Memorial Tournament Finals!

FINAL RESULTS!!! These songs are all incredible. Collectively you gave them eight 10s, perfect scores, hitting in the moment. At a time we need great music more than ever…

Here we go! The bronze goes to the sweet and beautiful “Stand by Me”, with 114.6 points. It was one voter’s first choice. (Hi Brynna!)

At #2, the silver, the runner-up, the almost-champ: “Romeo and Juliet”, with 125.2 points. It was seven voters’ first choice, and for many, the sentimental favorite of the tournament.

And our Guillermo C. Olivos Memorial Music Tournament Champion, with 133.4 points, and eight first-place votes, is “Under Pressure”. Congratulations to Queen for another tournament championship, Bowie for being our favorite stardust in the sky , and thank all of you for a memorable and special two-month reunion. 

We’re going to improvise here and declare a three-song final! While “Stand by Me” won comfortably in the semis against “Smells Like Teen Spirit”, in the other bracket “Under Pressure” beat “Romeo and Juliet” by .1, with both scores outperforming “Stand by Me”. That’s basically a tie, so it’s only fitting the trio face off to decide this thing.

gmo2

We thought Gmo would have a 3-song solution here. And be happy that this tournament brought us together. Much love!

And to be honest, people were dropping some random scores that (“7.8”) that I might have been more of a stickler about in the past. I let it slide, but it resulted in two songs being separated by a negligible amount.

So let’s roll with this three-way. Regular rules apply, score it as you would any other match-up, and the high-score wins!

Vote in the comment section below by Wednesday at midnight, EST. Since this one will surely be down to the wire, that’s a hard deadline – we’ll announce the winner at midnight. Please push especially our Biloxi friends to participate.

It’s been an absolute pleasure tournamenting with all of you these past few weeks. Thank you to our regular voters, the beating heart of the music tournament. And a special thanks to Lindsay, Natalie, Brian, and especially Aiko for your collaboration on the posts, scoring and playlists. Hope to see many of you in person when that becomes possible.

And now, without further ado, the playlist for your final match-up:

“Under Pressure” (Queen w/ David Bowie) vs. “Romeo and Juliet” (Dire Straits) vs. “Stand by Me” (Ben E. King)

 

About Janos Marton

Janos Marton is a lawyer, advocate and writer.
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16 Responses to Memorial Tournament Finals!

  1. Adam S says:

    Exicting three way finals!

    “Under Pressure” (Queen w/ David Bowie) vs. “Romeo and Juliet” (Dire Straits) vs. “Stand by Me” (Ben E. King)

    8 – 8.5 – 7

  2. jacobpress says:

    “Under Pressure” (Queen w/ David Bowie) 10 vs. “Romeo and Juliet” (Dire Straits) 7 vs. “Stand by Me” (Ben E. King) 7

    Rematch from 2010, but with a third party candidate adding some uncertainty (like Perot in 1992). As I did then, I’m still pushing hard for Under Pressure. It’s such a great song, and one that I learned so much about in the run up to the 512 song tournament finals. I feel like I considered every note in it. I was looking through old emails and forgot Guillermo made a podcast about the 512 song final in which I made the case for Under Pressure. So much fun to get into something like that. That was a great time.

  3. “Under Pressure” (Queen w/ David Bowie) 10
    “Romeo and Juliet” (Dire Straits) 10
    “Stand by Me” (Ben E. King) 7

  4. Under Pressure: 10
    Romeo and Juliet: 6
    Stand by Me: 9
    Wow, really wasn’t feeling Dire Straits. THAT song made it to the finals? I guess I can see G-Mo liking it, but I don’t feel it really holds up against either of the other songs very well.

  5. sarena says:

    “Under Pressure” (Queen w/ David Bowie) 9
    “Romeo and Juliet” (Dire Straits) 10
    “Stand by Me” (Ben E. King) 8

    Felt the need to rank here, so sue me. In a vacuum, these could all be 10s. And in a way I want all the songs to win! (And I will just make one last point – we all know R&J cannot really hold a candle to the other two in most any other venue, but GCO was the quintessential champion of the underdog if I ever knew one, so… you know…)

  6. aiko says:

    6.5 – “Under Pressure” (Queen w/ David Bowie)
    10 – “Romeo and Juliet” (Dire Straits)
    8 – “Stand by Me” (Ben E. King)

    Grant has given me crap about weighting other considerations in my vote besides how a song makes me feel in the moment, so for these votes I went entirely with the emotional flow. These are all votes that reflect where I’m at this afternoon, after a long day’s work, standing outside in the itchy heat and bad air of my little slice of the Sierra Nevada foothills in late August of this catastrophic year.

    I’ve given all of these songs at least 9s in various rounds, and the latter two several 10s. My enjoyment of Under Pressure varies the most, and today was a day it just didn’t hit. I’ve given Romeo and Juliet 10s that might have been slightly inflated, but today that was all feeling: that opening guitar riff is just so lovely, and this song somehow manages to contain the line “When we made love you used to cry” without making me want to crawl in a hole and die of embarrassment. It’s just so earnest and yet not cheesy. Under Pressure felt like too much, and Stand by Me felt a little too sparse today. But really, I would be happy with any of these winning.

  7. G says:

    9.9 – “Under Pressure” (Queen w/ David Bowie)
    8.2 – “Romeo and Juliet” (Dire Straits)
    7.6 – “Stand by Me” (Ben E. King)

    9.9 “Watching some good friends scream let me out.” I feel that right now. I’ve appreciated the music even- the lalala dissidence in the build up– “this is our last dance, this ourselves under pressure.” Usually this song brings me joy, but tonight it was also contemplative, which was a first for this song after all these years of listens. It’s a complex masterpiece that they made look easy.

    8.2 R&J: Wow. Mark Knoffler can play guitar. I actually learned this lick back in Biloxi and still can’t play it anywhere near as clean or gorgeous as this recording. The drumming is simple, but recording tones are also precise and clear- Really holds up. That said, there’s something just a touch too cheesy about it that I can never quite shake; maybe I’m just jaded at this point. The song structure is also really simple–I always want just a little bit more than the chorus/verse reprises can offer. Some magnificent bridge or build up and out like Under Pressure. (I cut one point because I think Aiko was overly harsh).

    7.6 Stand By Me: This didn’t work for me tonight. The bass sounded weird and the percussion shaker didn’t work on this sound system. I tweaked things and relistened- and still didn’t feel in step. I think I finally hit listening fatigue on Stand By Me? I didn’t think it was possible!

    Thanks everyone for seeing this through to the end! Rest in peace GMO.

  8. Brynna says:

    Under Pressure:

    Patti: 8
    Bob: 9
    Brynna: 8.5 I was not feeling this one until I was driving this morning. Screaming “Let me out!” really hits different right now.

    Romeo and Juliet:

    Patti: 7
    Bob: 7
    Brynna: 8 I never paid this song any mind before, but I’ve really grown to enjoy it. I’ll always think of the tournament when I hear it now.

    Stand By Me:

    Patti: 7.5
    Bob: 5
    Brynna: 9 This just feels right during these times.

    Thank you to everyone who put this together! Loved being able to do this with my family and learn about so many songs.

  9. Janos Marton says:

    Under Pressure” (Queen w/ David Bowie) vs. “Romeo and Juliet” (Dire Straits) vs. “Stand by Me” (Ben E. King)
    Janos: 8 : 9 : 7.5 . “Permission to explain my vote?” is what they say in our City Council meeintgs before a big vote. Under Pressure is an iconic song. I’ve probably put it on 80% of my party mixes over the years, and maybe my top DJ’ing moment of all time involved a midnight a capella version, laid over with the real version 30 seconds in. My respect for Stand By Me grew tremendously during the LTD ’11 tournament, and I *love* the Muhammad Ali version that closes his album, “I am the Greatest!” I mean, how do you argue with 14-0 coming into tonight? Its’ Ali-esque. But despite my so-so feelings about Dire Straits prior to this tournament (“Walk of Life” was really my only DS rotation song historically, and even that’s been a while), I’ve become a full convert to this being just the perfect song to go Guillermo or go home. It’s earned my winning vote tonight.
    Allison: 8 : 8.5 : 7

    Btw, I swear that Allison and I take blind voting rules very seriously, and this final score is just another indicator about
    a) how similar our music tastes are
    b) the power of setting in music tournament voting dynamics

  10. Lindsay says:

    “Under Pressure” (Queen w/ David Bowie) vs. “Romeo and Juliet” (Dire Straits) vs. “Stand by Me” (Ben E. King)
    10/9/8

    I have listened to each of these songs a few times today. I’ve talked myself in and out if scores based on various sentimental reasons and personal preferences. I really like all three songs and I haven’t grown tired of them yet. So for final listening to decide my scores, I played the songs while giving my daughter her bath because it’s the most fun part of my day – the closest thing to party time I’ve got right now. When Under Pressure came on, she stood up and clapped. I felt the same way too. The other songs both make me glad about certain things or people in my life but Under Pressure makes me feel glad about all of it.

    This tournament has been a highlight of my summer, although I wish we were celebrating our love of music with Guillermo instead of in his memory. Thanks for setting this up, Janos!

  11. Astrid Spencer says:

    Under Pressure 8.5
    Romeo and Juliet 9
    Stand by Me 8
    Wow, this was a tough match-up and in true music tournament fashion, my final vote even surprises me. Going in I thought it would be Under Pressure as the clear winner with Stand by Me putting up a good fight. Romeo and Juliet is a hurricane camp nostalgia song for me as I had somehow never heard it before Bicycle Ben sang it there. Still, it never spoke to me until tonight, especially with Gmo in mind. This song just seemed full of his spirit and won out. Thanks for setting this up Janos.

  12. Colin says:

    Under Pressure – 10
    Stand By Me – 9
    Romeo & Juliet – 7

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