100% Purely Self-Indulgent Battle of the Bands
Today is all about Self-Indulgence! That’s Right. I’m being completely selfish today, and I am going to make you participate (okay… *make you* may be a bit of a stretch because I can’t afford Vinny’s prices to find you and do bodily harm if you don’t, so, how about I just say that I’d really, really, really like for you to join in the fun?) It’s time for the next installment of Battle of The Bands, and I’m making it all about ME! (well, sort of.. Read on, you’ll see what I mean!)
The Song: Mary, Mary
Wikipedia tells us: "Mary, Mary" is a song written by Michael Nesmith. It was first recorded by The Butterfield Blues Band for their 1966 album, East-West. The Monkees, featuring Nesmith, would later record the song themselves. The rap group, Run–D.M.C., revived the song in the late 1980s with a cover version that hit the R&B and pop charts in the United States.
Today, I’m putting all three of these artists up against each other.
Contender # 1 The Butterfield Blues Band
The Paul Butterfield Blues Band was the first group to record and release the song commercially, featured as a track on their 1966 album East-West. In addition to Butterfield, musicians to play on the track include Mike Bloomfield and Elvin Bishop. No songwriter credit is listed for "Mary, Mary" on East-West.
Contender #2 The Monkees
On July 25, 1966, Nesmith produced and recorded the song for The Monkees at Western Recorders in Hollywood, California. Micky Dolenz sang lead, and Mike used the crack group of session musicians known as The Wrecking Crew to beef up their sound, including; James Burton, Glen Campbell, Al Casey, Hal Blaine, Jim Gordon, Michael Deasy and Larry Knechtel. Their version was released on the album More of the Monkees in 1967 and became a number five hit in Australia in 1968.
"Mary, Mary" was featured in five episodes of the television series, The Monkees, in 1966 and 1967.
Contender #3 Run DMC
Run D.M.C. covered "Mary, Mary" in a rap rock version, and it was released as a single from their fourth album, Tougher Than Leather, in 1988. It was released by Profile Records and produced by the group along with Rick Rubin. It was their most successful single from the album, being the only one to make it to the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at number 75, and peaking at number 29 on the Hot Black Singles chart.
Run-D.M.C. changed the line "Mary, Mary, where ya' goin' to" to "Mary, Mary, why ya' buggin'". Although Run-D.M.C. replaced Michael Nesmith's original lyrics with a new set of lyrics of their own, Nesmith was the only writer credited on Run-D.M.C.'s single. Run-D.M.C.'s version samples Micky Dolenz singing the title from the Monkees' recording.
Please indulge me with a vote for your favorite version in the comments. Voting will end on July 19, 2017 at 6pm EST with results being posts on July 20.
I’d like to encourage you to visit the other bloggers participating in the battle of the bands as well. You can find a current list HERE, or on Stephen’s blog (you can also request to join the battle of the bands blog hop on his blog).