I don’t think I’ve ever done an “original vs. cover” battle before…

“I’m A Man” (not to be confused with the Muddy Waters tune of the same name) was written by Steve Winwood and Jimmy Miller. It was recorded by The Spencer Davis Group (for whom Winwood played keyboards and sang) and released as a single in early 1967, and on the album of the same name the band did in summer of that year. It reached #9 in the UK and a slightly different version reached #10 in the US.

The band Chicago (in their days as The Chicago Transit Authority) recorded a cover of the song (I think the only cover they’ve recorded) on their eponymous first album in 1969. On the album, it ran almost eight minutes; a shortened version was the B side to Chicago’s first single, “Questions 67 and 68.” Radio stations gave both songs airplay, and their version rose to #49 on the Hot 100 in 1971.

I had wanted to put Chicago’s single version up against the Spencer Davis one, but there doesn’t appear to be a video available. A rough estimate of the part cut out would be from 3:10 to about 6:30, where it would fade, if you’d like to make it authentic…

CONTESTANT #1: The Spencer Davis Group

CONTESTANT #2: The Chicago Transit Authority

Now, it’s time to vote…

Which version of “I’m a Man” did you prefer? The Spencer Davis Group’s original, or The Chicago Transit Authority’s cover? You know the drill: let me know in the comments which you prefer and a little bit about why. I’ll tally up the votes and announce the winner next Monday, which is also the date for the A to Z Challenge Theme Reveal!

And, when you’re finished doing that, visit the other blogs which may or may not be having Battles of the Bands today:

Tossing It Out
Far Away Series *
StMcC Presents Battle of the Bands *
Your Daily Dose
Mike’s Ramblings
Curious as a Cathy
DC Relief – Battle of the Bands
Book Lover
Alex J. Cavanaugh
Shady Dell Music & Memories
Debbie D. at The Doglady’s Den
Angels Bark
Jingle Jangle Jungle
Janie Junebug Righting and Editing
Cherdo on the Flipside
Holli’s Hoots ‘n’ Hollers
J. A. Scott
Quiet Laughter

* Check these blogs for further updates to this list!

Best of luck to the contestants. The lines are open now!


Author: John Holton

I'm a writer and blogger who writes and blogs about things that interest me.

20 thoughts on “BATTLE OF THE BANDS: “I’m A Man””

  1. I’m a stickler for originals, but wonders never cease and I’m going for Chicago! Nice percussions and they were quite popular in the barrio 🙂


  2. I know both of these well since I’ve owned albums with both cuts. Listened to both many many times.

    I definitely go with Chicago on their version. Much more texture and variation and I like the vocals better. Great drumming and guitar work as well.

    Arlee Bird
    A to Z Challenge Co-host
    Tossing It Out


    1. I went to two of their concerts, one in 1972 at Ravinia Park outside Chicago, where you could pay to sit on the lawn and hear but not see what was going on, and in 1975, when they were touring to support Chicago VII with The Beach Boys. We were way back in Chicago Stadium, but could hear everything and see everything happening onstage. Quite a concert…


  3. Voting for Spencer Davis Group. The Chicago version drags on too long.

    (I don’t know why it’s legal to use the city’s name but not the city’s company’s name. But it is what it is.)


  4. Wow, this is a tough one! I’m familiar with both versions and like both. As for which one I like best, I’ll give it to Chicago.
    Great song and equally great battle!

    Michele at Angels Bark


  5. John, I DO remember this song, but I”m not 100% sure which artist I remember doing it, though. My first thought was I’d go with Chicago. I love, love that group!! A lot of good songs that I equate a lot of good memories with, but their version was too long and it lost me more than it entertained me. Spencer Davis gets my vote with his version that jumps right into the feel of the song. Nice battle!


  6. The original brings back a lot of memories. 🙂 I’m not a huge fan of Chicago’s but they did a great job with this, even though it went on a bit too long. Still, nostalgia is urging me to vote for The Spencer Davis Group. So be it!


  7. Wow, John—this is a really cool battle. I’m no fan of Chicago, but—of course—I know much more of their later, ultra-pop stuff rather than their early work (and, after today, I’m going to look up more of the latter!)… so it came as an absolute surprise that I prefer (slightly) their version over the Spencer Davis original. Wonders never cease indeed 😉

    Thanks for the visit over at Quiet Laughter earlier! Looking forward to seeing how this battle of yours plays out 🙂


  8. This is another close call. Seems like so many match-ups in this round of battles are tough to decide. Give my vote to the Spencer Davis Group.


  9. Ha! JOHN, you’ve got a damned good Battle going on here. Looking at the voting, seems to me this is your closest contest in some time.

    Great song and I dig (and knew) both recordings. I especially love the organ in the original, but (no surprise here) I’m going to have to side with that CHICAGO funk.

    You could have a tie on your hands here. Regardless, this is going to be a photo finish BOTB installment. Good job, John!

    ~ D-FensDogG
    ‘Loyal American Underground’


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