SONGTRAILS: "Man Next Door"

From this (written and sung by John Holt, recorded by his group The Paragons in 1968),

to this (which is, by the way, the greatest thing on YouTube, that is if you like super-fun girl-gang dancing, Neneh Cherry, and Bruce Smith of the Pop Group on drums)

(the studio version was released as a 7” the previous year on the Rough Trade label, going to #5 and spending 13 weeks on the UK Indie Chart),

and finally to this, from 1998, Massive Attack doing their version eighteen years after that Slits 7”, and thirty years after the Paragons. Who knows, maybe they first heard the song from the Slits. They were from Bristol, as was Slits drummer Bruce Smith, who was also in the Pop Group. Of course Massive Attack’s version of “Man Next Door” is super-futuristic compared to the Paragons, but still nods to that classic era, with Jamaican reggae elder Horace Andy singing the guest lead vocal: