Covers Tournament: Round of 64, Day 7

Alrighty this is going to have to be short and sweet.  I am just back from a week in DC, learning about cool public health things at a conference and having ridiculous amounts of fun.  But now I am super sleepy!    But we did get a decent response from our nominators for songs this round, which is great.  Happy voting!

Votes are due Friday, Nov. 4 by 10pm EST. Please see the Grooveshark link for our match-ups, except for Hugo, which is available on YouTube.

Bad Romance (Lissie) vs. Black Magic Woman (Santana)

Clearly this is an awesome album cover.

Bad Romance was nominated by James. UPDATE: Here’s the blurb – A cover can be considered interesting when it takes a different tone, cadence, or genre and reinterprets the original, hell, it can even be considered great. The reason I nominated Lissie’s cover of “Bad Romance” is that I flat out believe it more. It’s not all that different from the original but  a folk/alt/country gal belting out her undying desire for a bad lovin’ man resonates. It’s a stripped down cover and her voice breaks and strains in a way that the hyper-produced original never approaches. Add that to a very simple video and a more lively breakdown and the gaga jumble speak even sounds like it was meant to be more bluegrass than dance trash. Dear Lissie, I would like some of your bad romance as well. Call me. Also, check out this video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MWe07krS8_E&feature=youtube_gdata_player

Here is the story for Black Magic Woman, from AdamS: ” Fleetwood Mac, and Peter Green specifically, wrote a song called “The Green Manalishi” which, quite honestly is terrible. However Judas Priest picked it up, added some crunchy guitars and all of a sudden it become a little fiendish and a lotta cool.  However you all would have hated it.  So I was flipping through some old Fleetwood Mac stuff where Peter Green was the writer, and I remembered that they wrote Black Magic Woman.  The original is unbelievably inferior, though still pretty cool.  On top of that, it made the first ever mix CD i made in high school at the dawn of Napster (or well, shortly after the dawn, as I was behind the learning curve).  In fact, it was track 1 (I still have the CD).  One of the best guitar driven songs I can think of, lots of instrumental, and yet I’ve never felt like the vocals aren’t a key to the song.  All in all a tough package to accomplish.”

99 Problems (Hugo) vs. Ring of Fire (Social Distortion)

Here is Sam’s blurb on Hugo: “Covers are great because they reinvent the way that we listen to musical ideas.  Guns ‘N Roses covering Knocking on Heaven’s Door is just another rock band playing the song.  But Hugo, in his take on Jay-Z’s 99 problems, is completely reinventing the way that we connect with the original source material through a (not even) 3 minute version that cuts across so many genres it makes your head spin trying to pigeon-hole it.  Add all this to the fact that Hugo was born in a Thai jungle, describes his music as “gangsta rock,” has been on a Beyonce record and yet you probably never heard of him before this competition….and I think you know why I chose him.”

Ring of Fire doesn’t have a blurb, but Social Distortion recorded this version of the Johnny Cash original in 1990, on an album often acknowledged as the band’s best work (according to wikipedia).


Don't I look like I would be so fun to hang out with?

In Your Eyes (Jeffery Gaines) vs. Chelsea Hotel #2 (Regina Specktor) 

Here’s the scoop on In Your Eyes, from Guillermo, “I recently confessed “I am capable of great romance” in a half-joking, half-serious way. I don’t think about that super often these days. Too many things have happened. But when Jeffrey Gaines sings this song, it is a good reminder for me, and for anybody- that’s why I like it at least. The acoustic is the bare bones of the original, and stripped away from the synthesizer, you can really tell that Peter Gabriel is one f-ing good poet. Plus, I f-ing love John Cusack so there is that too.”

And for Chelsea Hotel….UPDATED – here’s a blurb:  “The Original is off of Leonard Cohen’s album New Skin for the Old Ceromony, which, if you haven’t heard it, you ABSOLUTELY should.  The album’s been a cult hit for years and is filled with some other amazing tunes, but of course, Chelsea Hotel #2 sticks out.  It’s pretty general knowledge that he wrote it about his time with Janis Joplin, but what you may not know is that he regretted telling people because he thought it denigrated her memory—but while it’s a little more than personal at points, I think it does just the opposite– its sentiment is amazing and humanizes this rock goddess, or anyone in a similar situation.

The version I wanted to add was Marissa Nadler’s, but I couldn’t find it anywhere.  (It’s off her 2005 CD-R that she distributed on tour in Australia before she ever got signed, so yeah…my luck finding a copy is pretty much nil, even with the help of the internets.)  But I’d heard Regina’s before, a live version in a Church in Austin during SXSW, and her set was perhaps the highlight of the entire 3 day music festival, where everyone else was rocking as hard as possible and this quite respite just pulled it all back together.  It’s a uncampy, solid version, and although I’m usually a bit more critical of her work, I think she nailed it here.” – G

Straight to Hell (Lily Allen) vs Blinded by the Light (Manfred Mann)

Lindsay had the following story to go for Straight to Hell:  “Lily Allen recorded this song for the War Child Presents Heroes album, which was a fundraiser for war-stricken areas, like Iraq, Uganda, Afghanistan and the Democratic Republic of Congo.  According to Wikipedia, the album featured a theme of “placing faith in the next generation,” the concept of the album is to have music legends select a track from their own canon and nominate an artist from the next generation to create a modern reworking of that song.

Straight to Hell is a song about various injustices from racism faced by immigrants to those little war babies who were left in Southeast Asia after their American GI fathers peaced out.  That Allen is able to make a song about such depressing subject matter sound fun and lovely is a testament to her fantastic voice.”

Lily contributed to this album, which claims to be the ultimate covers album...

No story for Manfred Mann, but I think we all know this one.  I, for one, had NO idea that this was a Bruce Springsteen original.  Craziness!

Pastables

Bad Romance (Lissie) vs. Black Magic Woman (Santana)

99 Problems (Hugo) vs. Ring of Fire (Social Distortion)

In Your Eyes (Jeffery Gaines) vs. Chelsea Hotel #2 (Regina Specktor)

Straight to Hell (Lily Allen) vs Blinded by the Light (Manfred Mann)

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18 Responses to Covers Tournament: Round of 64, Day 7

  1. G says:

    Here’s a blurb for Chelsea Hotel #2.

    The Original is off of Leonard Cohen’s album New Skin for the Old Ceromony, which, if you haven’t heard it, you ABSOLUTELY should. The album’s been a cult hit for years and is filled with some other amazing tunes and Cohen’s delicate way with words, but of course, Chelsea Hotel #2 sticks out. It’s pretty general knowledge that he wrote it about his time with Janis Joplin, but what you may not know is that he regretted telling people because he thought it denigrated her memory—but while it’s a little more than personal at points, I think it does just the opposite– its sentiment is amazing and humanizes this rock goddess, or anyone in a similar situation.

    The version I wanted to add was Marissa Nadler’s, but I couldn’t find it anywhere. (It’s off her 2005 CD-R that she distributed on tour in Australia before she ever got signed, so yeah…my luck finding a copy is pretty much nil, even with the help of the internets.) But I knew Regina Spektor did it live— It’s heartfelt, solid version, and although I’m usually a bit more critical of her work, I think absolutely she nails it here.

    And since I’m writing a little already, let me say that Bruce’s versions of Blinded By the Light is the first track off his first album Asbury Park, and you HAVE TO LISTEN to this version– it’s got ALL OF THE LYRICS (clocking in around 5 minutes if I recall) and really is a completely different beast from Manfred Mann’s cover. The amount of lyrics he packs in is incredible….plus the record version’s postcard part is an independent flap which protects the sleave, so there’s that… I’ll let you know my views on Manfred Mann’s version when I score it later.

  2. Adam S says:

    Bad Romance (Lissie) vs. Black Magic Woman (Santana) 8 / 6.5

    99 Problems (Hugo) vs. Ring of Fire (Social Distortion) ? / 7.5

    In Your Eyes (Jeffery Gaines) vs. Chelsea Hotel #2 (Regina Specktor) 6 / 5

    Straight to Hell (Lily Allen) vs Blinded by the Light (Manfred Mann) 4 / 8

    My office seems to be blocking that Hugo link for understandable reasons, so I guess you should exclude my scores from that matchup.

  3. jacobpress says:

    Bad Romance (Lissie) 6 vs. Black Magic Woman (Santana) 6

    99 Problems (Hugo) 5 This is unique and interesting, but calling it a cover is a stretch. It’s kind of like Wagon Wheel, whose chorus was written by Bob Dylan, but then adapted and reworked by Old Crow Medicine Show. The chorus here almost works like a sample.
    vs. Ring of Fire (Social Distortion) 4

    In Your Eyes (Jeffery Gaines) 4
    vs. Chelsea Hotel #2 (Regina Specktor) 3 Her delivery seems to be geared towards an audience of children.

    Straight to Hell (Lily Allen) 3
    vs Blinded by the Light (Manfred Mann) 5

  4. Anne S. says:

    Bad Romance (Lissie) vs. Black Magic Woman (Santana) 2/6.5
    Lissie just drags and drags…give me that dance trash.

    99 Problems (Hugo) vs. Ring of Fire (Social Distortion) 6.5/6
    Youtube link wasn’t working so I found it on grooveshark instead:

    http://grooveshark.com/#/s/99+Problems/3Ii8VW?src=5

    Sounds exactly the same as I remember so I think it’s the same?

    In Your Eyes (Jeffery Gaines) vs. Chelsea Hotel #2 (Regina Specktor) 6.5/8.5

    Straight to Hell (Lily Allen) vs Blinded by the Light (Manfred Mann) 9.5/4
    Straight to Hell made me so happy today when it came on.

  5. Bad Romance (Lissie) vs. Black Magic Woman (Santana) 8/5.675

    99 Problems (Hugo) vs. Ring of Fire (Social Distortion) 7.5/6.5

    In Your Eyes (Jeffery Gaines) vs. Chelsea Hotel #2 (Regina Specktor) 8.5/7

    Straight to Hell (Lily Allen) vs Blinded by the Light (Manfred Mann) 10/7
    My second 10 of the covers tournament. I love this Lily Allen song and I’m having a shitty day, so when it started and I smiled, I knew it would get a great score.

  6. Eileen says:

    Bad Romance (Lissie) vs. Black Magic Woman (Santana) 5.0 to 9.0

    99 Problems (Hugo) vs. Ring of Fire (Social Distortion) 7.5 to 5.5

    In Your Eyes (Jeffery Gaines) vs. Chelsea Hotel #2 (Regina Specktor) 6.5 to 6.0

    Straight to Hell (Lily Allen) vs Blinded by the Light (Manfred Mann) 6.0 to 5.0

  7. The Progenitor says:

    Bad Romance (Lissie) vs. Black Magic Woman (Santana) 4.5 to 9.5

    99 Problems (Hugo) vs. Ring of Fire (Social Distortion) 6.0 to 3.5

    In Your Eyes (Jeffery Gaines) vs. Chelsea Hotel #2 (Regina Specktor) 6.0 to 5.5

    Straight to Hell (Lily Allen) vs Blinded by the Light (Manfred Mann) 6.5 to 6.0

  8. Mark O says:

    Bad Romance (Lissie) [6]
    Black Magic Woman (Santana) [6.75]

    99 Problems (Hugo) [7]
    Ring of Fire (Social Distortion) [4.5]

    In Your Eyes (Jeffery Gaines) [7.6]
    Chelsea Hotel #2 (Regina Specktor [6.25]

    Straight to Hell (Lily Allen) [6]
    Blinded by the Light (Manfred Mann) [7.5]

  9. NatalieG says:

    Bad Romance (Lissie) vs. Black Magic Woman (Santana) 4 to 5

    99 Problems (Hugo) vs. Ring of Fire (Social Distortion) 5 to 5

    In Your Eyes (Jeffery Gaines) vs. Chelsea Hotel #2 (Regina Specktor) 8 to 9.5
    *Such a tough matchup!! But I can’t deny my pure love for all things Regina. 🙂

    Straight to Hell (Lily Allen) vs Blinded by the Light (Manfred Mann) 6.0 to 7.5

  10. Janos says:

    Bad Romance (Lissie) vs. Black Magic Woman (Santana)- 3.8 : 6.8
    I just can’t get behind Lissie. She’s too stylistically similar to Lady Gaga for this cover to impress me, and slowing it down this much only highlights how inane some of the lyrics are.

    99 Problems (Hugo) vs. Ring of Fire (Social Distortion)- 3 : 5.5
    Oh dear, these both lack the energy of the originals by such tremendous amounts…

    In Your Eyes (Jeffery Gaines) vs. Chelsea Hotel #2 (Regina Specktor)- 3.5 : 6.5
    I’m having a bad day here. At least that last matchup looks enticing.

    Straight to Hell (Lily Allen) vs Blinded by the Light (Manfred Mann): 7.8 : 7.4
    Given that the Clash are my favorite artist, and Springsteen is in my top 5, I’m going to kick back and enjoy this one. I’ve always thought Lily was a little weak on this one, but the Clash were weirdos, and easily could have snuck this track onto Sandinista. I’ve never noticed how much Manfred Mann turns this into a Billy Joel song. Which isn’t all bad, but he gives up a bit too much on the frenetic youth that drives Springsteen’s version.

  11. Bad Romance (Lissie) 6
    Black Magic Woman (Santana) 5

    99 Problems (Hugo) 7
    Ring of Fire (Social Distortion) 6

    In Your Eyes (Jeffery Gaines) 4
    Chelsea Hotel #2 (Regina Specktor) 5.5

    Straight to Hell (Lily Allen) 7.5
    Blinded by the Light (Manfred Mann) 7

  12. Bad Romance (Lissie) 6
    Black Magic Woman (Santana) 6

    99 Problems (Hugo) 6
    Ring of Fire (Social Distortion) 7

    In Your Eyes (Jeffery Gaines) 8
    Chelsea Hotel #2 (Regina Specktor) 9

    Straight to Hell (Lily Allen) 7
    Blinded by the Light (Manfred Mann)7.8

  13. Votes for Me / Chris B / Carolyn:

    Bad Romance (Lissie): 7.9 / 4 / 5
    Black Magic Woman (Santana): 4 / 9 / 8

    99 Problems (Hugo): 8.2 / 8.5 / 8.5
    Ring of Fire (Social Distortion): 4 / 6 /5

    In Your Eyes (Jeffery Gaines): 9 / 8 / 8.5
    Chelsea Hotel #2 (Regina Specktor): 6.5 / 6.5 / 5

    Straight to Hell (Lily Allen): 7.4 / 7 / 6.78
    Blinded by the Light (Manfred Mann): 5 / 6.5 / 3.45

  14. nataliebabij says:

    Bad Romance (Lissie) – 4
    Black Magic Woman (Santana) – 6

    99 Problems (Hugo) – 8
    Ring of Fire (Social Distortion) – 6

    In Your Eyes (Jeffery Gaines) – 7
    Chelsea Hotel #2 (Regina Specktor) – 7.2

    Straight to Hell (Lily Allen) – 4.5
    Blinded by the Light (Manfred Mann) – 5.5

  15. G says:

    Bad Romance (Lissie) – 8
    Black Magic Woman (Santana) – 7.6

    99 Problems (Hugo) – 2.5
    Ring of Fire (Social Distortion) – 7

    In Your Eyes (Jeffery Gaines) – 2.5
    Chelsea Hotel #2 (Regina Specktor) – 9.0[hammer b/c I think it’s absolutely true. Sorry folks.

    Straight to Hell (Lily Allen) – 10
    Blinded by the Light (Manfred Mann) – 3.5 [loathe this version. As I said earlier, the bosses nails it and this is just campy.]

    • G says:

      I apologize for “hammering” but it wasn’t the difference between the songs I was paying attention to, rather, it was really the scores I felt about each song. I’d really prefer if the disparities weren’t so great- but I doubt they will be as the tournament continues.

    • No dubs from me- Chelsea Hotel has been cued on my phone YouTube since this started. I like my Jeffrey Gaines song, but Regina’s done a good thing here. A +1 vs a +6.5 in my scores, but that’s what this is all about 🙂

  16. aiko says:

    Bad Romance (Lissie) –
    Black Magic Woman (Santana) – 6.5

    99 Problems (Hugo) – 5
    Ring of Fire (Social Distortion) – 5

    In Your Eyes (Jeffery Gaines) – 3
    Chelsea Hotel #2 (Regina Specktor) – 7

    Straight to Hell (Lily Allen) – 10
    Blinded by the Light (Manfred Mann) – 3

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