Battle of the Bands RESULTS: Spooky by Classic IV

Hope all of you had a fabulous Thanksgiving and fun celebrating the holiday weekend with family and friends. It was a crazy busy time here for me with a zillion dogs boarding for the holiday and in fact I completely forgot to post the battle results so my apologies for being so tardy.

This is going to be short and sweet: my computer is acting up and I have to take it in to clear off whatever is making it stall and move so sluggishly. I’m getting irritated seeing “Not Responding” in every single program, and productivity is only a pipe-dream at this point.

Anyway, this month’s battle featured the Classics IV classic “Spooky” with Joan Osborne and Deana Martin both vying for the win.

JOAN OSBORNE steamrolled Deana Martin. Voters most definitely preferred Osborne’s smoky vocal style over Deana’s swing approach, myself included. I liked Deana’s version and enjoyed it very much. Her style set a whole new tone for the song, whereas I think Joan’s version is more fitting for the overall context of “Spooky.”

FINAL TALLY:

JOAN OSBORNE – 10 votes

DEANA MARTIN – 3 votes 

Another female vocal version that I considered using in this battle was a cover by Dusty Springfield. For those not familiar with Dusty, here’s the opening paragraph from her Wikipedia bio page:

Mary Isobel Catherine Bernadette O’Brien, OBE (16 April 1939 – 2 March 1999), professionally known as Dusty Springfield, was an English pop singer and record producer whose career extended from the late 1950s to the 1990s. With her distinctive sensual mezzo-soprano sound, she was an important blue-eyed soul singer and at her peak was one of the most successful British female performers, with six top 20 singles on the US Billboard Hot 100 and sixteen on the UK Singles Chart from 1963 to 1989. She is a member of the US Rock and Roll and UK Music Halls of Fame. International polls have named Springfield among the best female rock artists of all time. Her image, supported by a peroxide blonde bouffant hairstyle, evening gowns, and heavy make-up, as well as her flamboyant performances made her an icon of the Swinging Sixties.

To close this battle out, here is another fine cover of the classic “Spooky”. I really like the video of this particular performance: the set is really cool, love the colors and the overall style of the time period. I don’t know the date of this recording or the setting but I think you’ll like it. Here is Dusty Springfield’s version:

 

As always, thanks for participating in my battle. See you next month on December 15th for the final battle of 2017. Until then, rock on…

 

 

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Battle of the Bands RESULTS: A 4-way Battle for Stuck in the Middle with You

It’s RESULTS time for my July battle: This was definitely a fun battle! It was my first 4-way 2-genre battle: The song was Stealers Wheel‘s “Stuck in the Middle with You“. The first round in this 4-way is two artists battling it out for the Jazz title and two artists battling for the Country title.

Going for the Jazz title were multi-award-winning Canadian singer Michael Bublé vs. American jazz singer Nicole Henry.

Battling it out for the Country title were the ever-popular Keith Urban (with twenty-one #1 hits!) and award-winning country and pop singer Juice Newton.

The genre winners were decided early on in this Battle Playoff. Without a doubt the men racked up the votes in both genres. Before I reveal the tally breakdown, I’ll tell you who I voted for in this battle:

In the Jazz category I went with the majority and voted for Michael Bublé. His cover version was so rich and robust. I enjoyed Nicole Henry’s smokey vocals but her version just didn’t hold up against Bublé’s, in my opinion.

As for the Country category, I went against the majority and voted for Juice Newton. I listened to each country cover three times before deciding and I must say, it was a tough call. Keith Urban is, well, Keith Urban after all. His version was absolutely fantastic. But Juice Newton’s version captivated my attention more. With Keith Urban’s, his version kinda ended up in the background as I was working away on the computer. Juice Newton’s version, on the other hand, snapped me out of my mindless typing and made me pay attention. The music grabbed me right from the tickling piano at the onset and took on me on a joyful musical ride, accompanied by Newton’s powerful vocals. Comparatively, I just liked Juice Newton more and so she earned my vote.

Now, for the Results Tally:

JAZZ PLAYOFF

Michael Bublé  – 10 votes

Nicole Henry – 3 votes

COUNTRY PLAYOFF

Keith Urban – 9 votes

Juice Newton – 4 votes

The “Stuck in the Middle with You Playoffs” have concluded and the winners from each genre category will now advance to duke it out for the title win.  Come back next month on August 15th and vote for your favorite cover version of the Stealers Wheel hit and see who will win the ultimate “Stuck in the Middle with You Championship”:

Michael Bublé vs Keith Urban

 

 

Battle of the Bands RESULTS: Losing My Religion

Here are the results from my latest Battle of the Bands, which featured R.E.M.’s 1991 hit Losing My Religion. The battle was between Passenger and Jacqui Naylor.

Well, Jacqui Naylor sure didn’t fare well in this battle! She only managed to pull in one vote..and it wasn’t mine. I voted with the majority and went with Passenger.

Final Tally:

Passenger:  9 votes

Jacqui Naylor:  1 vote

I’ll be back on June 15th for another battle. Until then, I’ll leave you with a few Passenger originals. First up is Let Her Go from Passenger’s third album All the Little Lights, released in 2012:

Next up is Somebody’s Love, the lead single from his most recent album Young as the Morning, Old as the Sea, released late last year:

 

See ya on the 15th!

Battle of the Bands RESULTS: To Sir With Love

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It’s Results time for my latest battle and an interesting battle it was! The song was Lulu’s To Sir With Love. Contenders were 10,000 Maniacs (Natalie Merchant, with a little help from R.E.M.’s Michael Stipe) and Australia’s Tina Arena.

Well, I wish one more vote would’ve been cast because as it stands now we have a Tie! Natalie Merchant received 8 votes and when I cast mine for Tina Arena, she ended up with 8 votes. So this battle ends in an 8 to 8 tie.

I really like Tina Arena’s strong voice and I liked the musical arrangement presented in her version. I really didn’t know anything about Tina Arena before finding her version of To Sir With Love but I’ve learned that she is pretty close to being Australia’s sweetheart.

She is a singer-songwriter, musician, musical theater actress, and record producer. She is one of Australia’s highest selling female artists who, as of July 2014, has sold over 10 million records worldwide.

I’ll close this post with a Tina Arena original. Her album Don’t Ask was the highest selling album of 1995 and this is the lead single from that album, Chains:

 

As always, thanks for participating in my battle. See you on February 1st when I present a very different battle! See you then…

Battle of the Bands RESULTS: Take Me To The River

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I’m super late getting my Results post up. So sorry about that! But here it is:

The song was Al Green’s spirited Take Me to the River and the contenders were Al Green and the Talking Heads. It ended up being a very close battle. Al Green won by 2 votes.

My vote went to the Talking Heads. I definitely enjoyed Al Green’s version, loved his soulful voice and that gravelly scream and the horns but I was more connected to the Talking Heads distinctive sound. I was undecided for quite a time but my decision came down to one question: If I was stuck somewhere and only had one song to listen to, which version would I want to listen to over and over? My answer was the Talking Heads version.

Here’s the final tally:

Al Green:   9 votes

Talking Heads: 7 votes

As always, thanks for participating in my battle. See you on the 15th for the next one! Again, my apologies for being so late with this results post… But here’s another Al Green Great: How Can You Mend a Broken Heart  —  I’m in a little need of mending myself…