the four or five Bill Withers songs everybody knows

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no offense to the rest of his catalog, which i should really investigate at some point, but he just has this small handful of really ubiquitous songs and i'm interested in seeing how people stack them up against each other

Poll Results

OptionVotes
Lovely Day 28
Use Me 26
Ain't No Sunshine 25
Lean On Me 9
Just The Two Of Us 0


Señor Smang (some dude), Wednesday, 25 May 2011 19:55 (seven years ago) Permalink

lovely day!

j lol (surm), Wednesday, 25 May 2011 19:56 (seven years ago) Permalink

for me it's Lovely Day > Use Me > Just The Two Of Us > Lean On Me > Ain't No Sunshine

Señor Smang (some dude), Wednesday, 25 May 2011 19:56 (seven years ago) Permalink

u know something's happening right when u hear that song in the city

j lol (surm), Wednesday, 25 May 2011 19:56 (seven years ago) Permalink

Wait is lean on me really bill withers? I had no idea.

It came on the radio the other day when I was driving alone and I got so into. In fact, I get really into it every time I hear it. I love that song.

Lean On Me.

\(^o\) (/o^)/ (ENBB), Wednesday, 25 May 2011 19:59 (seven years ago) Permalink

omg i can just imagine u like bawling at the wheel

j lol (surm), Wednesday, 25 May 2011 20:00 (seven years ago) Permalink

(that's what i would have done obv)

j lol (surm), Wednesday, 25 May 2011 20:00 (seven years ago) Permalink

lovely day obv

lebroner (D-40), Wednesday, 25 May 2011 20:01 (seven years ago) Permalink

yeah "Lean On Me" is such a basic piece of fabric of American culture that it's kind of weird to think of it being by somebody any more than, like, "Amazing Grace"

Señor Smang (some dude), Wednesday, 25 May 2011 20:01 (seven years ago) Permalink

^^^^^ YES.

Idk Surm it's powerful for sure but I find it more hopeful than sad. I like the part where he breaks it down. I seriously love that song.

\(^o\) (/o^)/ (ENBB), Wednesday, 25 May 2011 20:02 (seven years ago) Permalink

i don't really like lovely day

i feel like it's played too much

\(^o\) (/o^)/ (ENBB), Wednesday, 25 May 2011 20:02 (seven years ago) Permalink

Lean On Me is a perfect song, so that one.

metally ill (Shakey Mo Collier), Wednesday, 25 May 2011 20:02 (seven years ago) Permalink

currently "use me", it feels ever so slightly less overplayed than all the others at the moment.

adult music person (Jordan), Wednesday, 25 May 2011 20:03 (seven years ago) Permalink

Fwiw, 'Lovely Day' was one of luna's favorite songs. I prefer 'Ain't No Sunshine'.

Concatenated without abruption (Michael White), Wednesday, 25 May 2011 20:03 (seven years ago) Permalink

use me! kind of like the unique perspective of this song. and the GROOVE.

tylerw, Wednesday, 25 May 2011 20:04 (seven years ago) Permalink

'Lovely Day' was one of luna's favorite songs

lol - The band or the poster?

\(^o\) (/o^)/ (ENBB), Wednesday, 25 May 2011 20:04 (seven years ago) Permalink

Idk Surm it's powerful for sure but I find it more hopeful than sad. I like the part where he breaks it down. I seriously love that song.

― \(^o\) (/o^)/ (ENBB), Wednesday, May 25, 2011 9:02 PM (1 minute ago) Bookmark Suggest Ban Permalink

ur right. i don't know what i was thinking. it is hopeful.

j lol (surm), Wednesday, 25 May 2011 20:04 (seven years ago) Permalink

yeah "Lean On Me" is such a basic piece of fabric of American culture that it's kind of weird to think of it being by somebody any more than, like, "Amazing Grace"

― Señor Smang (some dude), Wednesday, May 25, 2011 4:01 PM (1 minute ago) Bookmark

it's funny because i grew up thinking some of these songs were kind of lame inspiro-drivel (like lean on me is so elementary school music class) but now that i know that he wrote all kinds of songs dude is a total badass.

call all destroyer, Wednesday, 25 May 2011 20:05 (seven years ago) Permalink

(like lean on me is so elementary school music class)

MAYBE BUT IT IS STILL WONDERFUL

\(^o\) (/o^)/ (ENBB), Wednesday, 25 May 2011 20:06 (seven years ago) Permalink

sorry i kind of hate "Lean On Me", it's trying to hard to be uplifting or something. voting for "Lovely Day" ahead of "Ain't No Sunshine".

Deeez Nuuults (Noodle Vague), Wednesday, 25 May 2011 20:06 (seven years ago) Permalink

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zU97n-HuAJA

it's just quintessential good-dude-trying-to-make-you-feel-better, a prototype of uplifting pop (sorta like "I Will Survive" or "Imagine")

xp

metally ill (Shakey Mo Collier), Wednesday, 25 May 2011 20:06 (seven years ago) Permalink

Despite "Lean On Me" being #1 the week I was born, I went with "Use Me." The drumming on that is scary, and I just can't say no to a clavinet.

shake it, shake it, sugary pee (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Wednesday, 25 May 2011 20:07 (seven years ago) Permalink

Sorry - I seriously had a moment the other day when this happened where I was like, "Man, I really LOVE "Lean on Me". I had no idea I felt this way so this is still fresh for me, you know, emotionally. OK I'm exaggerating. A little.

\(^o\) (/o^)/ (ENBB), Wednesday, 25 May 2011 20:07 (seven years ago) Permalink

In a wider poll, probably would have voted "I Can't Write Left-Handed."

shake it, shake it, sugary pee (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Wednesday, 25 May 2011 20:08 (seven years ago) Permalink

lol - The band or the poster?

The poster.

I like all these songs but ANSWSG is always lurking in the back of my head.

Concatenated without abruption (Michael White), Wednesday, 25 May 2011 20:08 (seven years ago) Permalink

I can't even think of how "Use Me" goes

obv the other four are indelibly etched into my memory

Tom Skerritt Mustache Ride (DJP), Wednesday, 25 May 2011 20:08 (seven years ago) Permalink

the fact that the breakdown on the original recording of lean on me is so funky was a huge eye-opener to me tbh

call all destroyer, Wednesday, 25 May 2011 20:08 (seven years ago) Permalink

sorry i kind of hate "Lean On Me", it's trying to hard to be uplifting or something

That's just because of how it's been used. In and of itself it succeeds in being really powerful without trying too hard at all imo. I think this was part of my revelation.

\(^o\) (/o^)/ (ENBB), Wednesday, 25 May 2011 20:09 (seven years ago) Permalink

It's so funky!

\(^o\) (/o^)/ (ENBB), Wednesday, 25 May 2011 20:09 (seven years ago) Permalink

Despite "Lean On Me" being #1 the week I was born, I went with "Use Me." The drumming on that is scary, and I just can't say no to a clavinet.

― shake it, shake it, sugary pee (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Wednesday, May 25, 2011 4:07 PM (1 minute ago) Bookmark

the reissue liner notes to still bill devote a LOT of time to the use me drums

call all destroyer, Wednesday, 25 May 2011 20:09 (seven years ago) Permalink

oh wait yes I do know "Use Me", I just never knew its name

Tom Skerritt Mustache Ride (DJP), Wednesday, 25 May 2011 20:09 (seven years ago) Permalink

In a wider poll, probably would have voted "I Can't Write Left-Handed."

classic tune. I probably would have gone for "Grandma's Hands" myself

metally ill (Shakey Mo Collier), Wednesday, 25 May 2011 20:13 (seven years ago) Permalink

yeah "Use Me" is the one that gets used mostly for its instrumental intro constantly in TV shows/movies and samples, as opposed to the rest of these where the chorus has been used in a million different things

Señor Smang (some dude), Wednesday, 25 May 2011 20:13 (seven years ago) Permalink

lovely day lovely day lovely day lovely day

horseshoe, Wednesday, 25 May 2011 20:13 (seven years ago) Permalink

it's trying to(o) hard to be uplifting or something

And yet, it entirely succeed with me

Concatenated without abruption (Michael White), Wednesday, 25 May 2011 20:14 (seven years ago) Permalink

i don't really like lovely day

i feel like it's played too much

Really, where? I'm not sure I ever heard it (apart from the S.O.U.L. S.Y.S.T.E.M. song) until recently.

jaymc, Wednesday, 25 May 2011 20:14 (seven years ago) Permalink

by me. it is played too much by me.

horseshoe, Wednesday, 25 May 2011 20:14 (seven years ago) Permalink

yeah "Use Me" is the one that gets used mostly for its instrumental intro constantly in TV shows/movies and samples, as opposed to the rest of these where the chorus has been used in a million different things

lol, I clicked on the Youtube video for "Use Me" and, unbidden, the AT&T slogan popped into my head

Tom Skerritt Mustache Ride (DJP), Wednesday, 25 May 2011 20:15 (seven years ago) Permalink

the reissue liner notes to still bill devote a LOT of time to the use me drums

do tell? who was the drummer on that anyway?

i was doing a recording session for someone yesterday and trying to straight up channel/rip off those drums.

adult music person (Jordan), Wednesday, 25 May 2011 20:16 (seven years ago) Permalink

lol HS x-post

I feel like i hear it on the radio a lot? Esp this time of year. I swear that it gets played a lot when the weather starts being nice. I might be making this up.

\(^o\) (/o^)/ (ENBB), Wednesday, 25 May 2011 20:16 (seven years ago) Permalink

I also think it was used a lot in commercials in the UK when I lived there.

\(^o\) (/o^)/ (ENBB), Wednesday, 25 May 2011 20:17 (seven years ago) Permalink

do tell? who was the drummer on that anyway?

James Gadson

shake it, shake it, sugary pee (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Wednesday, 25 May 2011 20:18 (seven years ago) Permalink

i like the idea that people think "Lovely Day" is overplayed purely because horseshoe is just walking throughout the entire world blasting it on a boombox

Señor Smang (some dude), Wednesday, 25 May 2011 20:18 (seven years ago) Permalink

You could be right, ENBB. I've never really listened to oldies stations.

jaymc, Wednesday, 25 May 2011 20:18 (seven years ago) Permalink

whenever lovely day is being played, i am responsible

horseshoe, Wednesday, 25 May 2011 20:18 (seven years ago) Permalink

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cbwcU2YbBRI

adult music person (Jordan), Wednesday, 25 May 2011 20:19 (seven years ago) Permalink

I saw Soul Power and Funny People in the same week, in the same movie theater; kind of blew my mind that Gadson was in both.

shake it, shake it, sugary pee (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Wednesday, 25 May 2011 20:20 (seven years ago) Permalink

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OiNgz6KDD2k

adult music person (Jordan), Wednesday, 25 May 2011 20:20 (seven years ago) Permalink

whenever lovely day is being played, i am responsible

ty horseshoe!

Tom Skerritt Mustache Ride (DJP), Wednesday, 25 May 2011 20:20 (seven years ago) Permalink

any time!

horseshoe, Wednesday, 25 May 2011 20:22 (seven years ago) Permalink

"Ain't No Sunshine" for me--it's got that desolate eeriness that you find on so many of the greatest songs from that moment ("Smiling Faces," "The World Is a Ghetto," etc.) I've been compiling early-'70s soul tapes and CDs for friends since the mid-'80s, and that's always my Bill Withers go-to song. But I like all the others to one degree or another.

clemenza, Wednesday, 25 May 2011 22:45 (seven years ago) Permalink

haha i have never heard "lean on me"

I suppose I should stop being surprised at you, but really now.

jaymc, Wednesday, 25 May 2011 22:56 (seven years ago) Permalink

Unless the song just really has no profile at all in the UK?

jaymc, Wednesday, 25 May 2011 22:57 (seven years ago) Permalink

Let me be the first:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vhwiYThNZDM

The Edge of Gloryhole (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 25 May 2011 22:57 (seven years ago) Permalink

'Just the Two of Us' ruined by both Mike Myers and Will Smith.

when use becomes abuse (S-), Wednesday, 25 May 2011 23:30 (seven years ago) Permalink

Still wish there had been a proper release of the Gap commercial mashup of "Lovely Day" and "I Hear Music in the Streets."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PJ2XBzq387c

scissorlocks and the three bears (Eric H.), Wednesday, 25 May 2011 23:37 (seven years ago) Permalink

aint no sunshine

Midworst (jjjusten), Wednesday, 25 May 2011 23:40 (seven years ago) Permalink

Use Me

the morals of a tomcat and the manners of a wolf (GOTT PUNCH II HAWKWINDZ), Thursday, 26 May 2011 02:26 (seven years ago) Permalink

Lean On Me > Ain't No Sunshine > Use Me > Lovely Day > Just The Two of Us

...though the first three are so close that it feels ridiculous to rank them. His first two records contained much stronger material than either of those latter two songs, though. There isn't a song on Just As I Am that isn't brilliant, really.

Liked the documentary as well, though I wish there was a bit more to it. Reviewed it <a href=http://echoandsway.wordpress.com/2011/04/07/beside-the-music/";>here</a>.

jer.fairall, Thursday, 26 May 2011 02:33 (seven years ago) Permalink

Ugh, make that here: http://echoandsway.wordpress.com/2011/04/07/beside-the-music/

jer.fairall, Thursday, 26 May 2011 02:34 (seven years ago) Permalink

Also would have said Grandma's Hands. But voted Ain't No Sunshine.

boxall, Thursday, 26 May 2011 02:35 (seven years ago) Permalink

I feel like on a particular day, I could vote for any one of these (and also "Grandma's Hands"), but "Ain't No Sunshine" is some be-all/end-all shit in my world.

Johnny Fever, Thursday, 26 May 2011 02:38 (seven years ago) Permalink

I just want to vote for USE ME as this live clip is one of my favorite things I found on youtube. The band is so laid back in the pocket and groovy.

The drummer is just the coolest. He's like "this is a pretty killer groove ain't it."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g3hBYTkI-sE

earlnash, Thursday, 26 May 2011 03:28 (seven years ago) Permalink

I've always been partial to "Kissing My Love," he just sounds so overwhelmingly joyous. Out of this list, "Ain't No Sunshine" has always sounded alien in how fantastic it is, even if "Use Me" is kinda more interesting to me.

trippin lookin at my portfolio (billy), Thursday, 26 May 2011 03:56 (seven years ago) Permalink

xp: Goddamn, that's awesome.

the morals of a tomcat and the manners of a wolf (GOTT PUNCH II HAWKWINDZ), Thursday, 26 May 2011 03:59 (seven years ago) Permalink

Ain't No Sunshine is inexplicably great. He just rides that "I know, I know, I know" riff and you can't say just how it becomes transcendent, but it does. But I voted Use Me, because, face it, such a great lyric and it's crazy-funky as all get out.

Aimless, Thursday, 26 May 2011 04:01 (seven years ago) Permalink

Use Me, the others all in a tie for 2nd place

Bill E, Thursday, 26 May 2011 04:03 (seven years ago) Permalink

Bill Withers "Lovely Day" C/D

Doctor Casino, Thursday, 26 May 2011 05:02 (seven years ago) Permalink

'Lovely Day', for sure. As in the immortal words of, eh, one of the dudes of 'Air France':


Can liven a funeral, I tried and It worked. Makes you move on.

the europan nikon is here (grauschleier), Thursday, 26 May 2011 12:55 (seven years ago) Permalink

A Karaoke highlight (for me) was proving to myself that I could actually do that last long note on "Lovely Day"

Mark G, Thursday, 26 May 2011 13:00 (seven years ago) Permalink

Anyway, the real answer is "Grandma's Hands"

― skot gigz - moombah pimpin' (The Reverend), Wednesday, 25 May 2011 22:03 (Yesterday) Bookmark Suggest Ban Permalink

WHO THE FUCK READS THE (a hoy hoy), Thursday, 26 May 2011 13:08 (seven years ago) Permalink

everybody doesn't know "Grandma's Hands" like they know these 5 songs -- i'm listening to it right now for the first time ever (not counting the "No Diggity" sample)

gargle on my nuts (some dude), Thursday, 26 May 2011 13:40 (seven years ago) Permalink

Funny thing is that if you watch the Still Bill doc somehow knowing absolutely nothing about Withers, you could plausibly come away from it thinking "Grandma's Hands" was his biggest hit.

jer.fairall, Thursday, 26 May 2011 14:01 (seven years ago) Permalink

I love the lyrics and groove to "Use Me", so that's what I voted for. But all these are great. And "Lean On Me" is just so classic I may actually switch my vote.

justfanoe (Greg Fanoe), Thursday, 26 May 2011 14:28 (seven years ago) Permalink

I'd vote Lovely Day, but you can't go wrong with any of 'em.

And here's a vastly underrated Colombia-era single:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u-1Z1TpQCgw

xtianDC, Thursday, 26 May 2011 18:21 (seven years ago) Permalink

all of these are great to Godlike. Use Me rocks my world the most. I need Still Bill, right?

gospodin simmel, Friday, 27 May 2011 08:48 (seven years ago) Permalink

one of the sweetest memories I have is of hearing "Use Me" while riding with a good friend down a highway at night, no way I can get objective about the other ones in light of it

w of in the attic (underrated aerosmith bootlegs I have owned), Friday, 27 May 2011 09:33 (seven years ago) Permalink

'(si si) je suis un rock star'

Ward Fowler, Friday, 27 May 2011 09:35 (seven years ago) Permalink

how did we get this far into a Bill Withers thread without the duck joke?

sometimes all it takes is a healthy dose of continental indiepop (tomofthenest), Friday, 27 May 2011 09:37 (seven years ago) Permalink

what are you even talking about ward

lol tomofthenest

w of in the attic (underrated aerosmith bootlegs I have owned), Friday, 27 May 2011 09:38 (seven years ago) Permalink

trying (and obv failing) for a bill withers-bill wyman 'joke', pl move along etc

Ward Fowler, Friday, 27 May 2011 10:58 (seven years ago) Permalink

Ok, I'll bite.

Duck joke?

jer.fairall, Friday, 27 May 2011 13:41 (seven years ago) Permalink

That You Got The Stuff track! The loooooong vamp at the end is rocking my world. It sounds like My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts!

The hoppiest hop hopper now with xtra hops (Dan Peterson), Friday, 27 May 2011 14:22 (seven years ago) Permalink

^^ made my day.

jer.fairall, Friday, 27 May 2011 16:07 (seven years ago) Permalink

Please tell me there's a music joke thread around here somewhere that I just haven't found yet.

Another fave:

Q: Why did the farmer start a punk rock band?

A: Cause he was tired of haulin' oats.

jer.fairall, Friday, 27 May 2011 16:09 (seven years ago) Permalink

Artist-specific music jokes

Knock yersel' out.

Mark G, Friday, 27 May 2011 16:12 (seven years ago) Permalink

This is impossible.

Number None, Friday, 27 May 2011 17:41 (seven years ago) Permalink

Automatic thread bump. This poll is closing tomorrow.

System, Monday, 30 May 2011 23:01 (seven years ago) Permalink

i once had a busker sing "who is he and what is he to you" to me on a subway platform.

one dis leads to another (ian), Monday, 30 May 2011 23:41 (seven years ago) Permalink

Automatic thread bump. This poll's results are now in.

System, Tuesday, 31 May 2011 23:01 (seven years ago) Permalink

close!

Mark G, Tuesday, 31 May 2011 23:05 (seven years ago) Permalink

A long time ago I was in a restaurant/bar in Kansas City and my waitress was named "Sunshine", actually she said she was named something else but just used that on her name tag, but anyway I thought she was really cute, so I braved my way to the karaoke stage and sang "Ain't No Sunshine" and dedicated it to her. And she really liked it!

All I can think about whenever I've heard the song ever since.

Lee626, Tuesday, 31 May 2011 23:14 (seven years ago) Permalink

i'm just sad about how many of his tunes have been covered to the point where everyone knows the version that isn't his.

even some generic Christian r&b group called Out of Even remade Lovely Day as a song sung to God in the mid-90s, among hundreds of other artists.....

lolford brimley (Neanderthal), Tuesday, 31 May 2011 23:32 (seven years ago) Permalink

Just The Two Of Us 0

otm

Spo-Dee-O-Dee-Dopaliscious! (The Reverend), Wednesday, 1 June 2011 07:30 (seven years ago) Permalink

Just The 0 Of Us

Mark G, Wednesday, 1 June 2011 08:56 (seven years ago) Permalink

seven years pass...

https://www.allmusic.com/album/lean-on-me-mw0003201997

^ andy kellman review

wish jose james had more clout in the review-industrial complex, i like every record of his i hear but i don't hear about them except by accident. this is his bill withers covers/tribute project.

j., Saturday, 1 December 2018 17:06 (two weeks ago) Permalink

Ooh thanks for the heads up. I love him and he's got the all-star band on this (Nate Smith and Pino), but yeah I recently realized he'd released multiple albums that I'd missed.

change display name (Jordan), Saturday, 1 December 2018 17:42 (two weeks ago) Permalink

ikr

what's the point of being on blue note if you can't work that promo money

j., Saturday, 1 December 2018 17:58 (two weeks ago) Permalink

Am I the first one on this thread to mention "Who Is He And What Is He To You?" <3<3<3

The 5 in the poll are all great, but my love for "Use Me" has never dimmed (and I do find it kinda overplayed, but still...)

― The hoppiest hop hopper now with xtra hops (Dan Peterson), Wednesday, 25 May 2011 21:26 (seven years ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

this

tho i did rock lean on me in panto once (huntsman assuring snow white i wasnt gonna kill her, full robin hood look including green tights why thank you ladiez)

puppy bash (darraghmac), Tuesday, 4 December 2018 00:34 (two weeks ago) Permalink


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