Covers Tournament: Round of 128, Day 6

Voters, welcome to the working week- unless of course you happen to be a public servant like myself or a very devout observer of Italian/conquest-themed holidays, in which case you’re knee deep in a three day weekend.

We both did entire covers albums, but got no love from the nominators. I guess having ten covers of my songs and two of yours is a small consolation.

Today’s matchups, while relating in no way, shape or form to Columbus Day, do feature interpretations of four great classic rock acts, all of which Columbus would have found most enjoyable had he been fortunate enough to participate in the Covers Tournament. Today’s covered artists include: The Beatles (for a change), The Band, Bob Dylan, and David Bowie. Some of these covers you’ve definitely heard before and some of them you may have even come to know before the original.

Link is here, votes are due by Tuesday evening at 10pm EST.

Our first match-up features covers of two late Beatles songs, with Amy Mann and Michael Penn singing The Two of Us (off of the soundtrack to I Am Sam, which starred Michael Penn’s younger brother Sean) and Matchbox 20 performing a live version of Don’t Let Me Down.

In our second match-up, two compositions by Band guitarist Robbie Robertson go head-to-head. In a Covers Tournament first, both covering artists in this contest performed at least once with the artist they are covering: after recording The Weight in 1968 for their first album on the Stax label, the Staple Singers performed the song with the Band in Martin Scorsese’s The Last Waltz; Robbie Robertson and the Band toured on at least two occasions with The Grateful Dead, who later incorporated Robertson’s solo composition Broken Arrow into their live repertoire.

"Do I vote for my friends the Staple Singers or for my old pals The Grateful Dead?"

In match-up number three, two Dylan songs get very different treatments: Darrell Scott backs his bluegrass interpretation of I Don’t Believe You with a phalanx of fiddles while Guns N’ Roses front man Axl Rose yowls and sways through an effect laden version of Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door, replete with a crazy guy on the phone ranting over the piano solo (bloop bloop bleep “…you just better start sniffin’ your own rank subjugation Jack ‘caus it’s just you against your tattered libido, the bank and the mortician, forever man and it wouldn’t be luck if you could get out of life alive…”).

Finally, two David Bowie songs round out today’s set, with Nirvana‘s semi-accoustic cover of The Man Who Sold the World and Seu Jorge‘s Portuguese language version of Life on Mars.

Once again, your link:

http://grooveshark.com/#/playlist/Day+6/61382009

Your cut n’ pastable:

The Two of Us (Amy Mann and Michael Penn) vs Don’t Let Me Down (Matchbox 20)

The Weight (Staple Singers) vs Broken Arrow (The Grateful Dead)

I Don’t Believe You (Darrell Scott) vs Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door (Guns N’ Roses)

The Man Who Sold the World (Nirvana) vs Life on Mars (Seu Jorge)

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24 Responses to Covers Tournament: Round of 128, Day 6

  1. chrisroomba says:

    What if you’re Canadian, and just celebrating Thanksgiving?

  2. Adam S says:

    Best round yet!

    The Two of Us (Amy Mann and Michael Penn) vs Don’t Let Me Down (Matchbox 20) 8/7

    The Weight (Staple Singers) vs Broken Arrow (The Grateful Dead) 7 / 6.5

    I Don’t Believe You (Darrell Scott) vs Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door (Guns N’ Roses) 5 / 9

    The Man Who Sold the World (Nirvana) vs Life on Mars (Seu Jorge) 6.5 / 1

  3. chrisroomba says:

    The Two of Us (Amy Mann and Michael Penn) vs Don’t Let Me Down (Matchbox 20): 5.5/10

    The Weight (Staple Singers) vs Broken Arrow (The Grateful Dead): 7/4.5

    I Don’t Believe You (Darrell Scott) vs Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door (Guns N’ Roses):5/10

    The Man Who Sold the World (Nirvana) vs Life on Mars (Seu Jorge):7/1

    I have very few comments…except Life on Mars was a stinking flaming pile of stinky stink. It is truly to Bowie’s Life on Mars as the American TV version of the TV show Life on Mars was to the British version.

  4. Danelevitt says:

    The Two of Us (Amy Mann and Michael Penn) vs Don’t Let Me Down (Matchbox 20) – 8/5

    The Weight (Staple Singers) vs Broken Arrow (The Grateful Dead) – 4/9

    I Don’t Believe You (Darrell Scott) vs Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door (Guns N’ Roses) – 5/8

    The Man Who Sold the World (Nirvana) vs Life on Mars (Seu Jorge) – 8/3

  5. Strong round! Great way to kick off the week.

    Two Of Us: 7.2
    Don’t Let Me Down: 7.5

    Weight: 9.2
    Broken Arrow: 7

    I Don’t Believe You: 8.5
    Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door: 8

    Man Who Sold The World: 7.5
    Life On Mars: 8.5

    Above all others, MWSTW was my favorite, favorite Nirvana song when I was 13- so good. That said, LOM makes me feel like I’m sitting in a Mediterranean villa and that everything is fine. Which is so nice. Apparently others don’t agree but I’ll take something nice over something dark for a Monday.

  6. The Two of Us (Amy Mann and Michael Penn) vs Don’t Let Me Down (Matchbox 20): 7.5 / 5.5
    Was this intended to be a live version of Don’t Let Me Down? I might like the recorded version more…

    The Weight (Staple Singers) vs Broken Arrow (The Grateful Dead): 8 / 3
    Broken Arrow started off mediocre and went downhill fast.

    I Don’t Believe You (Darrell Scott) vs Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door (Guns N’ Roses): 7 / 5

    The Man Who Sold the World (Nirvana) vs Life on Mars (Seu Jorge): 6 / 4

  7. Carrie says:

    The Two of Us (Amy Mann and Michael Penn): 6
    Don’t Let Me Down (Matchbox 20): 3

    The Weight (Staple Singers): 7
    Broken Arrow (The Grateful Dead): 7.5

    I Don’t Believe You (Darrell Scott): 8
    Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door (Guns N’ Roses): 5

    The Man Who Sold the World (Nirvana): 8.5
    Life on Mars (Seu Jorge): 9.5 – apparently my taste comes no where close to appealing to any masses…..At least David Bowie gets me…..”Had Seu Jorge not recorded my songs in Portuguese I would never have heard this new level of beauty which he has imbued them with.”

  8. Danno says:

    Two Of Us: 6
    Don’t Let Me Down: 6

    Weight: 6.5
    Broken Arrow: 5

    I Don’t Believe You: 6
    Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door: 7

    Man Who Sold The World: 8
    Life On Mars: 7.5

  9. G says:

    The Two of Us (Amy Mann and Michael Penn): 3.0 [cheesier than the original? God- why won’t this END? Just knocked of the .6 I gave it.]
    Don’t Let Me Down (Matchbox 20): 5.2 [Perhaps my favorite Beatles’ song. As much as I like to hate MB20’s work in general, this is a alright job.]

    The Weight (Staple Singers): 7 [a favorite song… and a good cover.]
    Broken Arrow (The Grateful Dead): 3.8

    I Don’t Believe You (Darrell Scott): 2.0 [cringe-worthy.]
    Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door (Guns N’ Roses): 5 [not feeling it at all today, but know it’s objectively good.]

    The Man Who Sold the World (Nirvana): 10
    Life on Mars (Seu Jorge): 9 [Sorry this match-up was so early- I would have guessed these were both serious contenders to run deep, but it looks like some people hate Brazilians… or Wes Anderson films.]

    • chrisroomba says:

      I like Brazilians. I like their joie de vivre. They’ve got excellent beach style. Their bbq is amazing.

      I liked Life Acquatic. It was interestingly comical.

      I did not like this song.

  10. The Progenitor says:

    The Two of Us (Amy Mann and Michael Penn) vs Don’t Let Me Down (Matchbox 20) 6.0 to 3.5

    The Weight (Staple Singers) vs Broken Arrow (The Grateful Dead) 4.0 to 3.0 More great songs gutted!

    I Don’t Believe You (Darrell Scott) vs Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door (Guns N’ Roses) 6.5 to 4.5

    The Man Who Sold the World (Nirvana) vs Life on Mars (Seu Jorge) 5.5 to 5.0

  11. Eileen says:

    The Two of Us (Amy Mann and Michael Penn) vs Don’t Let Me Down (Matchbox 20) 5.5 to 3.0

    The Weight (Staple Singers) vs Broken Arrow (The Grateful Dead) 5.0 to 3.0

    I Don’t Believe You (Darrell Scott) vs Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door (Guns N’ Roses) 7.0 to 5.0

    The Man Who Sold the World (Nirvana) vs Life on Mars (Seu Jorge) 6.5 to 4.5

  12. Isabel says:

    Two of Us (Aimee Mann and Michael Penn) – 8
    Don’t Let Me Down (Matchbox 20) – 6

    The Weight (Staple Singers) – 7
    Broken Arrow (The Grateful Dead) – 4

    I Don’t Believe You (Darrell Scott) – 6
    Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door (Guns N’ Roses) – 4.5

    The Man Who Sold the World (Nirvana) – 6
    Life on Mars (Seu Jorge) – 9

  13. aiko says:

    The Two of Us (Amy Mann and Michael Penn) vs Don’t Let Me Down (Matchbox 20) 8.5/7

    Two of Us is a beautiful song and this version is no exception. However, I feel like a truly good cover should add some kind of interpretation to the original, which this version does not do. I’m tempted to give it a 10, but I don’t think I can give a “straight” cover more than an 8. But I will in this case. Was also really surprised by MB20.

    The Weight (Staple Singers) vs Broken Arrow (The Grateful Dead) 8/5.5

    I Don’t Believe You (Darrell Scott) vs Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door (Guns N’ Roses) 8/10
    See, Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door is what I’m talking about. It takes the original and reimagines it… in an awesome way. That’s what a 10 looks like.

    The Man Who Sold the World (Nirvana) vs Life on Mars (Seu Jorge) 10/6
    Nirvana’s Man Who Sold the World was the song that made me sit up and take notice of Nirvana. When Velvet Goldmine came out a few years later and I discovered glam rock… well, the rest is pretty much history. Seu Jorge is nice and I think I really liked it when I first heard it, but when you get down to it it’s still just an acoustic cover, even if it’s in Portuguese. If I’m going with super chill Bowie covers, I’m going with this:

  14. Anne S. says:

    The Two of Us (Amy Mann and Michael Penn) 8
    Don’t Let Me Down (Matchbox 20) 5
    These made me happy when I wasn’t.

    The Weight (Staple Singers) 2.5
    Broken Arrow (The Grateful Dead) 2

    I Don’t Believe You (Darrell Scott) vs Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door (Guns N’ Roses) 6/7.5
    This is tough because it totally depends on what mood I’m in because they’re so different. I think Guns N’ Roses will hold up more for me, but I Don’t Believe You is lovely.

    The Man Who Sold the World (Nirvana) vs Life on Mars (Seu Jorge) 7.8/4.5

  15. Lindsay says:

    The Two of Us (Amy Mann and Michael Penn) vs Don’t Let Me Down (Matchbox 20) 7/7.1

    The Weight (Staple Singers) vs Broken Arrow (The Grateful Dead) 3.5/1
    I love the original version of The Weight and typically like the Staple Singers but I did not care for this version. Sad. Also, this version of Broken Arrow is horrible. I feel like I’m at a really lame karaoke bar for sad, middle aged (to be generous) hippies and it is getting close to last call. Yuck.

    I Don’t Believe You (Darrell Scott) vs Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door (Guns N’ Roses) 7.5/1
    I Don’t Believe You is pretty and I really liked it. I hadn’t heard it before. I hate GnR and this version of Knocking is my long-time least favorite GnR song. Sorry.

    The Man Who Sold the World (Nirvana) vs Life on Mars (Seu Jorge) 6/7.5

  16. jacobpress says:

    Two of Us (Aimee Mann and Michael Penn) – 8
    Don’t Let Me Down (Matchbox 20) – 4

    The Weight (Staple Singers) – 10

    Broken Arrow (The Grateful Dead) – 3 I like the Dead plenty, but the fact that they let Phil Lesh sing lead during their shows in the late 80s and early 90s shows just how far their standards fell as they aged (Jerry Garcia forgetting the words to songs and sleeping through solos was also unfortunate). Plus, the twinkly keyboards are just awful- like something from a new age crystal ceremony or something.

    I Don’t Believe You (Darrell Scott) – 4
    Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door (Guns N’ Roses) – 7

    The Man Who Sold the World (Nirvana) – 6
    Life on Mars (Seu Jorge) – 6

  17. janos marton says:

    The Two of Us (Amy Mann and Michael Penn) vs Don’t Let Me Down (Matchbox 20): 7.2 : 4.5

    The Weight (Staple Singers) vs Broken Arrow (The Grateful Dead)- 6.3 : 6.5

    I Don’t Believe You (Darrell Scott) vs Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door (Guns N’ Roses)- 8.6 : 8.5
    Great match-up.

    The Man Who Sold the World (Nirvana) vs Life on Mars (Seu Jorge)- 9: 5.9
    The Portuguese aspect was fine, but I didn’t particularly like Jorge’s vocals. Man Who Sold the World is legend.

  18. natalie says:

    The Two of Us (Amy Mann and Michael Penn) – 6
    Don’t Let Me Down (Matchbox 20) – 5

    The Weight (Staple Singers) – 7.5
    Broken Arrow (The Grateful Dead) – 5.5
    the weight is great, but a tad too subdued (i know, sounds odd saying that), or perhaps just too “smooth”. i miss the band’s grittier vocals… when i listen to the original, i just wanna wail along with the chorus. this version doesn’t have that effect.

    I Don’t Believe You (Darrell Scott) – 10
    Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door (Guns N’ Roses) – 7.5
    this is tough. darrell was my nomination, and i told myself i wouldn’t obsess over the performance of my nominations in this tournament. i had only heard the song a handful of times before i nominated it… but it just tugs on my heart every time i listen to it. i love darrell’s voice, i love his emotion, the way he delivers the lyrics, and of course i love the instrumentals. perfect to me. gnr is awesome too, and would be a winner in most matchups, but IDBY is just more beautiful. (oh, and for the record, just because a song has an acoustic guitar & fiddle doesn’t mean it’s “bluegrass”, but i won’t get into technicalities…)

    The Man Who Sold the World (Nirvana) – 8
    Life on Mars (Seu Jorge) – 4

  19. asf says:

    The Two of Us (Amy Mann and Michael Penn) – 7
    Don’t Let Me Down (Matchbox 20) – 4

    The Weight (Staple Singers) vs 7
    Broken Arrow (The Grateful Dead) 7.3

    I Don’t Believe You (Darrell Scott) – 5
    Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door (Guns N’ Roses) – 8 – Never really noticed how silly the phone call/message sounds, still classic.

    The Man Who Sold the World (Nirvana) – 7.4 – Second to least favorite cover on this album, but its still a good one. I hope someone put a Meat Puppets song in here!
    Life on Mars (Seu Jorge) – 7.6 – Close call, but giving this the slight nod.

  20. ChrisB says:

    The Two of Us (Amy Mann and Michael Penn)=5.5
    Don’t Let Me Down (Matchbox 20)=4.2

    The Weight (Staple Singers) = 4.9
    Broken Arrow (The Grateful Dead) = 2 Please…make it stop…for the love of God. 5:55 felt like an hour.

    I Don’t Believe You (Darrell Scott) = 7.8
    Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door (Guns N’ Roses) = 4

    The Man Who Sold the World (Nirvana) = 9.2
    Life on Mars (Seu Jorge) = 7.3
    I thought that last matchup was going to kill me, but I think I remember Seu Jorge as being better than that sounded. Maybe it was because I associated it with Life Aquatic, but it didn’t do well on it’s own. Strange.

  21. plasmatazz says:

    The Two of Us (Amy Mann and Michael Penn) vs Don’t Let Me Down (Matchbox 20)
    Jay: 8.7 / 6.4
    Anna: 10 / 6

    The Weight (Staple Singers) vs Broken Arrow (The Grateful Dead)
    Jay: 7.4 / 10
    Anna: 8.4 / 9

    I Don’t Believe You (Darrell Scott) vs Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door (Guns N’ Roses)
    Jay: 5.6 / 9.2
    Anna: 8.5 / 8.49

    The Man Who Sold the World (Nirvana) vs Life on Mars (Seu Jorge)
    Jay: 7.6 / 4.1
    Anna: 8 / 6

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