Of all the songs Lennon & McCartney had given away, Cilla Black's hit "It's For You" was never a favorite. I don't dislike the song as much as I dislike the grating, Shirley Bassey delivery of Black. I haven't thought about this tune in...well...maybe ever, really.
Then last week, my friend Bob calls to gush over a new discovery, the debut LP from Three Dog Night. We volleyed for 15 minutes. "Yeah, the hits were great." "Well, not Joy To The World." "Yeah, Black & White kinda sucks, too." "But have you heard the first album?" "Not really." "Oh boy! Check out 'It's For You.'"
Bob still can't believe, or more accurately recognize this tune as a Lennon/McCartney composition. But more to the point, I'm thinking Three Dog Night may have lost some serious street cred thanks to a few of their hokey hits. And while the 1969 debut, also known as "One" is a bit uneven, the choice of covers which include The Band's "Chest Fever," Neil Young's "The Loner," Traffic's "Heaven Is In Your Mind," as well as a version of Johnny "Guitar" Watson and Larry Williams hit with Kaleidoscope "Nobody," are solid and make this record worthy of repeated spins.
It should also be noted that Danny Hutton, Chuck Negron and Cory Wells were backed by the same four musicians for most of their career. Three Dog Night were indeed a band.
Here are three versions of "It's For You." Cilla Black's original. Three Dog Night's cover. And The Beatnix, an Australian Beatles tribute band, whose 1998 release "It's Four You," covers all of the Lennon/McCartney tracks that were never recorded by The Beatles.