Slow Down (Larry Williams song)

"Slow Down" is a 12-bar blues written and performed by Larry Williams. Released as a single in 1958, it was a Rhythm and Blues hit that influenced the growing Rock & Roll movement of the time. It was released as a 7" single (45RPM). The A-Side was "Dizzy Miss Lizzy" and the B-Side was "Slow Down, both of which were covered by The Beatles in 1964 and 1965 respectively.

The Beatles covered the song early in their live career and eventually recorded a version and released it on their Long Tall Sally EP single in the UK. Not long after, the song was released in the US on its own, with the B-Side of 1964's "Matchbox" (also a 12-bar blues, from the Long Tall Sally EP). It was also included in the Past Masters compilation album (Volume 1).

Other cover versions

The Jam recorded a version on their debut album In the City. It was also a regular feature of their early live sets.

The dutch rockband Golden Earring recorded a version on their 1981 "2nd Live" album and also released "Slow Down" as a single.

Brian May recorded a version in 1997, intending to release an album of covers, tentatively called Heroes. He changed the nature and approach of the album, dropping the "covers" idea and focusing on his collaborations and new songs of the time. "Slow Down" survived the change and appeared on the new album, Another World, released in 1998. This version features May on vocal and lead guitar, Cozy Powell on drums, Jamie Moses on guitar, Spike Edney on keyboards and Neil Murray on bass. It was recorded on the same day as the five recorded covers of "Maybe Baby", "Only Make Believe" and "Marie's The Name (His Latest Flame)", all for the Heroes album. The first two tracks ended up as B-sides to various singles from the album and "Marie" was not released, though it was leaked to the public (much to May's consternation) in 2006.

A version also appears on the joint album by Jools Holland and Tom Jones released in 2005.


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