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People are probably wondering what I'm smoking, beginning a thread about "Mama Told Me Not To Come," one of the most embarrassingly annoying songs that Three Dog Night ever recorded. Worse, it was written by Randy Newman, who I find about as likable as Michael Moore, with a voice about as pleasant as Bob Dylan's. So why am I writing about such a bad song? Because it's the *only* song that I've heard Randy Newman perform (granted, a very limited selection) that I like, but only *his* bluesy version. Three Dog Night - the cover everyone knows about - ruined it by turning it into some silly soft-rock ballad: <--- This is really bad: sanitized, takes itself too seriously, no blues component, etc. But Newman's version works, because it's bluesy, gritty, and somewhat tongue-in-cheek: <--- This works So, a song that I never liked, sung by a performer I never liked, equals a performance that I like: Two negatives make a positive. And the unknown, original version by Eric Burdon and The Animals works to some extent also, because it's closer in spirit to what Newman wrote: <--- This also works (but not as well as Newman's) Trivia: Did you know that Eric Burdon was the lead singer of *both* The Animals ("The House of the Rising Sun") *and* War ("The Cisco Kid")?! I can't hear the same person singing both of these recordings, but it is so.
Strictly speaking, Eric Burdon was the lead singer of "Eric Burdon and War", not of "War", which existed outside his participation with it. Eric Burdon had no role in "The Cisco Kid", which was recorded by War, on their great album The World Is a Ghetto, which was entirely Burdon-less. Don't get me wrong: I love Eric Burdon, but only for the work he actually did.