It’s time for another Battle of the Bands and today I’m featuring the song “Gloria.” Give a listen to the two contenders and vote on which cover version you like better in the Comments section. I’ll post the results in 6 days.
About the song:
“Gloria” is a song written by Northern Irish singer-songwriter Van Morrison and originally recorded by Morrison’s band Them in 1964 and released as the B-side of “Baby, Please Don’t Go”. The song became a garage rock staple and a part of many rock bands’ repertoires. It is particularly memorable for its “G–L–O–R–I–A” chorus. It is easy to play, as a simple three-chord song, and thus is popular with those learning to play guitar. Here is the Van Morrison/Them version, for your enjoyment only. Don’t vote on this version.
Contender #1: Shadows of Knight
The Shadows of Knight (an American rock band from the Chicago suburbs, formed in the 1960s) single was released in December 1965 (later included in the album Gloria). It reached number 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1966, topping the original in the U.S. only in areas where Them’s version could not be played, because it contained the words, “She comes to my room”. Some radio stations objected to this line, most notably Chicago’s WLS:
The band had slightly altered the song’s lyrics, replacing Morrison’s original “she comes to my room, then she made me feel alright” with “she called out my name, that made me feel alright” after influential Chicago station WLS had banned Them’s original version. This simple change overcame the prevalent AM radio censorship of the era and got The Shadows of Knight’s cover version of the song onto the playlist of WLS, which had censored the original. The single reached the No. 1 position on the radio station’s countdown, as well as on local rival WCFL.
Contender #2: Patti Smith
What a difference a decade makes! Patti Smith really took liberties with the lyrics and changed them up a whole lot! From her 1975 album Horses, “this version is based on the Morrison tune, but its lyrics are reinvented for the nascent punk rock movement, retaining only the chorus, and adding possibly ironic allusions to the sacred allusions of the title. It memorably begins, “Jesus died for somebody’s sins / But not mine”.” (Wikipedia)
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:
- Stephen T. McCarthy’s Battle of the Bands Blog
- Tossing it Out
- Mike’s Ramblings
- Curious as a Cathy
- The Sound of One Hand Typing
- dcrelief ~ Battle of the Bands
- Shady Dell Music & Memories
- Cherdo on the Flipside
- THE DOGLADY’S DEN
- Jingle Jangle Jungle
- Janie Junebug Righting and Editing
- Jeffrey A. Scott
- Quiet Laughter
- Your Daily Dose