Cover Wars: You Can’t Always Get What You Want (The Rolling Stones)

Originally published in July of 2009, we revisit the You Can’t Always Get What You Want Cover Wars with recent renditions from Umphrey’s McGee and the cast of Glee.

You Can’t Always Get What You Want is the closing track on the 1969 Rolling Stones album Let It Bleed. There are some very interesting quotes regarding the drumming on this track included in the book According to the Rolling Stones, you can see the page in question over at Google Books.

Cover Wars

The Contestants:

Artist: Aretha Franklin
Album: Love All The Hurt Away
The Skinny:

This cover comes off a 1981 Aretha Franklin album that universally gets bad to lukewarm reviews. The arrangement is very 80’s. Still, it’s worth a couple minutes to hear the Queen Of Soul sing lead on this tune.


Artist: Assembly Of Dust
Live Show: 12-30-2004
The Skinny: Reid Genauer & Assembly Of Dust debuted this cover the night before New Year’s Eve 2004.


Artist: Band From TV
Band From TV: House M.D. Original Television Soundtrack
The Skinny: Band From TV is a group made up of television stars including the likes of Hugh Laurie (from House M.D.) and Greg Grunberg (from Alias & Heroes). All of the bands proceeds, both live and studio, get donated to a number of different charities. I’m actually a little unclear on who sings lead on this reggae take on this song, cruising a number of YouTube’s including this audio, the comments section seems quite divided on the topic.


Artist: Def Leppard
Album: Adrenalize [Deluxe Edition]
The Skinny: This track originally appeared as a B-Side for the single Have You Ever Wanted Someone So Bad? and later appeared on the Deluxe Edition of Adrenalize. The artist on the track is actually credited as Acoustic Hippies From Hell, which is the members of Def Leppard with The Hothouse Flowers, an Irish Band. Thanks to the Def Leppard FAQ for that info.


Artist: the Disco Biscuits
Live Show: 10-31-2006
The Skinny: For Halloween 2006, the Disco Biscuits hired a few members of the Boston Symphony Orchestra Choir to supplement their already beautiful vocals. In addition to singing on this song, the choir was also used for Pink Floyd’s In The Flesh, Carl Orff’s Oh Fortuna and a number of tDB originals. The song wasn’t long for the repertoire, being played just one additional time (two days later) without the choir.


Artist: Glee
Album: Glee: The Music, Volume 2
The Skinny: This performance from the cast of Glee is our first of two covers appearing that did not participate in the original Cover Wars.

Artist: Max Creek
Live Show: 3-12-1988
The Skinny: It’s easy to forget that jambands like Max Creek have been at it since the 1970’s. By the time of this recording in 1988, Creek was already in its 17th year of existence. This was also right around the time Mike Gordon was lying to Trey about the origin of Max Creek tune Back Porch Boogie Blues (he passed it off as one of his originals, so it could make it to the Phish stage).


Artist: The Radiators
Live Show: 10-23-2004
The Skinny: The Radiators, who have recently become Cover Wars regulars, supply a slow and gospel-like arrangement to this week’s edition.


Artist: Rusted Root
Album: Rusted Root
The Skinny: For Rusted Root’s fourth studio effort (which was their self-titled), they included this cover. Be on the lookout for a lyric change in this cover. Hint: Michael Glabicki’s favorite flavor is NOT Cherry Red.


Artist: Umphrey’s McGee
Live Video: 11-26-2011
The Skinny: Umphrey’s McGee first performed with the Chicago Mass Choir on 12-31-2008 for a jaw-dropping combination of Amazing Grace and UM instrumental Glory, U2’s I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For and cover of Joe Cocker’s cover of With A Little Help From My Friends. It to date stands as one of my most memorable concerte experiences of all time – and the choir was an unannounced surprise.

This past weekend, the Chicago Mass Choir made its return to the UM stage, this time as announced special guests. The Amazing Grace/Glory performance was reprised and also played were rarity Bullhead City (last played 2-15-2006) and the debut cover of You Can’t Always Get What You Want.

Artist: Vince Guaraldi
Album: Oaxaca
The Skinny: This album (Oaxaca) was released in 2005 and included a lot of unreleased material from Guaraldi. In addition to this 16+ minute rendition, there’s also a beautiful take on The Beatles You Never Give Me Your Money.


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One thought on “Cover Wars: You Can’t Always Get What You Want (The Rolling Stones)

  1. Jeremy Reply

    The Umphrey’s vid is giving me chills.

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