BATTLE OF THE BANDS: “Europa (Earth’s Cry, Heaven’s Smile)” Results

This was a tricky battle, I admit: Not only were there two contestants, there was a third choice that included the two of them playing together. To quote Bugs Bunny, “ain’t I a stinker?” Remember the battle: Argentine saxophonist Gato Barbieri, guitarist (Devadip) Carlos Santana (remember when he was going by that name?), and the two of them together playing Santana’s “Europa (Earth’s Cry, Heaven’s Smile).” Here are the results:

Gato Barbieri: 4 (Mary, Stephen, Cherdo, Cathy)

Carlos Santana: 3 (Arlee, Mike, Eugenia)

Gato and Carlos: 1 (Birgit)

I could almost call it a tie, but I won’t. Congratulations to Gato Barbieri, and to Carlos Santana, and thanks to all of you for voting.

Our next Battle of the Bands… well, I’m not certain. It might be on October 1 or October 15. I’ll decide as we get closer to the dates. See you then!

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!

BATTLE OF THE BANDS: “Avalon”

BATTLE OF THE BANDS! (BOTB Top Photo)

“Avalon” is a song written by Al Jolson, Buddy DeSylva and Vincent Rose in 1920. It’s one of his more popular songs. Here’s the way he did it. (It’s not in the running, so don’t vote for it.)

It has since become a jazz standard, where it’s played considerably faster. I have three versions of the song in this Battle of the Bands, kind of like Spy vs. Spy vs. Spy from MAD magazine. I was struggling with which one to leave out of this battle, and finally decided to use all three.

The Benny Goodman Quartet The Benny Goodman Quartet was Goodman on clarinet, Teddy Wilson on piano, Lionel Hampton on vibraphone, and Gene Krupa on drums. From 1937.

Django Reinhardt et al. I believe this was recorded in 1934, and the only musicians I know for certain are on it are Django on guitar and Stephane Grappelli on violin. I used to have a roster which came with the Djangology box set, but of course it has been lost forever…

Louis Armstrong et al. The players are listed on the graphic in the video. I believe they’re members of The Dukes of Dixieland. This was recorded in 1960, so the sound quality is better than on the other two.

So the question remains, which of these three versions of the song do you like best? Listen to them, decide which you like the most, and vote by leaving me a comment with your choice, and a little bit about why you chose that over the other two. Then, if you’d be so kind, take a trip over to the Battle of the Bands blog of Stephen T. McCarthy, who will likely be running a battle today and who has a list of all the blogs whose owners might be having a Battle as well. Vote in Stephen’s battle and in the battles of those listed in the right-hand column. You need not be a participant in the Battle of the Bands to vote. The more the merrier, I say. I’ll announce the winners of this battle next Tuesday, May 22, so make sure I receive your vote by then.

The lines are now open. Good luck to Benny, Django, and Louis!