I Can Understand It
From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
- I Can Understand It - The New Birth (RCA, 1973)/Valentinos (Atlantic Records, 1973)/Kokomo (Columbia, 1975) 
"I Can Understand It" is a soul classic written and originally recorded by rhythm and blues musician Bobby Womack and turned into a top ten R&B hit by funk group New Birth in 1973. Womack originally recorded the song for his top ten album, Understanding, which was released in late 1972. His brothers, The Valentinos , also recorded the song. Their version was released as a single, and became a chart hit. New Birth recorded a James Brown-esque style recording of the song with lead singer Leslie Wilson, who sounds like Womack, was vocally influenced by Sam Cooke. Their fast-paced version is the better-known version of the two though Womack's original, which had a more blues leaning, has garnered praise. In 1975 Columbia records released a third version of this classic track. The least known of the three, this version by Kokomo, a British-soul group, includes delicately mixed congas with a tempo similar to New Birth's and is perhaps, musically, the funkiest of the three. Lead singer Tony O'Malley's vocal style is reminiscent of Dr John's. The background harmonies and ad-libs make this an outstanding track.