“Cool Jerk” was written by Donald Storball and recorded by The Capitols in 1966. Originally called “Pimp Jerk,” they decided to rename it when they realized that no radio station would play it. It reached #2 on the R&B chart, #7 on the Hot 100, and #9 in Canada. I always liked this song.

It’s been covered a few times, including by Todd Rundgren, who made it even jerkier by doing it in 7/4 time. Here are the contestants for today.

The Strangers This was the B side to their 1967 single, a cover of The Five Americans’ “Western Union.”

The Go-Go’s From their 1982 album Vacation, it was made into a video in 1991.

Okay, you should know what to do by now: listen to the two covers mentioned above, decide which you like better, and vote for it by leaving a comment below. Then, visit Stephen, who runs this semi-monthly music fest, vote in his battle, and then look in the right-hand column of his blog, where he has a list of all the other bloggers doing a Battle of the Bands, visit their blogs, and vote in their battles. Easy-peasy? You betcha! I’ll announce the winners of this battle next Thursday, November 8, so be sure and vote before then.

The lines are now open. Best of luck to The Strangers and The Go-Go’s!

18 thoughts on “BATTLE OF THE BANDS: “Cool Jerk”

  1. When we first moved down to Tennessee in the summer of 1966 this song was rotating on the hit radio on a regular basis. I always enjoyed hearing it. Changing the name from “Pimp Jerk” was a wise move. Otherwise I’d would have likely never heard the song nor would have most of us.

    The Strangers did a credible copy, but nothing extraordinary. At least the Go-Go’s put their own sound into it.

    My vote goes to the Go-Go’s and so it goes.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out


    1. That’s great, Dan, I like The Capitols, too. Problem is, I just put that in for people to hear the original and hadn’t intended them to be a contestant. Between The Strangers and The Go-Go’s, do you have a preference?

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I didn’t recognize the song by the name so I had no idea what I was about to hear…and then as soon as it started, I knew it immediately. I’ve always liked the song. Interesting that it was going to be called “Pimp Jerk”. Love how they came to do this song. Too cool for school pimps. Who knew?! 🙂
    I liked the Strangers version much better than the Go-Go’s so I’m on the Stranger train…

    have a great week,

    Michele at Angels Bark


  3. JOHN ~
    I wasn’t a fan of The Go-Gos in 1982, and I haven’t heard anything in the subsequent 36 years that has changed my mind.

    I know not everyone agrees with me, but I think the ’80s was the beginning of the end for Pop music. So much of it seemed synthetic to me – all bad style and no substance – and The Go-Gos (along with groups like Dumbran Dumbran, Flock Of Shitgulls, The B-86s, et al.) were part of that scene which caused me to permanently switch off the Pop radio stations.

    The upshot of all that, though, is that when I couldn’t stand the Pop music anymore, I started looking for its replacement, and that’s how I got into Blues and Jazz.

    The Strangers weren’t doing anything much different from what The Capitols did on the original, but I liked the piano and I preferred the deeper vocal to that higher-pitched gaggle o’ girls.

    ~ D-FensDogG


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