Bill Withers: Ain't No Sunshine
The original and arguably the most powerful, Bill Withers' 1971 classic still has the ability to send shivers. Stark and solitary the strings absolutely drip off the record. Here is proof that sometimes the simplest songs can be the most moving. Get it on Just As I Am.
Freddie King: Ain't No Sunshine
Freddie King is too often overlooked in my opinion. Super funky, a killer guitarist and a monster vocalist Mr. King makes you weep with his cover. The guitar break at 1:55 is as bad ass as anything you'll ever hear. Get it on 1972's Texas Cannonball.
Ken Boothe: Ain't No Sunshine
The bright reggae beat doesn't make this tune any less heartbreaking thanks to Ken Boothe pain fueled vocals. There's even a tinge of anger in his voice creating an altogether new interpretation of our hurt hero. Find this track on the stellar 2001 compilation Darker Than Blue: Soul from Jamdown (1973-198o)
Buddy Guy: Ain't No Sunshine
Say what you will about Buddy Guy's output in recent years but you cannot fault his choice of covers especially on 2005's Bring 'Em In. Buddy's vocals are soulful as always and his punctuating guitar stabs are gold. Even Tracy Chapman manages some real emotion on her 'I know, I know, I knows'.
Stryke: Ain't No Sunshine
The jury's still out on this ambient cover. Dub rhythms make it a perfect late night track, but have we gone too far from the soul of the man? I'm not feeling his pain...I'm actually quite relaxed! Oh well, it sounds nice! Get it on the Frequent Flyer: Kingston Jamaica compilation.
Kashmere Stage Band: Ain't No Sunshine (J. Rocc Remix)
Even further removed this funky remix definitely has the groove. Get it on Now Again Re:Sounds Vol. 1