Covers Tournament: Final Four

You’ve made your opinions known, the ups have been high and the downs have been low. The end is in sight, lovely voters, so let’s get this Final Four match in the books so we can launch our tournament Final in time for Turkey Day. Grooveshark link, babies– let’s do it. Votes due by Wednesday, November 23rd at 5:00 PM EST (early so we can get the Final up as promptly as possible.)

#5 With A Little Help From My Friends (Joe Cocker) vs. #8 Killing Me Softly (The Fugees)

Both of these underdogs emerged triumphant in their respective quartets of the bracket, and face off in a clash of eras and nostalgia.

#2 Valerie (Amy Winehouse and Mark Ronson) vs. #11 Wonderful World (Joey Ramone)

It wouldn’t be so correct to call Wonderful World the Cinderella, as it mostly seemed that no one was paying attention the first round when it slumped. It has since shown gold, but a recent dip is troubling (see below.) Can Joey fend off Winehouse and make it to this final? This battle of two legacy performers should be a good one.

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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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28 Responses to Covers Tournament: Final Four

  1. Adam S says:

    #5 With A Little Help From My Friends (Joe Cocker) vs. #8 Killing Me Softly (The Fugees) 7 / 6

    #2 Valerie (Amy Winehouse and Mark Ronson) vs. #11 Wonderful World (Joey Ramone) 6.5 / 8.5

  2. jacob says:

    #5 With A Little Help From My Friends (Joe Cocker) 5
    vs. #8 Killing Me Softly (The Fugees) 8 I love how pared down this cover is. Even compared to the Roberta Flack original, which is pretty restrained, it manages to cut out everything but the essentials. The moment when that stark bass line kicks in at 1:29 is pretty incredible.

    #2 Valerie (Amy Winehouse and Mark Ronson) 7
    vs. #11 Wonderful World (Joey Ramone) 10

  3. benji says:

    #5 With A Little Help From My Friends (Joe Cocker) – 10 it’s quite a feat to perform a song better than the Beatles did, and Joe smokes it.
    vs. #8 Killing Me Softly (The Fugees) – 8 amazing performance, and lauryn hill right before her peak, but take out the beat and the song is too much like the original to knock off joe

    #2 Valerie (Amy Winehouse and Mark Ronson) – 7.5
    vs. #11 Wonderful World (Joey Ramone) – 7 tried not to dock it points by being on freaky friday soundtrack. at any rate, brudda iz’s version is way better and he’s out

  4. #5 With A Little Help From My Friends (Joe Cocker) 9
    vs. #8 Killing Me Softly (The Fugees) 7.2

    Cocker rising

    #2 Valerie (Amy Winehouse and Mark Ronson) 8
    vs. #11 Wonderful World (Joey Ramone) 7.3

  5. chrisroomba says:

    #5 With A Little Help From My Friends (Joe Cocker) 10
    vs. #8 Killing Me Softly (The Fugees) 9.9

    Underdogs? These songs were front runners once they were allowed into the tournament, despite the original rules about being equally or more well known than the originals. Still, I have no preference. They’re both GOLD! Benji makes a strong case.And, I still feel like Joe Cocker’s version and the Beatles version are two different songs. Slight edge to Winnie Cooper giving Kevin Arnold back the football, and shaking her head with that look: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Ob59hsRaFU
    (thanks for giving us every episode, Netflix…I’ll forgive you the Qwikster debacle)

    #2 Valerie (Amy Winehouse and Mark Ronson) 8
    vs. #11 Wonderful World (Joey Ramone) 6

    Can we just crown the other winner?

  6. Eileen says:

    #5 With A Little Help From My Friends (Joe Cocker) vs. #8 Killing Me Softly (The Fugees)
    8.0 to 7.0

    #2 Valerie (Amy Winehouse and Mark Ronson) vs. #11 Wonderful World (Joey Ramone)
    7.5 to 9.0

  7. The Progenitor says:

    #5 With A Little Help From My Friends (Joe Cocker) vs. #8 Killing Me Softly (The Fugees)
    9.0 to 5.0

    #2 Valerie (Amy Winehouse and Mark Ronson) vs. #11 Wonderful World (Joey Ramone)
    8.5 to 8.0

  8. janos marton says:

    #5 With A Little Help From My Friends (Joe Cocker) vs. #8 Killing Me Softly (The Fugees)
    Me: 8.5 : 8
    C: 7.7 : 8.9

    #2 Valerie (Amy Winehouse and Mark Ronson) vs. #11 Wonderful World (Joey Ramone)
    Me: 9.5 : 9.5 I can’t decide. These have been my two favorite songs left for several rounds now.
    C 9.6 : 8.6

  9. Astrid says:

    #5 With A Little Help From My Friends (Joe Cocker) vs. 8.6
    #8 Killing Me Softly (The Fugees) 7.9

    #2 Valerie (Amy Winehouse and Mark Ronson) vs. 8.1
    #11 Wonderful World (Joey Ramone) 10

  10. #5 With A Little Help From My Friends (Joe Cocker) 9
    #8 Killing Me Softly (The Fugees) 9.5

    #2 Valerie (Amy Winehouse and Mark Ronson) 9.5
    #11 Wonderful World (Joey Ramone) 9

  11. Mark O says:

    #5 With A Little Help From My Friends (Joe Cocker) [10]
    #8 Killing Me Softly (The Fugees) [7.9]

    #2 Valerie (Amy Winehouse and Mark Ronson) [8.25]
    #11 Wonderful World (Joey Ramone) [7.75]

  12. Jess says:

    #5 With A Little Help From My Friends (Joe Cocker) – 7.5
    #8 Killing Me Softly (The Fugees) – 10

    #2 Valerie (Amy Winehouse and Mark Ronson) – 9
    #11 Wonderful World (Joey Ramone) – 8

  13. Jess says:

    #5 With A Little Help From My Friends (Joe Cocker) – 7.5
    #8 Killing Me Softly (The Fugees) – 10
    the nostalgia associated with lauren hill is impossible to top

    #2 Valerie (Amy Winehouse and Mark Ronson) – 9
    #11 Wonderful World (Joey Ramone) – 8

  14. Meghan says:

    With A Little Help From My Friends (Joe Cocker) 7
    Killing Me Softly (The Fugees) 8.5

    Valerie (Amy Winehouse and Mark Ronson) 8
    Wonderful World (Joey Ramone) 7

  15. natalie says:

    friends – 7.5
    killing – 5

    valerie – 6
    wonderful – 8

  16. Adrock says:

    #5 With A Little Help From My Friends (Joe Cocker) 5.5
    #8 Killing Me Softly (The Fugees) 7.8

    #2 Valerie (Amy Winehouse and Mark Ronson) 4
    #11 Wonderful World (Joey Ramone) 9

  17. annaz says:

    #5 With A Little Help From My Friends (Joe Cocker): 8.6
    #8 Killing Me Softly (The Fugees): 9.6

    #2 Valerie (Amy Winehouse and Mark Ronson) : 7
    #11 Wonderful World (Joey Ramone): 9.9
    (an episode of the x-files where they slowly span thru the house of a mutant family.. curtains blowing in the night breeze.. deformed bloody faces.. while playing this song.. forever ruined it for me. sorry joey cannot give a 10.)

  18. Isabel says:

    Aw hell, it’s the final four, I might need to wax a little musicological.

    #5 With A Little Help From My Friends (Joe Cocker) – 5
    #8 Killing Me Softly (The Fugees) – 10

    OK, I didn’t turn in my spiel in time…so here it is more or less, just in the nick of time…

    Someone said this song was too similar to the original to be worthy of consideration for the finals…. True, the Fugees don’t make any significant changes to the form, harmonic structure, or melody of the original (thankfully, they were prohibited from making any changes to the lyric whatsoever), but their effort shows how subtle changes (‘paring down’ as someone else said) can drastically alter the subtext of a song. Hill’s vocal owes an obvious debt to Ms. Flack, but her quasi-pianistic approach to melisma represents an angrier take on the lyric (where Flack is more wistful) and is constantly imitated to this day (by human and computer-sweetened voices alike). This song represents no less than the final straw in the obliteration of distinctions between rock, R&B, soul and hip-hop, and the sampling of a sample (the sitar lick) is just another signal of this.

    Cocker is fine, if screamy. I loved Wonder Years, but I never found the alternate harmony of “what would you with a love at first sight?” compelling…It almost sounds like a Karaoke track requiring someone to fill in the melody. But I could just be a bull-headed chorus nerd.

    #2 Valerie (Amy Winehouse and Mark Ronson) – 7.5
    #11 Wonderful World (Joey Ramone) – 3
    In fairness, I hate the original, but I think it’s even more tedious in duple meter.

  19. Anne S. says:

    #5 With A Little Help From My Friends (Joe Cocker) – 7
    #8 Killing Me Softly (The Fugees) – 10
    The nostalgia for With a Little Help From My Friends has been wearing off whereas I really just like Killing Me Softly.

    #2 Valerie (Amy Winehouse and Mark Ronson) – 9.2
    #11 Wonderful World (Joey Ramone) – 9
    I expected to give Wonderful World the edge, but it was really tough today.

  20. Finishing up a paper at school and feeling soooo ready for the end of this semester. Votes for me/Kelsie

    #5 With A Little Help From My Friends (Joe Cocker) – 9.4 / 8.5
    #8 Killing Me Softly (The Fugees) – 8 / 7
    Joe Cocker just nails it on this one. It is a great song, his delivery is almost perfect, and it feels happy and hopeful. Kind of exactly what I need right now.

    #2 Valerie (Amy Winehouse and Mark Ronson) – 9.7 / 10
    #11 Wonderful World (Joey Ramone) – 7 / 4
    I miss Amy Winehouse. I liked Joey’s version the first time or two, but my enjoyment of it has started to wear off. Kelsie on Wonderful World – “I think this ruined a really nice song.”

  21. Danno says:

    #5 With A Little Help From My Friends (Joe Cocker) – 5
    #8 Killing Me Softly (The Fugees) – 3

    #2 Valerie (Amy Winehouse and Mark Ronson) – 5
    #11 Wonderful World (Joey Ramone) – 9

  22. friends/killing 8.5/5

    valerie/world 9.5/6

  23. Nora says:

    HI!! Maureen is my sister and she LOVES this so I wanted to do it too! YAY MUSIC!!!!!!!
    #5 With A Little Help From My Friends (Joe Cocker) – 7.5
    #8 Killing Me Softly (The Fugees) – 8.5

    #2 Valerie (Amy Winehouse and Mark Ronson) – 8
    #11 Wonderful World (Joey Ramone) – 5.5

  24. The Catholic says:

    With A Little Help From My Friends (Joe Cocker) 10
    Killing Me Softly (The Fugees) 10
    Love both those songs, really two of the best covers ever.

    Valerie (Amy Winehouse and Mark Ronson) 3
    Wonderful World (Joey Ramone) 7
    Meh, much better songs in the tourney than this. Can’t believe Iz got knocked out already…

  25. asf says:

    With a Little Help: 8.5
    Killing Me Softly: 9

    Valerie: 5
    Wonderful World 7
    I failed Iz.

  26. Kels says:

    Little help – 8.9
    Killing me softly – 8.5

    Valerie – 9.8
    Wonderful world – 9.0

  27. Joe Denson says:

    Copy Center at UMD School of Business, Tequila Party to close out the day before Thanksgiving break. Joe, Greg, Claudia.

    Little help – 8 / 5 / 9
    Killing me softly – 7/ 8 / 7

    Valerie – 6 / 5 / 8
    Wonderful world – 5/ 4/ 5

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