November 2, 2008 – 3:50 am

This weekend Americans must decide who they want to be the next President. Voting day is November 4. Let’s join the fun. Vote which version of this Jimmy Webb song you like best.

Do What You Gotta Do

Which version of Jimmy Webb’s 1968 song Do What You Gotta Do do you like best?

We’ll vote for Malaysian band The Strollers’ single version issued in the ’70s. The Strollers are long gone from the music scene but their only album, Waiting Is…, remains a highly collectible record.

French label Underground Masters released it on CD. Wohn Records in Korea released a limited edition of 500 LPs in 2006. The album is still listed on eBay and several specialist sites. In 2000, Malaysian label Life Records put out a compilation of various single and album tracks.

Malaysian band The Strollers consisted of Michael Magness, Billy Chang, the late Nand Kumar and brothers Hassan & Hussein Idris. The band had two songwriters in Billy and Nand. Unlike other Asian bands, The Strollers had strong original compositions. Their sound was heavily organised [sic] around Michael Magness’s keyboards. Stylistically they were part prog rock and part hard rock.

However, they could also sing pretty pop songs. Some of their popular radio songs in the ’70s in Malaysia were penned by the band and they included Silly Joke, Midday Sun, Just As I Am and It’s A Beautiful Feeling.

But their strongest single was the one they did not write. It was a cover of Jimmy Webb’s Do What You Gotta Do, distinctive by the heavy organ sound. All other versions were different from this.

You’ll note from their version that they couldn’t quite figure what Webb was writing and rewrote one verse to read:

“Though it may mean I’ll never kiss
those sweet lips again
Pave my own mine and climb
that devil tree of yours…”

Of course that was not what Webb wrote. His lyrics read:

“Though it may mean that I’ll never kiss
Those sweet lips again
Pay that no mind
Just find that dappled dream of yours…”

We’ve gathered together some of the many covers and you can give them a listen and vote for which you like best.

Send in your votes by responding below.


- The Little Chicken

These tracks are no longer available for sharing.

Do What You Gotta Do - The Strollers [taken from CD, 2000] (6.0MB)Johnny Rivers [found on Rewind, 1967] (3.3MB)

Bobby Vee [found on Do What You Gotta Do, 1968] (4.0MB)

Do What You Gotta Do/Just As I Am - The Strollers [taken from 1973 LP, different version] (4.2MB)

Gregg Allman/ Cher [found on Two The Hard Way, 1977] (4.9MB)

BJ Thomas [found on The Very Best Of BJ Thomas 1997 Varese Sarabande CD. Song was originally recorded as a single in 1970?] (4.8MB)

Linda Ronstadt [found on Winter Light 1993] (4.8MB)

The Strollers [from 45 rpm single] (5.8MB)

Larry’s Rebels (thanks to Arthur Ladbrook) (6.0MB)

Al Wilson (thanks to tele54) (4.0MB)

Okkervil River (thanks to Jon) (3.2MB)

Nina Simone (thanks to Jaron Lee) (5.0MB)

Tom Jones (thanks to DarthCDRz) (4.0MB)

Roberta Flack (thanks to DarthCDRz) (3.9MB)

Glen Campbell (thanks to tele54) (4.0MB)

Meg Baird (thanks to Duncan Walls) (5.0MB)

Nina Simone (live) (thanks to Ross Landy) (3.5MB)

Victor (Camper Van Beethoven) Krummenacher (thanks to Mick Dillingham) (9.5MB)

Jimmy Webb (live in London, 1998) (thanks to BMT) (11.0MB)

If anyone has the following versions, please email us a copy:

Clarence Carter, Paul Anka, and Ronnie Milsap (all 1968). And Jimmy Webb’s version of course.

There are probably even more covers out there that we are not aware of. Please do send a copy, if you have one.

“An amazing album from this obscure band from Malaysia, recorded in 1973, which remains as one of the best psychedelic albums ever recorded in Asia: superb musicianship, top sound and production and original songs sung in perfect English, ranging from full-blown heavy psych with killer organ, guitar & flute to amazing UK late 60 styled pop-psych and some funk & prog moments, presented in front-glossed gatefold sleeve.” Click here to order the album.

  1. 6 Responses to “VOTE”

  2. Let’s hear it for AL WILSON. This is obviously the Wrecking Crew. Hal Blaine, Larry Knechtel, Joe Osborn, etc.

    By John El;lis on Nov 2, 2008

  3. Ir remember when you did this a while back with just the Okkerville River & Strollers’ versions. Great idea. Once I listen to them all I’ll cast a vote.

    By Society's Pliers on Nov 3, 2008

  4. Roberta Flack’s. Perfect wallow for certain current times.

    By jn on Nov 3, 2008

  5. although I’m a big fan of Jimmy Webb and when I saw him this past January and he did this great song I like Bobby Vee’s version the best. I remember having the LP and this was the only good song on the record, but I always felt that it was worth the $3 I paid for it. I also think this song and Van Morrison’s Brown Eyed Girl got me through a really bad break up that summer (1968 I believe)

    Bobby Vee gets my vote.


    By Eddieg on Nov 4, 2008

  6. Ah, perhaps my favorite song by my eternal Goddess, Nina Simone!!

    By Chance on Nov 4, 2008

  7. Great song. My favourite version is Mary Coughlan’s on her brilliant album Sentimental Killer. Do What You Gotta Do is wrongly listed as Ballad Of A Sad Young Man on the credits.

    By Rod on Nov 8, 2008

Post a Comment