Gimme Some Lovin'

Album: The Best of the Spencer Davis Group (1966)
Charted: 2 7
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Songfacts®:

  • This song was written by the group's lead singer, Steve Winwood (Spencer Davis was their guitarist - he was chosen as the group's namesake because he was the only one who enjoyed doing interviews). Winwood says they banged it out in the studio in the first or second take. The song was also written on the fly. In Rolling Stone magazine, bassist Muff Winwood said, "Steve had been singing, 'Gimme some lovin',' just yelling anything. It took about an hour to write, then down the pub for lunch."
  • Steve Winwood was just 17 years old when he wrote this song. It was one of the first songs he wrote, and the first one that he says wasn't derivative of something already recorded.
  • The Spencer Davis group was signed by Chris Blackwell, who released their first single, a cover of the John Lee Hooker song "Dimples," in 1964. He had the group record songs written by the Jamaican composer Jackie Edwards, two of which were #1 UK hits in 1965: "Keep on Running" and "Somebody Help Me."

    When Blackwell set his sights on the American market for the group, he had them record with producer Jimmy Miller and asked them to write an original song that would go over well in the US. "Gimme Some Lovin'" was the result; Miller made the US release more appealing to American taste by adding percussion and a female chorus. The song served its purpose, becoming the first American hit for The Spencer Davis Group. Their follow-up, "I'm a Man," made #10, but was their last significant hit stateside. Winwood, however, went on to tremendous success in America as a solo artist, becoming far more popular there than in his native UK. In America, he had two #1 hits: "Higher Love" and "Roll With It."
  • Steve Winwood played a Hammond B-3 organ on this track, which became one of the most recognizable organ riffs in rock. Winwood also wrote the song on the instrument, which explains why it is so prominent in the mix.
  • In America, the first release of this song was by The Jordan Brothers, which was a rock band from the Philadelphia area. Frank Jordan explained to the Forgotten Hits newsletter:
    "Artists back in the 50's and 60's relied heavily on the record company's people to come up with a hit for them. This was the case with The Jordan Brothers' band. Upon receiving a phone call from the people at our record company in New York, we packed up our instruments and, along with our father, we went to the Big Apple. The people at our company played a 'demo' or demonstration of the song 'Gimme Some Lovin'' for us to hear and approve. We all agreed that we liked the song and agreed to record it. Little did we know that it was the actual 8-track tape we listened to containing Steve Winwood's vocal, organ, a lead guitar, bass guitar and drums. The other remaining tracks were open for any additional accompaniment. We did not know this at the time or how our record company got hold of the original recording. We may never know. Or how the other record company that recorded the other tracks on it got a hold of it. We learned the song, recorded it on that same trip and it was released in three major cities in the US. So, we did have the first release in the US and the record took off immediately. It boasted huge sales in three major cities which would make the Spencer Davis version seem like it was a cover. The Spencer Davis version was enhanced with more instrumentation and background voices which gave it somewhat of a 'soul sound,' a term used back then for a sound produced at Motown records which was very popular at the time. The Spencer Davis version was released and it got immediate attention. It didn't take long for it to take over our version and cover it."
  • In 1980 The Blues Brothers returned this song to the American Top 20 when their cover from the soundtrack of The Blues Brothers reached #18.
  • This was featured in the 1999 film Notting Hill. Other movies where it appeared include Days of Thunder, The Big Chill and Sleepers.
  • Steve Winwood later covered the song with Traffic on their live album Welcome to the Canteen. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    James - Tracy, CA
  • This was use in a TV commercial for Allstate insurance. The Grateful Dead's cover of this song was used in a commercial for Ameriprse Retirement Planning. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Josh Deutchman - Pound Ridge, NY

Comments: 13

  • Joe Morello from Orlando,flOriginally I heard this when it was released in Jan. 67, I lived in Brooklyn NY at time and was a senior in HS. This song has a half century of following and with good reason. IT WAS GREAT. The life of this song/music comes on till this day. In Many clubs in NY for a few years after it was the Grand Finale of the night. I still have a few friends that associate the song with me, to me this is MY ALL TIME FAVORITE in all of popular and rock music, it is a CLASSIC and will remain that forever. Use to listen on WABC and WMCA AM radio back then, I have 4 copies of the 45 and the album.
  • Dave from UsAlso used prominently in the movie Iron Eagle.
  • Aiken Nutz from Tahlequah OkGreat rock & roll from 1966. I was attending Univ. of Kansas, Lawrence, KS. when this hit big. The single was on all the jukeboxes on & off campus, and in the Lawrence taverns all over town. I know! haaa! We kids danced to it, until our soles caught fire. Love the bass line and Winwood's vocals. A classic.
  • Sam Williams from Sherman Oaks, CaThe prominent bass line in this song is entirely based off of a riff in Homer Bank's "Ain't That A Whole Lot Of Love" (Muff Winwood completely stole that whole line from that song, now I'm not sure if he knew the song or was aware of his infringement when he wrote the song with his brother Steve and Spencer Davis, but it is a blatant rip off). He might have unconsciously stole the riff. Who knows, but it doesn't take away from the fact that Homer Banks wasn't even given credit, so the Band basically claimed that it was a %100 original composition, which isn't true by any means. I'm surprised there was no Lawsuit. they're really should have been.
  • Bill from Pensacola, Fla lot of folks like to do this song, its an early classic, and Winwoods is the best.
    But another favorite version for me is Olivia Newton John on her totally hot Totally HOT album 1978
  • Scott from Boston, MaI went to a Tom Petty concert a couple weeks ago and Steve Winwood opened for him. About halfway through Petty's set, he brought Winwood back out. They played this song and it was the best live song I've ever heard.
  • Juan from Buenos Aires, Argentina"Ain't that a lot of love " (The song that Taj Mahal sings on "Rolling Stones Circus ") has the same riff.
  • Juan from Buenos Aires, ArgentinaWe used to dance a lot with this one in Buenos Aires.
  • Nunzio from Darwin, AustraliaBest song Winwood ever did. One of the great Rock &
    Roll singles of the 60's. O.N-J did a version of this...but you can't beat the original
  • Alan from Milwaukee, Wi'Little' Stevie Winwood at his finest!
  • Lexie from Haifa, Israelmakes me wanna relive the sixtees.
  • Mark from Seattle, WaThe inspiration for My Sharona
  • Teresa from Mechelen, BelgiumA very good song with a super beat; surely the best of Steve Winwood and The Spencer Davis Group. One of the great hits hit from 1966 like "Sloop John B" Beach Boys, "Bus Stop" Hollies "Hanky Panky" Tommy James and The Shondells, "California Dreaming" The Mamas and The Papas "96 Tears" Question Mark and The Mysterians and "River deep, mountain high" Ike and Tina Turner.
see more comments

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