Pop Archives

Larry’s Rebels - Do What You Gotta Do (1968)

(Jimmy Webb)
New Zealand New Zealand
#6 NZ

Single on Impact.

Popular band, from Ponsonby in Auckland, often in the New Zealand Top 10 in the late 60s. Vocalist Larry Morris later went solo and had six singles on the NZ charts 1969-1983 including The Hunt (1969, #5 NZ) and The Game (1970, #8 NZ)..

Larry’s Rebels were New Zealand’s Animals. Our Paul Revere and the Raiders. The top notch local pop band with bluesy bite, who released a handful of vital discs, and for a brief few years were all over the media, the charts and the nation’s bedroom walls. They were Auckland’s first great homegrown pop band of the modern pop era; hard working and electrifying live. Their cover versions nipped at the heels of the originals.
      – Andrew Schmidt at Audio Culture.

See also Larry & The Rebels' Mo'reen, Painter Man, It's Not True and I Feel Good; and The Rebels' My Son John

Further reading: 1. The Larry's Rebels page at Bruce Sergent's New Zealand music website. 2. Larry Morris interview with Murray Cammick at NZ music website Audio Culture (January 2016). 3. Larry's Rebels profile at Audio Culture.

Thanks to Larry for correction.

The Four Tops - Do What You Gotta Do (1969)

(Jimmy Webb)
Later version
#11 UK

Motown recording, released in Britain on Tamla-Motown label.

Al Wilson - Do What You Gotta Do (1968)

(Jimmy Webb)
#12 Melbourne

Single on Soul City.

Soul singer whose best known songs are The Snake (1968) and his biggest hit Show And Tell (1973), a #1 in the United States.

For a little more about this record, see my blogpost Only in Oz (15) Al Wilson – Do What You Gotta Do.


Johnny Rivers - Do What You Gotta Do (1967)

(Jimmy Webb)
Original version

On 1967 album Rewind on Imperial label.

See the album discography at the Johnny Rivers website.

Jimmy Webb: prolific writer (and performer) of numerous classics, including Up-Up And Away, MacArthur Park, Wichita Lineman, By The Time I Get To Phoenix… See the Jimmy Webb Song List at Magic Town, and Webb’s song catalog from the Songwriters Hall of Fame [archived page from 2017].

Do What You Gotta Do was also recorded by Nina Simone, Bobby Vee, Clarence Carter, Paul Anka, and Ronnie Milsap (all 1968); B.J. Thomas (1970), Roberta Flack (1970), Tom Jones (1971) and Linda Ronstadt (1993).

Mary Coughlan - Do What You Gotta Do (1992)

(Jimmy Webb)
Later version

On album Sentimental Killer by Irish jazz-blues singer (b. 1956). 

Although Mary Coughlan sings Do What You Gotta Do and Jimmy Webb's lyrics are included on the album notes, the song is mistitled as Ballad of a Sad Young Man. It is credited to Fran Landesman and Tommy Wolf (misspelt as "Woolf") whose often-recorded song The Ballad Of The Young Men was in the 1959 Broadway musical The Nervous Set.


Do What You Gotta Do, correctly titled, appears on Mary Coughlan's 2018 album Live & Kicking.

Thanks to Ken Grady for sharing this oddity.

Greg Kihn - Do What You Gotta Do (2000)

(Jimmy Webb)
Later version

On album True Kihnfessions by American singer, guitarist, songwriter, author and broadcaster (b.1949) whose biggest hit was The Breakup Song (They Don't Write 'Em) (1981, # 15 USA) by the Greg Kihn Band, written by Kihn with the band's bassist Steve Wright.

Version alert from Ken Grady.