Monday, May 14, 2018

Easy Breezy #BattleOfTheBands


Holey Moley!
 
It’s the middle of the month again!

Sure, I’ve been watching this calendar date quite a bit - but that doesn’t exactly mean I was prepared for it :)

Do you ever have moments like that? I seem to lose entire blocks of hours at a time. The days go by so quickly for me anymore. My poor brain sometimes has trouble keeping up.


I had a hard time coming up with a battle for today. The good news is - I do believe I found a good one for Halloween. Random. I know.  I should probably go ahead and write and schedule that one before I forget about it. 

I did garner some inspiration at the last moment, though, for today’s battle.  You’ve got our fearless Battle Of The Bands BlogHop Leader (that title is quite a mouthful!) to thank for the inspiration.  His May 1 battle was the light and airy tune “Theme From A Summer Place” You can feel the welcoming of Spring and Summer weather with that one. It’s the perfect type of music for this time of year.

Today’s song that will be used in the battle is  “I.G.Y. (What A Beautiful World)”.  

IGY is short for International Geophysical Year.  IGY was written by Donald Fagen.  You might recall that Donald Fagen partnered with Walter Becker to form Steely Dan. Between 1972 and 1981, Steely Dan had ten Top-40 singles, including three top-ten hits.  Unfortunately, Fagen and Becker parted ways in 1981.  Donald Fagen went solo, and today’s song was included in his first solo album “The Nightfly”, which was released in 1982.  You will certainly hear the influence of Steely Dan in this tune.

Because I hold a high regard for Steely Dan and Mr Fagen’s music, I have decided to not use Fagen as a contender. It just wouldn’t be fair to the others competing. Instead, I have listened to quite a few covers and have chosen two of the better covers for you to choose from.

As a reminder for you seasoned readers and to help out those of you who may be new here (Welcome, BTW!) ~

Here is how a battle works:

Step one - Listen to each of the contenders. TRY not to be persuaded by the videos (unless specifically requested - in the case of today’s battle, listening is more important than watching)


Step two - Pick the contender that you prefer the most


Step three - Comment with your selection. (Yes, I know my blog can be pretty sometimes. Yes, I know you may not be familiar with the song(s) or artist(s). Don’t tell me about that. Instead, give me your opinion on which is the better contender.)  It’s not rocket science.  Most of you are bloggers, so putting together a minimum of two sentences (or 15 words) should not be that big of a task. (And if it *IS* a big task for you, perhaps blogging is not for you - just sayin’) 


Step four - Visit Stephen’s blog to check out his battle and for a list of other bloggers that have have battles going on. We each have different battles, so please be sure to visit everyone. I'll provide a link below the videos to Stephen's blog for your convenience.



Contender #1 - Howard Jones
Howard Jones is a British singer, musician and songwriter. He had ten top 40 hit singles in the UK between 1983 and 1986, including six which reached the top ten, and his 1984 album Human's Lib went to number one. Around the world, he had 15 top 40 hit singles between 1983 and 1992. He has been described by AllMusic editor Stephen Thomas Erlewine as "one of the defining figures of mid-'80s synth pop." He also performed at Live Aid in 1985.




Contender #2 - The Kites
The Kites is steeped in legend, folklore and beer coasters. However, it would be safe to say that Mark Kennedy’s early bands – ‘Third Reform’, ‘Opaque Jake’ and ‘Hot Springs’ were the genesis of the Kites lineup who made their way onto the stage at The Grand National Hotel in Paddington, Sydney sometime in 1980. The band became instantly popular with punters and musicians alike, who packed out the pub on the weekends to hear an eclectic mix of classic tunes of the day from Steely Dan, The Doobie Brothers, Atlanta Rhythm Section, Boz Scaggs, Toto and many more. After a ten year run the band took a long hiatus. Reforming in 2013 with a new line-up and the cream of the repertoire, mixed with new music – they have proved to discerning Sydney music lovers that the Kites heritage is in good hands.



YOU DON’T NEED TO BE FAMILIAR WITH AN ARTIST OR A SONG TO KNOW WHICH ONE YOU PREFER.  There are no right or wrong votes, unless you vote for someone not listed as a contender or don’t vote at all.


I’ll keep the voting open until Sunday, May 20 @ 3pm EST with results posted on Monday, May 21. 


I’d like to encourage you to visit the other bloggers participating in the battle of the bands as well. We’ve put a lot of time and effort into putting together these battles and they are a lot of fun. Each blogger has a different battle taking place. You can find a current list on Stephen’s blog (you can also request to join the battle of the bands blog hop on his blog). 






28 comments:

  1. This is such a great song. I used to listen to that album a lot on cassette in my van. Those were some great times for me.

    The Howard Jones version perfectly captures the essence of the kind of music I was listening to back in the eighties as well as the song. It's so cool to hear the live version by The Kites, but on sound alone I've gotta give my vote to Howard Jones.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

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    1. Thanks, Lee!

      First vote of the battle goes to Howard Jones Let's see how this one shakes out :)

      ~Mary

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  2. Contender #2 - The Kites was my choice. I connected to it and it took me to another space.

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  3. Mary,

    Ooo, this is tough! I like both versions quite well. One's gotta win and one's gotta loose. Going back and forth, I finally decided to give my vote to Howard Jones. Excellent battle, my friend!

    ~Curious as a Cathy
    I Am Your Child #BoTB Showdown

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  4. I vote for Donald Fagen!

    Whaddaya mean "NO"? It's HIS song!

    OK, OK!...
    (Now watch and see if I didn't just open the floodgates for a whole bunch of Donald Fagen votes. All it takes is one moron to get the sheep bah-bah-bahing along. Ha!-Ha!)

    To tell ya the truth, MMQE, I didn't think I knew this song because I didn't recognize the title. But shortly after Howard Jones' cover started playing -- OF COURSE I knew it! It's a terrific song that I've heard countless times. Damned catchy! Nearly even earworm catchiness.

    At the beginning, I didn't think I'd like the HOWARD JONES version because his voice didn't appeal to me right away. But after awhile, it began to grow on me. (In the same way that Donald Fagen's voice seems odd at first but then one's ears adjust to it and accept it.)

    I thought BOTH recordings were nice. Howard's version is close enough to a note-for-note cover of Fagen's original that on one hand I question what was the point of even recording it. But on the other hand, it is SO MUCH like Fagen's original that I actually prefer it to The Kites' more varied but slightly less appealing rendition.

    So, no vote for HOWARD JONES in the Originality Department, but he DOES get my BOTB vote for imitating Donald Fagen's wonderful original so well.

    And although I did not allow this to factor into my assessment, I also really enjoyed the Jones video, too. All those black and white images of a simpler, more innocent time made me yearn to return to my own joyful childhood.

    Good Battle, Mary!

    ~ D-FensDogG (aka Stephen T. McCarthy; aka Fearless Leader)
    STMcC Presents 'BATTLE OF THE BANDS'

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    1. McCarthy you surprise me!

      I thought for sure you were going to vote for the crisp sounding instruments versus the synthpop sound.

      Both are truly good performances, and I know exactly what you mean about wanting to run back to a simpler more innocent time in our lives. So many things I would do differently if only I could.

      ~Mary

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  5. Hi Mary; I can totally relate to losing blocks of time! Great that you found something for Halloween. ☺ Scheduling posts ahead of time makes blogging life a bit easier. As for this battle, please give my vote to Howard Jones. He has a smoother sound.

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    1. Haha! Thanks, Debbie!

      I find myself making all sorts of notes in a spreadsheet and online notepads with ideas for upcoming posts. It sure does help when I need that little extra 'push' to come up with something. Plus, I find I can be rather random throughout the day, so if I track the randomness I can somewhat keep it together and give off an appearance of 'having it together'.

      ~Mary

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  6. Give my vote to the Kites. It was chipper and I love the horns and the singing better than the first version which i don't even remember any more.

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    1. Thanks, Birgit!

      It's looking like this will be another tight race.

      ~Mary

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  7. Hey Mary,
    What a great battle! As soon as you mentioned Donald Fagen and Steely Dan, I was all in. Love that sound. And you picked two wonderful covers.
    I never heard of Kites but from your description I knew I'd like them.
    I familiar with Howard Jones, though I never heard this particular song. I LOVE his 1985 hit song "Things Can Only Get Better".

    This is a tough battle for sure. I really like both, almost equally. I'm tempted to vote for Howard Jones because I'm such a fan of his 1985 song (plus I really liked the video: I know, I know: I never let the video influence my decision but it is a really cool video).
    However I think I'm going to toss my vote to The Kites. Their sound is so crisp and cool. They all blend together flawlessly. And that sax!!

    Tough call but for me, it's The Kites. On another day though, it could've been Howard Jones.
    Great job for putting this together at the last minute!

    Enjoy the rest of your week,
    Michele at Angels Bark

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    1. Hey Michele!

      Good to see you up and around :) Hope the shoulder is healing well and your mother is doing well.

      I found another video of the song that I had considered. It was a female, but for some reason, it seemed a bit 'dark'. And that's just not the feeling one wants when hearing this song.

      I better get started on my post for Monday and then working out my next battle. These days are just moving too quickly for me anymore.

      Thanks for stopping by! Sure have missed you.

      ~Mary

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  8. I vote for Howard Jones. Also, it feels like May just started last week!

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    1. Hi Takara!

      It sure does feel like May just started. We were teased with warm weather here, but this past week has been rainy and cold.

      Sure do appreciate you dropping in to cast a vote today!

      ~Mary

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  9. I am voting for #1 Howard Jones!I have never heard this song of his before but I really like it.
    Have a great week, love !

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    1. Thanks, Zehra!

      See you next week. Don't forget there will be another battle on June 1st!

      ~Mary

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  10. Although I never heard of either of these two groups (or the song actually) after listening to both--The Kites have my vote hands down.

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    1. Hi There Miki!

      Thanks for dropping by with your vote :)

      ~Mary

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  11. Very nice blog Mary. I love the way of writing. This music made me feel calm and composed. The words written were awesome. Keep updating us with these stuff. Keep up the good work.

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    1. You can't be serious with this BS comment. I may need to listen to this calming music before I tear you a new one for not even reading the post. My written words may have been 'awesome', but yours... not so much.

      Delete
  12. These is way too tough for me to call it. You always have great line ups, but I'll got no2.

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    1. A vote for the Kites! Thanks, Lindsey!

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  13. Very nice Mary. I am voting for #1 Howard Jones. I have never listened to them before. But after listening, I loved Howard Jones.

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    1. Thanks, Akhil!

      Appreciate you stopping in to cast a vote.

      ~Mary

      Delete

I love comments! Did you know that comments that are less than 8 words long are considered spam? So, don't hold back! Spill yer guts. Let me know you stopped by and let me know what you liked about the post, or what you didn't like. If you're a blogger, be sure to include a link to your blog, so that I can easily reciprocate.