COVER vs ORIGINAL: ‘Ain’t Nobody’

“Ain’t Nobody” was originally recorded by Rufus and Chaka Khan in 1983.

by Christopher Smith

The song “Ain’t Nobody” was written by David “Hawk” Wolinski (b.1948), keyboardist with the US funk band Rufus. The six-piece group included singer Chaka Khan (b.1953) and achieved one of their biggest hits with the song when it peaked at No.22 in the US and No.8 in the UK in late 1983. It was also one of their last as Rufus split at the end of the year after eleven years of recording together.

Unsurprisingly, Chaka crafted a successful solo career for herself and in 1989, released as remixed version of “Ain’t Nobody” as part of her “Life Is A Dance” project, taking the song even higher in the UK (No.6) and topping the US dance chart!

British singer Jaki Graham covered the track in 1994 and released it as the lead single from her album “Real Life”, although she fell short of the UK top 40, her version made it to No.11 on the US dance chart.

The following year US singer Diana King (b.1970) recorded a superb version of “Ain’t Nobody” for her debut album “Tougher Than Love”. Losing none of the drama or style of the original, Diana released the track as the third single from the album, which peaked at No.3 on the US R&B chart and No.4 on the dance chart as well as reaching No.13 in the UK, and charting high all across Europe.

Rapper LL Cool J recoded a version for the soundtrack to the 1996 film ‘Beavis and Butt-Head Do America’ which peaked at No.46 in the US and topped the UK singles chart! While other versions of “Ain’t Nobody” have included UK band Liberty X in 2003 and Mary J. Blige in 2011 for her album “My Life II… The Journey Continues (Act 1)”.

In 2015 German DJ and producer Felix Jaehn remixed UK singer Jasmine Thompson’s 2013 recording of “Ain’t Nobody” and released it as a single and took it into the top ten in 35 countries worldwide, in fifteen of those it went to number one, and to date, his version has sold more than three million copies becoming one of the biggest sellers of 2015!

But which version is the best? RUFUS’ original, CHAKA KHAN’s remix or one of the many other recordings…?

Take a look at some of the other posts in this series and don’t forget to follow the playlist.

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Written by aylshamchris

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