Living The Dream Music Tournament: Division K, Day 1

I’m making an executive decision to change the way we name the posts, because Day __ is getting really confusing. Grooveshark playlist is here. Votes due by Thursday the 20th at 8 pm. Without further ado:

Freedom (George Michael) vs. Peace Train (Cat Stevens)

Billie Jean (Michael Jackson) vs. Smoke On The Water (Deep Purple)

Just My Imagination (The Temptations) vs. Sugar Magnolia (Grateful Dead). Also known as Jerry’s last stand.

California Love (2Pac & Dr. Dre) vs. Man In Black (Johnny Cash). As a bonus question, someone please defend your viewpoint on who would win in a fistfight without weapons, 2Pac or Johnny Cash.

Run Around (Blues Traveler) vs. Stand By Me (Ben E. King). Sidenote: Grant is right. I bought a Drifters vinyl a few days ago. They did do the original version of Stand By Me before Ben went solo. That said, this is the version in the tourney because it’s prettier.

About g-mo

The day I was born, Michael Jackson's Thriller album was at the top of the Billboard 200. I've been trying my best to live up to that expectation ever since.
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18 Responses to Living The Dream Music Tournament: Division K, Day 1

  1. lindsay says:

    Freedom (George Michael) vs. Peace Train (Cat Stevens) 9.5/3
    Peace Train? Really? Freedom is an awesome, fun song. Peace Train is everything that was lame about 1970s singer/songwriters.

    Billie Jean (Michael Jackson) vs. Smoke On The Water (Deep Purple) 8/5

    Just My Imagination (The Temptations) vs. Sugar Magnolia (Grateful Dead) 8.5/7
    I think this is the only Grateful Dead song that I like at all. Yay!

    California Love (2Pac & Dr. Dre) vs. Man In Black (Johnny Cash) 6/6

    Run Around (Blues Traveler) vs. Stand By Me (Ben E. King) 6/8.5

  2. Danno says:

    Freedom (George Michael) 5.5
    Peace Train (Cat Stevens) 5

    Billie Jean (Michael Jackson) 8
    Smoke On The Water (Deep Purple) 7

    Just My Imagination (The Temptations) 4
    Sugar Magnolia (Grateful Dead) 5

    California Love (2Pac & Dr. Dre) 5 –would’ve been higher, but after a few minutes it kind of drags…
    Man In Black (Johnny Cash) 5.5 –How old is the Johnny Cash we are having fight?

    Run Around (Blues Traveler) 7.5
    Stand By Me (Ben E. King) 6

  3. The Fonz says:

    Freedom (George Michael) 7 vs. Peace Train (Cat Stevens) 6

    Billie Jean (Michael Jackson) 8 vs. Smoke On The Water (Deep Purple) 3

    Just My Imagination (The Temptations)4 vs. Sugar Magnolia (Grateful Dead). 6

    California Love (2Pac & Dr. Dre) 4 vs. Man In Black (Johnny Cash). 6 Johnny Cash wins the battle whether they’re both dead or both alive. If it turns out 2pac is still alive and Johnny Cash is still dead it’s a draw.

    Run Around (Blues Traveler) 2 vs. Stand By Me (Ben E. King).8

  4. Carrie says:

    Freedom (George Michael): 7
    Peace Train (Cat Stevens): 5

    Billie Jean (Michael Jackson): 5
    Smoke On The Water (Deep Purple): 5

    Just My Imagination (The Temptations): 5
    Sugar Magnolia (Grateful Dead): 5

    California Love (2Pac & Dr. Dre): 3
    Man In Black (Johnny Cash): 8

    Run Around (Blues Traveler): 5
    Stand By Me (Ben E. King): 6

  5. Janos says:

    Freedom (George Michael): 8
    Peace Train (Cat Stevens): 7
    Guillermo’s vote will turn on how fondly he remembers college.

    Billie Jean (Michael Jackson): 7.5
    Smoke On The Water (Deep Purple): 7.5

    Just My Imagination (The Temptations): 7.5
    Sugar Magnolia (Grateful Dead): 8 Jerry’s last stand indeed. Another tough draw. I fear my narrow victory to the Captain will not be enough.

    California Love (2Pac & Dr. Dre): 6.5
    Man In Black (Johnny Cash): 7
    Come on…2 Pac was actually in prison, where he became the only artist of all time to have a number one hit album while serving his sentence. Johnny is a bad-ass, but he sang at a prison. 2Pac would have been in the audience.

    Run Around (Blues Traveler): 8
    Stand By Me (Ben E. King): 9
    You want a real treat? Here’s Cassius Clay (later Muhammad Ali) singing “Stand By Me” on his 1963 album, I Am The Greatest. Sam Cooke’s band is backing him up.

  6. Margot says:

    Freedom (George Michael) – 6.5
    Peace Train (Cat Stevens) – 7

    Billie Jean (Michael Jackson) – 7
    Smoke on the Water (Deep Purple) – 3

    Just My Imagination (The Temptations) – 3
    Sugar Magnolia (Grateful Dead) – 8

    California Love (2Pac & Dr. Dre) – 6
    Man in Black (Johnny Cash) – 7

    Run Around (Blues Traveler) – 6
    Stand By Me (Ben E. King) – 9

  7. Mark O says:

    Freedom (George Michael): [8.5]
    Peace Train (Cat Stevens): [6.5]

    Billie Jean (Michael Jackson): [8]
    Smoke On The Water (Deep Purple): [5]

    Just My Imagination (The Temptations): [6]
    Sugar Magnolia (Grateful Dead): [4]

    California Love (2Pac & Dr. Dre): [6]
    Man In Black (Johnny Cash): [7]

    Run Around (Blues Traveler): [7]
    Stand By Me (Ben E. King): [8]

  8. Leslie says:

    Freedom (George Michael) – 5
    Peace Train (Cat Stevens) – 7

    Billie Jean (Michael Jackson) – 7.5
    Smoke on the Water (Deep Purple) – 2

    Just My Imagination (The Temptations) – 4
    Sugar Magnolia (Grateful Dead) – 6

    California Love (2Pac & Dr. Dre) – 6
    Man in Black (Johnny Cash) – 7

    Run Around (Blues Traveler) – 7
    Stand By Me (Ben E. King) – 9

  9. Mark says:

    Freedom (George Michael): 6.5
    Peace Train (Cat Stevens): 3
    I really hope Cat’s Wild World is in this tournament? Brilliant. Not so, Peace Train.

    Billie Jean (Michael Jackson): 7.5
    Smoke On The Water (Deep Purple): 6
    Smoke riff almost saved it…but it’s no Billie Jean.

    Just My Imagination (The Temptations): 4.5
    Sugar Magnolia (Grateful Dead): 4

    California Love (2Pac & Dr. Dre): 5.5
    Man In Black (Johnny Cash): 3
    I remembered liking California Love much more than a 5.5…Man In Black does nothing for me (apparently controversial given everyone else’s ratings?). Cash is a quality musician (despite my above rating) and therefore a big softie; 2Pac is a meathead badass. 2 Pac therefore wins hands down in the fictional fist fight.

    Run Around (Blues Traveler): 7
    Stand By Me (Ben E. King): 9
    Sorry to see Blues Traveler crushed by the mighty Ben E, but probably inevitable

  10. natalie says:

    freedom: 9
    peace train: 8.5
    oh man, i’m admittedly a sucker for george michael. i love “freedom”. reminds me of jazz dance classes when i was a wee one. and college, for some reason. i will forever associate “peace train” with a CD infomercial that would always air late at night when i was in high school… which is actually a fond memory. i loved those CD informercials, and “peace train” is the best song clip they’d play, it would get stuck in my head for days.

    billie jean: 7.5
    smoke on the water: 8
    i saw deep purple in concert several years ago. it was funny.

    just my imagination: 3
    sugar magnolia: 7
    not my favorite dead song, but the temptations just annoyed me on that one. go, jerry, go!

    california love: 4
    man in black: 5
    neither did much for me, but cash gets the edge because it’s raw.

    run around: 8
    stand by me: 9.5
    “run around” is fun and catchy. “stand by me” is beautiful and timeless.

  11. Guillermo says:

    Be prepared for a ton of commentary…

    Freedom: 6.5
    Peace Train: 8

    Don’t get me wrong- just because I’ve fallen off some guest lists over the last 6 years doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate the memories of rocking those formals. I just fucking love Peace Train. It emotes goodness. Call me hokey, but there’s this scene in Remember The Titans where the strong side linebacker is walking down the street after the Titans start winning, and people start saying good morning to him, and this song is playing. So I guess I equate this song with overcoming racism in the 60s (via organized sports, which is questionable, but whatever.)

    Billie Jean: 6
    Smoke On The Water: 5.5

    MJ is the only person who can make a song about rebutting paternity something we can make funny faces to on the dance floor at the 80s party and feel cool/silly about. Smoke On The Water, I remembered this being better. The riff is cool, and very imitatable. That’s about it though.

    Just My Imagination: 6
    Sugar Magnolia: 6.5

    That was nice, Temptations. And that was also nice, Jerry. Nothing here is blowing me away. The Dead win only because I have this on some road trip mixes and it’s a little more upbeat and that’s where I’m at right now.

    California Love: 8
    Man In Black: 5

    All y’all hating on California Love are killing me. “Let me welcome everybody to the Wild Wild West? A state that’s untouchable like Eliot Ness?” This song crushes it. And I’m not even from the West Coast. Man In Black’s musical strength doesn’t match its implicit egoism, which is a big killer in my book. Just because it’s Johnny Cash doesn’t mean it should win.

    Bonus question answer: I gotta go with 2Pac. Like Janos said, Cash was never in prison and I find it hard to believe he has elbows up skill beyond 2 am gorilla-style rainmaker barfights. However, this question is a derivative of one of my go-to theoreticals: who would win in a fight, Johnny Cash or Merle Haggard? And the answer to that is definitively Merle Haggard, who spent 40% of his time under the age of 21 in a number of prison atmospheres, and still managed to redefine the sound of country music and win a Kennedy Center award last November. My anticipation grows for his song coming up in a few weeks in LTDMT.

    Run Around: 7.5
    Stand By Me: 10

    This echoes earlier comments, I think Natalie’s, but again: Run Around is a fun campfire song. Stand By Me is the most beautiful, amazing love song ever. Consider when this song was written, where we are now, and how timeless it is and always will be. In an era of post-Cold War fear, terrorism, and the ever looming 2012, this is a song that says, look: The sky we look at lovingly every night could fall. The mountains we climb could break down. Basically, everything we take for granted could collapse. But if that happens, it’ll be ok because I can handle the worst things this world has to throw with you at my side. That’s love, right? I think? 10. 10. 10. I pray I don’t jinx this with my 0-3 record for 10’s, but I feel good about this. 10.

  12. Astrid says:

    Freedom (George Michael) 6 vs. Peace Train (Cat Stevens)5

    Billie Jean (Michael Jackson) 8 vs. Smoke On The Water (Deep Purple)8

    Just My Imagination (The Temptations) 8 vs. Sugar Magnolia (Grateful Dead). 1

    California Love (2Pac & Dr. Dre) 4 vs. Man In Black (Johnny Cash). 9 As a bonus question, someone please defend your viewpoint on who would win in a fistfight without weapons, 2Pac or Johnny Cash.

    My bonus opinion: I think without weapons 2Pac would have no chance. While the majority of 2Pac’s life was surrounded by skirmishes with the law and incarcerated family members, his thug power seems to be rooted in guns and weaponry. Cash , to me, just seems stronger and had to fight his whole life through. I just can’t picture 2Pac getting the best of him!

    Run Around (Blues Traveler) 2 vs. Stand By Me (Ben E. King). 9

  13. adam says:

    if it’s cool i need like 5 min to vote. running late

  14. adam says:

    Freedom (George Michael) vs. Peace Train (Cat Stevens) = 6.5 to 5
    ‘Freedom’ is a good song! The later remix is even better.

    Billie Jean (Michael Jackson) vs. Smoke On The Water (Deep Purple) = 6 to 4
    Good riff, bad song.

    Just My Imagination (The Temptations) vs. Sugar Magnolia (Grateful Dead). = 9.5 to 1.5
    Wonderful lyrics set to beautiful, dreamy music. I’ve always loved this song because while it’s ‘sad’ it’s not down in the dumps and giving up on life. It just is. It’s just the sound of daydreaming, thinking about the one you want to be with, but not letting it affect our sense of self worth. Listening to the Greatful Dead after a song like that makes me violent with rage. I’m still not convinced these guys know how to play their instruments. Maybe on an acid trip and seeing them live I’ve get it, but seriously, it never even sounds like anyone in the band is paying attention to each other.

    California Love (2Pac & Dr. Dre) vs. Man In Black (Johnny Cash). As a bonus question, someone please defend your viewpoint on who would win in a fistfight without weapons, 2Pac or Johnny Cash. = 2 to 6
    The ‘California Love’ song sucks and the video is even worse. It gets 2 points cause Dre is in it. Fistfight between 2Pac and Johnny Cash? 2Pac is a joke. He’s an actor. It’s all fake. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A5SO9205Bc0 ’nuff said. He doesn’t even know who he is. 2Pac would dance around, talking shit, and throw some weak punches. Johnny would take them, then just move in choke 2Pac or whatever his name is to death with his bare hands. It would last about 2 minutes. Johnny might drag it out though, for fun.

    Run Around (Blues Traveler) vs. Stand By Me (Ben E. King). = 5 to 8
    Even the non hippy in my can’t hate on Blues Traveler’s positive vibes.

  15. adam says:

    sorry about all the typos

  16. sweetems says:

    Freedom (George Michael): 6 (does this mean I have to take my shirt off in the library…. I mean, I did anyway.)
    Peace Train (Cat Stevens): 3 (what elevator did you find this sugarpill in? It’s like those extra birth-control pills; saccharine and ineffective.)

    Billie Jean (Michael Jackson): 9 [my fav. mj.]
    Smoke On The Water (Deep Purple): 4
    The history of what the “smoke on the water” below if anyone is interested. [it was started by a fan].
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smoke_on_the_Water

    Just My Imagination (The Temptations): 6.5
    Sugar Magnolia (Grateful Dead): 7.5 (can’t believe the vastly superior Friend of the Devil is out already. Is Ripple in the tourney anywhere?)

    California Love (2Pac & Dr. Dre): 7.5 [Haven’t heard this in like 10 years! note the autotune-style effect in 1995, when it was almost an interesting.]
    Man In Black (Johnny Cash): 4. Is this remastered version? really great drum tones, etc. still, no sunday morning. This is like a self-hyping, -self-referential precursor to rap…. like glass onion.

    Run Around (Blues Traveler): 1.5. This song makes me physically ill. might as well be chumbawumba or mambo #5.
    Stand By Me (Ben E. King): 8

    • Guillermo says:

      i got adam’s vote in for the results i posted but not sweetems. they don’t change the winners and losers but i’m putting them in the master spreadsheet for seeding purposes.

      i push my deadlines up to 8 pm (i think janos normally has them at 10 pm) because i don’t have regular internet access, so just make sure to take note of the deadlines on the posts. word.

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