Forums > Queen - Serious Discussion > *I* Just Wanna Testify

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rhyeking user not visiting Queenzone.com
rhyeking
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Posted: 05 Mar 06, 22:50 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Okay, for years I've read everywhere that Roger's 1977 7" single "I Wanna Testify" was a cover of Parliament's song of the same name.

I also read that he'd rewritten some of the lyrics, but it was still considered a "cover version".

So, the other day I happened to buy Parliament's recent 2 CD set "Gold". Lo, it has "Testify" on it. It also has "Dr. Funkenstein's Supergroovalistic-Prosifunkstication Medley: Let's Take It To The Stage/Take Your Dead Ass Home (Say Som'n Nasty) (Live)"...and honestly, who can live without this masterpiece, I ask you?

Now, I'm listening to Parliament's "Testify" and as great as the song is, it does NOT in any way sound like what Roger later recorded. I don't just mean the music, but the lyrics are completely different, all except for the bit:

"I just wanna testify..."

in the chorus. That's it. Roger's lyrics, "rewitten" are a new song. the music is entirely his, with not even a passing resemblance to Parliament's song.

Am I completely insane in suggesting that maybe, just maybe, we can stop calling this a cover and consider it a fully-fledged Roger song?

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Posted: 05 Mar 06, 23:12 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I never heard that it was called a cover...


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Posted: 06 Mar 06, 03:42 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Yeah, you know I've never heard this song, I heard it was similar to Parliment's song...lol, I've never heard it, can I go to Amazon.com to listen to it?


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Bohemian: 615 posts
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Posted: 06 Mar 06, 16:46 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

RT gave himself a co-write given how much he'd changed it.

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Posted: 07 Mar 06, 09:03 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Does that Parliament disk include the track
"Sh*t, Godd*amn, Get Off Your *ss and Jam"?

A better party song you'll never come across than that one.


"Ladies and gentlemen... I guess that takes in most of you..." Groucho Marx, 'A Night at the Opera'



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Posted: 07 Mar 06, 18:02 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

No, that one doesn't appear to be on here, unless it goes by another name.

It does have:

Aqua Boogie (A Psychoalphadiscbetabioaquadoloop) (12" Version no less)

Rumpofsteelskin

&

Agony Of DeFeet

I'm really liking the set. It also has a complete George Clinton Funk Encyclopaedia, which is absolutely hilarious.

The liner notes here credit "Clinton/Taylor", which isn't Roger but Deron Taylor (no relation).

Can anyone check the sleeve of Roger's "Testify" and see if it reads "Clinton/Taylor" or "Clinton/Taylor/Taylor" (for Roger's "additional lyrics")?

From the Funk Encyclo-P-dia...
BIG BANG THEORY: Funk set the universe in motion; Ignition by Funk. Ain't nothin' but a party in a Black Hole.

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Posted: 10 Mar 06, 15:14 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Ah, I did not notice that the original had a Taylor credit. RT's is credited to "Taylor/Clinton", so maybe he didn't give himself a co-write and I just started an urban myth..

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Posted: 11 Mar 06, 04:05 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

from my site:
"Please note that the writers of I Wanna Testify are G. Clinton and D. Taylor of The Parliaments. Roger's I Wanna Testify is a cover version, although his version is totally different than the Parliaments' version."



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rhyeking user not visiting Queenzone.com
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Posted: 12 Mar 06, 19:38 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

My point exactly, Ron (and great site, btw, I visit it often). At what point does a song cease to be a cover. How much has to be changed before it becomes an original work? In this case, only the line "I just wanna testify" remains the same. Every other lyric, and the music, is different.

Brian's "See What A Fool I've Been" has more lyrics in common (almost a full verse) with its parent song "That's How I Feel" by Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee and it is generally *not* considered a cover, but based on that early track.

Can we stop calling "I Wanna Testify" a cover?