Battle of the Bands – Woodstock

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It’s time for another Battle of the Bands and today I’m featuring covers of the song Woodstock. Give a listen to the two contenders and vote which one you like best. I’ll post the results in 6 days!

Although the original is by Joni Mitchell, probably the best known version is by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young (CSNY). Here is their version, for reference only. They are not contenders in today’s battle.

The first contender is Joni Mitchell, who did the original version.

Joni Mitchell wrote the song from what she had heard from then-boyfriend, Graham Nash, about the Woodstock Music and Art Festival. She had not been there herself, since she was told by a manager that it would be more advantageous for her to appear on The Dick Cavett Show. She wrote it in a hotel room in New York City, watching televised reports of the festival. “The deprivation of not being able to go provided me with an intense angle on Woodstock,” she told an interviewer shortly after the event. David Crosby, interviewed for the documentary Joni Mitchell: Woman of Heart and Mind, stated that Mitchell had captured the feeling and importance of the Woodstock festival better than anyone who had been there.

The lyrics tell a story about a spiritual journey to Max Yasgur’s farm, the place of the festival, and makes prominent use of religious imagery, comparing the festival place with the Garden of Eden (“…and we’ve got to get ourselves back to the garden”). The saga commences with the narrator’s encounter of a fellow traveler (“Well, I came upon a child of God, he was walking along the road”) and concludes at their ultimate destination (“by the time we got to Woodstock, we were half a million strong…”). There are also references to the Vietnam War (“bombers flying shotgun in the sky”). (Source: Wikipedia)

The next contender is Eva Cassidy.

Eva Marie Cassidy (February 2, 1963 – November 2, 1996) was an American vocalist and guitarist known for her interpretations of jazz, blues, folk, gospel, country, rock and pop classics. In 1992, she released her first album, The Other Side, a set of duets with go-go musician Chuck Brown, followed by the 1996 live solo album titled Live at Blues Alley. Although she had been honored by the Washington Area Music Association, she was virtually unknown outside her native Washington, D.C., when she died of melanoma in 1996.

Four years later, Cassidy’s music was brought to the attention of British audiences when her versions of “Fields of Gold” and “Over the Rainbow” were played by Mike Harding and Terry Wogan on BBC Radio 2. Following the overwhelming response, a camcorder recording of “Over the Rainbow”, taken at Blues Alley in Washington by her friend Bryan McCulley, was shown on BBC Two’s Top of the Pops 2. Shortly afterwards, the compilation album Songbird climbed to the top of the UK Albums Charts, almost three years after its initial release. The chart success in the United Kingdom and Ireland led to increased recognition worldwide; her posthumously released recordings, including three UK number 1 records, have sold more than ten million copies. Her music has also charted top 10 positions in Australia, Germany, Sweden, Norway and Switzerland. (Source: Wikipedia).

Here is her version of Woodstock:

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:

C is for Creedence Clearwater Revival, Charlie Daniels Band, Chicago, Cream, Crosby Stills & Nash, Collective Soul, The Cars and Chic!

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DISCLAIMER THAT APPEARS AT THE BEGINNING OF ALL A-Z 2015 PAGES:

Welcome to the A-Z Musical Tour of My Life! I have wanted to put something like this together for a long time now and the A-Z Challenge just seemed like the perfect opportunity. I’ve compiled stories, trivia, research, music videos and live concert footage on all the bands and musical artists who have been important to me over the years, especially during my youthful years in the 60s and 70s. At first glance, the posts may seem long – and some of them are due to the number of videos included – but it’s really laid out in a way that will enable you to scroll through and read, see or hear just what you want and then either move on to the next A-Zer or linger and listen to the great music that you’ll find here. By all means, bookmark my blog so you can come back! In addition to individual songs, there are some full albums here for those who may want to enjoy some music while they’re surfing or working. I hope you find that the stories are entertaining, the information educational and the trivia interesting. It would be a tremendous honor if you would bookmark the A-Z Musical Tour of My Life as a resource for great music and music information! Now, let’s get started with…

C is for CREEDENCE CLEARWATER REVIVAL: Oh how I was on a CCR kick all those years ago. In particular I loved their Vietnam War protest song Fortunate Son, which talks about the young boys coming of age and not being able to avoid or escape the draft because they were not politically connected (sons of Senators, Congressman, etc).  Great YouTube video I found for this song that features both Vietnam and Iraq war and protest images:

Here’s Run Through the Jungle. The video shows very graphic images from the Vietnam War. I try to stay away from controversial subjects when writing my blog, for many reasons, but it was interesting to see the great debate that still continues over this war. Many opposing views in the comments section at the YouTube site for these videos. Feel free to engage here in my comment section. I’ll get into a dialogue if anyone wants to engage.

All their songs weren’t war and protest related. CCR had so many great songs! So many wonderful sing-along songs. Here’s the group performing Here Comes the Rain. There was no information available on this particular video so I don’t know what year it’s from, but most likely late 60s or very early 70s. (I just wrote that last sentence and said “Well that’s kind of a Duh sentence;  like, no shit, Michele. Duh!” J

And here’s Bad Moon Rising. Okay, be honest: who among you used to think that the lyrics were saying “there’s a bathroom on the right” instead “there’s a bad moon on the rise?” Post in the comment section YES if you did and NO if you didn’t: I’d really be curious to find how it shakes out in a small sampling of readers as to what percentage of us were singing our hearts out with the wrong lyrics. I’ll throw the first YES in here…

GREAT early music video: Lookin’ Out My Back Door  

Check out Down on the Corner with the washboard and another resourcefully designed instrument! Anybody know what that is??

And one more CCR, doing Proud Mary

The following text was taken from J.R. Ramos YouTube channel and tells the story of the song: “Proud Mary” is a song written by John Fogerty and recorded by Creedence Clearwater Revival (in which Fogerty played lead guitar and sang lead vocals) on the 1969 album Bayou Country.
The phrase “Proud Mary” reminded John Fogerty of a domestic washerwoman, which is what he started writing the song about. When he wrote the music, the first few chords reminded him of a paddle-wheel going around, and he thought of the Mississippi River. Instead of “Proud Mary” being a clean-up lady, “she” became a boat.
Proud Mary was Released as a single in January 1969, it became CCR’s first top-ten hit on the U.S. Pop charts. Bob Dylan said this song was his favorite single of 1969. It was the first of five singles that the band released that would peak on the charts, a record for most number-two singles for a group without ever having a number-one song.

For an interesting read, check out Wikipedia’s presentation of the history of the song with particular attention being paid to Tina and Ike Turner’s cover of the song. Proud Mary was covered by numerous artists [at least 20, according to this article] and “placed at #155 on Rolling Stones 2004 list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. Both CCR and Ike & Tina Turner’s versions of the song received Grammy Hall of Fame Awards, in 1998 and 2003, respectively.”  Which version do you like better: CCR’s or Tina Turner’s?

 

C is for CHARLIE DANIELS – Here’s some foot-tappin’ Southern Rock with the Charlie Daniels Band. Here he is performing Long Haired Country Boy sometime in the late 70s on a TV show that I’m not familiar with. Maybe you know what it is?

This next song got a ton of radio airplay and the one for which Charlie Daniels is best known. Showcasing his fiddle expertise, here he is performing The Devil Went Down to Georgia.

C is for Cream: My next C band to spotlight is CREAM. Glorious Cream! Eric Clapton, Ginger Baker, Jack Bruce: what an incredible trio!

Here’s a retrospective video set to their hit Badge

This is Cream performing White Room at their Farewell Concert in London, 1968. Taken from theeshrimpking’s YouTube channel:

“Cream – Whiteroom live at Royal Albert Hall, London.
November 26th, 1968  “Farewell Concert” is the live recording of the Cream’s final concert at the Royal Albert Hall on November 26th, 1968. Directed by Tony Palmer, the film incorporates pieces of six performances with narration by BBC announcer Patrick Allen, along with interviews with the band members themselves, showcasing their playing abilities. The film has often been criticized for both its mediocre sound and visual effects.”

Tales of Brave Ulysses: I LOVE LOVE LOVE the brown suede fringed boots! Boy, that fashion statement brings back some memories, huh?

 

C is for CROSBY, STILLS, & NASH (& YOUNG)

Suite Judy Blue Eyes (with lyrics)

Our House (with lyrics) is a sentimental song for me. When my parents retired, my brother and I threw them a going away party as they were leaving Niagara Falls and moving to North Carolina.We presented them with a beautifully matted and framed black & white photo of their home and I put together a mix tape (yes, it was on a cassette!) with snippets of meaningful songs, including CSN’s Our House; in particular the chorus lyrics “Our house is a very very fine house.” That was an emotional evening and mom and dad were surrounded by friends and family and it was such a good time; bittersweet for their friends though because they were moving away. My parents are good people: they have a lot of people who love them. Here’s a live performance video of Our House:

Ohio – The story of the song, as reported on Wikipedia: “‘Ohio’ was written following the Kent State massacre on May 4, 1970, and was a staple of anti-war rallies in the 1970s. The song was quickly recorded by CSN&Y and immediately released as a single, even though CSN&Y’s “Teach Your Children” was still climbing the singles charts. In the late 1970s and for much of the 1980s, Young refrained from performing “Ohio” live, as he considered the song to be dated. In the wake of the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre, Young revived the song in concert, often dedicating it to the Chinese students who were killed in the massacre. Crosby, Stills & Nash, as a trio, also returned the song to their live repertoire around the same time, even though Young had provided the lead vocals on the original recording.” Here’s a great video with tribute to the victims of the Kent State tragedy:

So many other CSN(Y) songs! Which are your favorites?

C is for CHICAGO – Who doesn’t love Chicago (the band, not the city, although most people I know love Chicago the city too). I love listening to Chicago full blast while flying down the highway on a sunny Spring day, windows down and the wind blowing through my hair. For me, Chicago is some feel good music. I think one of the elements of the band that attracts me is the horns. OMG, that is some incredible brass! Mmm.

If you have an hour and a half you can likely catch most of your favorite Chicago songs from watching the entire July 1970 concert at Tanglewood.

If you’re interested in learning more about Chicago, its classical yet eclectic styling and its members, check out this 20 minute documentary from NBC’s ‘First Tuesday’ newsmagazine show.

But for a shorter stay, get your Chicago fix right here with music videos of some of my Chicago favorites:

Saturday in the Park:  

Feelin’ Stronger Every Day – WHO HASN’T CLAIMED THIS CLASSIC AS YOUR OWN PERSONAL ANTHEM AT SOME POINT IN YOUR LIFE??!  Another great J.R. Ramos video of this song performed live in studio from back in 1973:

25 or 6 to 4 Here’s a treat:  Chicago and REO Speedwagon jam out together to “25 Or 6 To 4” Live at Red Rocks Ampitheater!

For a little bit of mellow, here’s If You Leave Me Now (performed in 1977)  

The next time Chicago comes to Austin, I’m bound and determined to go!

C is for Collective Soul – Collective Soul always reminds me of working out. Why? Because my personal trainer used to play it all the time during our sessions. And he knew these guys somehow. So every time I hear Collective Soul now, I want to get real healthy again. I should be playing them constantly, come to think of it…

They’re an American rock band that formed in the early 90’s. I’ve always dug their name and come to find out, they dug the phrase and got it from reading “Fountainhead,” a novel by Ayn Rand. According to front man Ed Roland: “We’re not preaching Ayn Rand, objectivism, egoism, or anything…we just dug the name.”

Here are a few of my favorite Collective Soul hits:

December

 

The World I Know – FANTASTIC performance of Collective Soul with the Atlanta Youth Orchestra! Video contains lyrics.

Shine – official music video (Atlantic Records/© 2006 WMG)

Where the River Flows – lyrics video

C is for The Cars: The Cars is an American rock band that emerged from the new wave scene in the late 1970s. The band originated in Boston, Massachusetts in 1976, with singer, rhythm guitarist and songwriter Ric Ocasek, singer and bassist Benjamin Orr, lead guitarist Elliot Easton, keyboardist Greg Hawkes and drummer David Robinson.

The Cars were at the forefront in merging 1970s guitar-oriented rock with the new synthesizer-oriented pop that was then becoming popular and which would flourish in the early 1980s. Robert Palmer, music critic for The New York Times and Rolling Stone, described the Cars’ musical style by saying: “they have taken some important but disparate contemporary trends—punk minimalism, the labyrinthine synthesizer and guitar textures of art rock, the ’50s rockabilly revival and the melodious terseness of power pop—and mixed them into a personal and appealing blend.”[1]

The Cars were named “Best New Artist” in the 1978 Rolling Stone Readers’ Poll and won “Video of the Year” for “You Might Think” at the first MTV Video Music Awards. Their debut album, The Cars, sold six million copies and appeared on the Billboard 200 album chart for 139 weeks. (Source: Wikipedia)

Here are my favorite Cars songs:

Moving in Stereo and Candy O (from the Midnight Special)

Just What I Needed

Good Times Roll

You’re All I’ve Got Tonight

Bye Bye Love

It’s All I Can Do

Dangerous Type

Since You’re Gone

You Might Think

Drive

Magic

C is for Chic – Now most of the music that represents my nostalgia is classic rock but I did have a momentary fling with Disco. This song hung in the Number One slot for seven weeks. Here’s Chic in 1978 performing Le Freak:

And don’t we all want Good Times?

Hopefully you’ve had a good time grooving through my favorite C bands. WHO ARE YOUR FAVORITE C BANDS? Which videos did you like best in this post? I loaded it up, that’s for sure. If you can’t stick around long, be sure to bookmark my blog and you can come back and find this post in an easy-to-find indexed Page. Just look under the Pages tab on my Homepage and you’ll find all the 2015 A-Z Musical Journey through My Life posts.