Battle of the Bands RESULTS: Goin’ Out of My Head

Hi all. First of all, thank you so much for your thoughts and prayers for my Mom. She decided to have the surgery to remove the mass on her brain and on Tuesday morning she had the 7 hour surgery. She came through it good; the surgeon got 90% of the mass — he said it was one of the largest masses that he’s ever taken out. Mom is still in a sleeping state and still intubated because breathing on her own would be too much effort and energy expended which would cause further swelling in the brain so the breathing tube is doing the work instead. We are far from being out of the woods yet though. There is significant swelling in her brain and we desperately need it to come down so, if you all will, please continue to pray and keep good positive thoughts and energy flowing for her. I want my Mom back home!

I just finished tallying the votes for the Goin’ Out of My Head battle. I wasn’t sure which way it was going to go and after counting all the votes and casting my own (for the Zombies version), I am unable to declare a winner because it ended in a TIE with 5 votes for Classics IV and 5 votes for the Zombies.

I don’t know how I feel about a Tie result. In a way it means the battle had evenly matched contenders, which is a good thing, I strive to have evenly matched contenders because blowouts are never fun. But a tie result in a battle is kinda like watching a really good movie that has a crappy ending, leaving the audience unsatisfied and hanging.

In any case, it is what it is. So rather than not declaring a winner, I’ll declare both contenders in this battle a winner. Obviously both Classics IV and the Zombies did fabulous covers of Little Anthony & the Imperials R&B hit “Goin’ Out of My Head.”

So as to not leave you all disappointed and unsatisfied, let me close with another cover of this song that I had considered using in this battle. I didn’t because I figured that to pit this cover up against either of the two I did use would end the battle in a blowout. What do you all think? Do you agree? If I had used this cover against either the Zombies version or the Classics IV version, would you have liked this one better and cast your vote for the great Luther Vandross?

Here is Luther Vandross covering “Goin’ Out of My Head”:

Please leave a comment and let me know if you would’ve chosen Luther had I used his cover in this battle. Or not.

See you next month on June 15th for another Battle of the Bands entry.

Thanks y’all. For everything…

 

 

 

 

Hey, I’m Back! BATTLE OF THE BANDS – Goin’ Out of My Head

Wow, it’s been a minute or two since I’ve participated in the Battle of the Bands! I’m coming off of a fairly lengthy blogging hiatus. I don’t even know how long it’s been. It’s been so long that Stephen said he didn’t think I was ever coming back! Well, what do they say? You can’t keep a good rock & roll woman down…

I’m thrilled to be back with all of you and will look forward to making the rounds. Just know that it may take me a few days to get around to everyone as my Mom is having brain surgery this week. We just found out about it today, it was completely unexpected and we’re pretty freaked out. Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers.

     [UPDATE 5/15: I talked to the neurosurgeon this morning and they don’t want to rush into surgery until the cardiac team evaluates her current heart condition. As many of you know she has been having cardiac issues since her valve replacement and repair surgery in 2016. So there will be a team of specialists working to determine the best course of action, being that the surgery is a major one (6-8 hours) and they need to have all the vital information and test results before proceeding. The evaluation probably won’t be finished until the end of this week. I will keep you posted but please continue to keep her in your thoughts and prayers if you are so inclined. Thank you all.]

As luck would have it, I already had this battle post queued up to publish on the 15th. So here it is:

First, a quick refresher: BATTLE OF THE BANDS (BOTB) is where you listen to different recordings of the same song and vote for the one you like best. A new Battle gets posted on the 15th of each month (and some participants also do battles on the 1st of each month as well), and voting stays open for six days. You vote by leaving your choice in the Comment section below. Voting closes at midnight on the 21st, I place my own vote, tally them all up and announce the winner on the 22nd.

For my comeback battle, I’m tying into my theme for the Monday’s Music Moves Me blog hop: Songs with Body Parts in the Title. The first in my “Rock & Roll Head to Toe” series posted on Monday and features songs with the word HEAD in the title. (Click here if you’d like to check it out. There is some really great music in my playlist).

Today’s battle is veering a little off the rock & roll vibe and instead going mellow with one of my favorite R&B ‘Head’ songs, “Goin’ Out of My Head” by Little Anthony and the Imperials.  

Little Anthony and the Imperials is an American rhythm and blues/soul vocal group from New York City founded by Clarence Collins in the 1950s and named in part for its lead singer, Jerome Anthony “Little Anthony” Gourdine, who was noted for his high-pitched voice. In addition to Collins and Gourdine, the original Imperials included Ernest Wright, Glouster “Nate” Rogers, and Tracey Lord, the last two of whom were subsequently replaced by Samuel “Sammy” Strain. The group was one of the very few doo-wop groups to enjoy sustained success on the R&B and pop charts throughout the 1960s. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on April 4, 2009, 23 years after the group’s first year of eligibility for induction.

“Goin’ Out of My Head” is a song written by Teddy Randazzo and Bobby Weinstein, initially recorded by Little Anthony & the Imperials in 1964. Randazzo, a childhood friend of the group, wrote the song especially for them (having also supplied the group with their previous Top 20 Hit “I’m on the Outside (Looking In)”.

Their original version of the song was a Billboard Top 10 Pop hit, reaching #6 on the Billboard Hot 100, and #1 in the Canadian RPM-list in 1965. The song peaked at #8 on Cashbox magazine’s R&B chart (Billboard was in a chart recess for R&B listings at that time). The Little Anthony & the Imperials original recording is the best-known version of the song, although it has since been covered by many other artists.

Here is the original for your reference and enjoyment only. It is NOT part of the battle, so don’t vote for this one!

 

HERE’S TODAY’S BATTLE! The battle for this song features covers done by these two groups:

CONTENDER #1: THE ZOMBIES – The Zombies, an English rock band formed in 1962 led by keyboardist and vocalist Rod Argent and vocalist Colin Blunstone, released their cover of Goin’ Out of My Head in 1966 on their album called The Original Studio Recordings, Vol. 3.

 

CONTENDER #2: CLASSICS IV – The Classics IV is a band formed in Jacksonville, Florida in 1965. The band is often credited for establishing the “soft southern rock” sound. The band, led by singer Dennis Yost, is known mainly for the hits “Spooky”, “Stormy”, and “Traces”, released 1967 to 1969, which have become cover standards. Their cover of Goin’ Out of My Head appeared on the Classics IV 1968 album Spooky.

 

TIME TO VOTE! Which versions do you like better and why? Tell me in the Comment section below.

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 21st and I’ll post results on the 22nd or shortly thereafter. Until then, Rock On my friends…

 

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…

 

 

Battle of the Bands – “Spooky” by Classics IV

It’s mid-November and that means it’s time for another Battle of the Bands. I’ll present two covers of a song that I choose and you guys listen to both and vote which one you like better. What does the winner get? Nothing but a slot on my BOTB Excel spreadsheet, but hey, it’s fun. So play along, will ya?

I had fun putting together my Halloween playlist for the other music bloghop in which I participate, Monday’s Music Moves Me (which I unfortunately missed the last two weeks because my greyhound Picasso had major surgery and he had a very rough recovery…and then my other greyhound Luca got sick too and I think I spent more time staying up all night with my dogs and hanging at the vet’s office than doing anything else). Anyway, one of the songs I featured on my Halloween playlist (which you should really check out because it’s good!) was “Spooky”. There I showcased two of the most popular versions, one from 1968 by the group Classics IV and the other from 1979 when it was covered by the Atlantic Rhythm Section.

Here’s a little backstory on the song with a mini-playlist including the two versions just mentioned plus the original for your enjoyment. But don’t vote on any of these! Below the Spooky song facts I’m posting two unique covers by female artists and therein lies today’s battle.

Spooky – “Spooky” was originally an instrumental song performed by saxophonist Mike Sharpe (Shapiro), written by Shapiro and Harry Middlebrooks, Jr., which first charted in 1967 hitting #57 on the US pop charts. Its best-known version was created by James Cobb and producer Buddy Buie for the group Classics IV when they added lyrics about a “spooky little girl”. In 1968, the vocal version of the song reached #3 in the U.S. (Billboard Hot 100) and #46 in the UK.

This was one of the first songs to get a lot of airplay on the Album Oriented Rock (AOR) format. FM was relatively new, and AOR was a great format for people who wanted to hear songs on rock albums that weren’t necessarily hits.

The Classics IV is a band formed in Jacksonville, Florida, United States, in 1965. The band is often credited for establishing the “soft southern rock” sound. The band, led by singer Dennis Yost, is known mainly for the hits “Spooky”, “Stormy” and “Traces”, released 1967 to 1969, which have become cover standards.

The song was also a hit when covered by the Atlanta Rhythm Section. The Classics IV member Cobb and bandmates Dean Daughtry and Robert Nix later became part of the Atlanta Rhythm Section and they re-recorded “Spooky” in 1979, also produced by Buie. It was the second of two singles released from their Underdog LP. Atlanta Rhythm Section’s version hit #17 in the US on Billboard and #15 on Cash Box. It also charted minorly (is that a word? If it is, I don’t believe I’ve ever used it before) internationally.

“Spooky” has also been covered by a number of artists including Dusty Springfield (whose gender-flipped version was featured prominently in the Guy Ritchie film Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels), Percy Sledge, Martha and the Vandellas, Michel Pagliaro (recorded song in French), Velvet Monkeys, R.E.M., Imogen Heap, Kid Montana, and jazz saxophonist David Sanborn, who released it as an instrumental.

For today’s battle, I’ve chosen two well-known female artists and their unique cover versions of this song.

CONTENDER #1:  Joan Osborne

Joan Elizabeth Osborne (born July 8, 1962) is an American singer, songwriter, and interpreter of music, having recorded and performed in various popular American musical genres including pop, soul, R&B, blues, and country. She is best known for her recording of the Eric Bazilian song “One of Us” (I love this song!). She has toured with Motown sidemen the Funk Brothers and was featured in the documentary film about them, Standing in the Shadows of Motown.

Joan Osborne performing in Wilmington, Delaware in November 2009

Originally from Anchorage, Kentucky, a suburb of Louisville, Osborne moved to New York City in the late 1980s, where she formed her own record label, Womanly Hips, to release a few independent recordings. She signed with other labels and released several albums over the years and had an interesting career journey along the way, including accompanying with her band the Dixie Chicks for a national tour in the summer of 2003. During that time she also joined veteran San Francisco jam-rockers The Dead (the American rock band composed of some of the former members of the Grateful Dead) as a vocalist, and released her fourth album, titled How Sweet It Is, a collection of classic rock and soul covers. Osborne is currently a member of Trigger Hippy, along with Steve Gorman, Tom Bukovac, Jackie Greene, and Nick Govrik. Trigger Hippy released their debut album on September 30, 2014.

Having grown up in New York City and lived there for many decades, Osborne has stated that she feels a particular attachment to the city, particularly the borough of Brooklyn. Her interest in her neighborhood’s culture, history, and society has multiple influences on her music. As well, she’s expressed admiration for American poetry, especially the works of Walt Whitman, and cited that as a major inspiration for her songwriting.

Here is Joan Osborne’s cover of Spooky:

 

CONTENDER #2:  Deana Martin

Deana Martin (born August 19, 1948) is an American singer, actress, author, performer and daughter of well-known entertainer, Dean Martin. Deana was born in Manhattan, New York, to Dean Martin and his first wife, Elizabeth (Betty) MacDonald. She moved to Beverly Hills, California with her family by the age of one. She later went to live with Dean and his second wife, Jeanne Biegger. During her childhood, it was not unusual for her dad’s Rat Pack friends, Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis, Jr., to stop by for a visit. Being around her father and his friends led Deana to decide that she wanted a career in the entertainment industry.

She made her television debut in 1966, performing on The Dean Martin Show. She became a frequent guest, taking part in both musical and comedy numbers with a wide array of entertainers including Frank Sinatra. She trained professionally as an actress at the Dartington College of Arts in the United Kingdom and performed in theater productions in a variety of leading roles onstage and co-starred in several movies alongside some of Hollywood’s greatest actors.

Martin first established herself as a recording artist with producer Lee Hazlewood for the Reprise Records label. The recordings included her country hit, “Girl of the Month Club,” while she was still a teenager. Other tunes on the project were “When He Remembers Me,” “Baby I See You” and “The Bottom Of My Mind,” all recorded during the 1960s. Musicians from the famous Los Angeles group the Wrecking Crew, which included Glen Campbell on guitar, played on these recordings.

In 2009 the singer’s CD Volare was in both the Billboard Top Jazz Albums chart and the Billboard Heat Seekers chart. It was preceded by Memories Are Made of This in 2006. Deana’s 2013 release, Destination Moon, is a compilation of her favorite jazz and pop songs, plus a duet with her father, Dean Martin, on “True Love.” Martin returned in 2016 with Swing Street, an album of swing standards mixed with new songs soon to be classics. This is where you’ll find her cover version of “Spooky.”

The singer is also an author with her New York Times best-selling book, “Memories Are Made of This: Dean Martin Through His Daughter’s Eyes.” Deana performs her father’s songs as well as favorite classic pop hits in venues around the world including symphony halls, performing arts centers, blues venues, jazz clubs and festivals. She and her producer/husband, John Griffeth, divide their time between a home in Beverly Hills, California and Branson, Missouri.

From the Swing Street album, here is Deana Martin’s cover of “Spooky”:

If you can’t access the above video, here is a link to Spotify where you’ll be able to listen to Deana’s version of Spooky on her album there. She has some good songs on that album for anyone who may want to check out some more of her songs. (Thanks Debbie Doglady for pointing the problem out to me and providing the solution. You rock Sister!)

TIME TO VOTE! Which version do you like better and why? When you’re done voting, please visit these other BOTB participants and check out their cool battles:

Thanks for your participation and your votes! I’ll be back on the 26th to post the results. Until then, rock on…