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Big Boss Man

4.4 / 5

Words & Music: Al Smith Luther Dixon

Big boss man, can't you hear me when I call?
Big boss man, can't you hear me when I call?
Can't you hear me when I call?
Well you ain't so big, you know you're just tall that's all, All right
Well you got me workin' boss man
Workin' round the clock
I wanna little drink of water
But you won't let big Al stop
Big boss man now can't you hear me when I call? All right
I said you ain't so big, you know you're just tall that's all

Big boss man, why can't you hear me when I call? All right
You know you ain't so big, I said you're just tall that's all, All right
I'm gonna get me a boss man
One who's gonna treat me right
I work hard in the day time
Rest easy at night
Big boss man, can't you hear me when I call? Can't you hear me when I call?
I said you ain't so big, you're just tall that's all
I'm gonna get me a boss man
One that's gonna treat me right
I work hard in the evenin'
Rest easy at night
Big boss man, big boss man, can't you hear me when I call?
I said you ain't so big, you're just tall that's all
All right, big boss man
It's all right

Recordingdate: 1967/09/10, first released on: single (album)


Musicians who contributed to the first recording of Big Boss Man:

(steel guitar)


Find available albums with Big Boss Man.

Jerome wrote on June 16, 2008
Elvis kept doing this song better and better during his career, I think. Did this have anything to do with Colonol Tom Parker?..
sitdown68 wrote on February 14, 2009
why has this fine song been crammed on a mediocre movie soundtrack along with You Don't Know Me and Guitar Man?
old shep wrote on April 29, 2009
I was always surprised that Elvis continued to sing this in concert after it's very poor showing in the charts on it's release in 1967, obviously he really enjoyed singing it.Pity though that he sang this In preference to songs that made it to the top of the charts in the years before, and he never touched. I always thought that this was a bad choice for a single in 1967 as even then it sounded dated, but I could see the appeal of the B side You Don't Know Me to a country audience.
Deke Rivers 6 wrote on April 29, 2009
I didn't care for this song,along with Guitar Man. You don't know me was much better.
Swen wrote on April 29, 2009
The recording sessions with Jerry Reed in ´68 were really the first sign of positive changes after the movie years. Even though they weren´t big hits you could hear that he still had it, and wanted to make good records. Big Boss Man, Guitar Man, and US Male were great numbers and might have been hits with another timing.
Pedro Nuno wrote on April 29, 2009
I Like this song very very much. It marks Elvis resurrection to Rock Music after those forgettable movie years! Like its lyrics, its beat, the harmonica, and Elvis voice as a "bad boy". The live renditions are also nice, and my favourite is the one we have in the Memory import release "Charleston Rocks"(Atlanta, June 6 1976), with James Burton guitar licks, and not the horns, putting the beat, and making the solo in the song! An Outstanding Blues Rock Performance!
My boy, my boy wrote on April 29, 2009
This September 67 session was the beginning of the redemption that would lead to the Comeback special 9 months later !...Elvis sounds amazing !
dgirl wrote on April 29, 2009
How refreshing this was in late 67. Finally a single with some chops, although sadly out of date with musical trends at the time. But it was great to hear Elvis sinking his teeth into some 'real' material for a change and not promoting a lame movie song. I like the B side but thankfully it remained a B side otherwise it would have been another movie ballad as the A side, which we had enough of at the time.
theoldscudder wrote on April 29, 2009
I like this very much. A refreshing change. I remember thinking at the time it nice but not hit material.
Cruiser621 wrote on April 29, 2009
Big Boss Man, High Heel Sneakers, Down In The Alley were all rather lame songs in my opinion. On the other hand, You Don't Know Me was top notch; too bad his timing was off as to the release of this song aka wrong time, right song.
GEORGE (GK) wrote on April 29, 2009
I never cared for the original studio version. But I liked it alot in the "Comeback special". And even more so, in the mid 70s, when he performed it on stage. (It was faster and I loved the updated arragement)
Jim Hoff wrote on April 29, 2009
The man from Tupelo sounds pissed off on this recording! That suits him well, indeed! Should have made a whole concept album in this genre, but I guess E.P was too busy helping the colonel painting sparrows yellow........
Steve V wrote on April 29, 2009
A fine song that started a succession of fine singles that showed Elvis cared again about his music. Too bad it was released around the same time as Clambake and was included on that insufferable album. Also later it was inlcuded on a cheap Camden proving that even Elvis's good songs never got the repsect they deserved by RCA. Would have made a fine LP with Hi-Heel Sneakers, Down In The Alley, Guitar Man, Too Much Monkey Business, etc. Now that would have been a comeback LP!
Deano1 wrote on February 22, 2010
An outstanding song recorded in September of '67 and rushed to the stores as a single one month later with "You Don't Know Me" from the same session. After back to back singles has failed to make the top 40, "Big Boss Man" started back on the right track hitting #38. The flipside hit a very respectable #44. Elvis growls his way through this rocking tune and kept on doing top notch versions right on until the end.
King Of Music wrote on May 22, 2010
Great song, one of his later 60's pop/rock greats.
1 BILLION SOLD wrote on May 22, 2010
This is 1 of 2 45's that were the first Elvis songs on a 45 that I had at home as a child. My mom owned it, (then, cuz I do now), and along w Guitar Man, they bring back great memories of childhood life in general! Always loved the "growl" in his voice in this song, he sounds like a bad-ass!!
bajo wrote on May 22, 2010
A favourite of mine since I first heard the original 67 version. This is the kind of stuff Elvis should have been doing much more of. Those sessions really showed promise of what was to come. Why Elvis went for the Charlie Rich arrangement when doing the song live in the 70's i beyond me. I like the studio version above all!
NONE000000 wrote on May 23, 2010
Great track. Elvis in the process of rediscovering himself, culminating with the 68 comeback, which included this song. Kinda hard to imagine an Elvis fan who doesn't like this song.
johnnygb wrote on May 23, 2010
This song really shows Elvis beginning to break free from the movie songs, a pounding beat and a new mature sounding voice. Great stuff if only 5 years too late!!!!!!!!
Biffx wrote on August 31, 2011
This is an ok song for me one i can take or leave. Some versions sound a little dis-jointed but never terrible that i skip it.
Rob Wanders wrote on March 01, 2012
This is a great song. I love the recordingssessions with Elvis and Jerry Reed. They should have done it more often.
Lpool kid wrote on March 01, 2012
always loved this song,the studio version was brilliant.i along with most fans feel that he should have been doing this type of song for the last 4-5years,but here's the problem if he had of been doing this type of song then he would'nt have really been away from the music scene.so no need for a 68' comeback.....just a thought.5 stars from me.
freedom101 wrote on March 02, 2012
Elvis proved that he never lost it, he just got sidetracked temporarily with the movie soundtracks. Over the years Beatles fans have made the claim that the band destroyed Elvis' career. When they say that I always mention that if that were true how come Elvis took up where he left off in 1968 while the Beatles were still together. The Beatles were still two years away from breaking up as a group, so they had nothing to do with Elvis' career losing some steam in the mid-1960s. Elvis with the right material and a major push and tours would've stood toe to toe with anything the British Invasion dished out. Despite the myths and rumors the hippies and the counter culture of the 1960s weren't anti-Elvis. They wanted him to be "The King" that they knew he could be.
sugartummy wrote on February 26, 2013
A great song indeed. Scotty Moore recorded Frank Frost doing this song in the mid sixties as a producer. Jerry Reed couldn't remember Scotty Moore or DJ Fontana present during the recording of guitar man & big boss man. Later Reed said he'd wished he was a woman because Elvis looked so great.
Gorse wrote on November 11, 2013
This song showed that Elvis was back for the folk who mainly appreciated the rocking side of the man. Me, I enjoyed a good 60% of his film output on vinyl and another 15% as presented in the film. Lack of personal appearances, and being out of the public eye for so long, stopped this release being a smash hit.
Milky White Way wrote on April 17, 2022
I really enjoy all the Sept 67 sessions with You don’t know me making my all time top 5. Big boss man is a really good track but the green shoots of recovery came a year earlier with How great thou art sessions. The movie soundtracks began to improve and so did Elvis mentally. Elvis was ready to get back to some good material.
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