BATTLE OF THE BANDS: “(Let’s) Get Together”

BATTLE OF THE BANDS! (BOTB Top Photo)

I was searching for information on the song “Get Together” by the Youngbloods, for some reason. You remember it, don’t you?

Checking The Blogger’s Best Friend, I learned that The Youngbloods released the song in 1967, and it did OK (#62 on the Hot 100, #37 on the Adult Contemporary chart). It was used as the background music for a radio commercial by the National Conference of Christians and Jews, which brought it back to people’s attention, and it reached #5 on the Hot 100 in 1969.

I also learned that The Youngbloods were far from the first artists to do the song. It was written by singer-songwriter Chet Powers (also known as Dino Valenti), who titled it “Let’s Get Together,” and that The Kingston Trio were the first to record it on the album Back In Town in 1964. Several other artists have recorded it, including the two acts we’ll be featuring in this battle. Your job will be to listen to both versions and vote (by leaving a comment) for the version you like better. The Youngbloods are not contestants in this battle, so no matter how much more you like their version, please don’t vote for them. OK? OK!

CONTESTANT #1: We Five The song was a followup to We Five’s hit “You Were On My Mind.” It was released in 1965 and reached #31.

CONTESTANT #2: Jefferson Airplane This was on their first album, 1966’s Jefferson Airplane Takes Off. Released as a single, it barely reached the Hot 100, peaking at #97.

Now it’s time to vote: which did you prefer, We Five’s or Jefferson Airplane’s? Leave me a comment with your choice. I’ll be announcing the winner next Sunday, so have your vote in by then. When you’ve finished, how about going over to Stephen T. McCarthy’s Battle of the Bands blog, where he has a list of all the current participants in Battle of the Bands, and checking out some of the other battles going on today?

The lines are now open. Good luck to We Five and Jefferson Airplane!

BATTLE OF THE BANDS: “Give Me Just A Little More Time” (with MMMM!)

BATTLE OF THE BANDS! (BOTB Top Photo)

If I’ve calculated correctly, today is a freebie day on Monday’s Music Moves Me, so we got us a mashup!

For all my M4 friends, here’s the way Battle of the Bands works: I give you an original tune and two covers. You listen to the covers, decide which of them you like the best, and leave me a comment with your choice, along with a brief explanation of why, if you wish. 

Last month, I did a Stream of Consciousness Saturday post that gave five songs with “gimme” in the title. Naturally, people come up with their choices, including Arlee, who said he never hears the song “Give Me Just A Little More Time” by The Chairmen of the Board anymore, even though it was a pretty big hit back in 1970 (#3 on the Hot 100, #8 on the R&B chart, #3 on the UK Singles chart, and a Gold Record). Since the song didn’t have “gimme” in the title, I had to pass, but just to be sure, I went to YouTube and verified it, and found the two cover versions of the song that will be contestants today. (Angela Clemmons also did a cover of it, and originally her cover was in the running, but I usually get in trouble when I give more than two choices.)

First, the original. This is not part of the contest, so please don’t vote for it.

Here are the contestants:

CONTESTANT #1: Kylie Minogue Kylie recorded the song in 1992 for her fourth album, Let’s Get To It. It was featured in a commercial for Accurist watches at the time. Kylie’s version went to #2 on the UK Singles chart.

CONTESTANT #2: The Jam Punk/New Wave band The Jam did the song sometime in the late Seventies or early Eighties; I was unable to find the album it was on.

Having listened to the two versions, which do you like best? Vote for it in the comments below, and then visit the other folks who might be holding a Battle of the Bands today.

I’ll announce the winner next Sunday, May 7, so be sure and vote by then. The lines are now open. Best of luck to Kylie and The Jam!

Monday’s Music Moves Me is sponsored by X-Mas Dolly, Callie, Cathy, and Stacy, so be sure and visit them, where you can also find the Linky for the other participants.

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BATTLE OF THE BANDS: “The Avengers” Theme Results

BATTLE OF THE BANDS! (BOTB Top Photo)

To review: The last BotB was a choice between two themes for the British TV spy-fi series The Avengers. The exercise was to choose between the original theme, written by Johnny Dankworth, that was used the first four seasons (1961-1964), and the newer theme, written by Laurie Johnson, which was used from 1965 until the series ended in 1968.

The results didn’t surprise me.

Johnny Dankworth: 3
Laurie Johnson: 9

No doubt Johnson’s version of the theme was more familiar, because it was the theme when the show aired in the US. The show itself was different when it started airing here: Steed was a more quirky character and the stories were a little lighter in tone. If you get a chance, watch the older episodes, and you’ll see what I mean.

So, congratulations to Sir Laurence, and a pat on the back for Sir John, which I’ll deliver to his lovely wife, Dame Cleo Laine.

May 1’s Battle is already written and ready to go. Join us then!

BATTLE OF THE BANDS: “The Avengers” Theme

BATTLE OF THE BANDS! (BOTB Top Photo)

First of all, I’m not talking about the movies based on the Marvel superheroes. But you probably knew that.

The Avengers was a British espionage TV series that ran from 1961 until 1969. It initially starred Ian Hendry and Patrick MacNee as Dr. David Keel and John Steed, respectively. When Hendry left after the first season, Steed had a succession of partners, starting with Catherine Gale (played by Honor Blackman), then Emma Peel (played by Diana Rigg), and finally Tara King (played by Linda Thorson). Steed was occasionally paired with either Venus Smith (played by Julie Stevens) or Dr. Martin King (played by John Rollason) during seasons 2 through 4.

For the first four years, the show was shot in black-and-white on videotape and featured a theme song written and performed by Johnny Dankworth. It was purchased by ABC in the US and thereafter they could afford to shoot it in color on 35mm film, and the show featured a theme song written by Laurie Johnson, perhaps to accompany the slightly lighter atmosphere of the Emma Peel episodes. A local TV station carries the episodes from seasons 1 to 4 on Sunday nights. Having watched the series on ABC (channel 7 in Chicago) back in the Sixties, the look and feel of the older episodes was an adjustment.

Anyway, your task is to listen to the two different themes from the series and decide which you like better. Here they are, in extended form.

Johnny Dankworth

Laurie Johnson

Your task is to listen to the two themes, decide which you prefer, and vote by leaving a comment, along with a brief reason why you preferred that one, if you choose. Then, I’m sure the others conducting battles today would appreciate a visit and a vote in their battles.

* Stephen has the current list of participants on his site

I’ll announce the winner of today’s battle next Saturday, April 22.

The lines are now open. Best of luck to Johnny and Laurie!

(Slightly Belated) BATTLE OF THE BANDS: Gabriel vs. Collins

BATTLE OF THE BANDS! (BOTB Top Photo)

I want to apologize to Birgit, who thought that yesterday’s A to Z Challenge was also the Battle of the Bands. I had intended on getting this out, but spent a lot more time reading and commenting on blogs yesterday than I thought I was. So we’re a little behind on this, for which I also apologize.

The subject of yesterday’s A to Z post was Abacab, the eleventh studio album by the band Genesis. The lead singer for the band on that album, and for every Genesis studio album since their seventh (1976’s A Trick Of The Tail), was Phil Collins, also the band’s drummer. A friend of mine who’s a drummer said it’s hard to sing and play the drums at the same time (though not as hard as it is to sing and play the clarinet at the same time), so Phil is to be commended for that. He started a solo career, while continuing as a member of Genesis, in 1978, releasing the album Face Value in 1981.

The band’s original singer, the one who appeared on the first six albums, was Peter Gabriel, who left in 1975 and launched a solo career immediately after, finally finding huge success with his 1986 album So…. The biggest hit from that album was “Sledgehammer,” which won nine MTV Music Awards (in the days when MTV actually concerned itself with music) and remains the most-played video on that channel.

Anyway, after reading Birgit’s comments, I decided that this battle should pit the two Genesis singers against one another. I chose a couple of songs from roughly the same period of time, and your job will be to listen to them, decide which one you like better, and leave me a comment telling me which you liked better. Your choices are:

Peter Gabriel, “Sledgehammer”

Phil Collins, “Sussudio”

Voting is open to everyone, whether or not you’ve voted in one of these or done a Battle of the Bands yourself. Please cast your vote in the comments below, and if you feel the need to tell me why, be my guest. Then, I’m not sure how many on the list below are having Battles this month, but you might want to check their blogs and vote in their Battles as well…

* Stephen has the current list of participants on his site

I’ll announce the winners in next week’s “The Week That Was” post, so be sure and get your vote in before then. The lines are now open. Best of luck to Peter and Phil!