Just as her terrific Undercover album out-Stoned The Rolling Stones in this 21st Century, Genya Ravan’s cover of Lee Michael’s chestnut, “Do You Know What I Mean” explodes from the moment it opens, giving a “Tumblin’ Dice” frosting to a magnificent melody. This rendition of a song about “steppin’ out” with the great line “14 days since I don’t know when…”is the perfect theme song for the reality TV show “Cheaters”…send your votes to Cheaters.com and tell them Genya should be the voice for their provocative tv program!
Ravan’s earthy vocals are perfect with the slammin’ drums, in the groove production and slinky guitars. Keith Richards needs to put Ron Wood on bass and hire Genya and her group to work with Mick onstage…this is the great lost Rolling Stones recording that rock & roll fans have waited for. “Haven’t loved me in 14 years” is how we feel about souped up Mick & Keith singles that aren’t getting traction on radio…that’s because Genya’s gotta be sneering on their records “He’s a dandy…and now he’s free…
In three minutes and seventeen seconds Genya Ravan sums up everything this song is about. Get it on the radio…immediately…please…
Full disclosure after you read the review. Back in 1986 I chose this Lee Michael tune when Jimmy Miller and I were producing the legendary BUDDY GUY. Miller cut the basics with Joe Perry Project drummer Joe Pet slamming away alongside Buddy’s band. I flew Genya Ravan in from New York to Warren Rhode Island to sing on that version; she, Miller and Guy ended up onstage that night for a terrific concert that should have been recorded!
“She and Bobby were stepping out…she and Bobby…you know I found out” Lee Michael emoted on his version of the Top 10 1971 hit. I wrote out lyrics with a nice Lady Mondegreen…or “misheard lyric”, “Her involvement was separate now, her involvement, you know I found out.” Genya laughed and said “too heavy for a blues song.” She was right!
While shopping the Buddy Guy album in New York, Michael Barackman, A & R man at Capitol/EMI back in the day (1986/1987), thought the choice of song was perfect for Buddy Guy.
Alas, none of the labels offered enough money for the project, Buddy’s next album becoming the Grammy winner which prompted New Kids On The Block producer Michael Jonzun to say “Everyone loves Buddy. Joe Vig was right.” That and a buck and I get a cup of coffee, but it is nice to be acknowledged by one of my heroes! And equally as nice for Aunty Genya to put this magical song back in circulation with her terrific solo rendition, 25 years after she recorded it with us in Rhode Island!
Joe Viglione is the Chief Film Critic at TMRZoo.com. He was a film critic for Al Aronowitz’s The Blacklisted Journal, has written thousands of reviews and biographies for AllMovie.com, Allmusic.com and produces and hosts Visual Radio. Visual Radio is a fifteen year old variety show on cable TV which has interviewed John Lennon’s Uncle Charlie, Margaret Cho, Ray Manzarek, John Densmore, Felix Cavaliere, Marty Balin, Bill Press and hundreds of other personalities.