A couple of weeks ago, I featured the song “The Night Chicago Died” by the English group Paper Lace. I was reading up about them on Wikipedia, and discovered that, while they’re considered a “one-hit wonder” in the United States, they had another hit in England, “Billy, Don’t Be A Hero.” When I saw that, I thought, “But Bo Donaldson and the Heywoods did that one!”
As it turns out, Paper Lace’s version of the song was released in the UK and rose to the top of the British Singles Chart for three weeks in March, 1974. By the time they got ready to release it in North America, Donaldson’s was already on the charts in the US and Canada. It reached #1 on the Hot 100 on June 15, 1974 for two weeks, and #1 in Canada the first week of July. All told, the song sold 3.5 million copies and was the #21 single in the US according to Billboard magazine. Paper Lace did release their song in North America, but it only reached #96.
Well, those things happen, right?
I listened to both versions, and while they’re very similar, I decided that pitting the two versions against one another would make an interesting battle.
Paper Lace Version
Bo Donaldson and the Heywoods Version
Now, it’s time to vote: who did the better version, Nottingham, England’s Paper Lace, or Cincinnati, Ohio’s Bo Donaldson and the Heywoods? If you have trouble selecting, try it this way: if both versions of the song were on the chart at the same time, which one would you buy (assuming you would)? In either case, leave me a comment and tell me which one you prefer. Voting is open until 12:01 AM on Saturday, November 14, and I’ll announce the winner later that day.
Then, after voting here, check out the other blogs which might or might not be holding Battles of the Bands:
Tossing It Out
Far Away Series
StMcC Presents Battle of the Bands
Your Daily Dose
Curious as a Cathy
DC Relief – Battle of the Bands
This Belle Rocks
Alex J. Cavanaugh
Shady Dell Music & Memories
Debbie D. at The Doglady’s Den
Jingle Jangle Jungle
Women: We Shall Overcome
Cherdo on the Flipside
Holli’s Hoots ‘n’ Hollers
J. A. Scott
Results on Saturday!