Steve Marriott: Help Me Make It Through the Day
After a steaming cup of homemade coffee on a Sunday morning, it was time to listen to some great songs. Years ago, all you had was a record with the same songs and you had to repeat the same version over and over a zillion times! Good thing was you knew the music by heart. You knew the lyrics and could sing along. With jazz records much could be gleaned from the liner notes.
Thanks to technology, today, one can hear different versions of the same song by different artistes and styles and from different eras. So, it was with the Leon Russell penned Help Me Make It Through the Day.
I first heard the version by Freddie King many years ago and then David Coverdale in his Lovehunter Album and of course Steve Marriott’s version.
Today it is different. Many greats such as Buddy Whittington, Peter Green Splinter Group, Bobby Bland, Steve Marriott, Bernard Allison, Trudy Lynn, David Coverdale and Freddie King have covered the song. The links to their versions are attached below.
Every version is brilliant and if I had to choose one as a stand out, it is to recognise the fantastic British guitarist/singer and composer Steve Marriott, who recorded it in 1972.
Marriott was the front man and a founder of The Small Faces with Ronnie Lane, Kenny Jones and Jimmy Winston in 1965. Acclaimed as one of the most influential groups of the 1960s they were said to be one of many influences on the formation and musical style of Led Zeppelin. When Jimmy Page was looking for a singer for Led Zeppelin in 1968, he needed a benchmark. It was Steve Marriott.
To hear where Robert Plant got his idea for Whole Lotta Love, one must listen to Willie Dixon’s You Need Loving by Steve Marriott and The Small Faces recorded three years earlier before Zeppelin’s release.
“It was fantastic, I loved it, Muddy Waters recorded it, but I couldn’t sing like Muddy Waters so it wasn’t that much of a nick. I was a high range and Muddy was a low range so I had to figure out how to sing it. So, I did and that was our opening number for all the years we were together. Every time, we were on stage that was our opening number, unless we had a short set. That’s when Jimmy Page and Robert Plant heard it. Robert Plant used to follow around. He was like a fan.”– Steve Marriott
After leaving Small Faces, Marriott went on to form Humble Pie with Peter Frampton, Jerry Shirly and Greg Ridley. With a career spanning over 40 years, sadly, Marriott’s life was filled with lots of bumps and he died in a fire at his house at the age of 44 in 1991.
Marriott was inducted posthumously into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012 as a member of Small Faces and received an Ivor Novello Award in 1996 for his contribution to British Music. He is listed in Mojo as one of the top 100 greatest singers of all time.
There is good music and there is great music.
Help Me Make It Through the Day is a great song by great musicians! Check it out!
RODIN JS KUMAR
5 APRIL 2015