BATTLE OF THE BANDS: “Got To Get You Into My Life”

BATTLE OF THE BANDS! (BOTB Top Photo)

I’m back! I think I said I’d take the summer off, but I’m not sure. Anyway, I’m here, so let’s have a Battle of the Bands!

“Got To Get You Into My Life” by The Beatles (but you already knew that). Paul McCartney wrote it (although he shared writing credit with John Lennon) and sang it for the Fab Four’s 1966 album Revolver. In interviews, Paul has said that the “you” in the title refers to marijuana, which he and the rest of the band were consuming in mass quantities at the time (but none so much as Paul). Here’s the original, in case you’re one of the ten people or so who has never heard it. This way, no one will accidentally vote for it.

It’s been covered lots of times, most notably by Earth, Wind & Fire, whose version is so good I refuse to even use it as a contestant. Chicago would end their concerts with it in the ’70’s, and other versions come to us from the cast of Glee, Cher, and the golden throat of Joe Pesci.

I’ve chosen two versions of the song that I think are evenly matched. Your job is to listen to them, decide which you like better, and let me know what that is in the comments, as well as (optionally) why you chose that one.

Cliff Bennett & The Rabble Rousers From 1966. Paul McCartney produced this version and played piano on it.

Blood Sweat & Tears featuring David Clayton-Thomas I guess DC-T insisted on star billing after he was persuaded to return to BS&T. From their 1975 album New City.

Once you’ve voted, how about visiting Stephen and vote in his Battle, then following the links in his right-hand column to the other battles happening today?

I’ll announce the winner as part of next week’s The Week That Was, so get your vote in by then. The lines are now open!

26 thoughts on “BATTLE OF THE BANDS: “Got To Get You Into My Life”

  1. This is such a great song. It’s one of those mood changer songs, making everything bright and happy. I had no idea, though, that it was about marijuana. I was all prepared to cast my vote for BS&T, but after listening to both twice, I have been persuaded to vote for Cliff Bennett & The Rabble Rousers.

    Welcome back to the battles!

    ~Mary
    Jingle Jangle Jungle

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  2. Hey, JOHN ~
    This is one of a fairly small handful of Beatles songs that I still really dig. (I liked / loved a great many of their songs when I was 15, 16 years old, and I owned plenty of their albums then. But as I got older and my awareness and knowledge of music expanded, a lot of stuffs that I loved when I was much younger began sounding just “passable” to me.)

    The CLIFF BENNETT recording sounded so similar to The Beatles’ recording that this Battle probably could just as well have been The Beatles versus Blood, Sweat & Tears. Except that, IMO, the Cliff Bennett cover features better vocals. Yes, if this is any indication, I think Bennett’s a better singer than is/was McCartney. Grittier, more soulful. However, I am (prematurely?) basing that assessment on just this one song, as I don’t recall hearing Cliff Bennett before.

    The BS&T rendition was good. Heck, almost everything they did was good to great. But I feel it was maybe a bit too “busy”. I’ll go with the leaner sounding CLIFF BENNETT.

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

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  3. You’re right Earth Wind and Fire would have won hands down. These two are so evenly matched, I had a hard timing choosing but chooses I did! Cliff Bennett and the Rabbel Rousers gets my vote. They sound more big band-y (If that is even a word). The horns <3. And Sir Paul in the piano does not hurt any either. Glad you are back!!! This is fun!

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  4. I’ve always liked this song and still do. I never knew what the song was about. Interesting.

    Tough vote. Both are excellent. I’m going to give my vote to BS&T since they changed it up more from the original version and gave it the BS&T magic touch.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

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  5. John,

    I didn’t know you were trying to take the summer off from blogging. I’m taking a semi-hiatus as you know but what I’d like to do is take some real time away. I think I will reserve it for when and if we’re able to go to Maine late summer/early fall. Anywho, so glad to join your BoTB round.

    My ear clearly approved of Cliff Bennett over Blood, Sweat, & Tear’s cover. Like Stephen said his cover is very close to The Beatles and the vocals were a better matchup. BS&T was just too gruff to suit my taste. Have a bandtastic week, my friend! Maybe, I’ll see you on the dance floor later. 🙂

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    1. I think I said I was going to take some time off from BotB, because I felt bad that I was doing such a lousy job of voting in everyone else’s and I wanted to focus on that. I am trying to take it a little easier by running “encore performances” on Tuesdays. I’ll do that thru the Tuesday after Labor Day, then move on to something else.

      Your vote has been registered. Thanks!

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  6. I enjoyed both but it was hard to concentrate on the 2nd song because it almost sounded too busy. So I vote for Cliff Bennett which sounded the best to me,

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  7. Good song, but I had no idea it was about marijuana and not a woman! Thanks for that interesting bit of trivia. 🙂 My vote goes to Blood, Sweat and Tears, for the better vocals and arrangement. Cliff Bennett’s version sounded a little thin.

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  8. I’m having a hard time because, for me, I’m trying to figure out which one I dislike the least. (Don’t judge me.) I rarely like it when someone covers a Beatles song (there are a few exceptions). I’m such a hard core Beatles fan that others just don’t sound right doing the songs. I didn’t even like the Earth, Wind, & Fire version. I guess my vote will go to Blood Sweat & Tears.

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  9. Hi John.
    It’s a good time of year to take some time off. Down here it’s too hot to do just about anything!
    I love this Beatles song. You picked two good covers of it. I like both but I definitely like Cliff Bennett & the Rabble Rousers version more. I wonder if it has anything to do with the fact that Paul McCartney produced and played piano on it??
    Blood Sweat & Tears version was good but so are most of their covers. I think it might’ve been a little too fast for me. Didn’t like th vocals as much. They both had some great horns…though Cliff Bennett’s version, the horns are more apparent.
    Good battle and excellent song! hope you’re enjoying your weekend,

    Michele at Angels Bark

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