Covers Tournament: Round of 128, Day 12

Today’s songs are brought to you by a slow work day and a desire to not think about politics for a hot second.   After today’s battles we’ll be three quarters of the way done with the first round.  Listen to the songs here and vote by 11pm EST on Wednesday.

In 1950, Muddy Waters recorded “Rollin’ Stone”, one of several of his songs to use the phrase.   The Rolling Stones‘ original lead guitarist, Brian Jones (he of death-by-swimming pool fame) lobbied for the new British crew to adapt that as their band name in 1962, and Dylan’s classic, “Like a Rollin’ Stone“, followed three years later.   Jagger, Richards and co. cover Dylan, and go head to head with Cake, who are covering Black Sabboth’s “War Pigs.”  As one of the people who hated on Cake’s cover of “I Will Survive”, I should note that this cover is much tighter.

Like Cocker, a young Santana rocked out Woodstock

Did you know that “Black Magic Woman” was a Fleetwood Mac cover?  I certainly did not.  Santana’s version was playing when our jeep nearly went off a cliff driving in the dark, dusty back roads of the Bolivian mountains.  One of the more familiar tunes in the tournament, Santana’s cover goes up against a worthy foe, “Little Wing” by Stevie Ray Vaughan, one of the few guitarists unintimidated by the prospect of covering Hendrix.  The nominator opted for a version that cuts off rather abruptly, rather than jamming on for six and a half minutes, which is probably a wise call.

The next match-up features an against the grain nomination, the Easy Star All-Stars cover of “Let Down.”  Because if there are two automatic winners with this crowd, it’s reggae and Radiohead.   It’ll be taking on the Jerry Garcia Band‘s cover of the old soul song, “Magnificent Sanctuary Band.”

Joe Cocker brings it home, covering the Beatles, “With a Little Help From My Friends.”  There was initially some discussion of this song’s eligibility, but who hasn’t heard Ringo’s delightful vocals in the original?  It felt like one of the last Beatles songs where the whole band was into it.   Cocker will face off against an equally ambitious vocalist, Josh Hoge, who goes full throttle on the old Bill Withers tune, “Ain’t No Sunshine.”

Enjoy! Here are the pastables:

Like a Rollin’ Stone (Rolling Stones) vs. War Pigs (Cake)

Black Magic Woman (Santana) vs. Little Wing (Stevie Vaughan)

Let Down (Easy Star All Stars) vs. Magnificent Sanctuary Band (Jerry Garcia Band)

With A Little Help From My Friends (Joe Cocker) vs. Ain’t No Sunshine (Josh Hoge)

PS- Sorry for the posting error- this was supposed to go up at 11pm. I trust the loss of Monday’s late night voting won’t be to anyone’s detriment.

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About janos marton

A born and bred New Yorker, Janos Marton lives the dream as a writer, lawyer, historian, and activist.
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18 Responses to Covers Tournament: Round of 128, Day 12

  1. Adam S says:

    Excellent round!

    Like a Rollin’ Stone (Rolling Stones) vs. War Pigs (Cake) 9 / 8.5

    Black Magic Woman (Santana) vs. Little Wing (Stevie Vaughan) 7 / 7.5 -enjoyed Little Wing a lot, but it lost a little bit for sounding too much like the hendrix version

    Let Down (Easy Star All Stars) vs. Magnificent Sanctuary Band (Jerry Garcia Band) 6 / 6.5

    With A Little Help From My Friends (Joe Cocker) vs. Ain’t No Sunshine (Josh Hoge) 7.5 / 4.5

  2. jacobpress says:

    Like a Rollin’ Stone (Rolling Stones) 5 The Stones don’t really add much to this song beyond the fact that they’re singing their own band’s name. I’d be just as impressed hearing Cake sing a song about cakes.
    vs. War Pigs (Cake) 6 It’s kind of fun when the sirens kick in. I also like that the singer finally loses the monotone talk-sing shtick.

    Black Magic Woman (Santana) 6
    vs. Little Wing (Stevie Vaughan) 5 Whoever nominated Derrick and the Dominoes’ Why Does Love Have to Be So Sad in the last tournament turned me onto the whole Layla album, which includes a pretty emotionally charged version of Little Wing. This Stevie Ray Vaughan track is good too, but doesn’t vary much from the Hendrix original.

    Let Down (Easy Star All Stars) 5
    vs. Magnificent Sanctuary Band (Jerry Garcia Band) 6 When I was younger I never noticed how uneven Jerry Garcia’s vocals can be, especially in the upper register. A friend of mine once observed that Deadheads will forgive the band for anything they do, even if they sound like shit. I guess I’m still a loyal fan, since I gave this a six, which is awfully generous considering that Jerry can barely hold a note in the last third of the song.

    With A Little Help From My Friends (Joe Cocker) 6 Requisite Belushi clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dHaA4RePosY
    vs. Ain’t No Sunshine (Josh Hoge) 3

  3. Danelevitt says:

    Like a Rollin’ Stone (Rolling Stones) vs. War Pigs (Cake) – 5/7.5

    Black Magic Woman (Santana) vs. Little Wing (Stevie Vaughan) – 6/4.5

    Let Down (Easy Star All Stars) vs. Magnificent Sanctuary Band (Jerry Garcia Band) – 4/10

    With A Little Help From My Friends (Joe Cocker) vs. Ain’t No Sunshine (Josh Hoge) – 3/2

  4. asf says:

    Like a Rollin’ Stone (Rolling Stones) – 6.5 – Well executed cover nothing unique about this interpretation, though.
    War Pigs (Cake) – 7.5 – I like this bass line, guitar sounds like zz top!

    Black Magic Woman (Santana) – 8 – Classic (I will cop to the fact that I didn’t know this was a cover!)
    vs. Little Wing (Stevie Vaughan) – 7

    Let Down (Easy Star All Stars) – 4
    Magnificent Sanctuary Band (Jerry Garcia Band) – 10 – My nomination, this song always makes me happy.

    With A Little Help From My Friends (Joe Cocker) – 6.5
    Ain’t No Sunshine (Josh Hoge) – 5 – Absolutely love this song, this cover is a bit too polished for me.

  5. Solid set. No strong feelings on most of these.

    Like a Rollin’ Stone (Rolling Stones) 6
    War Pigs (Cake) 6

    Black Magic Woman (Santana) 6.5
    Little Wing (Stevie Vaughan) 6

    Let Down (Easy Star All Stars) 7
    Magnificent Sanctuary Band (Jerry Garcia Band) 6.8

    With A Little Help From My Friends (Joe Cocker) 7.5
    Ain’t No Sunshine (Josh Hoge) 6.2

  6. The Progenitor says:

    Like a Rollin’ Stone (Rolling Stones) vs. War Pigs (Cake) 7.0 to 3.5

    Black Magic Woman (Santana) vs. Little Wing (Stevie Vaughan) 10.0 to 5.5

    Let Down (Easy Star All Stars) vs. Magnificent Sanctuary Band (Jerry Garcia Band) 6.5 to 7.0

    With A Little Help From My Friends (Joe Cocker) vs. Ain’t No Sunshine (Josh Hoge) 7.5 to 9.0

  7. Eileen says:

    Like a Rollin’ Stone (Rolling Stones) vs. War Pigs (Cake) 7.5 to 4.0

    Black Magic Woman (Santana) vs. Little Wing (Stevie Vaughan) 10.0 to 7.5

    Let Down (Easy Star All Stars) vs. Magnificent Sanctuary Band (Jerry Garcia Band) 7.5 to 6.0

    With A Little Help From My Friends (Joe Cocker) vs. Ain’t No Sunshine (Josh Hoge) 9.0 to 9.5

  8. Maureen says:

    Like a Rollin’ Stone (Rolling Stones) – 6
    War Pigs (Cake) – 4.5

    Black Magic Woman (Santana) – 5.4
    Little Wing (Stevie Vaughan) – 7.1

    Let Down (Easy Star All Stars) – 4.7
    Magnificent Sanctuary Band (Jerry Garcia Band) – 5

    With A Little Help From My Friends (Joe Cocker) – 9
    Ain’t No Sunshine (Josh Hoge) – 6.2

  9. ChrisB says:

    Like a Rollin’ Stone (Rolling Stones) = 4.2
    War Pigs (Cake) = 5.7

    Black Magic Woman (Santana) = 9.6
    Little Wing (Stevie Vaughan) = 9
    Two guitar heavyweights. Abraxas is a masterpiece. And correct me if I’m wrong, but Little Wing is usually considered one of the best guitar solos ever. Stevie Ray Vaughan doesn’t deviate too much, but it still is a fine product.

    Let Down (Easy Star All Stars) 4 Speaking of masterpiece albums. This…not so much. Nothing says crushing dispair and lonliness like a horn section.
    Magnificent Sanctuary Band (Jerry Garcia Band) 3

    With A Little Help From My Friends (Joe Cocker) 9.9. Not ready for the wall of tens, but damn close.
    Ain’t No Sunshine (Josh Hoge) 8.6 Pleasantly surprised.

  10. janos marton says:

    Like a Rollin’ Stone (Rolling Stones) vs. War Pigs (Cake):
    Me: 6.9 : 6.7
    C: 6.5 : 5.5

    Black Magic Woman (Santana) vs. Little Wing (Stevie Vaughan)
    Me: 8 : 6.2
    C: 7.1: 6.7

    Let Down (Easy Star All Stars) vs. Magnificent Sanctuary Band (Jerry Garcia Band)
    Me: 7 : 6.8
    C: 7.6: 7.3

    With A Little Help From My Friends (Joe Cocker) vs. Ain’t No Sunshine (Josh Hoge)
    Me: 7.9: 5
    C: 7.8 : 6.3

  11. Meghan says:

    Like a Rollin’ Stone (Rolling Stones) 7
    War Pigs (Cake) 5

    Black Magic Woman (Santana) 9
    Little Wing (Stevie Vaughan) 6

    Let Down (Easy Star All Stars) 5
    Magnificent Sanctuary Band (Jerry Garcia Band) 6.5

    With A Little Help From My Friends (Joe Cocker) 7.5
    Ain’t No Sunshine (Josh Hoge) 6

  12. natalie says:

    Like a Rollin’ Stone (Rolling Stones) – 5
    War Pigs (Cake) – 7

    Black Magic Woman (Santana) – 7
    Little Wing (Stevie Vaughan) – 5

    Let Down (Easy Star All Stars) – 6
    Magnificent Sanctuary Band (Jerry Garcia Band) – 7

    With A Little Help From My Friends (Joe Cocker) – 8
    Ain’t No Sunshine (Josh Hoge) – 7

  13. Danno says:

    Must stop putting off voting until the last minute. Everytime I’m about to sit down and listen, work calls. Ugh.

    Like a Rollin’ Stone (Rolling Stones) 6
    War Pigs (Cake) 2
    I like you Cake…but please leave Ozzy alone.

    Black Magic Woman (Santana) 5
    Little Wing (Stevie Vaughan) 5

    Let Down (Easy Star All Stars) 4
    Magnificent Sanctuary Band (Jerry Garcia Band) 4
    Meh

    With A Little Help From My Friends (Joe Cocker) 3
    Ain’t No Sunshine (Josh Hoge) 6

  14. chrisroomba says:

    Like a Rollin’ Stone (Rolling Stones) vs. War Pigs (Cake):5.5/4

    Black Magic Woman (Santana) vs. Little Wing (Stevie Vaughan):7.5/5

    Let Down (Easy Star All Stars) vs. Magnificent Sanctuary Band (Jerry Garcia Band): 3/5.5

    With A Little Help From My Friends (Joe Cocker) vs. Ain’t No Sunshine (Josh Hoge): 10/6
    I wanted to nominate Joe Cocker here. I love the wonder years. I love this version. I just didn’t nominate it because, though I love the Beatles version and it’s uniqueness, I believe Cocker made this song his own (I know I’ve had this discussion with SOMEBODY out there). And Cocker KILLED it. He’s just as well known for his version as the Beatles version, if not more (if you were a child of the 80s). Since it was nominated, I put it in its rightful place.

    Also, everytime I read Maureen’s posts I think: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r3oEeYu9QO4&feature=related

  15. Astrid says:

    Like a Rollin’ Stone (Rolling Stones) 7
    War Pigs (Cake) 5

    Black Magic Woman (Santana) 8.2
    Little Wing (Stevie Vaughan) 5.8

    Let Down (Easy Star All Stars) 3.1
    Magnificent Sanctuary Band (Jerry Garcia Band) 3

    With A Little Help From My Friends (Joe Cocker) 8
    Ain’t No Sunshine (Josh Hoge) 7

  16. Aiko says:

    Like a Rollin’ Stone (Rolling Stones) vs. War Pigs (Cake) 7.2/7
    I think both of these are substantially better than the originals, but I substantially dislike both originals. It would probably be something like a 3.5/2 match up. This version of Rollin’ Stone confirms that, like most Dylan songs, I mostly don’t like the original because of Dylan’s vocals. With someone who can sing a little better, this song is okay. (It is so stupid I hate Dylan, I love terrible vocalists. Why do I dislike him? I don’t know. It’s the wrong kind of terrible I guess). Speaking of terrible vocalists, I dig the singer from Cake and I think his voice is a huge improvement over Ozzy’s who just drones like a bone saw.

    Black Magic Woman (Santana) vs. Little Wing (Stevie Vaughan) 7.8/7
    Haha, the soaring guitar in Black Magic woman freaked my cat out. Stevie Vaughan sounds like Eddie Veddar ate David Bowie. That’s not necessarily the worst thing.

    Let Down (Easy Star All Stars) vs. Magnificent Sanctuary Band (Jerry Garcia Band) 9.5/6.5
    Uuuuuuuuhhhh. Hm. Well then. Let Down was a roller coaster of emotion, the first song of this set to inspire any strong reaction. I… like it? Yeah. I think I do. Actually a lot? Whoa the score keeps going up. This is great! It reminds me of Pressure Drop, which I love. And the horns really work for the hook. Yeah, this cover is doing things right. I don’t know that it will always score this high, but tonight… it sounds great. Really great.

    With A Little Help From My Friends (Joe Cocker) vs. Ain’t No Sunshine (Josh Hoge) 5/3

  17. G says:

    Like a Rollin’ Stone (Rolling Stones) 5
    War Pigs (Cake) 6

    Black Magic Woman (Santana) 8.5
    Little Wing (Stevie Vaughan) 7.0

    Let Down (Easy Star All Stars) 9.8 [this was fun and completely unexpected.]
    Magnificent Sanctuary Band (Jerry Garcia Band) 5 [wanted to like this a lot more…]

    With A Little Help From My Friends (Joe Cocker) 8.5
    Ain’t No Sunshine (Josh Hoge) 3

  18. lindsay says:

    Sorry I didn’t vote like I said I would! Something unexpected came up and I had to run to an event and just got home.

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