Tuesday, December 15, 2015

BOTB Christmas Edition: "Breath of Heaven"


WELCOME TO THE BATTLE OF THE BANDS!!!


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, total all of the votes, including mine 
(if necessary), and announce the winner. 

This music blogging event first introduced by our friends 
and I'd like to give them a heartfelt "thank you":

Fae @ Far Away Eyes 
Stephen T. McCarthy presents... 

Oh, I'm fully in the Christmas spirit now - ready or not, it is upon us! One of the joys of the season for me is a Live Nativity we are doing at my church. Two friends and I created the first production last year and we're at it again. This time, I'm happy to say we worked out a lot of the tough issues about staging and doing an outdoor presentation last year, so I'm ready to do this!

Here's some pictures from last year:  

(This star came in a zillion pieces but it looked great once it was put together)
We had the perfect Mary! You know I asked her to do a repeat performance.
So, what does that have to do with the last Battle of the Bands of 2015? 

This battle is between some old favorites as they do their rendition of Amy Grant's Christmas favorite, "Breath of Heaven."  For this special edition, there's FOUR contenders!

THE ORIGINAL: AMY GRANT



How about this same song from a man's point of view? Vince, will you do the honors?:

CONTENDER #1: VINCE GILL


What about the Queen of Disco's version? Donna, show us how it's done:

CONTENDER #2: DONNA SUMMER



A little more acoustic for you? Melissa, take it away...

CONTENDER #3: MELISSA MANCHESTER



CONTENDER #4: SARA GROVES



Please visit my friends and comment on their great battles. Then make SURE you have a wonderful holiday season. Merry Christmas from The Flipside! I'm looking forward to 2016 (2015, you were pretty tough...I'm just sayin'...).


53 comments:

  1. That's a tough choice, but I will go with Sara Groves. Your star is Moravian. For years I have had one of them (actually I have had three, as when I moved from Utah to Michigan, the first one didn't make the move so I brought a new one and after ten years in Michigan, mine was falling apart so last year I replaced it with a metal one that looks nice both day and night).

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    1. Yes, it is Moravian! I love that star and it looked great. We had to get a bit of help from the tree nearby, ha ha. When it arrived, there were SO MANY pieces. As I looked in the box, my friend said, "Do you want me to put it together?" You've never seen me move so fast as I handed it off and said, "Great! Thanks!"

      A VOTE FOR SARA! Thanks, George!

      Delete
  2. If I had to rank them, it'd be 4321. Sara Cosgroves seemed to be the only one who understood what she was singing, and that includes the version by Amy Grant.

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    1. But don't you love it when you DO connect to an artist and feel like they really do the song justice? Thanks, John, for the vote.

      ANOTHER VOTE FOR SARA!

      Delete
  3. Oh gosh! The dreaded four-way contest. That was over 20 minutes worth of music!

    I'm most familiar with the Sara Groves version of this. I prefer her arrangement with the simplicity of the instruments and the purity of the singing. For me she outshines the others by far.

    The others were good but not as good as Sara--the tone of her vocal is so beautiful.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

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    1. But you stuck it out, 'cause you're a trooper! A Christmas trooper! And I'd forgive (easily) the person who just listened to the first verse of each...no harm, no foul.

      Thank you, Arlee; I appreciate your consistency when I'm pretty flakey with my participation right now. It's gonna get better, it's gonna get better...if I keep saying that, it will make it so.

      A VOTE FOR SARA GROVES!

      Delete
  4. Cherdo, this felt a bit like going to a restaurant with a 10 page menu. Oh, what to order? What to order? I'm overwhelmed by choice!!! So, I listened to them all and felt totally lost. Then I started and stopped them in turn. That helped.

    Vince Gill. While I appreciate him tackling Mary's Song (and he does a nice job with it), it just doesn't have the same feeling as when a woman sings it. So nyet.

    Donna Summer. Have you noticed how she's showing up in battles all over the place? First there was MacArthur's Park and then she wandered over to StMc's place to duke it out with Kenny Loggins. And now she's here. I liked this version second best, so that means it was pretty darn good.

    Melissa Manchester. There are some songs that really lend themselves well to an acoustic rendering. This is one of them. It is all about the words and the feeling. This version of the song really takes me there. (Hint: Winner)

    Sara Groves. I think she's the least talented vocally of the four here. I liked the arrangement well enough.

    Give my vote to Melissa Manchester.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I just read the comments. Seems like I'm in the minority here. I'm used to that so it's okay...:)

      Delete
    2. You're probably like me: I actually shield the comments and write my own 99% of the time so I don't get influenced by the crowd. That said, I can't tell you what I think right now. ;-)

      But...I always choose versions I like on one level or another. No pure stinkers in the mix, ever.

      A VOTE FOR MELISSA!!

      Thanks, Robin! Hugs, love, and Merry Christmas!

      Delete
  5. All are good, but I think I prefer the Donna Summer version.

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    1. A VOTE FOR DONNA SUMMER!

      Now we're spreading out those votes! There's something I like about each and every one of them.

      Merry Christmas, Stephen!

      Delete
  6. Cool battle, Cherdo! I'm going with Sara Groves... Really enjoyed her voice.

    If I don't get a chance to visit again before the holidays, MERRY CHRISTMAS!
    Guilie @ Quiet Laughter

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  7. Sara Groves--she sounds so natural and real. I considered using this song before I settled on All I Want For Christmas. I didn't use Breath of Heaven because I couldn't decide on which versions I wanted.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. ANOTHER VOTE FOR SARA!!

      Obviously, I couldn't decided, either, ha ha.

      Delete
  8. I liked Donna Summer's version.

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    1. A VOTE FOR DONNA!

      Hope you are well, my friend! Merry Christmas!

      Delete
  9. They just kept getting better. Sara Grooves gets my vote.

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    1. Grooves, indeed!

      A VOTE FOR SARA!

      Merry Christmas, Alex!

      Delete
  10. A vote for SARA!! I enjoyed her voice & the pure simplicity & almost holiness of the arrangement.

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    1. A VOTE FOR SARA!

      Happy holidays, my friend!

      Delete
  11. Donna for me. But I think they should all get together and do a choir version.

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    1. Now, there's an idea worth floating...

      A VOTE FOR DONNA!

      Delete
  12. Ugh. Don't like this song on bit. Anyway, I tried. Gave each of them around 30 seconds and I guess I like the 4th one better. Sounds more simple, which fits with the lyrics better. *shrug*

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    1. You're allowed to hate a song - this is America!

      A VOTE FOR SARA!

      Merry Christmas, anyhow, Madilyn!

      Delete
  13. I like the Sarah Groves version. I do find it interesting that Vince Gill remade his wife's song. Cool. But I'll still go with Sarah Groves!

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    1. That was not the best Vince voice, though, IMHO. I do LOVE Vince, however.

      A VOTE FOR SARA!

      Delete
  14. Melissa Manchester for me, please. Merry Christmas, Lady Cherdo!

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    1. Darling Dixie, I Merry your Christmas right back at cha!

      A VOTE FOR MELISSA!

      Delete
  15. An even battle, good contenders, but I'll vote Groves, for the same reasons as Fishducky.

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    1. A VOTE FOR SARA!!

      Merry Christmas, Chris!

      Delete
  16. I listened to all 4. Donna Summer stands out for me because I like the subtle way she moves the music to a newer height and it really shows how beautiful and strong her voice is. My 2nd favourite is Sara Groves who kept it simple yet held my interest. Melissa Manchester was good but not as good as the other 2 and the last oen is your first choice who lost interest to me and sounded to "bible" to me if that makes sense at all. My mom used to be in a live version of the nativity. She played one of the angels and so did her older sister. Her one brother was a shepherd and the other a king. They all had songs to sing as well.

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    1. Cool Nativity story! I would have loved to have been able to see that one; and it was a family affair...double great.

      A VOTE FOR DONNA!

      Fröhliche Weihnachten!

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  17. I vote for Donna Summer, dear Cherdo. :)

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    1. A VOTE FOR DONNA!

      Merry Christmas, Linda!

      Delete
  18. I'm torn between Sara Groves and Donna Summer. I really don't know which one to pick so I guess I'm just going to go with Donna Summer. Please give my vote to her.
    This is a pretty song...
    Hope you're having a wonderful holiday season Cherdo!

    Michele at Angels Bark

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    1. I'm having a wonderfully busy season, dear friend. Merry Christmas to you and yours!

      A VOTE FOR DONNA SUMMER!

      Delete
  19. One of my favorite Christmas songs. Thanks for finding covers and using it. Now, having said that...a 4-way...YIKES! That's all I'm gonna say about that (aren't ya glad?)

    Can I have a write in vote. If so, I vote for Rachel Thorp. Of course you don't know her and won't find her version on YouTube. She's my daughter. She used to sing publicly a lot and this and 'Star of Bethlehem' where her Christmas standards. Now of course you know I'm prejudiced, but Rachel sang this better than Amy and anyone you've posted here, BUT, now that I've gotten that little plug in, I'll go back and play by the rules.

    Vince Gill...are you kidding me. This song has so much power, IMO, when sung by a woman that no matter how well he performed it, he just plain ruined it for me.

    Donna Summer has an interesting version, but it just didn't do it for me either.

    I liked Melissa's version well enough and probably most for the fact that it was very different. I enjoy her voice and the acoustic version was pure and simple. She almost got my vote.

    But, in the end, and because I really can't vote for Rachel, give my vote to Sara. She version was closest to the original. She may not have the 'vocal chops' of the other women presented, but her version sounded pure, simple and sweet, filled with all the apprehension and awe that the song was meant to convey.

    Merry Christmas, good lady to you and your family. May you all be and stay happy, healthy and safe in the New Year.

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    1. Tell the truth, FAE: I blew your mind with the four-way, ha ha ha. Made ya work for it!

      Vince didn't work for me, either - but you need a bit of variety. Different strokes, as the story goes.

      A VOTE FOR SARA!

      Merry Christmas, dear friend, and may you have the happiest of new years.

      Delete
  20. Difficult battle this time around. It was difficult choosing which I liked better. To decided, I ultimately did "Ippy Dippy". I'M KIDDING!!!!
    I've never done that to choose a song, nor would I.
    To be honest, I like Sara Groves version the best.

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    1. Honesty is the best policy, ha ha.

      A VOTE FOR SARA - and a Merry Christmas to you, Jeffrey!

      Delete
  21. Cherdo, I heard this song for the first time last Christmas. It's just beautiful and so deeply moving! I liked Vince's cover, but it's Sara Groves who touches my heart the most. Please give my vote to her! Have a very Merry Christmas and I pray for God's blessings to be with you and yours in the new year, my friend!

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    1. Merry Christmas, dear Cathy, and Happy New Year! Be safe and blessed in 2016.

      A VOTE FOR SARA!!

      Delete
  22. DOC CHERDO ~
    For my BOTB this time, I was seriously considering doing a 3-Way. I thought: What would be better'n "Some White Woman" beating one Black woman (i.e., Whitney Houston)? Well, it would be her beating TWO Black women (i.e., Aretha Franklin, too!)

    But FAE yakked me out of the 3-Way.

    I'd never heard of this song before, nor of Sara Groves.

    It's a nice song. And my vote came down to a Battle between Sara and Melissa. (Is it just me? Or is there a "Stairway To Heaven" guitar lick in that acoustic guitar intro?)

    I listened to Vince Gill once. Ugh! My first thought was: OMG, this song has no ending! It will go on until the day I die. But then I began to feel that maybe I'd been kidnapped and was being held hostage. I looked for a way out of my own house until... I realized it was my own house. (Vince, if yer gonna sing like a girl, go see the surgeon first and do it RIGHT!)

    Donna was... OK. A "one and done" recording / listening experience.

    It was between Melissa and Sara. I listened to both of them a 3rd time each. Very close. But I'll give my vote to... MELISSA. (Sara was a wee bit o' too-high-pitched for me.)

    Have you a very, Merry CHRISTmas, and a Healthy New Year, my friend.

    ~ D-FensDogG
    'Loyal American Underground'

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    1. FAE yakked you out of the 3-way? Way to go, FAE! You out-talked the Stephenmeister!

      A VOTE FOR MELISSA!

      Thank you for your friendship, m'dog buddy, and a very Happy New Year. This particular blog hop has saved my mental health this Fall. You're stuck with me now...

      Delete
  23. Amy, no contest, lol. And Vince backed her up. Two very awesome voices, and I was sure I'd vote for Vince by default. But it is really a vote between Melissa and Sarah, though all were equally well presented. I'd never heard the song before, but I love it.

    Hmm, well, go for, for, uhm. Third listen to the two. Guess its Sara. Not sure. better leave now before I waffle again.

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year Cherdo :)

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    1. A VOTE FOR SARA!

      Thanks, Dolorah! I hope you have a FANTASTIC Christmas and the most happy New Year ever!

      Delete
  24. Wow, what a battle. Vince - did not like at all. Donna - just okay. Mel - okay, getting better. Sara - ah, yep, that's the one.

    One vote for Sara Groves.

    Oh, and what a cool live Nativity! I love that star.

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    1. Love you guys! Have a Merry Christmas and Happy, happy New Year!

      A VOTE FOR SARA, it is!

      Delete
  25. Replies
    1. Thanks, my Squidly friend!

      A VOTE FOR DONNA IT IS!

      Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

      Delete

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