BATTLE OF THE BANDS: “Games People Play”

So we’re up to the final battle of 2019, and I have three songs named "Games People Play" that I’d like to put up against each other. And here they are…

Joe South

Joe wrote and sang this, which was released on his 1968 album Introspection. It reached #12 on the Hot 100, #6 in the UK, and #4 in Ireland. It won Grammys in 1969 for Song of the Year and Best Contemporary Song.

The Spinners

The Spinners’ "Games People Play" was written by Joseph B. Jefferson, Bruce Hawes, and Charles Simmons. It was recorded at Philadelphia’s Sigma Sound Studios, where the house band MFSB backed them. It spent a week at #1 on the R&B chart and peaked at #5 on the Hot 100.

The Alan Parsons Project

"Games People Play" appeared on The Alan Parsons Project’s 1980 album The Turn Of A Friendly Card. It was written by Parsons and Eric Woolfson, and reached #16 in the US and Canada in 1980.

Okay, you know the rules:

  1. Listen to the two songs.
  2. Decide which song you like the best.
  3. Vote for your favorite by leaving me a comment with your choice. If you feel like telling us why, feel free.
  4. Then, visit the other participants and vote in their Battles:

I’ll announce the winner next Sunday, December 22, so be sure and cast your vote by then. This is a good battle between three excellent songs, so I’m hoping everyone reading this casts a vote.

The lines are now open. Good luck to Joe South, The Spinners, and The Alan Parsons Project!

15 thoughts on “BATTLE OF THE BANDS: “Games People Play”

  1. John,

    I can’t believe I know all three ‘Games People Play’ songs in your battle. It’s been a long time since I’ve heard Joe Smith’s song. I’m giving my vote to The Spinners. I like all three as I said, so I’m not sure why, maybe the coffee hasn’t kicked in yet, I like their song over the others but I do. Honestly, I hate the games people play but this was a fabulous way to wind up the year with three different songs bearing the same title. Have a very Merry Christmas, dear friend!

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  2. Hokey-Smoke! (As my dear friend Rocket J. Squirrel so often used to say.) This was a terrific Battle installment to end the year on. Kudos, JOHN!

    The only song I knew I knew by the title was Joe South’s, and I knew I loved it! I figured this would be an easy win for Joe South from me.

    But as soon as The Spinners song started (instrumentally), I thought: Oh, yeah! I know this.

    And then as soon as The Spinners started singing, I thought: I not only know this, I LOVE this!!

    By the title, I didn’t think I knew the Alan Parsons Project song, either. But I realized quickly that I also knew that one, too. However, it wasn’t even remotely a contestant for me in this battle. I never liked the Alan Parsons Project’s material. It always struck me as artificial and much more concerned with sound gimmicks than any honest human emotion. Very programmed-sounding and New Age-formulaic. Nyet!!

    So, this Battle is between South and The Spinners. Let me listen to each one again (pause)…

    Man, unless I missed it, you didn’t give the year for The Spinners’ hit, but I would guess it was 1974 or ’75. Great song! I hadn’t heard it in several decades, and so many vague memories from my youth came back to me. Gotta give it to THE SPINNERS, even though it was somewhat close, and I thought for sure at the outset that Joe South couldn’t lose my vote in this contest. After the second playing of each song, however, it was quite clear to me that The Spinners were my choice.

    This was probably my favorite Battle in this round, which is surprising since it wasn’t Christmas-themed, which I strongly lean toward in December Battles.

    John, thanks for the stroll down Amnesia Lane! ;^)

    ~ D-FensDogG
    STMcC Presents BATTLE OF THE BANDS

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  3. Wow, really tough! It kind of depends on what mood you’re in. I think I have to go with Alan Parsons Project with the Spinners coming in a close second. Guess I’m not in the mood for country today.

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  4. Wow, that was harder than I thought. My vote goes to The Spinners … something about ’70s soul, I guess. We sang it in our high school pops concert one year, so add a healthy dash of sentiment.

    The Alan Parsons Project is a close #2, closer than I thought it would be. It sounds much more powerful now than it did through my cheap car speakers when I was young. I don’t know if it’s experience or better audio, or both, that makes it better now.

    Not to knock Joe South – I’m just not all that into “twang country”. I do like a lot of country from that era, though.

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  5. Ah yes, I remember all of these well. They are all good songs. In voting I’m going with my stylistic preference which gives my vote to Alan Parsons Project. The Spinners follow close behind with Joe South bringing in a forceful challenge to the other two.

    But I do prefer listening to the song by Alan Parsons.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

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  6. I was going to go with Joe South but I love Alan Pa4sons Project so they get my vote. I hope to be back now …I didn’t even mean to leave but my fr8end came and Christmas decorating has got me behind.

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