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 – “Proud Mary”

battle-of-the-bands-botb-top-photo

Today marks the start of another Battle! I’m presenting two very different versions of the same song and both versions are charting hits.

“Proud Mary” is a rock song written by John Fogerty and first recorded by his band Creedence Clearwater Revival. The song was released by Fantasy Records as a single from the band’s second studio album, Bayou Country, January 1969. The song became a hit in the United States, peaking at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 in March 1969.

In a 1969 interview, Fogerty said that he wrote it in the two days after he was discharged from the National Guard. “In the liner notes for the 2008 expanded reissue of Bayou Country, Joel Selvin explained that the songs for the album started when John Fogerty was in the National Guard, that the riffs for “Proud Mary,” “Born on the Bayou,” and “Keep on Chooglin'” were conceived by Fogerty at a concert in the Avalon Ballroom, and “Proud Mary” was arranged from parts of different songs, one of which was about a “washerwoman named Mary.” The line “Left a good job in the city” was written following Fogerty’s discharge from the National Guard, and the line “rollin’ on the river” was from a movie by Will Rogers.” (Source: Wikipedia)

Tina Turner first covered “Proud Mary” in 1970 with her husband at the time, Ike Turner. The Ike & Tina Turner version was released as a single from their Workin’ Together album and the song differed greatly from the structure of the original, but is also well known and has become one of Tina’s most recognizable signature songs. The Turners’ version was substantially rearranged by Ike Turner and Soko Richardson. The song started off with a slow, sultry tone; after the lyrics are first sung softly by the Turners, the song is then turned into a funk rock vamp with Turner and assorted background singers delivering soulful vocals. It reached #4 on the pop charts on March 27, 1971, two years to the week after Creedence Clearwater Revival’s version was at its peak, and won the Grammy Award for Best R&B Vocal Performance by a Group in 1972. (Source: Wikipedia)

Both Creedence Clearwater Revival’s and Ike & Tina Turner’s versions of the song received Grammy Hall of Fame Awards, in 1998 and 2003, respectively. And both versions charted in Billboards top five, #2 and #4, respectively. So this battle may be a toss-up. I know I like both versions.

To make it most fair, I’m presenting live performances by each band:

Creedence Clearwater Revival version:

 

Ike & Tina Turner version:

 

Such a great song! “Proud Mary” placed at #155 on Rolling Stone’s 2004 list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.  Now it’s time for you to vote! Who’s version do you like best and why?

To check out the other Battle of the Bands participants, here is a list with links. Lots of great battles to explore:

Don’t forget to cast your vote! And thanks for playing along…

 

 

 

O is for Otis Redding, the Ozark Mountain Daredevils, the Outlaws and Ohio Players!

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…

O is for Otis Redding – One of my very favorite songs of all time is Otis Redding’s (Sittin’ on) The Dock of the Bay. It reminds me of my days in Tank’s Tavern, a little beer joint that I used to hang out in back in the day. They had a great jukebox and Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay was one song that got played over and over and over.

Here’s a glimpse into the career of Otis Redding with this video montage that I found on the Rhino channel on YouTube: “Watch the official video for (Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay by Otis Redding. The video features video clips and photos of Otis Redding in the prime of his musical career. It was released posthumously on Stax Records’ Volt label becoming the first posthumous single to top the charts in the US.” – I didn’t know that! Did you??

“After appearing at the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival, Redding wrote and recorded his iconic “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay” with Steve Cropper. The song became the first posthumous number-one record on both the Billboard Hot 100 and R&B charts after his death in a plane crash. The Dock of the Bay became the first posthumous album to reach number one on the UK Albums Chart.

Redding’s premature death devastated Redding’s record label, Stax. Already on the verge of bankruptcy, the label soon discovered that Atlantic Records owned the rights to his entire song catalog.

Redding received many posthumous accolades, including the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame. He received the honorific nickname King of Soul. In addition to “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay,” “Respect” and “Try a Little Tenderness” are among his best-known songs.”  (source: Otis Redding Wikipedia page)

Here’s an Otis Redding performance that was recorded THE DAY BEFORE HIS DEATH on December 9, 1967 in Cleveland, Ohio, before the plane crash took the lives of Redding and his band members, the Bar-Kays. Try a Little Tenderness:

 

O is for the Outlaws – Who doesn’t love this Southern Rock classic Green Grass and High Tides?! The Outlaws is a southern rock/country rock band formed in Tampa, Florida back in 1967. They are best known for their hits There Goes Another Love Song and Green Grass & High Tides from their 1975 debut album.

Though considered to be in the southern rock genre, which shows in their dual lead guitar interplay, there is a distinct difference in their use of three and four part harmonies, whereas their contemporaries typically rely on a sole lead vocalist. Maybe that is why the Outlaws songs are great sing-along songs…

“Green Grass and High Tides” is the tenth and final track on the band’s debut album, Outlaws. The song is one of their best known, and has received extensive play on album-oriented radio stations, although it was never released as a single. The song is notable for having two extended guitar solos that stretch the song to nearly 10 minutes.

Some believe that the song speaks of marijuana but that is not true. Of the song, Outlaws founding member Hughie Thomasson said:

“I wrote that song in St Augustine, Florida. We went to a cookout on the beach and everybody forgot to bring their guitars. I was standing by the ocean and there was a breeze and the words kept coming to me. It’s about all the rock stars I liked that died had come back and were playing a show just for me. Like Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Jim Morrison. And eventually more of course.”

Some trivia: “Green Grass and High Tides” was the usual show closer for the Outlaws and the 20 minute+ version can be found on the concert album Bring It Back Alive (1978). The song is mentioned in Molly Hatchet’s song “Gator Country” and was featured on the “Harley Davidson Road Songs” album in 1995. The song also featured as a tribute to the recently departed from Lynyrd Skynyrd. The intro was: ‘We’d like to take a minute to remember some very good friends of ours, and friends of yours–the Lynyrd Skynyrd Band.’ ” (Source: Wikipedia)

Here is Green Grass and High Tides, recorded at The Plant in Los Angeles in 1976. This is a great live version of the song. I usually prefer studio versions of most songs and I thought Green Grass and High Tides would definitely be one that I would chose to showcase a studio version but this live recording is quite good. Enjoy!

Here’s their other hit that makes me want to roll on down the highway with the windows down, wind blowing through my hair and singing at the top of my lungs. There Goes Another Love Song:

Another Outlaws classic that I love is Ghost Riders in the Sky. This 1980 cover of (Ghost) Riders in the Sky was the band’s biggest single chart success, reaching No. 31 on the Billboard’s “Pop Singles” chart. That surprised me as I was sure that Green Grass and High Tides would’ve charted much higher but again, that song was never released as a single. I do remember that one year the radio station in Niagara Falls that I listened to was doing a countdown of the best rock songs of all time (I think the year was 1979) and I accurately predicted all of the Top Five songs, with Green Grass and High Tides coming in at #2. This was just a list generated by the local radio station though…

Here’s Ghost Riders in the Sky:

 

O is for Ozark Mountain Daredevils – The Ozark Mountain Daredevils is a Southern Rock/Country Rock band formed in Springfield, Missouri back in 1972. They are most known for their singles If You Want to Get to Heaven in 1974 and Jackie Blue in 1975.

If You Want to Get to Heaven – This is their first single off their first album. In my opinion, it’s one of the greatest Southern Rock tracks of all time!

Another one of my favorites by the Ozark Mountain Daredevils went to #3 in 1975. Jackie Blue:

One of their more silly songs is Chicken Train and they seem to have a good time performing it. Here they are in 1976:

 

O is for the Ohio Players – an American Funk and R&B band popular in the 1970s. Best known for their two #1 hits, Fire and Love Rollercoaster. Founded in Dayton, Ohio back in 1959, originally as the Ohio Untouchables, the band underwent some personnel and format changes and in 1965 finally settled into a member lineup that called themselves the Ohio Players — reportedly because of their geographic roots AND because the band members thought of themselves as real ladies’ men, ie: “Players.” I guess that was something to be proud of back then??

Here they are, performing their hit Fire on the Midnight Special in 1975:

The Ohio Players in another 1975 performance on the Midnight Special with Love Rollercoaster:

 

Who are your favorite O artists or bands? Who would you have included here?Tell us in the Comments section!