Saturday, August 1, 2015

BOTB: "Take Me to the River"


It's that time again; get  your crazy train ticket in hand!

WELCOME TO 
the 
BATTLE OF THE BANDS!! aka, BOTB. 

Our battles take place twice a month ~ on the 1st and 15th. 

The results come six days later ~ on the 7th and 21st. 
That's when I return, add all of the votes, including mine, 
and announce the winner. Feel free to return and see if your choice won! 

The music blogging event first introduced by our friends!

Fae @ Far Away Eyes 

Stephen T. McCarthy presents... 

I like to dip into the classics and here we go - are you ready to referee this battle? 

The song "Take Me to the River" was written by Al Green (the Reverend Al Green!) in 1974 and has been covered by artists such as Levon Helm, the Commitments, Syl Johnson, FogHat, Tina Turner, Grateful Dead, Courtney Love...you get the picture. Never let it be said that Big Mouth Billy Bass didn't do his part, either. But he is not in today's competition! 




The original: Al Green

Part of the Al Green legend included his humble beginnings, gospel singing with his brothers...and the fact that he was kicked out of the family home for listening to Jackie Wilson. He started another group that later became the Soul Mates and took his music on the road.

Al Green was an enormously popular soul singer in the 70s and had a mondo hit with "Let's Stay Together." At the peak of his success, he was born again (1973) and chose to abandon his career for a higher calling. Later, he became a minister and focused on Gospel music. By the late 80s, Al was beginning to do some of the old hits and duets with contemporary artists and eventually becoming comfortable with the music that made him famous and his gospel roots.




Contender # 1: Annie Lennox

In March of 1995, Scottish singer Annie Lennox (formerly of the Eurythmics) released the album Medusa which consisted of mainly cover songs. One of those songs was...you wanna guess?  Maybe you can just listen. 





Contender #2: David Byrne/Talking Heads

David Byrne definitely has a style all his own - just like Al Green and Annie Lennox.  

This Scottish born "American" artist is best known for his work with the band Talking Heads from 1975 to 1991. Solo work followed, but I'm stubborn and I always considered the Talking Heads to be his best stuff. The band reunited one last time in 1991 to play for their induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I wish I was there.  :-(



Who will get your vote - Annie Lennox or Talking Heads?


 Just look at all those wonderful blog buddies listed below (of course, I alphabetized it). If I missed a new participant, I'll add you as we go along. Let me apologize in advance...

71 comments:

  1. DOC CHERDO ~
    Well, if I can't vote for Al Green, then I vote for... "The River".

    OK, OK...

    Honestly, normally, I strongly, Strongly, STRONGLY dislike Annie Lennox (& her Eurythmics), as well as David Byrnt (& his Yakking Heads). In this case, both of 'em were better'n usual. But I'm voting for BYRNT & YAKKING HEADS because their version was musically more interesting.

    Take me to Whiskey River, drown me in the liquid!
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0k9SjMpAxRM

    ~ D-FensDogG
    'Loyal American Underground'

    ReplyDelete
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    1. POSTSCRIPT:
      It's not really "Stephen T. McCarthy's Battle of the Bands!" If it were, that scrooge would be charging people a fee to participate and earning $0.90 cents every 1st and 15th. [I didn't copyright it, I only... "copied" it.]

      ~ D-FensDogG

      Delete
    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    3. Oh, and A VOTE FOR TALKING HEADS!

      I know that you will appreciate my enthusiastic vote validation.

      Delete
    4. If you go to FAE's page (or mine) there is a graphic that just says BATTLE OF THE BANDS. You can use that one... I know you didn't ask me, but I can see that StMc hasn't been back to answer your question. He's probably kicked back drinking a beer. You know that guy....;)

      Delete
    5. Robin, you don't need to be asked - your comments are always welcome. Besides, I'm smart enough to know that I need all the help I can get 99% of the time. The 1%, well - I may just be a little misguided that day. Love ya all.

      Delete
  2. I am not voting here, Cherdo, but I just wanted to comment and to let you know that I love Al Green! My favourite song by him is "Let's Stay Together." :)

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  3. I like tempo of the Annie Lennox version better. I wish it had a better bridge. A mediocre bridge can drag a good song down.

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    1. Yeah, I have to agree with you, Mike.

      A VOTE FOR ANNIE LENNOX!

      Delete
  4. Humm, I'm not terribly fond of either selection here. Sorry about that. I think I'll go with Annie Lennox on this one. Not really sure why, but it was very different. Does that make sense? Probably not, just what I'm feeling here.

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    1. No sorrys necessary on the BOTB, dear. Opinions are the spice of the battle! More spice, always.

      A VOTE FOR ANNIE LENNOX!

      Delete
  5. I was going to give my vote to Talking Heads as they are what I am used to hearing, but I have to admit, I think Annie Lennox did a better job. Therefore, she gets my vote.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. A VOTE FOR ANNIE LENNOX!

      Thanks, Mary!

      Delete
  6. Thank you for including all three. Al Green is under appreciated, period.

    Gotta go with Talking Heads. After the Beatles, they were the next band my daughter took to. It seemed a strange choice to me at the time but my wife had a solid theory: David Byrne dances like a seven-year-old, about our girl's age then. She was drawn to one of her own.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. A VOTE FOR TALKING HEADS!

      I never really thought about his dance style...but you're right!

      Delete
  7. What? I can't vote for the singing bass? That is so crass lol Annie gets my vote, liked that version better indeed.

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    1. I can make an exception for you, Pat. Vote for the fish, I'll honor your wish, the captain of rhyme get's his way every time.

      A VOTE FOR ANNIE LENNOX!

      Delete
  8. Love the Big Mouth Billy Bass! ☺ My mother sent me one as a joke gift years ago and I still have it.
    These two versions are new to me. While Talking Heads is more interesting musically, my vote goes to Annie Lennox. Better vocals, IMO.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. A VOTE FOR ANNIE LENNOX!

      I really like the Talking Heads but I have to say that it's a difficult thing to explain. Dissect David Byrne's vocals and well...meh.

      Delete
  9. Cherdo, I think I'm going with Annie Lennox....love the beat of that song with her version. I'm amazed at your research and knowledge of the music!

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    1. Hey, girl...I'm not getting to travel with you, so I have to fill in the time somehow!

      A VOTE FOR ANNIE LENNOX!

      Delete
  10. My take: Al did a great job on Let's Stay Together, so much so that most everything else he did sounds a lot like it.

    I didn't mind Annie's version, but I really have always liked the Heads' version. They get the vote.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. A VOTE FOR TALKING HEADS!

      But, Chris, he is the Rev. Al!

      Delete
  11. The Talking Heads! And glad that stupid bass wasn't in the competition!

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    1. A VOTE FOR TALKING HEADS!

      Actually, that would have been funny - but only if I could have come up with another song/artist equally irritating.

      Delete
  12. This is a tough choice for me as I like both of these versions a great deal. The Annie Lennox Medusa album is excellent and I plan to eventually use a song or two from it. In fact I had this song slated in my line up--guess I can still use it by some other artists.

    Lennox does a great job with this, but I think the Talking Heads created a very innovative version of it. I vote for David Byrne and the Talking Heads.

    Lee
    Tossing It Out

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    1. A VOTE FOR TALKING HEADS!

      It makes me laugh when I do a song in someone else's line up. It's seems like the odds would be against it, Lee - there's so many songs out there! It's the third time I've been told I nabbed one out of someone's list.

      Delete
  13. Oh, Billy Bass makes me think of The Sopranos. I vote for Annie. I like the overall sound, and I love her voice. The Talking Heads' version seemed a little too mellow for this song.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. A VOTE FOR ANNIE LENNOX! Her voice is awesome; I've been a fan since day one (though I could do without her early Elvis get up).

      I'll never forget that scene from the Sopranos. I wish there was another series on that I could get into. Boardwalk Empire is pretty good but I've watched all the episodes on Amazon Prime (boo hoo...I miss Steve Buscemi).

      Delete
    2. I liked her Elvis days. I was happy to introduce Willy Dunne Wooters to The Sopranos and Breaking Bad. He loves those shows.

      Love,
      Janie

      Delete
  14. Hi, dear Cherdo! My nest is empty and I'm back to blogging (for three days until the next wave of relatives arrives). I once owned the CD box set Hi Times: The Hi Records R & B Years and it contained Syl Johnson's great version of "Take Me To the River." It was a thrill to see and hear Al Green performing the song live for the Soul Train gang. Of course, neither of those men can match the soul of Big Mouth Billy Bass. Ever hear him sing "Sea of Love," "Islands in the Stream" "Moon River" "Up the Lazy River" or "You Never Miss Your Water'? Is he any relation to Billy Ocean :)

    Truth be told I wasn't crazy about the Eurythmics. I liked the Talking Heads better. However, in this contest, I am voting for solo artist Annie Lennox and her recording of "Take Me To the River." Annie gets her gun. Her vocal delivery is soulful and power packed and it is mixed with an exciting rock arrangement. The David Byrne rendition is bland and doesn't inspire me nearly as much. It drones on for five minutes and sounds "same as it ever was... same as it ever was."

    Thank you, dear friend Cherdo, and have a great weekend!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. A VOTE FOR ANNIE LENNOX!

      Thank you for stopping by - blogging was not the same without you, dear pal! I think you're pretty lucky to have this wave of visitors and frolicking a la Shady-style. Did they love the new digs? They're crazy if they didn't; it's beautiful.

      Don't you love Al Green? I had several albums from the Rev when I was a teen. "Let's Stay Together" is on the list of all time favorites, too.

      I had several people I could have pitted against each other, but Annie did have a strong version. I knew she would be a worthy opponent. David Byrne, you better bring it!

      Enjoy the rest before round two. Have a lovely weekend, dear friend.

      Delete
  15. Awesome battle, Cherdo! Love this song, love the artists, loved Eurythmics and totally loved Talking Heads (I'm with you: Byrne's best was TH stuff), so these were a pleasure to listen to. I'm voting for Annie, though the reason might not be completely -- well, rational :D 1995 was a landmark year for me, and (among others) Medusa played a good chunk of the soundtrack that year. I'm emotionally invested. I tried to be objective and separate reason from gut, and failed miserably. Annie's my winner :)

    Loved it!
    Guilie @ Quiet Laughter

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    1. A VOTE FOR ANNIE LENNOX!

      Ha ha, I'm so with you on the songs that you get emotionally involved with...you can't let 'em go! So I'll take that vote, girl!

      Delete
  16. I love Annie Lennox! I also loved The Eurythmics, brings back great memories. I vote for Annie because I love her vocals. She brings a uniqueness to this song while David Byrne seem to sing this a bit staccato for me. There were times, too, that he seemed to mumble and that bothered me so Annie gets my vote

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    1. A VOTE FOR ANNIE LENNOX!

      You can't go wrong with an Annie vote! She's one of a kind. That alto! Whew!

      Delete
  17. Annie Lennox is awesome, and gets my vote.

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    1. A VOTE FOR ANNIE LENNOX!

      Stephen, you're being pulled into my crazy world. Finally, a vote! Thanks!

      Delete
  18. I have been back and forth on this one. Several things I love about both and really dislike about both.
    Back and forth back and forth.........so by a hair
    Annie Lennox,
    Even though as Mike said the bridge in her version was really not that great.

    cheers, parsnip

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    1. You're right! It's not up to par with the rest of the song.

      A VOTE FOR ANNIE LENNOX!

      Delete
  19. The Talking Heads get my vote. I have probably heard that song more than the original version.

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    1. It was pretty popular, for sure.

      A VOTE FOR TALKING HEADS! Thanks, Mike!

      Delete
  20. Not a fan of either, but I like that Lennox did something different with it. She gets my vote.

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    1. A VOTE FOR ANNIE LENNOX! Thanks, Alex!

      Delete
  21. Hum. I prefer the song done grittier with more of a soulful feel. But that said, if I was out clubbing, Annie Lennox' version would be fun. For sitting around the house listening to music, I'd prefer the David Byrne version. So, I guess for me it's a toss up.
    Life & Faith in Caneyhead

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    1. A VOTE FOR TALKING HEADS and ANNIE LENNOX, ha ha ha!

      Delete
  22. I, the retro girl, had no idea this was a cover of an Al Green song!

    It's a tough one, but I think Annie Lennox's version has a slight edge. I agree with Shady that the Talking Heads' version kind of drones on and on...

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    1. A VOTE FOR ANNIE LENNOX!

      The Queen of Retro has spoken and I hope Annie appreciates it. Thanks, Pam!

      Delete
  23. I never thought of the occasional song-marathons I subjected DS to as "battles," but I do like to play the same music as interpreted by different performers. It highlights how much interpretation matters.

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    1. Great point! Are their some covers you hold to a higher standard? I'm like that with covers of The Beatles. You really have to be A-game to pull it off.

      Delete
  24. I confess I read the comments as I was listening (this is not really news as I do it a lot). I can't tell who's leading in this one as it seems to be fairly back and forth, and I'm too lazy to count up da votes.

    I like both versions of this song. I prefer the Annie Lennox version, though. I think she has a great voice. I think maybe my 80s roots are showing... I like most 80s bands. Just sayin'.

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    1. A VOTE FOR ANNIE LENNOX!

      I like 80s bands, too. Putting a little thought to my submissions, I'm trying to bounce around more. It's hard...I gravitate to the stuff I like best.

      Delete
  25. Replies
    1. A VOTE FOR TALKING HEADS! Thanks, Sherry!

      Delete
  26. Wow, what a back and forth battle. Well, I didn't really care for Annie's version, and the Talking Heads version isn't bad. Isn't bad beats don't like, so these two talking heads vote for the actual Talking Heads.

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    1. A VOTE FOR TALKING HEADS! From talking heads - it's a Cherdo BOTB first!

      Delete
  27. Replies
    1. A VOTE FOR ANNIE LENNOX! Thanks, Chrys!

      Delete
  28. Annie Lenox is a great artist, but I have to go with The Talking Heads, because that's the one I'm familiar with.

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    1. Thanks, Tamara!

      A VOTE FOR TALKING HEADS!

      Delete
  29. This is really a tough one Cherdo! I'm most familiar with the Talking Heads version and I like it, but I am really keen on the Annie Lennox version too. I think I'm going to give my vote to Annie. It's different and she did a great job with it. So yeah, Annie gets my vote. Great battle!
    Michele at Angels Bark

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    1. Annie does it justice, for sure - they both do.

      But ...A VOTE FOR ANNIE LENNOX is counted! Thanks, Michele!

      Delete
  30. Love this edition of the battle. I do like Anne Lennox and her song. But I am more familiar with the other version and like it. Please give my vote to Talking Heads.

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    1. A VOTE FOR TALKING HEADS!

      Thanks, Jeff!

      Delete
  31. I just like the male voice better. Talking Heads gets my vote.

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    1. Right on, Madilyn!

      A VOTE FOR TALKING HEADS!

      Delete
  32. Cherdo, I'm gonna go with Annie Lennox this round. Over all just liked the sound better. I guess she just rocked my boat with Take Me To The River. Nice battle! ;)

    ReplyDelete
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    1. A VOTE FOR ANNIE LENNOX!

      Thanks, Cathy!

      Delete

Thanks for your personal yada, yada, yada,
Love, Cherdo