Memorial Tournament: Quarterfinals!

RESULTS: Semi-finalists!

“Smells Like Teen Spirit” (Nirvana) beats out “Don’t Stop Believin’” (Journey) 139 to 136.9 (7.7 to 7.6 average). Interestingly, these are the two lowest scoring songs of the round, and both would have lost out in any other match up.

“Stand By Me” (Ben E. King) just barely beats “Tiny Dancer” (Elton John) 146.3 to 142.4 (8.1 to 7.9 average)

“Romeo and Juliet” (Dire Straits) scores our high score of the round, beating “Change is Gonna Come” (Sam Cooke) 150.8 to 144.75 (8.4 to 8 average)

“Under Pressure” (Queen w/ David Bowie) will move on instead of “Train in Vain” (Clash), 150.1 to 143.3 (8.3 to 8 average)

We couldn’t be more pleased with the eight songs left standing, most of which won convincingly for the right to be here. We re-seeded them, so old Divisions no longer apply. Other than, surprisingly, “Don’t Stop Believin”, the seven other quarterfinalists have posted spectacular averages throughout the last three rounds, and the difference in average score between the #1 seed (“Teen Spirit”, 8.2) and #7 seed (“Change is Gonna Come”, 7.7) is a mere half-point.

elton

Elton in his trademark glitter singing Tiny Dancer in 1971

That means anyone could win from here. Dire Straits probably comes in with the most momentum, multiple people suggesting it could go all the way. “Stand By Me” has still never lost a tournament match, and Freddie Mercury is the last voice you want to go head to head with. Let’s do this!

We’ll give people until midnight on Monday to score in the comment section below, and the playlist is here. Enjoy!

#1 “Smells Like Teen Spirit” (Nirvana) vs. #8 “Don’t Stop Believin'” (Journey)

#4 “Stand By Me” (Ben E. King) vs. #5 “Tiny Dancer” (Elton John)

#2 “Romeo and Juliet” (Dire Straits) vs. #7 “Change is Gonna Come” (Sam Cooke)

#3 “Under Pressure” (Queen w/ David Bowie) vs. #6 “Train in Vain” (Clash)

About Janos Marton

Janos Marton is a lawyer, advocate and writer.
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12 Responses to Memorial Tournament: Quarterfinals!

  1. jacobpress says:

    Pretty strong lineup.

    #1 “Smells Like Teen Spirit” (Nirvana) 8 vs. #8 “Don’t Stop Believin’” (Journey) 6

    #4 “Stand By Me” (Ben E. King) 7 vs. #5 “Tiny Dancer” (Elton John) 7

    #2 “Romeo and Juliet” (Dire Straits) 7 vs. #7 “Change is Gonna Come” (Sam Cooke) 8

    #3 “Under Pressure” (Queen w/ David Bowie) 9 vs. #6 “Train in Vain” (Clash) 8

  2. #1 “Smells Like Teen Spirit” (Nirvana): 8.7
    #8 “Don’t Stop Believin’” (Journey): 9.1

    #4 “Stand By Me” (Ben E. King): 7.5
    #5 “Tiny Dancer” (Elton John): 6

    #2 “Romeo and Juliet” (Dire Straits): 9.8
    #7 “Change is Gonna Come” (Sam Cooke): 6

    #3 “Under Pressure” (Queen w/ David Bowie): 10
    . #6 “Train in Vain” (Clash): 9

  3. G says:

    “Smells Like Teen Spirit” (Nirvana)
    “Don’t Stop Believin’” (Journey)
    G: 7.5 (I usually don’t like vocal lines as guitar part, but it works well here), 6.8
    S: 6, 8 (“The vocalist [from Journey] sounds a lot like Rod Stewart…”)
    P: 8, 10 (“It does sound like Rod Stewart- I like it!)

    “Stand By Me” (Ben E. King)
    “Tiny Dancer” (Elton John)
    G: 7.2, 8.5
    S: 7.5, 9
    P: 10, 8

    “Romeo and Juliet” (Dire Straits)
    “Change is Gonna Come” (Sam Cooke)
    G: 8.5 (“all I do is keep the beat, and bad company” and then there’s a snap! So good), 10 (I had to lower all the other songs by a point to accommodate this song.
    S: 8, 8.5
    P: 8.5, 10 (I like that- I think it’s perfect for this place in time)

    “Under Pressure” (Queen w/ David Bowie)
    “Train in Vain” (Clash)
    G: 8.8, 9.2 (the backing harmonica is a bold call- I think that’s part of what makes this so good)
    S: 7.5, 7
    P: 9, 7

  4. Adam S says:

    #1 “Smells Like Teen Spirit” (Nirvana) vs. #8 “Don’t Stop Believin’” (Journey) 8.5-8

    #4 “Stand By Me” (Ben E. King) vs. #5 “Tiny Dancer” (Elton John) 6 – 6.5

    #2 “Romeo and Juliet” (Dire Straits) vs. #7 “Change is Gonna Come” (Sam Cooke) 7.5 – 4

    #3 “Under Pressure” (Queen w/ David Bowie) vs. #6 “Train in Vain” (Clash) 7.5 – 7

  5. sarena says:

    heard another throwback gco favorite “save it for later” on a needed coffee break, which im pretty sure was him reminding me i may lose my chance to 10 up r&j if i don’t act soon

    #1 “Smells Like Teen Spirit” (Nirvana): 7
    #8 “Don’t Stop Believin’” (Journey): 9

    #4 “Stand By Me” (Ben E. King): 8
    #5 “Tiny Dancer” (Elton John): 8.5

    #2 “Romeo and Juliet” (Dire Straits): 10
    #7 “Change is Gonna Come” (Sam Cooke): 6

    #3 “Under Pressure” (Queen w/ David Bowie): 9
    . #6 “Train in Vain” (Clash): 9
    don’t make me chooooose

  6. Brynna says:

    #1 “Smells Like Teen Spirit” (Nirvana) vs. #8 “Don’t Stop Believin'” (Journey)

    Bob: 9/6
    Brynna: 8.8/7.5 Still getting hyped by Smells. Sad to pass on DSB though.
    Patti: 9/6.5

    #4 “Stand By Me” (Ben E. King) vs. #5 “Tiny Dancer” (Elton John)

    Bob: 7/8
    Brynna: 7.5/7.5 These are about even for me.
    Patti: 7.5/8

    #2 “Romeo and Juliet” (Dire Straits) vs. #7 “Change is Gonna Come” (Sam Cooke)

    Bob: 7/8.5
    Brynna: 7.5/9 I really tried to listen hard to RaJ after all the 10s it’s getting but it still isn’t hitting for me. Meanwhile Change is just immediate.
    Patti: 7/10

    #3 “Under Pressure” (Queen w/ David Bowie) vs. #6 “Train in Vain” (Clash)

    Bob: 7.5/8.5
    Brynna: 7.5/8.3 Train has REALLY grown on me this tourney. I hadn’t really paid any attention to it before.
    Patti: 7.5/8

    • Brynna says:

      Oops edit!
      #4 “Stand By Me” (Ben E. King) vs. #5 “Tiny Dancer” (Elton John)

      Brynna: 7.7/7.5 These are about even for me.

  7. Janos Marton says:

    #1 “Smells Like Teen Spirit” (Nirvana) vs. #8 “Don’t Stop Believin’” (Journey)
    J. 7.5. : 9
    A 7 : 7

    #4 “Stand By Me” (Ben E. King) vs. #5 “Tiny Dancer” (Elton John)
    J 7 : 8.5
    A 7.5 : 8.5

    #2 “Romeo and Juliet” (Dire Straits) vs. #7 “Change is Gonna Come” (Sam Cooke)
    J. 8.5: 8
    A. 8 : 8

    #3 “Under Pressure” (Queen w/ David Bowie) vs. #6 “Train in Vain” (Clash)
    J. 8.5 : 9 I love Bowie and love Queen, but the Clash are my favorite band. I can’t believe they’re in play to win a major tournament, and I’m here for it.
    A. 8.5 : 7.5

  8. nataliebabij says:

    there aren’t really any standouts for me here, but they’re all solid

    #1 “Smells Like Teen Spirit” (Nirvana) vs. #8 “Don’t Stop Believin'” (Journey)
    ryan: 6 / 7
    natalie: 8.5 / 7
    i’ve gotten a bit sick of both of these, but kurt still finds a way into my soul

    #4 “Stand By Me” (Ben E. King) vs. #5 “Tiny Dancer” (Elton John)
    r: 8.5 / 8
    n: 8.5 / 7

    #2 “Romeo and Juliet” (Dire Straits) vs. #7 “Change is Gonna Come” (Sam Cooke)
    r: 7 / 8
    n: 8.5 / 8
    i wanted to give sam more love, but the backing orchestra was especially distracting and even a little irritating tonight

    #3 “Under Pressure” (Queen w/ David Bowie) vs. #6 “Train in Vain” (Clash)
    r: 5.5 / 6.5
    n: 7.5 / 8
    music tournaments always leave me with a new appreciation for queen, but an epic performance does not necessarily make the best song. on the other hand, even though “train” can be a bit boring and repetitive, it has left me energized and happy on every listen.

  9. Jim Rock says:

    #1 “Smells Like Teen Spirit” (Nirvana)
    #8 “Don’t Stop Believin’” (Journey)
    S: 7 vs 5
    J: 8 vs 10

    #4 “Stand By Me” (Ben E. King)
    #5 “Tiny Dancer” (Elton John)
    S: 10 vs 9
    J: 9.5 vs 9.5

    #2 “Romeo and Juliet” (Dire Straits)
    #7 “Change is Gonna Come” (Sam Cooke)
    S: 10 vs 8.5
    J: 8 vs 9.5

    #3 “Under Pressure” (Queen w/ David Bowie) #6 “Train in Vain” (Clash)
    S: 9 vs 8
    J: 9 vs 8.5

  10. Lindsay says:

    #1 “Smells Like Teen Spirit” (Nirvana) vs. #8 “Don’t Stop Believin” (Journey)
    6/7

    #4 “Stand By Me” (Ben E. King) vs. #5 “Tiny Dancer” (Elton John)
    9.9/9

    #2 “Romeo and Juliet” (Dire Straits) vs. #7 “Change is Gonna Come” (Sam Cooke)
    10/9.75

    #3 “Under Pressure” (Queen w/ David Bowie) vs. #6 “Train in Vain” (Clash)
    9.8/8.75

  11. aiko says:

    Voting from sunny California, where the weather is either perfect or trying to kill you (right now it’s the latter — we’ve never clarified the timezone for that midnight deadline, so I’m either late or a few hours early, but I’m begging Apocalypse-lite as an excuse either way). My scores are a little harsher tonight; I’m thinking about what should move on, and I’m trying to avoid 7s because they’re a cop-out.

    #1 “Smells Like Teen Spirit” (Nirvana) vs. #8 “Don’t Stop Believin’” (Journey)
    8.5 to 8
    Teen Spirit did it for me a little less, Believin’ did it for me a little more. I’m in a bit more of a sentimental space for this round, which I think is appropriate at this point in the tournament.

    #4 “Stand By Me” (Ben E. King) vs. #5 “Tiny Dancer” (Elton John)
    10 to 6
    Stand By Me won the tournament that introduced me to Guillermo, and it’s just a lovely song always. Tiny Dancer is always solid and fun, but I don’t think it should move on past this point.

    #2 “Romeo and Juliet” (Dire Straits) vs. #7 “Change is Gonna Come” (Sam Cooke)
    10 to 5
    So this match up is angsty sentimental vs. schmaltzy sentimental, and I think the former is more appropriate for this tournament, on top of me just forever having a soft spot for Romeo and Juliet. I generally dislike orchestras in pop songs, so that Sam Cooke song hasn’t been really scoring high for me this whole time.

    #3 “Under Pressure” (Queen w/ David Bowie) vs. #6 “Train in Vain” (Clash)
    9 to 6
    “Lost in the Supermarket” or “Straight to Hell” (or the Lilly Allen cover, which I discovered in a Covers Tournament) are my favorite Clash songs. Train in Vain is fun but like Tiny Dancer doesn’t go deeper.

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