Don Covay – 1966 – See-Saw

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Another great contribution by Mr.Moo.

Excellent Atlantic soul from Don Covay! Don was one of the label’s biggest soul talents in the mid 60s — and he not only cut some great work on his own, but also penned some tunes that have become some of the most enduring soul numbers of his generation — like the cuts “Mercy, Mercy”, “Sookie, Sookie”, and “See Saw” — all of which are on this LP! Don’s band the Goodtimers back him up — and other cuts include “The Boomerang”, “Fat Man”, and “Iron Out The Rough Spots”.

A1 See-Saw 3:00
The Boomerang 2:03
Everything’s Gonna Be Everything 2:33
Fat Man 2:35
Precious You 2:43
Iron Out the Rough Spots 2:56
Please Do Something 2:51
I Never Get Enough of Your Love 2:46
The Usual Place 2:08
A Woman’s Love 2:37
Sookie Sookie 2:45
Mercy, Mercy 2:26

Review by Soulmakossa

Don Covay… the man who was being funky when funk still was a bad word. The pleasantly crazy Wildman of Soul, the inventor of dozens of the genre’s classics and an ecclectic, spellbinding guitarist who recorded some of the rawest, least polished slabs of down and dirty Soul. No matching suits here, nor synchronized dance steps.

The Don’s second Atlantic LP, ‘See Saw’, is a masterpiece pure and simple. While not a huge hit upon its release, the LP has rightfully been reappraised since.

Wacky as ever, Covay struts through “See-Saw” providing his own – hilarious, full-throttled, turky-like – backing vocals. Aretha Franklin’s cover, recorded two years later, may have been the big hit, but it’s Covay’s original version that you’ll want to check out first.

The title-track is followed by the sped-up, fastpaced dance hall favorite “The Boomerang“, another perky ‘n’ quirky Covay original that starts out with the ‘is it a bird, is it a plane?’ catchline and is gradually immersed in thick layers of Chi-sounding brassy goodness (also, two verses of Martha & the Vandellas huge “Dancing in the Street” are snuck in, heh!)…

Maintaining a mid-tempo, loping beat on the funky and fierce “Everything’s Gonna Be Everything” (that tambourine is hittin’ something nasty), Covay launches into another high-energy soul romp with “Fat Man“, namechecking one of his heroes, Fats Domino, in mid-song.

Donning the balladeer’s hat, Covay gets sweet ‘n’ sensitive Percy Sledge-style on the slow-grinding “Precious You“, featuring his snappy guitar pluckings, only to put the mood into a decidedly bossa-nova by way of Stax Studios groove with the smouldering “Iron Out the Rough Spots“.

Hard sockin’ tambourines, punishing horns and a relentless backbeat provide another funky background for the Don on “Please Do Something“, after which he dips into one of his most beautiful ballads, “I Never Get Enough of Your Love“, co-written with Steve Cropper, whose inimitable guitar style is all over the tune.

Country-esque guitar noodling accompany Covay next on the all-out belter “The Usual Place“, while “A Woman’s Love” probably is the most sophisticated ballad here.

The Don goes out on a rawkus, however… Aside the “Mercy, Mercy” classic, his first hit that was added here for good measure, it’s the fiery, stompin’ gutbucket proto-funk of “Sookie Sookie” that musta raised quite a few eyebrows back in ’66. I mean seriously, that tune is just outta there…

Don Covay Came, See-Saw and Conquered with this peerless collection of rougher-than-rough, earthy and sweaty Southern Soul.



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Conversation for album: Don Covay – 1966 – See-Saw

  • hooch
    Posted at 16:45h, 22 May 2010 Reply

    awesome LP – thanks nikos!

  • hooch
    Posted at 16:46h, 22 May 2010 Reply

    Awesome LP – thanks Mr Moo!

  • Adam
    Posted at 17:56h, 22 May 2010 Reply

    Thanks for the LP. I’ve never heard of Don Covay, but i’m excited to check out his music.

  • Aggelos
    Posted at 11:50h, 23 May 2010 Reply

    Amazing my friend! As usual!

  • onejazzyman
    Posted at 18:26h, 23 May 2010 Reply

    Thank you for posting this forgotten artist by much of today’s music generation. Don Covay had some great music. Thanks.

  • brianbrora
    Posted at 20:01h, 23 May 2010 Reply

    As well as this, he also made another good LP for Atlantic – ”Mercy”, plus a superb 1973 LP on Mercury ”Super Dude” – well worth checking out!!. Cheers.

  • Hector
    Posted at 12:48h, 24 May 2010 Reply

    Don Covay was one of the great vocal stylists of his era. Songs like “Mercy Mercy”,”Sookie Sookie”, and “The Usual Place” set the standard for rock singers of the sixties to follow. Thanks for sharing Mr.Moo and Nikos.

  • GeeBee
    Posted at 16:13h, 24 May 2010 Reply

    Fantastic! Been looking for this for YEARS.

    Many thanks


  • Soul is the Music
    Posted at 17:27h, 24 May 2010 Reply

    Covay’s recordings spanned nearly all of the post-war African-American music from rock’n’roll to funk, and so too. Covay is an expressive singer capable of bringing out the best in his occasionally wonderful songs.

  • rich
    Posted at 21:24h, 24 May 2010 Reply

    thank u mr. moo

  • Kai Huwald
    Posted at 21:49h, 24 May 2010 Reply

    little janice – today’s youth
    hi nikos,
    love your blog, amazing music.
    i’m looking for the above lp in mp3 form.
    can you help ??

  • Rami
    Posted at 09:41h, 25 May 2010 Reply

    oooold school classic!! Thank u.

  • Sigurdur
    Posted at 14:42h, 25 May 2010 Reply

    Great album! One of my favorite blogs, keep up the good work!

  • Bobby
    Posted at 17:17h, 25 May 2010 Reply

    No filler – thanks again!

  • Jack
    Posted at 19:31h, 25 May 2010 Reply

    I’ve been waiting on this one for quite some time. Keep it up.

  • Brotherpete
    Posted at 22:10h, 25 May 2010 Reply

    Wonderful !!!!!!! Thanks a lot !!

  • Brian
    Posted at 00:28h, 26 May 2010 Reply

    goooood stuff my man

  • Seth
    Posted at 13:40h, 26 May 2010 Reply

    Thanks for yet another gem. As always, you set the standard!

  • Gary
    Posted at 13:18h, 27 May 2010 Reply

    This record is great. Right up my alley. Thank you.

  • invisiblenigma
    Posted at 03:46h, 28 May 2010 Reply

    Nice Work Mr. Moo!! Can’t wait to hear this!

  • Nicolas
    Posted at 10:08h, 28 May 2010 Reply

    Good lookin’ this is a classic!!!

  • Flatland Dan
    Posted at 10:11h, 28 May 2010 Reply

    This album totally does it for me. Incredible voice, arrangements, the whole nine yards. Thanks! Any more Don Covey out there?

  • William
    Posted at 18:58h, 28 May 2010 Reply

    Very exciting. Thanks for sharing this one.

  • mattis
    Posted at 00:13h, 31 May 2010 Reply

    Can’t wait to hear this, thanks a mill, funky time!!!

  • Abrol
    Posted at 19:09h, 31 May 2010 Reply

    great post, thank-you

  • Triana
    Posted at 02:28h, 02 June 2010 Reply

    Beautiful, just beautiful!

  • Remy
    Posted at 23:55h, 03 June 2010 Reply

    I really like those great albums. Thank you.

  • Mario
    Posted at 00:04h, 05 June 2010 Reply

    Such a great artist. Thank you Mr.Moo.

  • Aggelos
    Posted at 11:29h, 06 June 2010 Reply

    Superb post. Thanks so much.

  • Steven
    Posted at 10:04h, 09 June 2010 Reply

    These recordings are wonderful. Thank you very much for turning me on to this.

  • cleffdeadly
    Posted at 07:13h, 13 June 2010 Reply

    two brilliant albums, thank you!

  • El Slick
    Posted at 03:43h, 22 June 2010 Reply

    He He He….Don Covay! SeeSaw took me back to the time when gospel quartet groups wuold challenge each other whe singing at church functions. Aretha knew a good thing when she covered it. Covay was the first to do the lyrical version of Joe Zawlinul’s Mercy, Mercy Mercy after Cannonball Adderly stunned radio stations all over with of all things…a jazz cut. The thing back in the da was to put lyrics to a instrumental or a answer song to the original. Thanks for taking me back to fond memories.

  • El Slick
    Posted at 04:26h, 22 June 2010 Reply

    Wrong Wrong Wrong on my part.
    Don Covay’s Mercy, Mercy (Have Mercy Baby) tune ain’t the same remake th lyrics of the Adderly jazz cut…somebody else did that.
    However, Covay’s song was the bomb for beggers…got a many fellowers that was caught doing wrong back in the house.

  • rhys
    Posted at 23:11h, 14 July 2010 Reply

    had a little of don covay but no idea he was so consistently good. thanks for the heads up

  • Jeffrey
    Posted at 14:53h, 15 July 2010 Reply

    I only knew Don Covay from that sample Kanye West used in a Common track. Nice to hear he’s got other good stuff too! Thx for this!

  • Slackjack
    Posted at 14:48h, 23 March 2011 Reply

    Great to hear again. Had both of these back in the late Sixties. Love them then, love them now

  • pedro
    Posted at 18:51h, 22 June 2012 Reply

    I remember this as a single title don covay and the goodtimers on red atlantic which could have been a reissue great lp i remember reading wilson pickett have a dig at don when the did that soul gathering single wilson p,joe tex etc the soul gang or something like that

  • pedro
    Posted at 18:54h, 22 June 2012 Reply

    I remember the soul clan 68 or 69

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