Not to be confused with the similarly-titled song by Hard-Fi, “Livin’ for the Weekend” is a classic soul tune which was a hit for the O’Jays in 1976.  As one might guess from the title, the song is essentially a TGIF anthem, recounting the frustrations of the work-week and celebrating the pleasures of letting loose on the weekend.  The O’Jays released a shorter version as a single, but the album version of the track is sprawling, running over six-and-a-half minutes.  The song’s lengthy intro is relatively slow and incredibly soulful.  Then, around the two-minute mark, we’re launched into an upbeat, piano-and-trumpet-driven soul jaunt.  And then, at about the five-minute mark, the tempo suddenly slows down, and a funky bassline guides us through an extended breakdown that leads us into the eventual fade-out.

Here it is. Can you dig it?

The Dirtbombs are a band from Detroit that started to appear on music critics’ radar around 2001, when the White Stripes were spearheading a popular revival of garage rock and awakening interest in other bands from the Detroit area.  Although there are several ways I could describe the Dirtbombs, perhaps I could do so most succinctly by saying they’re sort of like the White Stripes but with a black singer and less, um, sparse drumming.  Anyway, in 2001, the Dirtbombs released an album called Ultraglide in Black, which was comprised of their garage-rock covers of songs by classic Motown artists, ranging from Smokey Robinson to Junior Walker’s All-Stars.  Among those covers was their version of “Livin’ for the Weekend,” which skips the intro and goes straight to the fast part, which in this case involves singer Mick Collins shouting over a simple punk guitar riff.  What’s kind of cool, though, is that the Dirtbombs too do the extended breakdown that the O’Jays did in the original — with the backing vocalists crooning “livin’ for the weekend…” and all.

I like the original better, but it’s worth listening to the cover:

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