Tell It Like It Is (song)

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"Tell It Like It Is"
Single by Aaron Neville
B-side "Why Worry"
Released November 9, 1966
Format 7" single
Recorded 1966
Genre R&B/Pop
Length 2:40
Label Par-Lo Records
Writer(s) George Davis
Lee Diamond
Aaron Neville singles chronology
"Over You"
(1960)
"Tell It Like It Is"
(1966)
"She Took You for a Ride"
(1968)
"Tell It Like It Is"
Single by Heart
from the album Greatest Hits Live
B-side "Strange Euphoria"
Released November 1980
Format 7" single
Recorded September, 1980
Genre Blues rock
Length 3:48
Label Epic
Writer(s) George Davis
Lee Diamond
Producer(s) Heart
Heart singles chronology
"Bebe le Strange"
(1980)
"Tell It Like It Is"
(1980)
"Unchained Melody"
(1981)
"Tell It Like It Is"
Single by Billy Joe Royal
from the album Tell It Like It Is
B-side "I Was Losing You"
Released January 1989
Format 7"
Recorded October 1988
Genre Country
Length 3:00
Label Atlantic 45301
Writer(s) George Davis and Lee Diamond
Producer(s) Nelson Larkin
Billy Joe Royal singles chronology
"It Keeps Right On Hurtin'"
(1988)
"Tell It Like It Is"
(1989)
"Love Has No Right"
(1989)

"Tell It Like It Is" is a song written by George Davis and Lee Diamond and originally recorded and released in 1966 by Aaron Neville. In 2010, the song was ranked number 391 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.[1]

Original version[edit]

In 1966, Aaron Neville recorded and released the original version of "Tell It Like It Is" on his album also entitled Tell It Like It Is (Par-Lo Records). In November 1966, the track was issued as a single which peaked in early 1967 at number two on the US Billboard Hot 100 and number one on the US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.[2] the personnel on the original recording included George Davis arranging and playing Baritone Sax, Emory Thomas on trumpet, Deacon John on guitar, Alvin Red Tyler on tenor sax, Willie Tee on piano and June Gardner on drums.

Select cover versions[edit]

Since Aaron Neville's original 1966 version, the song has been covered by numerous artists including the following:

  • 1967: Kim Davis covered this song in February 1967.
  • 1967: Otis Redding and Carla Thomas covered the song on their album, King & Queen (1967).
  • 1967: Percy Sledge covered the track on his album, The Percy Sledge Way (1967).
  • 1967: The South African band, The Flames, covered it on their album, Burning Soul!
  • 1967: Dallas Frazier covered it on his second album, Tell it like it is.
  • 1968: Archie Campbell and Lorene Mann, on their 1968 album of the same name. This version peaked at number 31 on the country singles charts.
  • 1969: Bettye Swann cover it on her album, "The Soul View Now"
  • 1969: George Benson covered the song on his 1969 album of the same name.
  • 1971: Nina Simone released a rendition of the song on her album, Here Comes The Sun (1971).
  • 1976: John Wesley Ryles released the song as a single in 1976 which reached number 83 on the US Country chart.
  • 1976: Pop singer Andy Williams released a single of the track in 1976 which peaked at number 72.
  • 1978: Freddy Fender released the track on his album, Swamp Gold (1978).
  • 1980: Heart released the song as a single in 1980 which reached number eight in the United States.
  • 1989: Billy Joe Royal released a version of the song as a single in 1989 which reached number two on the US Country chart.
  • 1989: Actor Don Johnson recorded the song for his album, Let It Roll (1989). Released as a single throughout Europe, the song peaked at number two on the German Singles chart.
  • 1997: Saxophonist Michael Lington covered the song on his self-titled, debut album.[3]
  • 2002: The Dirty Dozen Brass Band with Robert Randolph covered the song on The Dirty Dozen's album, Medicated Magic (2002).
  • 2010: Michael McDonald covered the track on his album, The Voice of Michael McDonald (2010).
  • 2012: Mick Hucknall covered the track on his album "American soul" (2012)

Other songs with the same title[edit]

In 1958, Little Willie John composed and released a different song with the same title. Additionally, both Tracy Chapman and Lightnin' Hopkins each have written and released an unrelated song with the same title.

Chart performance[edit]

References[edit]

External Links[edit]

*[1]
  1. ^ http://www.offbeat.com/2010/11/01/classic-songs-of-louisiana-aaron-nevilles-tell-it-like-it-is/