The Valentinos – It’s All Over Now

Example

Mr. Bobby Womack

Example

Listen – The Valentinos – It’s All Over Now – MP3″

Greetings all.

I hope the middle of the week finds you well.
The track I bring you today is one of those OG versions I was unaware of for years,due in large part to the popular cover by the Rolling Stones. Once I discovered that the tune was a cover of a song by a group named the Valentinos it was another sizable interval before I found out that the group was in fact Bobby Womack and his brothers.
Like many R&B/soul performers, the Womack brothers (Bobby, Cecil, Curtis, Friendly Jr. (yes, Friendly Jr…) and Harris) got their start singing the music of the Lord. They were eventually discovered by none other than Sam Cooke who signed them to his SAR label (also home to Johnnie Morrisette, Mel Carter, Johnny Taylor (a MAJOR disciple of Cooke’s vocal style earlier in his career) and the Simms Twins who recorded the OG version of Sam & Dave’s ‘Soothe Me’).
They first recorded for SAR as the Womack Brothers in 1961, recording as the Valentinos for the first time the following year. They would record a half dozen 45s for SAR between 1961 and 1964 (after SAR closed due to the death of Cooke), before moving to Checker/Chess for a few sides in 1965 and 1966.
Ironically, the cover by the Stones was actually released just before the Valentinos OG after Mick and his pals were turned on to an advance copy of the tune by legendary DJ Murray “the K” Kaufman. They rushed into the Chess studios in Chicago in the summer of 1964 and beat the Valentinos to the streets (and the charts).
Ain’t THAT a bitch?
By August of ’64 the Stones had a Top 20 hit, with the Valentinos’ version only making it to #68 on the Pop charts (though the record was just missed the Top 20 on the R&B charts).
When you compare and contrast the versions, though the lead vocal by Bobby Womack is better that anything the Stones might have conjured up, there is a certain smoothing of the edges (not necessarily a good thing) in the Stones version that might have made it more appealing to a pop audience. I dig the gutbucket guitar and the glockenspiel accents on the Valentinos’ original, and as I said before, Womack is really tearing it up. The first time I heard the original version it was a little jarring, but I’ve grown to love it over the years. No matter which version you prefer (and there are many) there’s no denying that ‘It’s All Over Now’ is a damn catchy song.
All this, and the fact that Bobby Womack is definitely an important figure in the history of 60s and 70s soul who has never really gotten his due, either as a supporting player (major studio guitarist and songwriter) or as a performer.
I hope you dig the tune, and I’ll see you all on Friday.
Peace
Larry

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16 Responses to “The Valentinos – It’s All Over Now”

  1. gswisher Says:

    This is the one, hands down. Heard this version on the Lloyd Thaxton TV show. Valentinos were from Cleveland. Got to give the Rolling Stones credit for the nice big reverb on the guitars. But Jagger’s is the weak sister, can’t believe that of all the really good British singers from the sixties, he’s still doing it. Go figure. More Bobby Womack please. euclidcreek

  2. Simon Says:

    I found an interesting site, one that you may not have seen:

    http://www.sittinginthepark.com/interviews.html

    It’s interviews from a Chicago radio show featuring soul groups from the 60s and 70s. There’s some very interesting information in the interviews that you can’t find anywhere else online. And better diggers than myself haven’t done better than these!

    Cheers

    Simon

  3. Paul Says:

    I’d call it a tossup. Give the Womacks the edge for the vocals, but the Stones’ version has that killer Keith Richards guitar solo. Dave Davies seems to have been listening: compare his solo on “You Really Got Me,” which charted two months later.

  4. djack Says:

    Valentino’s “I’m looking For A Love” is another favorite. Bobby Womack did a disco-ish version in the early 70’s.

    The Senior Friendly Womack was not so friendly. Legend has it he heard the teenage brothers practicing R&B singing instead of gospel and kicked them out of the house.

  5. themusicologist Says:

    Larry,

    ‘you beat me to the punch’..I was intending to lay this one down on my alternative soundtrack selection to Cult film ‘Quadrophenia’ this week, (still might !!), as it was a big Mod dancer in London on release in 1964, (the Stones didnt get a look in), great tune and this version wins hands down. second only to my favourite by the Womacks, another Sar cut, ‘ Come On Back Home’.

    as always..great selection

    themusicologist

  6. Michael Says:

    Larry,

    Great info on the records as always! Thanks for supplying the goods on the good stuff!

  7. euclidcreek Says:

    If I remember correctly Jagger sings, “she hurt my eyes open….”. The Valentino’s version goes ” she hurt my nose open, that’s no lie”. Ouch! Love it.

  8. OMINOUS RED Says:

    I was going through my blog roll and hitting up the awesome bloggers that post rare audio with links. Good stuff!

  9. Paolo Says:

    Thanks for posting this Larry. I read about this original version a while back but have never heard it till now, though I do have a version that Bobby recorded live a few years later. My vote goes to the Valentinos.

  10. Phil Reeves Says:

    I think it was “..she HAD my nose open..” in the original.
    The Stones probably couldn’t fathom what the Valentinos actually sang so they made up the “eyes open” bit of nonsense !.
    BTW the “had my nose open” expression is used in some other 60’s R&B/soul records and makes sense if you have ever experienced arousal/sexual desire.

  11. Paul Says:

    In defense of Mick, I think “hurt my eyes open” has meaning in this context as well; perhaps it’s his way of shading the song a bit differently. (See also the inspired substitution of “half-ass games” “high class games”) These guys were huge R&B collectors; it stretches the imagination to think their noses weren’t open to the vernacular.

  12. Phil Reeves Says:

    Some good points there Paul. I’m unconvinced but would like to see anything they or anyone else said (at the time) about those changes.
    Were there any other Stones r&b covers with lyric changes?.

  13. euclidcreek Says:

    Perhaps Rolling Stones or someone in their camp smelled a hit record.
    This discussion is too esoteric for these old ears; a few memories though: the 35 cents I paid for a jukebox 45 of IAON at Grey Drugs, hearing it on WJMO radio in Cleveland, seeing an enthused Brian Jones playing a white Vox teardrop w/Stones in November ’64 before a audience of less than a thousand; a bored and dissipated BJ playing a Firebird before a much larger crowd in ’66.
    Over the years played Valentino’s original to many a delighted Stones fan; very few had heard it.
    Have seen Bobby W. twice, he did not perform it.
    Two questions: wasn’t “It’s All Over Now” the first Rolling Stones #1 in the States? There was a version by a southern rock band, whom?

  14. funky16corners Says:

    Euclidcreek
    I believe the tune was covered by Molly Hatchet.
    I’d heard stories about that first US Stones tour being pretty sparsely attended with select pockets (like LA, where they were a hit pretty early on) of success.
    Thanks for the remeniscence.
    Larry

  15. Pete Gloria Says:

    Bobby W. presented his own series on BBC radio here in the UK a few years ago and played this track, as well as reminiscing on how miffed he was when the Stones beat the V’s to the punch. Sam Cooke told him to take it easy as it would be good for The Valentinos in the long term. And pretty soon when Bobby got his first royalties paycheck he saw it Sam’s way!
    The Valentinos did one of the first tracks that turned me on to Northern Soul – ‘Sweeter Than The Day Before’ – classic stomper, definitely recommended.

  16. Shalom (R.Ph.) Says:

    Great song, I never knew that this wasn’t original to the Stones. Thanks for posting this.

    One question: if the Womack brothers were Bobby, Cecil, Curtis, Friendly Jr. and Harris, who’s the “S. Womack” in the songwriting credit?

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