Chris Kenner, R &B singer and songwriter would be making himself comfy on life’s sofa if he were here today. He could afford to put his feet up as DFS parade their Designer Choice Collection for 2014. The sofa company has the Chris Kenner 60s hit ‘’I Like It Like That’’ featured as the music back drop for their summer slouches. Of course, the Chris Kenner word and music was adopted via many artists’ repertoire of the day as cover versions were frequently recorded by bands including a pop rock version released by The Dave Clark Five in 1965. One million sold copies and a gold disc later, it was Chris Kenner and his teaming with electric piano player Allen Toussaint that made ‘’I Like It Like That’’ one of the most covered hits of all time.
So what makes Chris Kenner and his sofa special into something old, new, borrowed and rhythm & blues? Well, if you’re sitting comfortably – then I’ll begin…
In The Beginning
The track starts with a solo digital piano fill that twists round the right-hand fingers and precedes the vocal entry:
‘’Come on, (let me show you where it’s at), Ah, come on, (let me show you where it’s at),
Bb F7 Bb
Come on, (let me show you where it’s at), The name of the place is I like it like that’’ etc
Chris Kenner sings the main vocal liner and his backing singers intersperse with harmonised ‘’let me show you’’ … ‘’I like it like that’’. The verse material is semi-spoken with Chris Kenner introducing the new place to hang out called ‘’I Like It Like That’’. Suggestions of the Bebop style also creep in as instrumental leads from saxophone and digital piano play punctuated ‘on the beat’ chords as a contrasting framework to the Chris Kenner spoken chants. The middle eight beholds the intricacies of a solo saxophone followed more music hall moments from the digital piano.
Chris Kenner – Dave Clark Five in 4!
1965 saw an ardent version from the pop-rock quintet that may have been trying too hard. A guttural male vocal line drools its way through with a hefty baritone saxophone taking the bass line. The introductory digital piano part originally played on keys is replaced with the lead guitar. This shortened version bypasses the middle eight section and keeps the track – well…short… not sure about sweet!
So-fa So Good
Either way, ‘’I like It Like That’’ today is cited as an interesting collaboration of its time and opened musical doors for others to walk through. Chris Kenner would certainly be enjoying deep-seated joy at the thought of DFS making him part of their Designer Choice Collection.