Battle of the Bands – These Eyes by the Guess Who

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It’s time for another Battle of the Bands and today I’m featuring The Guess Who’s hit song These Eyes. Give a listen to the two contenders and vote which one you like best. I’ll post the results in 6 days!

The Guess Who, a Canadian rock band, is my very favorite band of all time! I could listen to the Guess Who endlessly and never tire of their sound. Today’s battle features their original song These Eyes, written by Burton Cummings and Randy Bachman. “The song was co-written by the group’s lead guitarist Randy Bachman and lead singer Burton Cummings and originally included on the band’s 1969 album Wheatfield Soul. It was first released as a single (backed by “Lightfoot”), in their native Canada, where its chart success (#7) helped land them a U.S. distribution deal with RCA Records. It was then released in the U.S. in April 1969, and became a breakthrough success for the group, as it would be their first single to reach the top ten on the Billboard Pop Singles chart, peaking at number six, and would eventually be certified gold by the RIAA for sales of over one million copies.” (Source: Wikipedia)

Here they are performing These Eyes. This is for your enjoyment only as they are not part of the battle…but it’s so worth watching:

 

For more Guess Who, check out my A-Z Musical Tour of My Life post, where the Guess Who was featured prominently, given that they’re my favorite band!

 

As for today’s soulful battle, I’m showcasing covers by Jr. Walker and the All Stars and Jacksoul.

 

Jr. Walker and the All Stars:

Autry DeWalt Mixon, Jr. (June 14, 1931 – November 23, 1995), known by the stage name Junior Walker, was an American musician. His group, Junior Walker & the All Stars, were signed to the Motown label in the 1960s, and became one of the label’s signature acts. His saxophone style was the anchor for the band’s overall sound.

Here is his cover of These Eyes:

 

Jacksoul:

jacksoul, sometimes stylized as jackSOUL, was a Canadian soul and R&B music group formed in 1996 in Toronto. The band was a multi-recipient of the Juno Award. The band was fronted by singer Haydain Neale, and was best known for their hits “Can’t Stop”, “Still Believe in Love”, and “Somedays”.

Each of the band’s albums was nominated for a Juno Award, and the group won the award for R&B/Soul Recording of the Year in 2001, 2007 and 2010. The band won a Canadian Urban Music Award in 2004.

Here is jacksoul’s cover of These Eyes:

 

TIME TO VOTE! Which version do you like better and why?

And when you’re done voting, please visit these other BOTB participants and check out their cool battles:

 

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38 thoughts on “Battle of the Bands – These Eyes by the Guess Who

  1. Hi, MIchele!

    Happy BOTB day to you, dear friend! I didn’t know The Guess Who is your favorite band. I got hooked on them in 1965 when they were still called Chad Allan & the Expressions. Their cover of “Shakin’ All Over,” originally waxed by Johnny Kidd & the Pirates, rocked me to such an extent that I bought their Shakin’ All Over album. The songs on that long-play were recorded in a style distinctly different from their later work, but I loved the album and played it often.

    For your BOTB contest you picked two soulful renditions of “These Eyes.” Weighing the pros and cons, I have always enjoyed Junior Walker’s sax playing, the highlight of all his recordings. Walker’s treatment of “These Eyes” is ear pleasing and I enjoyed it. I found that I didn’t like the JackSOUL cover as much because the lead vocal was delivered in an embellished style found in many modern urban recordings – the use of extra syllables – melisma. Therefore, I vote for the simple, straightforward approach used by Junior Walker and the All Stars, featuring that glorious sax of his.

    Thank you, dear friend Michele!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah Shady, the Guess Who is my absolute favorite band. I even have a Guess Who station on Pandora. Glad you liked Walker’s version. His sax is indeed magnificent! Thanks for stopping by!

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  2. The Guess Who is a group that I’ve always liked and “These Eyes” was one of their great hits–an excellent song for my taste.

    Jacksoul does a nice smooth rendition, but in the end Jr Walker’s Allstars captures my musical heart. They take me back to the 60’s. They take on this song like they own it and indeed in this recording they do own the song.

    Nice match up.

    Give my vote to Jr. Walker and the All Stars.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Lee. I’m always excited to find another Guess Who fan. I saw them live but it was long after they disbanded and there was only one original band member (can’t remember who now) but we danced the night away that night! So much fun.

      I’ve gotcha down for Jr. Walker. Thanks for stopping by.

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  3. Michele, I always enjoyed The Guess Who, too and honestly both of your choices can’t touch the original cut by a long shot. That’s just the way it is sometimes, though. And….since I can’t vote for The Guess Who then I have to decide which of the two contenders I like the best. Luckily this choice was simple. My over all preferred band between these goes to Jr. Walker and the All Stars. Good battle, my friend, and thanks for stopping by! Have a bandtastic week!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey Cathy! Good to know you are also a Guess Who fan. And you’re right, the two versions I picked can’t even come close to the original.
      I have your vote for Jr. Walker. Thanks for stopping by and you have a great week too! 🙂

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  4. I don’t know if my vote really counts, since I am not participating in this round of BotB, but I will offer one up anyway. Just in case. And I am surprising myself with this one – going against the grain, I think I prefer the jackSOUL version. Even though I love Jr. Walker and loved his cover. Something about jackSOUL’s instrumentation really hooked me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Of course your vote counts, even though you’re not participating. You have big things going on over at your blog! Will you be doing the BOTBs on your new blog?? If not, we’ll miss having you here but you know you’re always welcome to come vote!
      I have your vote for jackSOUL. Thanks for stopping by. See you at ReInVintaged!

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  5. Wow… This is a tough one. They both sounded really similar to me, and the original isn’t one I’m familiar with, so nothing to compare them to (emotionally, I mean)… I think I’ll go for Jacksoul. Jr. Walker was *awesome*, but—for reasons unknowable—the second one touched a different heartstring (or is it earstring? hmmm…).

    Cool battle, Michele!
    Guilie @ Quiet Laughter

    Liked by 1 person

    • JackSOUL it is, Guilie. Glad I was able to introduce you to the Guess Who! Did you like that original? If you haven’t really heard the Guess Who before, check them out. They have a fabulous body of work.
      Thanks for stopping by!

      Like

  6. I LOVE The Guess Who. I saw them in person twice, but it was when the only original member of the group was the drummer. They were still great! Because I love The Guess Who so much, it’s difficult for me to vote. I think Jr. Walker’s sax overwhelms the rest of the music and voices, so I choose jacksoul. The voice is so plaintive. Oh, I remember playing my 45 record of American Woman and No Time about a million times.

    Love,
    Janie

    Liked by 1 person

    • I saw the Guess Who too! Same situation: there was only one original member (and I can’t remember who now). That was such a great night. I still think about it, it was that good of a night. So much fun!
      And No Time is one of my favs by them.
      Thanks for your vote Janie. I have you down for JackSOUL…

      Like

    • Hey Penny! Glad you liked the Guess Who version (but unfortunately they’re not in the contest). It’s hard to beat them though. I can see why you chose them! They are my absolute favorite band of all time!! Thanks for stopping by Penny! Picasso and Luca say Hey and send you doggie kisses too. 🙂

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  7. I LOVE this song and The Guess Who, to the point where it’s hard to accept cover versions. I see others have voiced similar sentiments. 🙂 Since I have to pick one, then I’ll go with Jr, Walker and his sax. Neither vocal comes anywhere near Burton Cumming’s!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I knew you’d like the Guess Who. Did you ever see them live? Yep, you’re so right: hard to hear their songs done by anyone but them!
      I have you down for Jr. Walker. Thanks for your vote and for stopping by Debbie!

      Liked by 1 person

      • 🙂 Probably the greatest Canadian band ever! I’ve never had the pleasure of seeing them live and now it’s too late. 😦 Sadly, the band disintegrated into animosity over the years and the rights to the name went to bassist Jim Kale and drummer Garry Peterson, not Cummings or Bachman (who have their own feud going). Pity!

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Both of these artists did a hell of a job with a song by one of my favorite bands of all time. This is going to be difficult, but I like Junior Walker’s version just a little more, because it’s less like the original than jacksoul’s. I think, if you’re going to cover a tune, it should be a little more different from the original.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. The Guess Who’s version of “These Eyes” is ultimately my favorite. Burton Cummings…that voice…ahhhhhh…. There’s nothing you can do to that song to diminish it! It’s a stand-alone great of the greats.

    Your contenders are worthy, but jacksoul: WOW! Superior! Love that one and I’d listen to it any day of the week. Good job!

    JACKSOUL!! YEAH!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Excellent! Glad you like the JackSOUL version so much! Hard to beat a Guess Who song. It is one of the greats! Thanks for stopping by…

      Like

    • Creepy? I’ll have to go back and listen. That sax is kickass, isn’t it? I’ve got you down for Jr. Walker. Thanks for stopping by Fae!

      Like

  10. Michele,
    I think this was an excellent battle. You found two really good covers of this song, which was a good thing since the original would’ve cleaned up big-time. We must be very careful when using an original song as it’s likely to destroy the competition. So, great job!

    I enjoyed the first one well enough, but I found that I preferred jacksoul over it. I’m not sure I can explain it all that well, but I thought the singer “felt” the lyrics more (if that makes any sense at all). And, unlike FAE, I didn’t find it at all creepy;)

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Nice Battle, MICHELE.
    Unlike many folks here (yourself included) I am NOT a big fan of The Guess Who. But I did, and do, love their hit ‘THESE EYES’. For sure, their original is better than these covers, and I would never change the radio station when their hit was playing.

    Of the two competitors, although I like Junior Walker, and although the tenor sax is my second favorite instrument after the Hammond B-3 organ, I preferred the JACKSOUL cover. The singer sang it more heartfelt (and more like the original lead vocal), while the Junior Walker version was a bit too upbeat and energetic, thus losing the real sentiment of the song.

    ~ D-FensDogG
    ‘Loyal American Underground’

    Like

    • I found your comment Stephen!! For some reason your comments (all three of them here) had to be approved first. See, this is what bugs me about WordPress: you are already on my list of approved commenters so why all of the sudden are you not? Big glitches with WP lately as I’ve stopped getting email notifications when people leave comments which is highly irritating.
      But I’m glad I found your original comment 🙂
      Thanks!

      Like

  12. MICHELE, there’s a glitch in the system. I have tried at least 6 times to leave an extensive comment and vote and every time the system tells me I’ve already left that same comment. And yet the comment does NOT show up in this comment section.

    So, I give up, and I’m just going to cast my vote short and sweet:
    JACKSOUL.

    ~ D-FensDogG
    ‘Loyal American Underground’

    Like

    • That’s very weird! I would’ve loved to read you extensive comment, especially if you were talking about my favorite band the Guess Who!! Bummer. WordPress gets on my nerves sometimes! Sorry you ran into a problem…thanks for your vote!

      Like

  13. MICHELE: Glitch in your system. I’ve attempted to leave an extensive comment and a vote about 8 times. My frustration level has reached “NUCLEAR EXPLOSION” level.

    Short and sweet: I vote for JACKSOUL.

    ~ D-FensDogG
    ‘Loyal American Underground’

    Like

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