THE TRUTH ABOUT TRUTH:

All truth passes through three stages.
First, it is ridiculed.
Second, it is violently opposed.
Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.



Wednesday, January 15, 2014

‘BATTLE OF THE BANDS #12’ (Or, ‘THE MAMAS AND THE PAPAS VS. THE BEACH BOYS’)

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Republican Vs. Democrat, Male Vs. Female, War Vs. Peace, Light Vs. Dark, Good Vs. Evil, Man Vs. Machine, Love Vs. Hate, Dog Vs. Cat, Sun Vs. Moon, Brain Vs. Brawn, Oscar Vs. Grammy, Angel Vs. Demon, Laurel Vs. Hardy, Beer Vs. Wine, TV Vs. Radio, Pitcher Vs. Batter, Paper Vs. Plastic, Reality Vs. Fantasy, Yeshua Vs. Beelzebub, Conservative Vs. Liberal, You Vs. Me, House Vs. Senate, Offense Vs. Defense, Kramer Vs. Kramer, Spy Vs. Spy, Fischer Vs. Spassky, W.C. Fields Vs. Sobriety, Harold Gimpy, Jr. Vs. Sheldon J. Pismire, Rock Vs. Paper Vs. Scissors, Islam Vs. Everything, Singer Vs. Singer, Band Vs. Band...

THE  BATTLE  OF  THE  BANDS! (‘BOTB’)
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Shoop-Shooby –
Shooby-duh-Dooby-Doop-Dooby-Dooby-Doo-Wah –
Buh-Doo-Wah!
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EUGENE  MARTONE  VS.  JACK  BUTLER
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Can you believe that I haven’t posted anything in two weeks – since my last ‘Battle Of The Bands’ installment? Pretty pathetic.

Part of the problem was that for about a week I was having major computer issues (immediately followed by Email problems). Even so, I seem to have adopted a “Whatever” attitude – and that despite the fact that I don’t smoke drugs (I prefer to quaff mine).

In truth, I was working on a new blog bit today (er... now, yesterday), but when it got to be nearly 5:30 PM I realized that (even for me) it would be stupid to publish a new blog bit when ‘BOTB’ was only hours away. [Check back, because I am planning to post some outrageous stuffs in just a few days from now. You already thought I was tinfoil-hat crazy? Wait’ll you read this new stuffs!]

It’s only January 15th and already it’s been a brutal Winter for many of ya. Here in Phoenix, Airheadzona, I keep hearing stories about how cold it’s been back East and in the Midwest. (It doesn’t snow in Phoenix, and that is LITERALLY the ONLY good thing I can say about this shitty city!)

In fact, it’s already been such a nasty Winter that even A SHIP on an expedition to collect data and warn others about the (totally bogus, bullshit...) “Global Warming” emergency got caught in ice on Christmas morning and had to be rescued. Don’t tell me there’s no God and that He doesn’t have a sense of humor which includes an appreciation for irony! And, FYI... this isn’t the first time “Global Warming Alarmists” have been trapped by snow and ice while on a BSC (Bullshit Crusade) to convince the world of the imminent threat of too much warmth. I LOVE God, He is so funny sometimes!
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GODZILLA  VS.  KING  KONG
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In keeping with my January 1st ‘BOTB’ Winter theme, I am again using a song that speaks of Winter. However, my previous post was a pro-Winter song, while this one is anti-Winter.

Wikipedia sez: "California Dreamin'" is a popular song by The Mamas & The Papas, first released in 1965. The song is #89 in Rolling Stone’s list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. The lyrics of the song express the narrator's longing for the warmth of California during a cold winter.

California Dreamin’ was the first hit song for The Mamas & The Papas; it climbed to #4 on the Billboard charts in 1966. We’ve all heard it, and I LOVE it – I’d give it a grade of “A”.
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[Only a group as great as The Mamas & The Papas could have turned my old buddy Kelly “Andy” Anderson’s head away from “Old School” Country & Western: “YOU KNOW WHAT MERLE HAGGARD SAYS...” (Or, ‘HAPPY BIRTHDAY, ANDY!’)]
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California Dreamin’ is a total Classic that we’ve all heard many times, but let’s hear it again...

California Dreamin’ – The Mamas & The Papas



We all [except for one person who shall remain nameless] know it’s a great song.

Who would have the audacity to try to cover California Dreamin’?

Well, although The Beach Boys didn’t write California Dreamin’, everyone who knows The Beach Boys’ work also knows that it’s a very, Very, VERY Beach Boys-like song. Did you know that The Boys, two decades later, actually DID record a version of it? Yep. In 1986 - the same year Kelly “Andy” Anderson committed suicide, although I doubt that’s the reason he did it.
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Let’s hear how The Southern California Boys interpreted The Mamas & The Papas’ classic Top Ten hit:

California Dreamin’ – The Beach Boys


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RIDDLER  VS.  BATMAN
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Alright now, “you know the gig”... I welcome EVERYONE to vote for their favorite of these songs in the comment section below. And feel free to tell us WHY you chose one song over the other. (NOTE: Comment Moderation is activated. All submitted comments that do not transgress "Ye Olde Comment Policy" will be posted as soon as possible. Thanks for taking the time to comment.)

After voting here, I suggest - actually I insist - you pop over to FAE’s ‘Far Away Series’, Arlee Bird’s ‘Tossing It Out’, Robin’s ‘Your Daily Dose’, LC’s ‘DiscConnected’, and Chris' 'The Creative Outlet Of StratPlayer' blogs to see which songs they have chosen and vote there also. (If their ‘BOTB’ blog bits aren’t posted yet, pour yourself two shots of ‘Grand Marnier’ over ice – do it twice – and then return to their blogs to vice your voice ...vote your vice ...voice your vote.)

Voice Your Vote @ ‘FAR AWAY SERIES’ by clicking HERE.
Voice Your Vote @ ‘TOSSING IT OUT’ by clicking HERE.
Voice Your Vote @ ‘YOUR DAILY DOSE’ by clicking HERE.
Voice Your Vote @ ‘DISCCONNECTED’ by clicking HERE.
Voice Your Vote @ ‘CREATIVE OUTLET OF STRATPLAYER’ by clicking HERE.

As I've done in the past, I will continue to return to my 'BOTB' blog bits on the 7th and 21st of each month to post my own votes and announce the winners in the comment sections.

Links To Previous 'BOTB' Installments:

~ Stephen T. McCarthy

YE OLDE COMMENT POLICY: All comments, pro and con, are welcome. However, ad hominem attacks and disrespectful epithets will not be tolerated (read: "posted"). After all, this isn’t Amazon.com, so I don’t have to put up with that kind of bovine excrement.
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23 comments:

  1. Great song!!! Terrific mood and the harmonies of the Mamas and Papas are wonderful. This is a very tough song to have a cover that could beat the iconic original.

    The Beach Boys would be a group that might be able to pull it off, but their version comes a little too late I think -- their version has a little too much of a "80's power-ballad" feel to it for me.

    I'm going with The Mamas and Papas on this one.

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  2. This is indeed a great song, and I love it also. I was 11 when it came out, so it was a real part of my dawning awareness of music.

    Both versions are good, but the Beach Boys version seems "over-produced" to me. The sound is compressed, and perhaps that accounts for the "80's power-ballad feel" that Chris mentioned.

    Again, my ears prefer the traditional version that they are accustomed to hearing. Mamas and (perverted) Papas gets the vote.

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  3. Both are pretty good...so I'm going to give it to the Mamas/Papas (when it's close, go with the original).

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  4. If Brian Wilson had anything to do with this re-make I'm sure that's why I like it. The Beach Boys in 1986? That's like swimming upstream, up hill both ways in the greatest music decade ever, except for the 60's,70's and 50's.

    Must have sucked for Mama Cass being book-ended between a near-perfect 10 and a pedophile. (Was that John Phillips dressed as a priest in the Beach Boys vid? If so, how apropos.

    I'll vote for the Mama's and Papa's original, although the BB's get an "A" for "A" saxy 80's rendition.

    SigToo

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  5. Whoa! So far, this has the makings of a blowout. I expected The Boys to get some votes, perhaps as a result of that pretty ferocious saxophone.

    Me, I'm just pleased as punch that I managed to sneak a political jab into a 'BOTB' installment. That doesn't happen often. In fact, this is the very first time it has happened. Lucky me for immovable frozen ships, eh?

    My thanks to EVERYONE (so far) who has taken the time to vote and comment.

    Got a late start this morning but I'm now off to see what the other BOTB-ers are offering today.

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

    POSTSCRIPT:
    SigToo, I am overjoyed to see you here! Whatever will I do when you're absent and I don't get to read gems like this one anymore?:

    "...the greatest music decade ever, except for the 60's,70's and 50's."

    Thanks for the laugh, Brother.

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  6. I listened to The Beach Boys first since I was very familiar with The Mamas and Papas. I get their interpretation. They wanted it to feel California since there was some dreamin' about California going on. However, the reality is that the writer is stuck in a cold and dreary environment and is going to stay. So, The Mamas and the Papas nail it with this rather sad musical undertone Is it a flute? I am not good at identifying instruments. And other instruments that lend itself to this feeling. The instrumental section starting at 1:17 is particularly effective at conveying this feeling. Then the lyrics start in again with "All the leaves are brown." No kidding. The music was the perfect compliment to the lyrics.

    So, I must go with The Mamas and the Papas. The song was upbeat (California) with good rhythm and pacing, but the instrumental section really makes us FEEL the reality of the lyrics. No one is going anywhere.

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  7. Sorry to be a stick in the mud, but I'll take the original. Much as I always do.

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  8. ' I got down on my knees and I began to pray..'

    This is a great song no matter who does it.

    I like me some Beach Boys, I really do and before I gave them each an honest listen I was hopin I could vote for them. Their video is by far superior and very surreal and that sax in the middle there IS 'pretty ferocious', BUT in the end, and all honesty, it's the harmonies and over all vibe of the Mommas and Pappas version that speaks to me.

    So it's one more vote on your way to a shut out.

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    Replies
    1. FAE ~

      Not to worry, M'Dear.
      I give you my ironclad guarantee that this will NOT be a shutout.

      In fact, if it's a shutout, I will turn over to you every single Federal Reserve Note I currently own, as well as every single Federal Reserve Note that will EVER come into my possession during this lifetime!

      Well... "I've said too much".
      [:-)}

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

      Delete
  9. All of last week it was zero degrees and it snowed like mad. It was so cold that even though it's been 50 degrees for the past 4 days there's still ice all over the roads. Someone better call Al Gore and let him down gently.

    I liked the Mamas, and I even liked the Papas, too. More so than I liked the Beach Boys' version, so... blowout indeed.

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    Replies
    1. BETTY ~

      "Al" - you can call him "dipshit".

      Yeah, it must (Lagunitas) SUCK(s) to be Al Gore right now.

      Well, at least he has the memory of his having invented the Internet to keep him... "warm".

      (Let's hope Al doesn't fall back on that memory TOO OFTEN and cause "Global Warming".)

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

      Delete
  10. Sorry for coming so late. This has been one shitty day for me. I spent most of it sleeping and trying to kick this nagging ailment I've got. When I was up I was trying to get my internet to connect. Finally got it tonight, but barely.

    This has always been one of my favorite songs. I've never heard the BeachBoys version and it's okay. They don't add much other than an overly heavy drumbeat and an out of place sax solo.

    I prefer the slower more lonely sound of the original. The flute makes for the appropriate solo. Gotta go with the Mamas and Papas. Their version is classic and would be difficult to outdo.

    Lee

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  11. Well, I hate to agree with EVERBODY, but I did love the Mom and Pops more. Really close on the rating scale though. This one was tough.

    ............dhole

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  12. My vote for the Mamas and the Papas without a doubt.

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  13. BEACH BOYS!!!!!!!!

    Not just to be contrary and not to simply end this shutout. I know this is the Mama's and the Papa's song...but to me a younger generation this song has always been sung in my mind by the Beach Boys, and I love their version!

    As much as I wanted FAE to get all those Federal Reserve Notes, I just simply could not vote for anyone other than the boys!!

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    Replies
    1. LUMA13 ~
      You're a fine person with exquisite taste in music!

      Thanks for checking in with your vote - it's appreciated.

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

      Delete
  14. Tough choice! I like both of these groups a lot, and with as much Beach Boys music as we have around this house, I can't believe I never heard them sing this song before. I guess our stuff is more old school. Anyway, I've gotta go with the Mamas and Papas. You know how a song can pull you back to the point in time you associate with it? This song has me in college hanging out with friends at the hamburger joint, where this song was one of the more popular juke box choices.

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    Replies
    1. SUSAN ~
      Well, it's a classic song and it's not easy to upset a classic that was a huge hit that's been heard many times over the decades.

      I'm just pleased to know I offered something that was a bit of a "tough choice". If it had been a too-easy-no-brainer then I would have failed as a 'BOTB' designer.

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

      Delete
  15. The mighty shay Hong is going with the Beach Boys. I'm mad at my momma and poppa right now. Let's see how they dig this. Oh, I'm 13 years old, by the way.

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  16. I really can't believe I'm saying this, but, I have to go with the Beach Boys. This was extremely tough for me, as I give an A plus to both versions.

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  17. THE MIGHTY SHAY HONG and ANONYMOUS [you wouldn't happen to be Al Bóndigas, would you?] ~

    Your votes are received. I thank you and The Beach Boys thank you.

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

    ReplyDelete
  18. Part 1:

    ‘Battle Of The Bands #12’
    STMcC’s Vote And The Final Tally:


    A couple of observations before casting my vote and bringing the curtain down on this Battle:

    Sheboyganboy Six remarked that he felt The Beach Boys' version of this song was "over-produced". It's a matter of personal preference, of course, when it comes to one's appreciation of certain production techniques or tricks, and I happen to disagree with SBB-6's assessment in this regard.

    I notice only two production "gimmicks" included in the BB's take on 'California Dreaming'. One is the echo heard immediately on the lead vocal which serves as a substitute for background vocals. And the second is the thunderclap heard immediately after the line "and the sky is grey".

    I actually like both of those production touches and I think they are effective in setting the Beach Boys version apart from the Mamas & Papas original. As I've often said, if you're going to cover a song, you need to do something slightly different with it to justify its re-recording, and that is particularly true if you're trying to cover a well established classic hit known to everybody.

    It can be a slightly narrow line to walk because if you go overboard in establishing a "difference" you can detract from the essence of the song and run right over some of the things that made it a classic in the first place. But do too little (or nuttin' at all) and you raise the question "What was the point in giving everyone a new rendition?"

    I strongly feel that The Beach Boys walked that line perfectly, adding rather than detracting from the song, and yet maintaining the classic melody and vocal harmonies that made so many listeners (myself included) love 'California Dreaming' right from the beginning - in this case 1966.

    I have always loved The Mamas & The Papas, and 'California Dreaming' has always been my favorite of their many fantabulous songs.

    I also want to elaborate on an astute observation that Robin made. I had already planned to yak about this but Robin beat me to the punch.

    The more talented musicians and groups will consider how they might advance the theme of a song through the music that accompanies the lyrics. In this case, The Mamas & The Papas used a flute - a high-pitched instrument - to convey the icy chill that is expressed in the song. A good musical move on their part.

    [More limited and/or superficial bands - such as Styx, Journey, et al. - are pretty much going to approach each song in a similar manner (e.g., "Well, where we gonna stick the obligatory electric guitar solo?") For bands like that, they have to hope that perhaps the guitarist will come up with something that somehow expresses the song's theme, but more often than not - unless we're talking about Buck Dharma of Blue Oyster Cult - it's just the same old, tired, cliche guitar solo... a flurry of typical notes... and then back to the words again. BORING!... unless you're still caught in that 16-year-old frame of mind.]

    It seems to me there were two ways a group could attempt to musically express the theme of 'California Dreaming'. One could try to convey the brutally cold weather that the singer is wishing he/she could escape from - which The Mamas & The Papas did with the flute solo - OR... one could attempt to convey the warm weather that the singer wishes he/she was experiencing instead. And it's this latter approach that The Beach Boys went for, replacing the flute with a warm (actually, pretty smokin' hot) saxophone solo.

    I think that both approaches work well, but that The Beach Boys made a good decision seeing as how they were covering a true classic and, again, needed to make just enough changes in the arrangement to justify their re-recording of it. Bearing this in mind, I do not at all agree with my friend Arlee Bird's view that the saxophone was "out of place".

    Continued Below...

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  19. Part 2:

    Now, I want to tell ya that despite the fact that The Beach Boys are one of my absolute very favorite musical artists of all time, many years ago, when I purchased my copy of their 'Greatest Hits, Vol 3: Best Of The Brother Years' and saw that the last track listed was 'California Dreaming', I was almost appalled!

    I mean, I grew up with that Mamas & Papas original and have always loved it greatly, so I thought it was pretty nervy for even a great vocal group like The Beach Boys to try covering it. So, with that attitude in mind, I was fully prepared to dislike it the first time I played it. But... damn!... the song hadn't even ended yet, however, I'd heard that sax solo combined with those fantastic Beach Boys voices and I was already thinking: Hokey-Smoke! I can scarcely believe it myself but I might actually like the cover even better than the great, classic original I grew up with!

    The ensuing years have not changed my mind. It's a really tough call but I give 'California Dreaming' by The Mamas & The Papas an A+, and I give The Beach Boys' cover an A++. That's CLOSE!

    The voting, however, favored the original take by The Mamas & The Papas by a large margin. At first it looked like a shutout was coming, as TM&TP recorded the first eleven votes in a row, but TBB received four of the last five votes cast. It was a blowout but far from a shutout:

    The Mamas & The Papas = 12 votes
    The Beach Boys = 4 votes


    My thanks again to everyone who took the time to listen, vote, and comment! I was pleased to see that this installment of 'Battle Of The Bands' had much more participation than did the last one, which was pretty disappointing.

    I hope to see ya all again at lucky 'BOTB #13'.

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

    ReplyDelete

--> NOTE: COMMENT MODERATION IS ACTIVATED. <--
All submitted comments that do not transgress "Ye Olde Comment Policy" will be posted and responded to as soon as possible. Thanks for taking the time to comment.