Battle of the Bands – Blue Jean Blues by ZZ Top

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Happy December! It’s time for another Battle of the Bands. Today I’m featuring the ZZ Top original Blue Jean Blues, from their 1975 album Fandango! I’ll present two contenders. Give a listen to both and then vote which one you like best. I’ll post the results in 6 days!

Here is the ZZ Top original but don’t vote for it. This is presented for your enjoyment only:

 

The song was covered by Hank Williams Jr on the album The Bocephus Box: The Hank Williams Jr. Collection 1979-1992 and by the Jeff Healey Band on the album See the Light.

 

CONTENDER #1: Jeff Healey Band:

 

CONTENDER #2: Hank Williams Jr.

 

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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31 thoughts on “Battle of the Bands – Blue Jean Blues by ZZ Top

  1. I must have heard this song in the past, but I don’t remember it at all. I even used to own a cassette copy of that Jeff Healey album, but I haven’t listened to that in maybe 25 years. Pretty tough choice in the offering as they both have something good to offer.

    In the end though I’m going to go with the smoother sound of Jeff Healey Band.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi, Michele!

    Three rock solid performances here, dear friend, and it was very hard to choose between Jeff and Hank in the battle. Hank is still stuck in my noggin from years of singing “Are you ready for some football?” 🙂 I enjoyed the sax on Hank’s version of “BJB” and I like Hank’s rough voice, but he comes across as more stoical than sincere. Jeff Healy, on the other hand, makes me feel the bluesy pain with his raspy vocal breaks. To my ears Jeff’s reading is more heartfelt and sincere. I also loved the impeccable musicianship and crisp production on Jeff’s version. Give my vote to the Jeff Healey Band, dear friend, and thank you for offering such fine contenders again this round!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I like both versions, even though I’m not a big country fan. In other words, I like Hank Williams version of the song too. But I also like Jeff Healey. No, not because his name is Jeff. Though to be honest, he’s got an awesome name! I love what Jeff did with the song. True, Hank was just as good, but I have to give it to Jeff Healey and his band. Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Jeffrey. Yet another vote for Jeff Healey. Am I heading for a shutout?? I thought the voting would be more even on this one… But what do I know?! 🙂 Thanks for your vote

      Like

  4. I absolutely LOVE this song!! 😀 AND I’m a HUGE fan of Jeff Healey’s. That said, Hank’s rough voice is really sexy. Still, Jeff gives it more feeling and that fabulous guitar of his is unparalleled. Please give my vote to The Jeff Healey Band. Excellent battle, Michele. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. It seems I’m going to be the lone voice at the moment. I’d never heard this song before so went in blind – both versions are good but I have to say that I much prefer Hank Williams Jr’s voice as it’s deep and soulful. So my vote goes to Hank.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Michele, this isn’t one of my favorites by ZZ Top. Both artists did a good job. I actually enjoyed Hank Jr’s rendition more than I thought I would but not enough to give him my vote. I thought the tone, tempo, and style of Healey’s was a better match to my listening pleasure. Give Jeff Healey my vote! Nice batttle!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Cathy. Jeff Healey garnering another vote. I think at this point I’m going to predict a win here… But it’s not over yet…

      Like

  7. HIHelloHowdy, MICHELE ~

    >>… “I must have heard this song in the past, but I don’t remember it at all.”
    ~ Arlee Bird

    Lee’s too funny. He often mentions his poor memory, and I ain’t gonna argue with him about that. I guess my April 1 BOTB installment was not very memorable. Ha!-Ha! Like I said, “Too funny”.

    http://stmccpresentsbattleofthebands.blogspot.com/2016/04/2016-april-1-battle-of-bands-or-zz-top.html

    The good news is that I can actually save some time by cutting and pasting a portion of my old comment. Yay!

    My vote goes like this: I think Hank Williams Junior is BY FAR the better vocalist here. And I’m automatically drawn to just about anything with an electric organ in it. Also I love the sax solo which was quite smokin’. And those deep, heavy chords that were the foundation for this recording. They sounded ominous – sort of like that “heavy chording” that Pink Floyd used to do.

    The Jeff Healey recording was very good, and that very “metallic” guitar sound appealed to me. The only thing is though that the approach is not very original. It’s excellently executed but nuttin’ new. In fact, when ZZ Top recorded the original, as much as I like it, it wasn’t very original then either. It’s kind of like this: Jeff Healey is doing ZZ Top who was doing Albert King.

    I appreciate that Hank “Bocephus” Williams — who, to begin with, is one of my very favorite Country artists of all time — took the song and really altered it, stamping it with his own approach. Getting away from the guitar-centric approach, he layered it with Bluesy organ and sax to go with his wonderful baritone voice. Love at first listen, and another vote for BOCEPHUS!

    ~ D-FensDogG
    ‘Loyal American Underground’

    Liked by 1 person

    • In response to STMcC, as I said in my comment on your post, I’d never heard this song before that I recall and since listening on your site I haven’t heard it since. I think what it amounts to is that this is a traditional blues sounding song and to me one often sounds like another. I’d have to hear it repeatedly for it to truly register in my mind and since I’m not a huge blues fan I probably would hear it repeatedly or, if I did. I wouldn’t particularly remember it–kind of like a rap song.

      Considering I used to own that Jeff Healey album and listened to it many times, oddly that song did not stand out for me. It must have blended in with all the other blues stuff I’ve heard in my life.

      Arlee Bird
      Tossing It Out

      Liked by 1 person

    • Ah Stephen. Well, I guess my memory ain’t so good either because I don’t remember you using this song in a battle not so long ago! I have to admit: I have a terrible terrible terrible memory! It is what it is…

      Thank you for voting for Hank Williams Jr. He’s not faring very well here as he didn’t fare well in your battle back in April either. Such a powerhouse too. But truth be told, I’m still not sure who I’m voting for yet…

      Thanks for all your input…

      Like

      • Ha! MICHELE, I have an absolutely amazing memory. Really! If only I could remember where I left it.

        Hmmm… an “age” thang? Nah. Couldn’t be, because I’m as young as I ever was.

        Songs have been re-used a number of times in BOTB. It’s inevitable and no big deal. Plus, you used Jeff Healey, whereas I used the ZZ Top original. So it’s a different BOTB anyway, regardless of it being the same song.

        I was just havin’ some fun.
        Ain’t no thang. (Yeah, I have a PhD in “Jive Talkin'” from the University of Bee Gees.)

        ~ D-FensDogG

        Liked by 1 person

        • Oh I love Jive Talkin! Just couldn’t resist going and gettin’ me some:

          Now I’m on a Bee Gees roll… Thanks Stephen. 🙂

          Like

  8. Michele,

    I’d already decided my vote before I began the comments, but was stopped dead in my tracks by Stephen’s comment. I knew the song was familiar, but I’d also forgotten where I’d heard it. So, I clicked over to HIS Battle to see how I voted there. I’m glad it wasn’t precisely the same battle as what you’ve got staged here. Just so you don’t have to click over (not that you would), I was torn between ZZ Top and Hank on his battle. But, I very much preferred Hank on this battle. Makes me wonder if my vote wasn’t swayed more than I thought by familiarity.

    Anyway, give my vote to Hank Williams, Jr.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Oh, Jeff Healey, all the way!

    Boy, I loved his voice and, call me a popster, his song, “Angel Eyes” was a favorite. It’s funny how you sort of forget about some of those artists you love so much. There’s just too many great ones. Jeff Healey is definitely one of those. Thank you for reminding me!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, Angel Eyes is a really nice song! So glad that my battle brought Jeff back into the forefront of your mind. You’re right: so many great artists that we forget about. I guess that’s why I’m a classic rocker. I love the memories that music evokes and classic rock always takes me back to my fun growing up and party years…
      Thanks for your vote Cherdo!

      Like

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