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"I'm a Man" is a popular Americanmarker song written and released by Bo Diddley in March 1955 on Checker Records as the b-side to his hit "Bo Diddley". The writing credit is under Diddley's real name, Ellas McDaniel. Based on Muddy Waters' 1954 blues song "Hoochie Coochie Man" written by Willie Dixon, Waters recorded a cover of "I'm a Man" in May 1955, retitled "Mannish Boy," a play on words on Bo Diddley's younger age as it related to the primary theme of the song. The song is ranked #369 on the Rolling Stone magazine's list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

Cover and derivative versions

The song has been covered often by blues and rock musicians, most famously by The Yardbirds. It was released as single and later included on the 1965 U.S.marker compilation album, Having a Rave Up. The Yardbirds' version (with "Still I'm Sad" as its b-side, released by Epic in the U.S.) peaked at #17 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in late 1965. The Yardbird's version is also noted for the rhythm change, when the beat speeds up, featuring some unusual percussion making clacking sounds, until it ends in a climax. The Royal Guardsmen also recorded the song, as well as Doug Sahm, who performed the song in a San Franciscomarker, Californiamarker nightclub, in the film, More American Graffiti.

The Who recorded the song for their debut album My Generation (1965). The Japanese psychedelic band The Beavers covered the song in the late 1960s, as did the Yellow Payges. Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers covered this song throughout their 2006 North American "Highway Companion" tour.

In the song "American Woman" by The Guess Who, singer Burton Cummings spells out 'American Woman' in a similar fashion to how Bo Diddley spells 'Man'. George Thorogood's song "Bad to the Bone" (for which Diddley appeared in the music video) and AC/DC's "Whole Lotta Rosie" also borrow from the guitar riff, vocal melody, and overall structure of "I'm a Man".

A live recording of "I'm a Man" was the B-side to Dr. Feelgood's 1975 single release, "Back in the Night", and appeared on their chart-topping 1976 live album, Stupidity.

Most recently, a cover version by Black Strobe was included in the film and soundtrack album for Guy Ritchie's RocknRolla.


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