Don't Want You No More
Original Artist: Spencer Davis Group
Original Album: B-side to "Time Seller"
Historian: Erik Swain
After front man Steve Winwood left in 1967 to form Traffic, the U.S. hits for the Spencer Davis Group dried up. Only one song from that incarnation of the group, “Don’t Want You No More,” has endured on this side of the pond, and not because of Davis & Co.’s efforts.
The bluesy instrumental’s beginnings could not have been more obscure. The Davis-Edward Hardin composition was the b-side of a forgotten 1967 single, “Time Seller.” It remained relatively unknown until a cover version showed up as the opening track on the 1969 debut album of an exciting new band that fused blues, rock and jazz: The Allman Brothers Band. Featuring the trademark slide guitar of Duane Allman and the organ flourishes of his younger brother Gregg, “Don’t Want You No More” announced The Allman Brothers Band to the world with an exclamation point. It remains in their live set today, usually segueing (as on the album) into Gregg’s emotional slow blues “It’s Not My Cross to Bear.”
In 1984, “Don’t Want You No More” surfaced in the repertoire of another exciting new band that fused blues, rock and jazz (among other things): Phish. The only Phish version that circulates, 12/1/84, copies the Allmans’ arrangement with one major difference: no organ in this pre-Page lineup. The song was played at least one other time, near the end of the pre-Page era on 4/6/85. With no Page around to provide vocal chops, it is perhaps wise that the band did not attempt “It’s Not My Cross to Bear.”