Originally released as a B-side single, “Bad Side Of The Moon” would gain a life as one of Elton’s most covered songs. First released as the B-side to “Border Song” in March of 1970, before appearing on the live album 17-11-70, and years later as a bonus track to a few expanded reissues, and other live albums . Written by Elton John, with lyricist Bernie Taupin. This song was covered by a number of artists in the year that Elton John released it as well. It may not have been a hit for Elton , but it was a single for a few others, notably a big hit for April Wine. Aside from the list featured here, there are also a couple of versions in Italian by Giovanna and I Dik Dik – bother released in 1973. There are also a few more modern covers on Youtube, but I’ve only included those that were recorded in studio and/or released on vinyl. If I’m missing any of note, please leave it in the comments!
Birds Of A Feather (1970)
Birds of A Feather featured the Chanter Sisters (Doris and Irene), who would, following this – record under that name. Their version of “Bad Side Of The Moon” was included on their self-titled LP from October, 1970. The songs were arranged by Caleb Quaye (who played guitar with Elton in the early days), and with Elton, himself, playing piano on the album. It included 5 songs credited to Sasha Alexandro (aka Doreen Chanter on the CD release), and 7 covers – 4 of which were penned by Elton John & Bernie Taupin. As the Chanter Sisters they’d record a few LPs and a number of singles in the ’70s, as well as guest on numerous albums, notably by David Byron, Manfred Mann’s Earth Band, and David Essex. The album was reissued on CD (w/ bonus tracks) in 2017.
Kubla Kahn (1970)
From Corpus Christi, Texas, Kubla Khan (as press items from the era spell it, but the record label spells as above) was a 5-piece band who signed to the small Texas label Spearway Records, and released this lone single. No idea how it did. In 1995 an 11-song CD was released of the band’s material recorded in 1970 (including “Bad Side Of The Moon” and the B-side “Out In The Country”)
Steve Lonsdale (1970)
Released as a single by Steve Lonsdale in South Africa. Not too much info about Steve Lonsdale out there, but he was formerly of a band named The Staccatos, who’d released a few albums and several single in their home country. The singer would release a number of singles in the ’70s, including a somewhat reggae version of The Eagles “Hotel California”. Not sure if this single was commercially released as I only see a promo copy of it online, but it was one of a few he recorded for Polydor US in 1970. After his time in the US, he relocated to London, England. From Billboard (70-07-18) – Lonsdale in U.S. – Polydor Records has brought Steve Lonsdale, South African recording artist, to the U.S. to record and prepare for concert and TV appearances. Polydor Inc. is conducting a
full national promotion campaign for the artist...
STEVE LONSDALE-Polydor 2-24050 BAD SIDE OF THE MOON (Dick James, BMI) (TO LOVE YOU) BALLERINA (W.P.N., ASCAP) Everybody is picking up on Elton John and Bernie Taupin’s songs. An obscure flip side is brought to life by Lonsdale and friends. – Record World (70-12-17)
TOE FAT (1970)
Fronted by British soul/rock singer Cliff Bennett, Toe Fat also included ex Gods members Ken Hensley, John Glasscock, and Lee Kerslake. Their version of “Bad Side Of The Moon” featured on their debut LP, as well as issued as a single in various countries in 1970. The LP coming out in the UK in May, and in the US in July. But by then Hensley had left and joined Spice (who became Uriah Heep), with Kerslake leaving shortly after (joining Heep later), and Glasscock later joining Jethro Tull. The single was released in a number of countries, but I don’t think it charted anywhere. Band’s records were also known for those bizarre Hipgnosis covers.
Toe Fat – Rare Earth RS 511.
Hard rock with heavy accent on the twang of guitars from these four guys. Just about any of the sides could step out as singles, but “Bad Side of the Moon” might just have the edge. No question that these guys are here for a while.
Toe Fat is a group which Robert Stigwood predicts great things for
in 1970. Like a lot of his other groups, Toe Fat are ex -members of a well known group and make their new name -music debut on EMI with “Bad Side of The Moon.” Toe Fat have also signed a contract for their disks to be issued on Tamla Motown in the States.
Bo Diddley (1971)
From Bo Diddley’s Another Dimension album, released in April of 1971. Diddley was one of the greatest early rock n rollers, had a sound and style all his own. He did an outstanding take on this one. Another Dimension also featured songs by The Band, CCR (3), and Al Kooper (who also plays some guitar and keyboards on it). Diddley recorded over 25 albums (including a few collaborations).
April Wine (1972)
Released as the 2nd single from Canada’s April Wine, on their 2nd album On Record (released as their self-titled debut in the US). This gave the band their 3rd hit single in Canada, #16, and ‘bubbled under’ Billboards Top 100 in the US at #106. It also saw release in the UK, Australia, New Zealand and Brazil. This would be the most successful version of “Bad Side Of The Moon”, still features on Canadian radio and in the band’s live set.
APRIL WINE, “BAD SIDE OF THE MOON” (Dick James, BMI). Group that came out of nowhere to score with “You Could Have Been A Lady” follow-up with an Elton John -Bernie Taupin song that’s perfectly suited to their sound. Looks like another hit. Big Tree 142 (Bell) – Record World (72, 06-17)
APRIL WINE (Big Tree 142)
Bad Side Of The Moon (3:00) (Dick James, BMI—E. John, B. Taupin) Tune from Elton John’s first British LP is a catchy rocker, following the flow of their “You Should Have Been A Lady” success. Flip: “Believe In Me” (4:12) (Belwin-Mills, ASCAP—M. Goodwyn) – Cashbox (72,06-17)