rock Tracks chart and number 26 on the Billboard Hot 100.

A cover version in the style of the Black Crowes is available as a downloadable track for the music video game series Rock Band. Another covered version by Steve Ouimette is in the video game Guitar Hero: Aerosmith.

Other uses[edit]

The Lemon Jelly song "Rock" features sampled elements of "Hard to Handle".

Masta Ace samples this song's bass line for "Four Minus Three", a song from his debut album, Take a Look Around.

The hip-hop producer Marley Marl sampled the five-note ascension and descension intro for his song "The Symphony" from his 1988 album In Control, Volume 1. This was re-sampled for the 1992 Wreckx-N-Effect song "Hard" and the 1999 Snoop Dogg song "Ghetto Symphony" from his 1999 album No Limit Top Dogg. Rapper Frankie Cutlass also uses the five ascending notes on his song "The Cypher Pt III" from his 1997 album Politics & Bullshit.

The song has been used in a 2011 advert for Anchor butter, celebrating 125 years of Anchor.

The song is covered at live performances by Welsh Rock Band Buffalo Summer

References[edit]

External links[edit]