Battle of the Bands (BOTB) – “Do You Know What I Mean” by Lee Michaels

It’s time for the mid-month Battle of the Bands and I think I have a fun one for you. (by the way, if you are looking for my Monday’s Music Moves Me post, click here. Or you can always find posts by title on the sidebar of my Home Page. But stick around first (or come back) to check out my battle and vote for your favorite!)

My mid-month battle song is Do You Know What I Mean” by Lee Michaels.

The song, written and performed by Lee Michaels, reached #6 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and #4 on the Cash Box Top 100 in the summer of 1971. The song was featured on his 1971 album, 5th. The single ranked #19 on Billboard’s Year-End Hot 100 singles of 1971.

Lee Eugene Michaels (born Michael Olsen, November 24, 1945, Los Angeles, California) is an American rock musician who sings and accompanies himself on organ, piano, or guitar. He is best known for his energetic virtuosity on the Hammond organ, peaking in 1971 with his Top 10 pop hit single, “Do You Know What I Mean”.

Here is the original for your reference and for your enjoyment. This is NOT one of the contenders!

(If copyright issues remove the embedded video, you can go directly to YouTube to hear it with this link)

I love that song! And I certainly like Lee Michaels doing it. But there are a few covers that intrigued me, four in fact, and therein was born an idea. Uh-oh. I know, I can hear you all sighing, “Aww man, now what is she going to make us do??

Here’s my idea: I liked these four covers. Coincidentally, two of them are male artists and the other two are female artists who have changed the lyrics to depict the gender change. So, let’s have a male vs female showdown!

First up will be the Male artists.

My next battle will be the Female artists.

And then the third battle will be the YIN YANG Hoedown Male vs Female Showdown!

So let’s kick off this Yin Yang showdown with the MALE contenders. 

Male Contender #1:  Kevin Naquin and the Ossun Playboys

Kevin Naquin is a Cajun accordion player in south Louisiana from Ossun, Louisiana. Naquin is the lead singer and accordion player in the Cajun band Kevin Naquin and the Ossun Playboys. In 2000, he won the CFMA – 2000 Album of the Year with his album “Pour La Premiere Fois” and CFMA – 2000 Song of the Year. He has recorded with Swallow Records and Bayou Groove Productions.

He released a version of this song on his 2014 album, No Guarantee.

 Male Contender #2:  Myles Goodwyn

Myles Francis Goodwyn (born Miles Francis Goodwin, June 23, 1948) is a Canadian record producer, guitarist, lead vocalist, main songwriter, and founding member of the veteran Canadian hard rock band April Wine. As the longest serving (and only original) member, Goodwyn has led the band from its modest garage band roots to multi-platinum sales.

Following the band’s peak years during the 1970s and early 1980s, Goodwyn disbanded the group to pursue a solo career. After a brief relocation to the Bahamas, Goodwyn returned to Canada and reformed April Wine in 1992. He continues to lead the band to the present day.

Myles Goodwyn featuring Lee Aaron released a version of this song as a single in 1988 which reached #47 in Canada. It was featured on his album, Myles Goodwyn.

 

TIME TO VOTE! Which versions do you like better and why? Please choose one contender from the Male Artist covers

The next battle will feature the Female covers…so be sure to c’mon back!

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

Thanks for your participation and your votes! Voting will be open until midnight on the 22nd and I’ll post results on the 23rd or shortly thereafter. Until then, Rock On my friends…

 

 

14 thoughts on “Battle of the Bands (BOTB) – “Do You Know What I Mean” by Lee Michaels

  1. Pingback: Monday’s Music Moves Me – SONGS ABOUT AGING & GETTING OLDER – Part 3 of 4: GETTIN’ OLD AIN’T FOR SISSIES! | Angels Bark

  2. Hi, Michele!

    I appreciate your imaginative variations of the BOTB theme, dear friend. Like you I have always enjoyed Lee Michaels’ original of “Do You Know What I Mean.” I have a specific memory linked to the song. The annual York Interstate Fair gets underway the second week in September, and that week in 1971 the Michaels single was hot – already in the top 40 and climbing toward its peak in the top 10. I took my girlfriend to the Fair and we were strolling the midway when we arrived at the torturous ride The Polar Express. Remember that ride? Michaels’ “Do You Know What I Mean” was blasting from the loudspeaker as the people sped round and round on that rocket ride (with one or more of them losing their lunch, no doubt). That moment burned into my memory.

    In your battle, Kevin Naquin delivers the goods. His rendition stays close to the original without being a copycat, and I love the wailing guitar and sax solos. His Ossun Playboys sound like the SNL band. I well remember April Wine and will be featuring them in upcoming posts on SPMM. Myles Goodwyn’s version is an enjoyable late 80s recording done in the familiar electro-pop style, and I thought the addition of the female voice was a clever move. Overall, however, the Goodwyn recording seems more synthetic to my ears while Naquin and his guys nail the song with an exciting arrangement that I like more. In the male artist category I vote for Kevin Naquin and the Ossun Playboys!

    Thank you, dear friend Michele!

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  3. I hadn’t heard this song in ages. I still remember when I first heard this played on the radio. I liked the song and Lee Michaels’ style, but never enough to buy any of his albums. I didn’t realize that this song had rated so high on the charts.

    I’m surprised there are so many covers, but seeing how it’s a good song I guess it shouldn’t be unexpected.

    I remember the group April Wine and I have a cassette from the 80’s by Lee Aaron. Not overly thrilled by Miles Goodwyn’s version of this song–good, but doesn’t particularly grab me.

    I don’t hear much Cajun in Naquin’s cover, but I like the way he does the song. I’ll give my vote to Kevin Naquin ( and he’s got that electric fiddle in it so that’s another plus for me).

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

    Like

  4. I got the impression that Kevin Naquin didn’t know on what notes the words were supposed to land. He sounded like he’d get behind and had to rush the lyrics to catch up with the song. It just seemed off. Myles Goodwyn gets my vote here.

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  5. Michele,

    Everything about this is new-to-me. The original artist, the cover artists, and the song choice. I have no preconceived ideas whatsoever going into this battle. I enjoyed both covers very much. In fact, it took me two or three listens to each artist before I finally came to a decision. I’m giving my vote to Kevin Naquin and the Ossun Playboys. I think it was the saxophone in the mix that did if for me and maybe the hint of Cajun swag the song carried. I thought for sure I’d go for the more rock version and there’s definitely nothing wrong with it. Perhaps it’s my mood, maybe I’d go the other way on a different day. Now, I’m anxious to see who you put together in the next round. Very cool battle. You’re doin’ a smashing good job as this month’s honorary co-host!

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  6. Hi Michele! I’m back and ready to rock. 😀 Great concept for BOTB! I remember the original song here, although it wasn’t among my favourites. One of those “earworms” that gets stuck in your head. The second one featuring the female vocalist has a bit more personality in my opinion, along with the arrangement and male vocals. Please give my vote to Myles Goodwyn and Lee Aaron.

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  7. Super-cool idea, MICHELE. And I love the song! I always have loved this song, but until this BOTB of yours, I never knew who did it.

    Kevin Naquin did a great job with it! I didn’t really hear any really notable Cajun influence in it, but that’s OK with me. Not exactly a huge fan of that style.

    This was an easy BOTB installment to cast a bote in, because I did not care for the Myles Goodwyn version at all. The drums were mixed way too high, didn’t like the addition of the female vocalist, did not even like the primary vocals of Goodwyn.

    Slam-dunk for KEVIN! And I’m looking forward now to the female rendition and the final showdown. Neat-o stuffs, Michele!

    ~ D-FensDogG
    STMcC Presents ‘Battle Of The Bands’

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  8. Kevin Naquin gets my vote over Myles Goodwyn. Myles voice seemed to just feel repetitive and the instruments bugged me-felt like it hurt my ears. Kevin was much smoother for me and had more grit.

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  9. When I listen to the 1st version, my gut response was “Oh, heck, no!” I actually like those responses better than “oh my gosh, I don’t know which one is better…I kinda like both!”

    This song reminds me of being a teen and playing 45s in the basement with friends.

    Good battle and I’m giving it to MYLES!

    Goid

    Like

  10. Pingback: Battle of the Bands (BOTB) – Battle of the Sexes, Round 2: The Women cover Lee Michaels’ “Do You Know What I Mean” | Angels Bark

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