“Knock On Wood” (7″ Single Version) by Amii Stewart (1979)
One of my favorite songs, from 1966, is “Knock On Wood” by Soul Master Eddie Floyd … Written by Eddie Floyd and Steve Cropper on Stax Records.
By 1979 Popular Music record buyers were divided into two camps; Rock/Pop (include country and soul etc.) music lovers and Disco/Dance lovers without much middle ground. Exceptions to this rule included songs by pop Divas such as Barbra Streisand, Dolly Parton, Diana Ross and Donna Summer. By 1979 disgruntled rock & roll fans who were sick of Disco bgan the “WE HATE DISCO” movement.
Enter Amii Stewart…
Amii Stewart,singer/dancer releases a cover version of Eddie Floyd’s 1966 Soul Hit “Knock On Wood” …Amii’s version, the version played on radio and sold on 7-inch vinyl singles, is a 3 and a half minute outer-space Rock & Soul synthesized FRENZY that pretty much everybody liked. The performance in the following YouTube video is THAT (now hard to find) 7 inch single version… Check out Amii’s get-up and spectacular dance moves! She is VERY cool!
By contrast the song version featured on the album is over 6 minutes long and in typical Disco tradition features an unrelenting pounding disco beat from start to finish and it’s definitely not a frenzy. The pitch is also a little slower. Disco fans loved it. The album version/mix/edit is exactly the same as the 12 inch single mix/edit promoted and played in dance clubs. This meant that the 12 inch dance single sales would not hamper the sales of the official album. (Brilliant marketing since Gloria Gaynor’s12 inch Club version of her MASSIVE HIT “I Will Survive” was so popular that dance record buyers skipped the album purchase because it contained a different shorter version.) …So my favorite “Knock On Wood” version was on a 7-inch single and dance fans had an album …and a 12-inch single, IF they knew where to shop.
7 inch vinyl single picture sleeve:
Official album cover:
You may have also noticed that Amii is not doing any traditional disco dance steps in the video but is rock and roll “freestyling.” She certainly knows how to wiggle her rear-end-type-area expertly! All of this marketing savvy, a really great song and crossover appeal created a worldwide hit which started a trend in song remixes/edits for different audiences…. Not to mention, as one of the songwriters, Eddie Floyd got paid for these versions as well… Knock on wood!
And now today’s hi-jinx and shenanigans…
Your best friend,
(Ignatius “IGGY” Rattlebottom-Bunn
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