Hard to Handle (song)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
"Hard to Handle"
Song by Otis Redding
from the album The Immortal Otis Redding
ReleasedJune 1968
Songwriter(s)Allen Jones, Al Bell, and Otis Redding
Producer(s)Steve Cropper

"Hard to Handle" is a 1968 song written by American soul star Otis Redding along with Al Bell and Allen Jones. Originally recorded by Redding, it was released in 1968 as the B-side to "Amen" (shortly after the singer's sudden death in 1967). The song also appears on the 1968 album The Immortal Otis Redding. Redding's version reached #38 on the Billboard R&B charts and #51 on the pop charts.

Numerous covers of the song exist, most notably a 1990 blues rock take on the track by band The Black Crowes.

"Hard to Handle"
Single by The Black Crowes
from the album Shake Your Money Maker
GenreHard rock, blues rock
LabelDef American
Songwriter(s)Allen Jones, Al Bell, and Otis Redding
Producer(s)George Drakoulias
The Black Crowes singles chronology
"Jealous Again"
"Hard to Handle"
"Twice As Hard"

Cover versions[edit]

The song has been covered by many artists, including Patti Drew (with perhaps the earliest cover in 1968), King Floyd, Grateful Dead, The Black Crowes, Tom Jones, Toots and 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. It was covered by the band Liquid Smoke in 1969 in a style very similar to The Black Crowes version.

  • Country singer Joe Diffie recorded a bluegrass album called Homecoming in 2010, which featured the song as the final track.

The Black Crowes version[edit]

Perhaps the most notable cover is by The Black Crowes, for whom it was a 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.[citation needed] 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.


Chart (1990–1991) Peak
Australia (ARIA)[1] 79
Canada Top Singles (RPM)[2] 40
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[3] 56
Poland (LP3)[4] 45
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[5] 45
US Billboard Hot 100[6] 26
US Mainstream Rock (Billboard)[7] 1

Other uses[edit]

  • Reggae artist Capleton used the ascension / descension for "Wings of the Mourning" (remix) 1992 on the Def Jam label Masta Ace samples this song's bass line for "Four Minus Three", a song from his debut album Take a Look Around.
  • The Lemon Jelly 2001 song "Rock", from a very rare limited edition (1000 copies) single called "Soft/Rock" (which came in an actual pair of actual Levi's jeans with a condom in the pocket), features sampled elements of "Hard to Handle".
  • The song has been used in a 2011 advert for Anchor butter, celebrating 125 years of Anchor.
  • The original Otis Redding version was used in a 2015 NatWest advert for Apple Pay.


  1. ^ Ryan, Gavin (2011). Australia's Music Charts 1988–2010. Mt. Martha, VIC, Australia: Moonlight Publishing.
  2. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 9091." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved March 19, 2018.
  3. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – The Black Crowes – Hard to Handle" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved March 19, 2018.
  4. ^ "Notowanie nr512" (in Polish). LP3. December 13, 1991. Retrieved February 22, 2018. Cite magazine requires |magazine= (help)
  5. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved March 19, 2018.
  6. ^ "The Black Crowes Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved March 19, 2018.
  7. ^ "The Black Crowes Chart History (Mainstream Rock)". Billboard. Retrieved March 19, 2018.

External links[edit]