happy mondays

COVER vs ORIGINAL: ‘He’s Gonna Step On You Again’

The song, “He’s Gonna Step On You Again”, was originally recorded by John Kongos in 1971

South African born singer John Kongos (b.1945) co-wrote the song “He’s Gonna Step On You Again” with Christos Demetriou (b.1949) for his album “Kongos” in 1971. It was released as a single in May that year and went to No.4 on the UK singles chart, No.2 in Australia and his home country, and No.70 in America. Along with “Tokoloshe Man”, it remains his only UK top ten charting single from his only top 30 charting album.

“He’s Gonna Step On You Again” is listed in the Guinness Book of Records for being the first song to use a sample, although this is disputed by the songwriters and Kongos himself.

The song was covered by Australian group The Party Boys in 1987. They took their version one step further to the top of the Australian singles chart while fellow Aussie band the Chantoozies recorded and released their version in the same year, but only managed No.36.

Shortened to just “Step On”, British group the Happy Mondays recorded their version for the album “Pills’n’Thrills and Bellyaches” and released it as the lead single in March 1990. It became and still remains their biggest hit, peaking at No.5 in the UK, where it has sold over 400,000 copies, and No.57 in America.

But which version is the best? JOHN KONGOS’ original, THE PARTY BOYS cover or HAPPY MONDAYS shortened title?

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