I’m taking a suggestion from Kip this round, and apologize to Joey for any grief this might cause.
“Jolene” is the title track from Dolly Parton’s 1973 album. It went all the way to #1 on the RPM (Canada) and the Billboard (USA) Country charts. It also ranked at #60 on the Hot 100 and #44 on the Adult Contemporary survey in the US, and #40 on the RPM Adult Contemporary survey. Rolling Stone ranks it at #217 on its list of “The 500 Greatest Songs Of All Time,” and Ms. Parton says this is the most frequently-covered of her songs. Here is her original, if you haven’t heard it; it’s not a contestant in this week’s battle.
As I said, there have been a veritable plethora of covers to this song. One of the most interesting was one created by a YouTube user in which he took the 45 rpm version and slowed it down to 33 1/3 rpm (25% slower) that I considered using, but decided not to. Instead, I’ve tried to choose two of them that sound the least like the original and the least like each other.
CONTESTANT #1: The White Stripes The American garage band The White Stripes released a single of a live version of the song, subtitled “Live Under Blackpool Lights.” It was voted one of the greatest live covers by the readers of Rolling Stone.
CONTESTANT #2: Strawberry Switchblade Strawberry Switchblade released this electro-pop version in 1985, which was later included on their album s/t.
All right, you know what to do: give these two versions of “Jolene” a listen, and tell me which you prefer. Then, when you’ve done that, go visit my colleagues, who might or might not be conducting their own battles today, and see what you think of their songs…
Tossing It Out
StMcC Presents Battle of the Bands *
Your Daily Dose
Curious as a Cathy
DC Relief – Battle of the Bands
Evil Pop Tart
Alex J. Cavanaugh
Shady Dell Music & Memories
Debbie D. at The Doglady’s Den
Jingle Jangle Jungle
Janie Junebug Righting and Editing
Cherdo on the Flipside
Holli’s Hoots ‘n’ Hollers
J. A. Scott
* Check Stephen’s blog for further updates to this list!
I’ll announce the winner next Monday, August 8, so you have until then to choose.
The lines are now open. Best of luck to The White Stripes and Strawberry Switchblade!