In a recent performance by Bruce Springsteen, New Jersey’s favorite son performed a killer version of Roy Head’s “Treat Her Right.” At the end of the mesmerizing performance, Springsteen smiled at the audience and said, “that song has magic in it.” Springsteen could not have been more on the money. Roy Head’s “Treat Her Right,” was one of those songs from the 1960’s that just oozed perfection in rock and roll lore. The groove, the lyrics, and the vocal performance by Roy Head was simply spellbinding. The chord changes to the song are just based on the simple 12 bar blues. However, there was nothing simple about the song. The track’s great guitar riff and horn section joined together like southern pancakes and northern maple syrup on a beautiful Sunday morning. The only downside to the song was that it was too short. Roy Head’s “Treat Her Right,” was simple rock pop music perfection.
Roy Head’s “Treat Her Right,” was released in 1965 on the Backbeat Label. The song reached all the way to the number 2 spot on the Billboard Hot 100. Reaching that high in 1965 on the Billboard charts was no easy feat in a time period when The Beatles were dominating the music charts.
Bruce Springsteen is not the only famous rock and roll artist to have covered the song. In 1983, Robert Plant was joined onstage by his former Led Zeppelin band-mate Jimmy Page for a rousing version of “Treat Her Right,” during the show’s encore. There is a great version of Bob Dylan playing the song in a Late Night With Letterman rehearsal back in 1984. The great George Thorogood recorded a version for the song for his Born To Be Bad album . However our favorite cover version of the song was recorded by ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons for his most recent solo studio album. The album called Perfectamundo was released in 2015 and contained a great video to go along with Billy Gibbon’s tex-mex version of the song. That one was not to be missed. The piano lick at the start of the song was worth the price of admission alone.
If you have never heard Roy Head’s “Treat Her Right,” check out the original first, its the one that set the template for all those that followed.
Bruce Springsteen’s version of Roy Head’s Treat Her Right
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