For this month’s edition of “The original vs. The Cover”, we space going to take it on a 3rd version as we tackle the David Essex track “Rock On”. Us will fight it out in between David Essex’s initial version vs. Consist of by both Michael Damian and Def Leppard.

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The tune was created for a movie that David to be starring in dubbed “That’ll be the Day” which likewise had Ringo Starr and Kieth Moon. The song, however, was not offered in the movie. David wrote the song based upon his character from the movie and also it has a pure old rock & role rebellious attitude. The song is actually a tip-of-the-hat to the old time rockers as it mentions “Blue Suede Shoes” and also “Summertime Blues” and it gives a shout-out come an old Hollywood rebel James Dean.

Since we have three versions, we might also jump right into it.


David’s variation hit #3 ~ above the UK singles graph in 1973 and also didn’t execute that an excellent in the US, however doesn’t median we american don’t love it. The track is really unique in that there space no tools that play any type of chords which way there is No Guitar and also No Piano ~ above the track at all. It is every bass, percussion and also horns. The is really stripped down.

You can tell a major influence the the track is Jamaican raggae and the entirety dub style. The song is thrust by the base line which to be done through Herbie Flowers. According to Wikipedia…”(Herbie’s) double-tracked bass guitar was treated through a influential “slapback” hold-up effect, creating a complex polyrhythmic backbeat.”

That was really all the song needed musically because that it to be so impactful and also powerful. The music uniqueness is what renders this song standout head & shoulders above anything else. The lack of the guitar and also piano is not missed and actually adds to the beauty of the song. How plenty of times have the right to you say the no guitar is a great thing. I didn’t think ns would ever before say that together I love me part guitar rock.


In 1989, this soap opera actor did a cover variation of “Rock On” for the movie ‘Dream a tiny Dream’ starring the Corey’s…Corey Haim and also Corey Feldman. The variation was considerably different from David’s. The was full on instrumental and included everything under the sun. It to be a heavier, pop variation of the song and also it ended up getting to #1 on the Billboard warm 100 which method it did better than the original.

Michael’s version although an excellent in its own right, completely stripped away any kind of of the love & soul and also removing every the distortion sounds consisted of in the original. The magic in the instrumentation (or lack thereof) in the initial is likewise missed and makes the song doing not have of any real meaning. The only cool thing around the tune was the deep, vocal styling the the surname “James Dean”.


In 2006, Def Leppard go a sheathe of rock On for your all consists album ‘Yeah’. Lock did relax the track as a solitary and didn’t also chart therefore why to be I providing it any attention…Well, it is easy. Def Leppard is my favorite tape for one, yet two is since they tho play this frequently in your live shows. The band feels they have made the track their own and they feel choose they wrote it for this reason let’s to compare it come the original.

Def Leppard’s variation sticks come the initial with the bass line. Rick Savage pond the bass component and is just one of the few times he has been enabled to light in the band. Wherein the original adds horns and much more percussion, Leppard throws in the guitar work-related instead. Phil and also Vivian add some really cool and also interesting impacts with their guitar to include some beat to the song and also Joe does an excellent vocally.

While I do like this version and find the much far better than than Michael Damian’s version it still doesn’t organize a candle come the original. Also though it is the heaviest, many rocking version of the 3 songs, that still is lacking the rebellious attitude of the original.


This is straightforward verdict because that me. David Essex’s initial version is the stand the end champion. The is the most distinct version that the song, in fact it is so distinctive that all various other versions are an intricate Karaoke versions. The remarkable bass work and also overall percussion is the magic behind the song and the lack of any kind of chords. David’s vocals showed an ext heart and also feeling and I thought his version had more heart & soul. I need to admit, I additionally like the reggae influence as well.

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Now the is your turn. Permit me know which variation you choose best and why. Also, allow me know if there is a variation out there that is better and have to be included. Ns hope you enjoyed the walk v this month’s song. Have a good rest the week.

“Rock On”


Hey, kid, absent ‘n’ roll, rock onOoh, mine soulHey kid, boogie, too, walk ya?Hey, shout, summertime bluesJump up and also down in mine blue suede shoesHey, kid, rock ‘n’ roll, rock on

And where do we go from here?Which is a means that’s clear?Still trying to find that blue jean baby queenPrettiest girl I’ve ever seenSee she shake ~ above the movie screen, Jimmy Dean(James Dean)

And where execute we go from here?Which is the method that’s clear?Still searching for that blue jean baby queenPrettiest girl I ever seenSee she shake on the movie screen, Jimmy DeanJimmy Dean

Rock onRock onRock onHey, kid, rock ‘n’ roll, absent onRock onHey, kid, rock ‘n’ roll, absent onRock onHey, kid, absent ‘n’ roll, absent onRock onHey, kid, absent ‘n’ roll, rock onRock onHey, kid, rock ‘n’ roll, rock onRock onHey, kid, rock ‘n’ roll, absent onRock onHey, kid, absent ‘n’ roll, absent onRock onHey, kid, absent ‘n’ roll, absent on