Few songs elicit more of a groan from cover band musicians more than “Mustang Sally.” It has been played to death for decades at bars, pubs, weddings and more. Much to musician’s dismay though, people still seem to love it and request it often.
Funny enough, the version that made the song popular was actually a cover. Wilson Pickett released “Mustang Sally” in 1966 as a single which reached #6 on the U.S. R&B charts, and as high as #23 on the pop charts. But it was actually written and released with much less fanfare a year prior by vocalist Mack Rice.
The song had a huge resurgence as it was prominently featured on the 1991 movie The Commitments. This cover version sung by Andrew Strong didn’t chart in the U.S., but did solidify itself from there on out as the consummate cover song.
Over the years, many popular, well-known artists have covered “Mustang Sally.” Whether it be a studio version, a video single, or added to a live set, many celebrity musicians have offered their take on the cover band staple. Below we list some of our favorites.
Buddy Guy featuring Jeff Beck (1991)
The same year as The Commitments hit the theaters, blues guitar legend Buddy Guy recorded and released his own version…along side guitarist Jeff Beck. Check it out.
David Lee Roth (2023)
Not one to shy away from covers, “Diamond” David Lee Roth released a video version of the classic in January of 2023. Add this to the list of songs you’d never thought he’d sing.
Hootie and the Blowfish (1995)
For the Farm Aid concert in 1995, Darius Rucker and Co. delivered a great version live on stage. Watch it for yourself below.
Robert Palmer (1995)
The “Addicted to Love” singer belts out a fantastic version live with his distinctive, unmistakable tone.
Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony w/Bruce Springsteen, John Fogerty, Chaka Khan and more (1991)
A who’s who of the day was on stage in 1991 to jam their version at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City. “The Boss” starts things off with R&B legend Chaka Khan adding some runs. Bonnie Raitt jump in the add a chorus when the band seems to get lost. Speaking of the band, Jackson Browne, John Popper (Blues Traveler), Will Lee and Paul Shaffer (David Letterman Band) and more all lend their talents to the celebration. CCR’s John Fogerty closes it out with that distinctive voice that only he owns. Watch below.
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