BATTLE OF THE BANDS: “Yellow River”

BATTLE OF THE BANDS! (BOTB Top Photo)

I know this is usually the time when everyone does battles that involve Christmas music, but I’m doing a lot of Christmas music for Monday’s Music Moves Me, and I’m a little Christmas music’ed out. Besides, as I was researching for last Friday’s Five, I read an interesting story about today’s song, and decided it would make a great BotB.

Jeff Christie, the leader of the British band Christie, wrote “Yellow River” in 1970 and offered it to The Tremeloes. The Tremeloes were going to release it as the followup single to “Call Me Number One,” but after that song hit it big on the charts, they decided to do a song that they had composed, “By The Way,” as their followup. They felt that song was more in line with the new direction the band was going. And “By The Way,” that song went nowhere, as did The Tremeloes after that.

Producer Mike Smith decided to remove the vocals from The Tremeloes’ version and dub in Christie’s, and the song was released in April 1970. It rose to #1 in the UK, but only as far as #23 in the US.

The two versions of “Yellow River” have the same instrumental track, so you’re judging the vocal on the two songs. Give both of them a listen and let me know which is your favorite.

CONTESTANT #1: Christie

CONTESTANT #2: The Tremeloes

All right, whose vocal did you like better? Please vote for your favorite in the comments. And, if you’re so inclined, tell me, should The Tremeloes have gone with their version? Then, visit the other blogs having battles today and vote in them.

Jingle Jangle Jungle
Mike’s Ramblings
Curious as a Cathy
Janie Junebug Righting & Editing
Tossing It Out
THE DOGLADY’S DEN
J. A. Scott
YOUR DAILY DOSE
STMcC Presents ‘BATTLE OF THE BANDS’ *
Angels Bark
Cherdo on the Flipside
DiscConnected

* Stephen has the current list of participants on his site

I’ll announce the winner next Thursday, December 22, which is Christmas Eve Eve Eve, so be sure and get your vote in by then. The lines ae now open. Good luck to The Tremeloes and Christie!

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Author: John Holton

I'm a writer and blogger who writes and blogs about things that interest me.

15 thoughts on “BATTLE OF THE BANDS: “Yellow River””

  1. I’m surprised this song didn’t come to my mind when you had your “Yellow” list. This was one of my good friend Marvin’s favorite songs and he talked about it and played it so much that it became a song that I also came to appreciate a great deal. He had the Christie album and as I recall it was a good one, although I haven’t heard it for over forty years so I don’t know what I’d think if I heard it now. I’d probably still like it I’d say.

    Interesting history of the song. Both versions are excellent to my ears. Of course I’m more accustomed to hearing the Christie version. I used to like the Tremeloes during their short career and they give a nice forceful touch to the song. I also like the pacing and energy of their version.
    But I’m so attuned to hearing the more laid back sound of Christie that it’s difficult to let go of that one.

    I’m going with the version by Christie.

    My guess is that for a number of voters this will be a “new” song so it will be interesting to see what their take will be.

    Good battle that takes me back to some good musical times. Next time I talk to Marvin I’ll have to ask him if he still has that album. I’d say that he does and it’s probably still in excellent condition.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

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  2. John, I’m not sure why I haven’t heard this song before now but I really like it and both bands did a fabulous job. I would turn away from either if played on the radio. I’m going to give my vote to Christie and honestly I can’t say why I like it better but I do. Thanks for sharing a new-to-me song and I believe both bands are also new ones, too. I may have to see what other songs they did just to jarr my memory. Have a good week, my friend. Good battle!

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  3. Great song. While I enjoyed both versions, I am going to cast my vote for The Tremeloes, as they seemed to appeal to me just a little bit more. Happy Holidays, John!

    ~Mary

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  4. John, this is one of those songs that I remember well, but I never would have guessed that the title was “Yellow River” At first, I though “oh, here’s a new song.” I am going to go with Christie, because that is the version I remember and, after listening to both, I think it’s the best. The voice is just a little more edgy.

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  5. I like this song! It’s new to me and I really dig it. I’m going to vote for the Tremeloes. Although I liked Christie’s version I was more attracted to the Tremeloes sound.
    Thanks for the introduction to this song.
    Hope you’re enjoying the holiday season John. Merry Christmas.

    Michele at Angels Bark

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  6. Interesting BOTB concept, JOHN. I don’t think I’d ever heard this song before. It was pretty good — both recordings — but I’m going to vote for CHRISTIE.

    ~ D-FensDogG
    ‘Loyal American Underground’

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  7. Interesting history behind the song. Thanks, John! In this case familiarity wins out. The Tremeloes’ version is the one I know and it sounds better to me. Please give my vote to them.

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