Battle of the Bands – Rocky Mountain Way (by Joe Walsh)


It’s time for another Battle of the Bands and today I’m featuring Joe Walsh’s Rocky Mountain Way. Give a listen to the two contenders and vote which one you like best. I’ll post the results in 6 days!

Joe Walsh is an American singer, songwriter, composer, multi-instrumentalist, and record producer. In a career spanning more than 40 years, Walsh has been a member of five successful rock bands: the Eagles, the James Gang, Barnstorm, The Party Boys, and Ringo Starr & His All-Starr Band. In the 1990s, he was also a member of the short-lived supergroup The Best. He has experienced success both as a solo artist and prolific session musician, being featured on a wide array of other artists’ recordings. In 2011, Rolling Stone placed Walsh at the number 54 spot on its list of “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time.”

Rocky Mountain Way was released in 1973 from his album The Smoker You Drink, the Player You Get. Walsh appeared in studio on The Howard Stern Show on June 12, 2012 and talked about how the lyrics to the song came to him in 1972 shortly after releasing his first solo effort, Barnstorm.

“I’m living in Colorado and I’m mowing the lawn. I look up and there’s the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains and there’s snow on them in the summer. And it knocked me back because it was just beautiful. And I thought, well I have committed. I’m already in Colorado and it’s too late to regret the James Gang. The Rocky Mountain Way is better than the way I had. Because the music was better. I got the words, bam!”

Here’s Joe Walsh performing the song, Live from Daryl’s House with Daryl Hall (Live from Daryl’s House (simply known as Daryl’s House, and often abbreviated as LFDH) is an online series that was first created in the fall of 2007. The show features singer/songwriter Daryl Hall performing with his band and various guest artists at his home in Millerton, NY. The show provides a performance space that is an alternative to live concerts and studio sessions for popular artists. This allows the artists to “…have fun and [be] creatively spontaneous.”). (Source: Wikipedia)

Joe is NOT part of the battle so this video is for your enjoyment only. It is a great performance! (For more Joe Walsh, you might want to check out my A-Z Musical Tour of My Life post, featuring some great music and videos by Walsh and others).


Today’s battle pits Godsmack against Slaughter.


Godsmack – Godsmack is an American alternative metal band from Lawrence, Massachusetts, formed in 1995. The band is composed of founder, frontman and songwriter Sully Erna, guitarist Tony Rombola, bassist Robbie Merrill, and drummer Shannon Larkin. Since its formation, Godsmack has released six studio albums, one EP (The Other Side), four DVDs, one compilation album (Good Times, Bad Times… Ten Years of Godsmack), and one live album (Live and Inspired). (Source: Wikipedia)

Godsmack covered Rocky Mountain Way on their Live and Inspired album in 2012.


Slaughter – Slaughter is an American hard rock band formed in Las Vegas, Nevada by lead vocalist/rhythm guitarist Mark Slaughter and bassist Dana Strum. The band reached stardom in 1990 with their first album Stick It to Ya, which spawned several hit singles including “Up All Night”, “Spend My Life”, “Mad About You” and “Fly to the Angels”. The album reached double platinum status in the United States. The band remains a steady act in national tours, mainly in the Rock Never Stops Tour which features several bands of the same era. (Source: Wikipedia)

Slaughter covered Rocky Mountain Way on their 1997 album, Revolution.


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:

37 thoughts on “Battle of the Bands – Rocky Mountain Way (by Joe Walsh)

  1. I’ve been a Walsh fan since my first James Gang vinyl LP came in the mail to me from the Columbia Record Club back in the early 70’s. Such a great group they were! And Walsh has continually come up with great music since those early days.

    This is a tough choice as both version are pretty close stylistically. I’m going to vote for my preference of the one that comes closest to the original in my opinion. Give my vote to Slaughter.

    Arlee Bird
    A to Z Challenge Co-host
    Tossing It Out

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh I remember the Columbia Record Club! They don’t still do that, do they?? I also remember the book club. Was a great way to build up a collection.

      Thanks for stopping by and voting. I’ve got you down for Slaughter…


  2. Hi, Michele!

    Lawdy lawdy lawdy, Miss Clawdy! This is the greatest band battle ever! I loved all three selections and thank you for presenting such exciting material. I was blown away by the performance of Joe Walsh and the band at Daryl’s crib. Those guys cooked! I wonder why Joe stated that he regrets the James Gang. I owned that 1970 James Gang Rides Again album and Mrs. Shady #1 and I played it to death.

    Godsmack turned in a powerful performance of “Rocky Mountain Way” and gave it a metal treatment. Unless I am mistaken, they changed some of the lyrics. I found that unnecessary because it’s a classic rock song and didn’t need to be altered. The heavier Godsmack version came across as aggressive and somewhat intimidating. I normally like those qualities in a recording, but not in this case. I believe this song was meant to be performed more joyfully. That brings me to Slaughter. I love their hard rock anthem “Up All Night (Sleep All Day)” and have it in my collection. Before I started listening to their version of “Rocky Mountain Way,” I feared that their glam hair band roots my show a little too much and that it would sound lightweight compared to Godsmack. I was pleasantly surprised. Slaughter performed the song extremely well in a classic hard rock style that remained true to the original.

    I vote to Slaughter!

    Thank you very much, dear friend Michele. (Still praying for your mom.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Joe Walsh is really something. I loved reading about how he came up with Rocky Mountain Way. That was definitely a cool performance at Daryl’s place! When did he say he regretted the James Gang? Being part of it, he meant?? I never heard that. Wonder why he said that!

      Glad you liked both my selections! I’ll put you down with a vote for Slaughter.

      Thanks for your prayers for my Mom. She got out of ICU yesterday. Not sure when she’ll be coming home yet…Sometime this week. My poor dad has been sick for two days. He had a miserable night last night. I hate seeing my parents not feeling well! It breaks my heart… Thanks for your thoughts!

      talk soon.


      • To answer your question, I got that notion about Joe Walsh regretting The James Gang based on the quote in your post from The Howard Stern Show: “I’m already in Colorado and it’s too late to regret the James Gang. The Rocky Mountain Way is better than the way I had. Because the music was better.” Did I misinterpret that quote or is the word regret a typo?


          • Isn’t that the truth! My dad has some kind of flu bug so it’s been quite busy here last night and today… 😦 I gave him an anti-nausea pill earlier that seemed to help. He’s up and eating dry toast right now. Thanks for your thoughts! Much appreciated.


        • Oh yes, I took quote to mean that it was too late for him to regret LEAVING the James Gang. That’s how I took it anyway. Then I thought you meant that he regretted having been in the group so my misinterpretation on what you meant. My bad.


    • Great Birgit, thanks! I appreciate you coming by to vote. I have you down with a vote for Slaughter. So far they’re in the lead…


    • Lol. I’ll put you down for Godsmack. 🙂
      I was just over at your blog again and cracked up at the Cam Newton poem! I hate that guy. What a sore loser!! Will be interesting to see your Valentine’s polling results. Some great entries there!
      Thanks for stopping by. Hope to see you again soon…


  3. Michele, This was an easy pick for me; after listening to both songs for only a few seconds I knew exactly which version was more pleasing to my ears. I’m giving my vote the hard rock vibes of Slaughter. Nice battle.


    • Thanks Cathy! Another vote for Slaughter. I hope I don’t have another lopsided battle, but it’s looking that way so far….


  4. Another great song that I have loved for a long time. Thank you! The battle of the bands gods must have been smiling down on all of us this week 🙂

    I felt that while Slaughter had a good performance, Godsmack knocked it out of the park from the very first note. Therefore, Godsmack gets my vote.

    ~Mary Burris
    Jingle Jangle Jungle

    Liked by 1 person

  5. MICHELE ~
    This is easily my all-time favorite Joe Walsh song (although ‘Life’s Been Good’ is a fun one, too). And I’ve been known to use that line, “We don’t need no ladies crying ’cause the story’s sad”. Great, highly quotable line!

    I’m sure you know that Joe’s original is the song that popularized the use of the “Talk Box” in Rock songs. Peter Frampton owes Joe a ‘Thank You’ card.

    Neither of these covers is even in Casey’s ballpark, but I’ll go with SLAUGHTER.

    ~ D-FensDogG
    ‘Loyal American Underground’


    • Hey Stephen. I didn’t realize that Joe Walsh was the first to use the Talk Box. I thought Frampton was. Good to know!
      Hope you’re not working too hard. Thanks for your vote. Gotcha down for Slaughter.


  6. Sorry I’m late to the party, been a bit under the weather.

    Big Joe Walsh fan here, and IMO neither of these comes close to the original. I was curious about Slaughter. Never heard of ’em, but those faces are plastered all over the Hard Rock Casino billboard about a mile from my house. Their playing Tahoe this weekend. On their lead in I thought, OK, not bad, then those munchkin voices started up. Easy win for Godsmack on this one. Unless it’s really the munchkins, I find those vocals irritating.


    • Hey Fae, I sure hope you’re feeling better by now. That’s cool that the Slaughter billboards are up. Would be interesting to see them in concert.
      Thanks for coming by to vote, even though you weren’t feeling so well. I’ll put you down for Godsmack.


  7. While Slaughter sounded more like the original, I’m just not into that hair metal sound. Godsmack, I think, changed some lyrics which is kind of disappointing, but overall… ok. So I’m giving them my vote!


    • Thanks Madilyn! Yours is the final vote for this battle and I’ve got you down for Godsmack. Going to get to counting all the votes now…Will be interesting to see who wins this one.


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