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Steve Earle — Johnny Too Bad (Hillbilly Mix)
Album: Johnny Too Bad
Avg rating:
6.5

Your rating:
Total ratings: 960









Released: 1997
Length: 4:04
Plays (last 30 days): 4
Walkin' down the road with a pistol in your waist
Johnny Too Bad, woh oh oh
Walkin' down the road with a ratchet in your waist
Johnny Too Bad, woh oh oh
You're just robbin' and stabbin' and lootin' and shootin'
Johnny Too Bad
You're just robbin' and stabbin' and lootin' and shootin'
Johnny Too Bad
One of these days when you hear the voice say 'come'
Where you gonna run to, woh oh oh
One of these days when you hear the voice say 'come'
Where you gonna run to, woh oh oh
You're just runnin' to the rock for refuge
But there will be no rock
You're just runnin' to the rock for rescue
And there will be no rock
Comments (55)add comment
If anyone thinks that David Lindley would sing this song, raise your hand.
A total stand up guy.
 Gorwell wrote:

Even the UB40 version was better than this.



Yea, but this FAR better than any reggae attempted by Willie Nelson!
Just heard the John Martyn version based on the comments on this thread. He does try to approach the song in a slightly different way compared to the straight up UB40 and Steve Earle covers so props for that. But I can see how his cod reggae may jar for many. The original Slickers track from 1970 is still the one to beat. Authentic as they come.
Unmistakenly Steve Earle.
 Michael_Dean wrote:

I thought this was Elvis Costello for sure.




David Lindley
I thought this was Elvis Costello for sure.
Appropriate for this time in history
 Jakethemuss wrote:

I prefer the Slickers original - it kills John's version.  Technically inferior I'm sure but much more genuine.
 
Its all about the Slickers version
Fantastic. Solid 9. Love Steve . Great version.
Raised from 6 to 7 in appreciation of the musicianship. Fun and well played. 
...and now for something completely different
I don't mind this version.  Poverty in many places leads to the Johnny Too Bad persona.  Different accent, same problem.
 Vicey wrote:
Written by Jamaicans raised in Jamaica. 

I'm sure that Martyn's cover was partially inspired by it fitting with his persona. 


NelsonBlack wrote:
Interesting country-meets-reggae as written by a Brit raised in Scotland.
BTW, I wonder if Beverly thought John Martyn was "Too-Bad?" Based on her biographical account, I think so...

 

 
Written & performed by The Slickers who were a Jamaican rocksteady and reggae group in the late 1960s and early 1970s
woh woh wo-o-o-oh
woh oh wo-o-oh 
woh woh wo-o-oh
Written by Jamaicans raised in Jamaica. 

I'm sure that Martyn's cover was partially inspired by it fitting with his persona. 


NelsonBlack wrote:
Interesting country-meets-reggae as written by a Brit raised in Scotland.
BTW, I wonder if Beverly thought John Martyn was "Too-Bad?" Based on her biographical account, I think so...

 


 garrettb wrote:
Interesting version.
BUT... give me John Martyn any day :)
 

 
I prefer the Slickers original - it kills John's version.  Technically inferior I'm sure but much more genuine.
Interesting country-meets-reggae as written by a Brit raised in Scotland.
BTW, I wonder if Beverly thought John Martyn was "Too-Bad?" Based on her biographical account, I think so...
 woh oh oh,
 woh oh oh...
Even the UB40 version was better than this.
 garrettb wrote:
Interesting version.
BUT... give me John Martyn any day :)
 

 
+1
Interesting version.
BUT... give me John Martyn any day :)
 
 Krakus wrote:
This would have been a perfect theme song when invading Iraq in 2003.

 
Get a life
This would have been a perfect theme song when invading Iraq in 2003.

all great Rock comes from the Scotch Irish hills in the USA
A poor version of a great song.
Yeaaaaaaaaaa!  Made me stop cleaning for an impromtou dance around the house with the broom. Nice.

...and for anyone keeping track, former V-Roys frontman Scott Miller (smartest most likeable guy  in Americana) is doing some dates with Patti Griffin right about now.  I recommend checking that out!

 Roverfish,If you don't recognize Harder They Come, from the 70's,then you probably have led a sheltered life.

I didn't know pornos had soundtracks...

Decent tune. i.e. not great
 


 grassfolk420 wrote:
This is like when the Bellamy Brothers tried the whole quasi-reggae-country thing. Steve should have learned from their mistake.
 
The Bellamy Brothers?!  I haven't even heard that name in years -  unless I heard "Let Your Love Flow" on an oldies station.
This is like when the Bellamy Brothers tried the whole quasi-reggae-country thing. Steve should have learned from their mistake.
Mari wrote:
...if you can't BEAT them, join them... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ...
I wish I had your outlook... You're a miracle, you like everything!!

Nice take on a great tune.
thewiseking wrote:
why cover it, and do it in the same style. he should not have done it with the reggae beat, cause then we are just gonna compare it to the original. which will not bode well for little stevie earle.
This sounds like Steve Earle is trying to take this tune out of the reggae genre and make it into a country song. He didn't succeed. This song is like a half painted house.
A great singer,a great sound,always lifts the spirits
This is the only disc of the V-Roys that I don't have. I probably oughta get it. Steve Earle + V-Roys... how can that go wrong?
I guess the question is...why do people who really have no buisness doing remakes of Great reggae songs do them anyway. Especially ones from such an incrediblly great movies!
why cover it, and do it in the same style. he should not have done it with the reggae beat, cause then we are just gonna compare it to the original. which will not bode well for little stevie earle.
not doing much for me. pretty standard cover.
cbellak wrote:
The Harder They Come is actually a movie sountrack not compilation.
I didn't know pornos had soundtracks... Decent tune. i.e. not great
has anyone heard willie nelsons new reggie album yet? i heard about 4 cuts off of it. i just don't know.
Jahsticky wrote:
The original was done by The Slickers and appears on perhaps one of the greatest Reggae compilations -- The Harder They Come.
The Harder They Come is actually a movie sountrack not compilation.
Reminds me a lot of Todd Snider, and that's not a bad thing :)
Good version of a great song. Reminds me a litle of "Stepping Razor"
The original was done by The Slickers and appears on perhaps one of the greatest Reggae compilations -- The Harder They Come.
Kinda of like an Elvis Costello, but from Mississippi who likes to listen to raggae
Anyone who hasn't heard the Taj Mahal version of this song must check it out. Excellent. I'm actually impressed by this version as well, great selection.
I heard this guy give a radio interview. What a pretentious jerk.
Sounds great. "hillbilly" mix
Recently I listened to him performing Keith Richards' song Before They Make Me Run. Together with their love for Reggae and that rough, sloppy but at the same time razor sharp way of singing, they seem to have quite some things in common.
ECLECTIC: To select or choose the best of various or diverse sources. Excellent Choice.
Stevie B. Goode!