| 🕖 3 min. | Artwork: Bogdan Katsuba

…that day I’ll always remember, yes I will.

The moment you hear that famous five-six note bass line people know it’s getting groovy.
And yes, we’re talking about the psychedelic soul classic Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone with this voluminous and incredibly long intro.

Over the years I’ve collected some great cover versions i would like to share with you. Hey momma, let’s start.

Mr. Groove

A great funk-inspired version of the Nashville-based band Mr. Groove that really deserves its name.

BRAZZZ feat. Anina Schibli

More into jazz with all sort of funny percussions from the drummer’s side. Read more about the band on their website.

Andreas Geffarth

Excellent blues-version from Andreas Geffarth:

Rare Earth

I think this is one of the first versions of the song I’ve actually heard. The strong hard-rocked-themed version from Rare Earth is definetly one of the best.

John Clayton, Christian McBride & Ray Brown

A very different free jazz version, somehow feels slow and fast at the same time, arranged by Christian McBride.

Eddie Roberts & friends

Just when you think things can’t get any better, you stumble across this fast Hendrix style guitar version where you just want to get up and dance!

The Pioneers

Yes, every good song needs a roots reggae version, the Pioneers simply made the best cover version.
There’s a version by Lee Scratch Perry, but it’s a little lame.

Was (Not Was)

This fabulous 90s version with a funky drum sample.

Bill Wolfer

Disco-Time! That song with Vocoder and all that crap.

Cæcilie Norby

Another more modern Jazz-Version with focus on piano.

Jay Berliner (1972)

Jazz-Funk-Version from New York-based artist Jay Berliner.

Tony Soul

Interesting slightly distorted House-Mix.

Nelson Leeroy

Fresh Bastard-Pop-influenced Remix.

Dr Heinz Funkenpumpe

A true Heinz Funkenpumpe Creation, one of the best remixed versions.

Johan van N.

A wonderful and perfect version with piano and drums, short but great!

Michael Wolff & Mark Douthit

Thank god someone recorded this exellent studio-jazz-jam with all sorts-of pro-muscians.

Robin Moxey

Just a great Blues-Jazz version from Seattle-based band.

Alicia Marie

I get shivers every time I hear Alicia, wonderful blues inspiration. Please make sure to also listen to her Youtube channel.
More of Alicia: Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag, Got My Mojo Workin’ or Sex Machine.

A la carte Brass

New Orleans brass & percussion version. A La Carte serves a street band from New Orleans marinated with a hot salsa percussion section.

Micah Salaberrios & Lauren Holt

A super talented 17 year-old Cello-Player. Don’t miss that one!

George Michael

George Michaels epic version with that heavy electro bass and this stadium rave feeling.

The Main Squeeze

Excellent version with interesting tempo change and Space-Ace-Sound Keyboard from Main Squeeze.


Dope Drum ’n’ Bass-Funky-feeling with funny filtering.

Marcus Miller

“Then I was thinking about this bass line, i was just playing two notes…”

Tom Moulton

Someone made a super long remixed version, it seems to groove forever.

Howard Wiley & Extra Nappy

Such a hot version, they sure found the right thing to smoke!

Dj “S”

Found this lovely heavy bass bootleg version.

Run C&W

I can’t let you go without this Country-Version from Nashville, of course.

Geoffrey Castle

The one-man version of the timeless classic with a Loop Station and Violin, well done!

20th Century Steel Band

Probably the quietest version I’ve heard of, floating steel drums give us that Hawaii feeling. Fun-fact: This reggae-band is from Ireland.


African House Remix from Abavuki with excellent percussions. Also listen to their nice remix.

Gregory Porter

Fast jazz-version from Gregory Porter.

The Undisputed Truth

And of course the original song from 1972.

More Versions ?!

If you still can’t get enough, check out these still reasonably good versions:

And if you want to dig even further, look at these lists:

I’ve also added most of the songs on Spotify for you to listen to in a neat playlist:

Enjoy listening, share this one or our other articles with your best music friends.