Beginning of Memorial Tournament Round 2!

RESULTS

The next round will see us selecting our division winners! At this point, it’s all about standing up to repetition, as tournaments answer the question, “Which song do you never tire of?” In this round, the crowd found that “Thriller” doesn’t bear repeated listens, especially in the heat of summer. “Thunder Road” inspired high scores from several commenters, but they’ll need to put it on their own personal playlists, as it was narrowly defeated.

Going forward, “Africa” seems like it should be a strong favorite to clinch Division A, but only averaged .1 above Sam Cooke’s “Change is Gonna Come,” so that match-up could be tighter than expected.

In Division B, “Superstition” lost some steam, dropping from an 8.2 average first round to 7.5 this round. It will take on this round’s high scorer, “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” which dropped less than .1 from round one.

Division A

“Africa” (Toto) defeats “When My Time Comes” (Dawes) 106.2 to 83.9 (7.6 to 6 average).

“Change is Gonna Come” (Sam Cooke) defeats “Thunder Road” (Bruce Springsteen) 105.1 to 102.8 (7.5 to 7.3 average)

Division B

Superstition” (Stevie Wonder) beats “Thriller” (Michael Jackson) 97.4 to 79.8 (7.5 to 6.1 average)

“Smells Like Teen Spirit” (Nirvana) defeats “With a little help from my friends” (Joe Cocker) 108.5 to 101.4 (8.3 to 7.8 average)

dawes

Dawes are the least likely of these eight songs to advance, so here’s their moment in the sun

And then there were 32. Thank you to everyone for whittling the field down from 64 over the past two weeks. Based on scoring averages and reputation, there are very few songs left that don’t have a puncher’s shot at winning the tournament if they get hot at the right time.

Vote for the following Division A & B match-ups by Sunday at midnight. Treat yourself to a weekend voting party with loved ones & friends.

Here’s the playlist.

Division A

“Africa” (Toto) vs. “When My Time Comes” (Dawes)

“Change is Gonna Come” (Sam Cooke) v. “Thunder Road” (Bruce Springsteen)

Division B

“Superstition” (Stevie Wonder) vs. “Thriller” (Michael Jackson)

“Smells Like Teen Spirit” (Nirvana) v. “With a little help from my friends” (Joe Cocker)

About Janos Marton

Janos Marton is a lawyer, advocate and writer.
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12 Responses to Beginning of Memorial Tournament Round 2!

  1. sarena says:

    wow this round really reaches across many aisles of music!

    Division A
    “Africa” (Toto) vs. “When My Time Comes” (Dawes)
    9.5 vs 8
    I know Will loved these two songs, but I like to think I got in early there with him and africa, during college, driving to see(? drop off? i don’t even remember) maegan in vermont, when he admitted he always thought the lyrics were “there’s nothing 100 men from mars could ever do” ha aw ❤

    “Change is Gonna Come” (Sam Cooke) v. “Thunder Road” (Bruce Springsteen)
    6 vs 10
    i love thunder road so so so much. every. single. line. i wouldn't know where to start with why. i even love rain king by the counting crows more bc they mashup the two songs.

    Division B

    “Superstition” (Stevie Wonder) vs. “Thriller” (Michael Jackson)
    3 vs 4
    never been that into either of these

    “Smells Like Teen Spirit” (Nirvana) v. “With a little help from my friends” (Joe Cocker)
    6.5 vs 9
    sorry, but wonder years is storied to be based on my hometown — just reading the wiki for it now makes me want to rewatch the whole thing start to finish. also doesn't this excerpt from the show's wiki page totally sound like will could have written it??? "Once upon a time, there was a girl I knew who lived across the street. Brown hair. Brown eyes. When she smiled, I smiled. When she cried, I cried. Every single thing that ever happened to me that mattered, in some way, had to do with her. That day, Winnie and I promised each other that, no matter what, we would always be together. It was a promise full of passion, truth, and wisdom. It was the kind of promise that can only come from the hearts of the very young."

  2. Jim Rock says:

    9 – “Africa” (Toto)
    4 – “When My Time Comes” (Dawes)

    9.5 – “Change is Gonna Come” (Sam Cooke)
    4 – “Thunder Road” (Bruce Springsteen)

    9.5 – “Superstition” (Stevie Wonder)
    9.5 – “Thriller” (Michael Jackson)

    8.5 – “Smells Like Teen Spirit” (Nirvana)
    9.5 – “With a little help from my friends” (Joe Cocker)

  3. Janos Marton says:

    “Africa” (Toto) vs. “When My Time Comes” (Dawes)
    A: 6 : 6
    J: 7.5 : 6

    “Change is Gonna Come” (Sam Cooke) v. “Thunder Road” (Bruce Springsteen)
    A 6 : 8
    J 7 : 9.5

    “Superstition” (Stevie Wonder) vs. “Thriller” (Michael Jackson)
    A 8 : 8
    J. 7.5 : 7

    “Smells Like Teen Spirit” (Nirvana) v. “With a little help from my friends” (Joe Cocker)
    A 8 : 9
    J 8.5 : 9

  4. jacobpress says:

    “Africa” (Toto) 5 vs. “When My Time Comes” (Dawes) 6

    “Change is Gonna Come” (Sam Cooke) 8 v. “Thunder Road” (Bruce Springsteen) 5

    Division B

    “Superstition” (Stevie Wonder) 9 vs. “Thriller” (Michael Jackson) 7Thriller is great, but, again, just listen to the first 20 seconds of Superstition. So funky it makes your nose wrinkle.

    “Smells Like Teen Spirit” (Nirvana) 9 v. “With a little help from my friends” (Joe Cocker) 5 I have a new found appreciation for Smells Like Teen Spirit after it proved particularly effective at putting my baby to sleep.

  5. carolynehughes says:

    “Africa” (Toto): 8
    “When My Time Comes” (Dawes): 3

    “Change is Gonna Come” (Sam Cooke): 7
    “Thunder Road” (Bruce Springsteen): 7.6

    “Superstition” (Stevie Wonder): 5.5
    “Thriller” (Michael Jackson): 5.3

    “Smells Like Teen Spirit” (Nirvana): 8
    “With a little help from my friends” (Joe Cocker): 5.6

  6. Lindsay says:

    Division A

    “Africa” (Toto) vs. “When My Time Comes” (Dawes)
    I loved Sarena’s “Africa” story!
    7.5/6.8

    “Change is Gonna Come” (Sam Cooke) v. “Thunder Road” (Bruce Springsteen)
    7/8

    Division B

    “Superstition” (Stevie Wonder) vs. “Thriller” (Michael Jackson)
    8.5/5
    “Smells Like Teen Spirit” (Nirvana) v. “With a little help from my friends” (Joe Cocker)
    7/8

  7. G says:

    “Africa” (Toto): 6.8 – Long, hot day today. Just didn’t quite hit.
    “When My Time Comes” (Dawes): 6.6 Slight edge to Toto, but driving bassline on this is solid.

    “Change is Gonna Come” (Sam Cooke): 9.6
    “Thunder Road” (Bruce Springsteen): 7.2

    “Superstition” (Stevie Wonder): 8.0
    “Thriller” (Michael Jackson): 5.0 The last two minutes of dialogue dragged it down from a 6.5

    “Smells Like Teen Spirit” (Nirvana): 8.5
    “With a little help from my friends” (Joe Cocker): 7.8

  8. Rebecca Rich says:

    And these are not easy!! Had knee surgery but I’m back for voting …

    I’m gonna go with:
    “Africa” (Toto): 7 … just a solid song. Classic.
    “When My Time Comes” (Dawes): 6. Could take it or leave i.

    “Change is Gonna Come” (Sam Cooke): 8. Greeeeat song but not as good as ….
    “Thunder Road” (Bruce Springsteen): 9. Yeah. Def winner.
    Becca

  9. castrohart says:

    “Africa” (Toto) vs. “When My Time Comes” (Dawes)
    8.2 – 5

    “Change is Gonna Come” (Sam Cooke) v. “Thunder Road” (Bruce Springsteen)
    8 – 10 +
    There are many songs that are as beautiful as Thunder Road, but none that are more beautiful ❤

    “Superstition” (Stevie Wonder) vs. “Thriller” (Michael Jackson)
    8.9 – 10

    “Smells Like Teen Spirit” (Nirvana) v. “With a little help from my friends” (Joe Cocker)
    10 – 7.5

  10. nataliebabij says:

    “Africa” (Toto) vs. “When My Time Comes” (Dawes)
    ryan: 9.5 / 5.5
    natalie: 6 / 7

    “Change is Gonna Come” (Sam Cooke) v. “Thunder Road” (Bruce Springsteen)
    r: 8.5 / 5.5
    n: 8.5 / 6

    “Superstition” (Stevie Wonder) vs. “Thriller” (Michael Jackson)
    r: 5 / 4
    n: 7.5 / 2

    “Smells Like Teen Spirit” (Nirvana) v. “With a little help from my friends” (Joe Cocker)
    r: 7 / 10
    n: 9.5 / 9

  11. aiko says:

    8.2 – “Africa” (Toto)
    8 – “When My Time Comes” (Dawes)
    Africa is such a social song that it’s a bit sad to listen to these days, but it’ll never be less than an 8. The Dawes song sounds good when you’re alone and I continue to like the epic chorus. I would take that cruise.

    5 – “Change is Gonna Come” (Sam Cooke)
    6 – “Thunder Road” (Bruce Springsteen)
    I love the Boss but am less of a fan of his more rambly songs that lack a refrain. Maybe I’m just too much a pop fan. But I can’t believe Atlantic City didn’t move on.

    9.5 – “Superstition” (Stevie Wonder)
    7 – “Thriller” (Michael Jackson)
    Thriller is great but the spooky voice over just doesn’t work outside of like actual Halloween.

    10 – “Smells Like Teen Spirit” (Nirvana)
    5 – “With a little help from my friends” (Joe Cocker)
    Teen Spirit is still a 10. Let’s see if it can keep up this roll!

  12. Adam S says:

    “Africa” (Toto) vs. “When My Time Comes” (Dawes) 8- 6

    “Change is Gonna Come” (Sam Cooke) v. “Thunder Road” (Bruce Springsteen) 7-7

    “Superstition” (Stevie Wonder) vs. “Thriller” (Michael Jackson) 7.5 – 6

    “Smells Like Teen Spirit” (Nirvana) v. “With a little help from my friends” (Joe Cocker) 8- 7

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