I dunno how many of you are familiar with The Move, the Birmingham, England based band that composed and recorded the original version of 'California Man' in 1972. The single did well in the UK, yet flopped stateside, hitting only #93 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
Interestingly, the B-side actually got more airplay in the US, and it's one you should know: 'Do Ya'... but just a month after that release, The Move's Roy Wood, Jeff Lynne, and famed drummer Bev Bevan had 'moved' on to a new project, the (what came to be) world-renowned Electric Light Orchestra -or ELO- where they re-released 'Do Ya' and went-on to achieve monster commercial success right into the 80s.
Being a 'late boomer' myself, I was a big ELO fan right from the start, yet never even heard of The Move. Instead, I first learned of 'California Man' from Cheap Trick's version on the Heaven Tonight LP in 1978. Nothing I hate more than a lame cover, but with all due respect to the far-more-accomplished musicians of The Move, Chicago's Cheap Trick actually brought a lot to the material with their 'power pop' sound of the late 70's/early 80s -with this live version even a notch or two hotter- turn it up!
Always entertaining: lip-synching the
studio single on Italian TV (1978):
Cheap Trick: 'I'm a California Man'