Hard To Handle

Album: Shake Your Money Maker (1990)
Charted: 45 26
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  • This song was originally recorded by Otis Redding, who wrote it with Allen Jones and Al Bell. It was the only cover song on The Black Crowes debut album, which sold over five million copies.

    Running a compact 3:08, The Black Crows turned the song into a rocker, using guitars instead of horns and extending the song from Redding's 2:18 original.
  • This was The Black Crowes' third single, following "Twice As Hard" and "Jealous Again." It made #45 in the US in December 1990, as the group was rapidly gaining momentum. After "She Talks To Angels" hit #30 in May 1991 - over a year after the album was released - "Hard To Handle" was reissued, this time going to #26 and becoming the highest-charting single for the band on the Hot 100. The group had been together for five years before signing a record deal with Def American, which prepared them well for the onslaught of success. Their live act had already been honed, and many who saw them remained lifetime fans as they became more of a jam band.
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Comments: 19

  • Harold from Tamaqua, PaJeff, it does not sound like "Yes I Am"

    It most certainly is "GETS AROUND" even though many lyrics sites disagree. I do not have terrible hearing.
  • Don from Sevierville, TnTom Jones also recorded this song.
  • Jeff from Concord, CaI know the lyrics at the end of the chorus say: "Yes I am." But I've listened to the Otis and Black Crowes versions hundreds of times and I swear it sounds like: "Yes-a-ram." What's up with that?
  • Bender from East West Virginia, VaA band out of Saratoga Springs called Chet J. Flocko and The Drunks do a cool version on there CD entitled "Sugar Laced Icicles".
  • Joycemorrison from Phthank you Otis, for writing this song. guaranteed to energize the hell outta me everytime i hear it. The Black Crowes... gotta love 'em.
  • Amy from Rapid City, SdEtta James has a fantastic version of this song, too.
  • Jimmy from Birmingham, MiI have the Grateful Dead cover of it...I personally love the bluesish/light rock guitar messing around stuff about it. they did an excellent job- its great to listen to!
  • Merve from Stockton-on-tees, EnglandThe Crowes have a horn section on the new 'Freak n' Roll' DVD, and Hard to handle sounds reeal awesome.
  • Rob from Vancouver, CanadaI like the version in "the commitments" movie. Pretty close to Otis.
  • Rudy from Long Beach, CaI have to agree with Shane, I thought it was awesome when I heard her singing it. I've been trying to find a copy of it, anyone have any ideas?
  • Johhny from London, MtThe solo is amazing on the song.
  • Brettt from Voodoo Lounge, Txthe grateful dead version is really long
  • Joshua from Twin Cities, MnSeveral years ago I heard an alternate mix of "Hard to Handle" which includes a horn section. I've neither heard it nor been able to find it on CD since then.
  • Stefanie Magura from Rock Hill, ScI love Ottis redding's version. The Black crows' version rocks to. Where can you find the greatful dead one again? I'm not a huge fan of there's but that'd be cool to here.
  • Shane from Van Buren, ArSurely the most surreal version of this song is by Mae West. She performed it in her 70's as a big dance number in the film "Myra Breckenridge".
  • Andy from Cleveland, OhIt's not so hard to find Grateful Dead covering this song anymore. You can find it among the bonus tracks on the "Festival Express" DVD. A very cool DVD to add to your collection, and there is a lot of Dead material on it circa 1970.
  • Andy from London, EnglandThe Crowes version is vitually note-for-note the same as SNAFU's from their album "All Funked Up" c.1975. I had a vinyl copy back then (long gone and now regarded as 'rare', sob!) and played it to death - when I first heard the Crowes version, I thought it must be SNAFU's reissued cos it's so close. "All Funked Up" has been reissued on CD by AngelAir, I just found, and I'm ordering one as it was a cracking album. Can't wait!
  • Barry from Chicago, IlThe Dead were doing down right crazy versions of Hard to Handle in the late 60s and early 70s with Ron "Pigpen" McKernen on vocals, percussion, organ, and god knows what else...This is most likely where the black crowes got their inspiration to cover the Ottis Redding classic.
  • Matthew from Raleigh, NcThe Greatful Dead did a great cover of this song back in the early eighties.
    It can only be found on bootlegs, and one of the "backstage pass" videos
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