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.



Sunday, June 1, 2014

'BATTLE OF THE BANDS #21' (Or, 'BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN VS. MANFRED MANN')


TWO QUICK SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENTS:
1: FarAwayEyes regrets to inform us that due to a recent domicile disruption she is currently without Internet service. She wants us all to know that she will post her ‘Battle Of The Bands’ installment ASAP. She hopes and expects to have her ‘BOTB’ up by no later than Monday (possibly sooner).
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2: Al Bondigas, come on down! The winner of the Battle Of The Bands’ Free Compact Disc Drawing was... YOU. You’ll be contacted soon to place your order for the compact disc of your choice, so start giving it some thought.
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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...
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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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Yes, it’s time once again for ‘Battle Of The Bands’ ('BOTB').
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EUGENE  MARTONE  VS.  JACK  BUTLER
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In 1973, BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN released his debut album ‘Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J.
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Springsteen was being touted by some as “the next Bob Dylan”. One listen to his first album and it was easy to see why. Although Springsteen concentrated his songs on urban tales, the stylistic manner of the lyrics was nearly pure Dylan: the songs were verbose and loaded with enigmatic references and symbols. Dylan couldn’t have done Dylan any better!

But it would have been a big mistake to dismiss Springsteen as just a copycat artist, even if he was quite consciously “doing his best Bob Dylan”. Just the words to the song ‘Growin’ Up’ alone was more than ample enough evidence to conclude that Springsteen was a very talented songwriter in his own right.

In very late 1976 or very early 1977, I was listening to an album called ‘The Roaring Silence’ by MANFRED MANN’S EARTH BAND. The LP had a monster hit on it titled BLINDED BY THE LIGHT. It went all the way to #1 on the Billboard music charts, getting massive airplay on radio stations across the country. I loved the song so I bought the album.

I was playing the song one day when my friend Eric stopped by and he happened to mention that ‘BLINDED BY THE LIGHT’ wasn’t a Manfred Mann’s Earth Band original; it was a cover that was actually written by some other musician named Bruce Springsteen. That was news to me; I had never even heard of this Springsteen guy. Eric said he owned one of his albums called ‘Born To Run’, and he loaned his copy to me. I played side A, didn’t even turn the album over to the B side, but returned the record to Eric and immediately went out and bought my own copy of ‘Born To Run’. Beginning that day and lasting until late 1984, I was a Bruce Springsteen fanatic – he was unquestionably my favorite songwriter / musician.
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Immediately I purchased all of his older albums, which didn’t take long because he had released only 3 up to that point. Sometimes I liked to do sketches illustrating certain song lyrics, and below is a very old drawing inspired by a line in ‘Blinded By The Light’:
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And here’s another one inspired by the name of Springsteen’s group ‘The E Street Band’:

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THE  E  STREET  DOGS


I even wrote ‘Mining For Redemption’, a 24-page single-spaced essay on Springsteen’s work. Eventually, Bruce and I had a quarrel, a falling out and, no, it wasn’t solely related to politics. 
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Today, I own only 2 Springsteen albums, his debut and his second one, ‘The Wild, The Innocent, And The E Street Shuffle’, which is less Dylanesque Folky and more Funky and even Jazz-ish. So, I still own Springsteen’s original of ‘BLINDED BY THE LIGHT’ as it’s the first song on his first album.

Alright, you know what’s comin’. We’re going to put Springsteen’s original version of ‘BLINDED BY THE LIGHT’ up against Manfred Mann’s Earth Band #1 hit cover version in this episode of ‘BATTLE OF THE BANDS’ and see who comes out ahead.

Most of the time, I post ‘BOTB’ songs in chronological order with the earliest recording toward the top, followed by the later one(s). In this case though, I am going to reverse the order only because the video for the Manfred Mann cover displays selected lyrics to the song, which are many and cryptic, and probably a bit more difficult to discern in the Bruce Springsteen original recording.

Alright, let’s get on it...

‘BLINDED BY THE LIGHT’ ~ MANFRED MANN'S EARTH BAND (Album: ‘The Roaring Silence’ – 1976)


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GODZILLA  VS.  KING  KONG
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‘BLINDED BY THE LIGHT’ ~ BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN
(Album: ‘Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J.’ – 1973)


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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.)
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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’, and LC’s ‘DiscConnected’ 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.)
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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 @ 'A WRITER'S LIFE IN PROGRESS' by clicking HERE.
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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:
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~ Stephen T. McCarthy
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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.

43 comments:

  1. Manfred Mann's version handily wins this for me. It's cleaner from a musical production standpoint and it's just more listenable for me. Springsteen's version kind of annoys me in a way though it's not bad--just annoying. Maybe it's the vocal style.

    I first heard of Springsteen when I got a 45 give away of "Born to Run" at the Knoxville County Fair when I guess they were first promoting him. I don't think his album had even come out yet. A local radio station was handing out promo copies of different artists and that was one of them. Now I wish I still had the record. Don't know whatever happened to it. Probably used for target practice with most of my other 45's.

    Any it's Manfred. Always liked the song the song the way they did it.

    Lee
    Tossing It Out

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LEE ~

      >>... Springsteen's version kind of annoys me in a way, though it's not bad -- just annoying.

      HA! Evidently you and I have different definitions of some words. For me, anything I'd find "annoying" I would also classify as "bad".

      I would be inclined to assume that if you used Springsteen's 'BORN TO RUN' 45-single for target practice, it meant you found IT annoying as well. But when you say that "most" of your "other 45's" met the same fate, maybe it's a mistake to think that bullets through the disc is a judgment on its musical value.

      So... what DID you think of the song 'Born To Run'? ...That was, after all, at one time proclaimed an example of "the future of Rock 'N' Roll".

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

      Delete
    2. I think I expressed enough of a sense of ambiguity to qualify my judgement of "not bad, but annoying". The production quality and arrangement is decent enough though I didn't care for the horn sections that much. They were well done so that means they were kind of good, but sometimes that style can annoy me. It's okay if I'm in the right mood for it.

      Or it's like much opera music. I recognize how good it is as far as the musical genius that is required to compose a complex well orchestrated opera, but sometimes I find it annoying to listen to. That doesn't make it bad, but just not always in my realm of musical preference.

      Even most rap music--it annoys the heck out of me most of the time especially when played so loud I hear it a block away before it actually passes my house while being played in some jerk's car. Now in one sense I'll say it's bad music especially if it's profanity laced and dealing with stupid topics. But I can't do that music and I'll acknowledge that a certain amount of talent went into the production and for what it is it is well done. I think it's bad music overall, but I'll give recognition where it's due.

      There are plenty of things that annoy me much of the time but I'm not going to say that it's outright bad.

      "Born to Run" I liked because of the symphonic wall of sound approach. I didn't find that song to be as annoyingly performed as "Blinded by the Light" And even that song was just mildly annoying--I don't mind listening to it. Give me my preferences and I'll take Manfred Mann any day.

      The reason I handed the "Born to Run" record along with most of my other 45's to my friend to use for target practice was that I was into LP's by then and the 45's just seemed like a defunct medium that I no longer needed to keep. I was misguided in that decision.

      I had some good records in that bunch.

      Lee
      Tossing It Out

      Delete
  2. They're both good, but I admit I grew up with the Manfred Mann version, so that one just sounds right to me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. WOLFEette ~
      Thanks for your vote and comment! (You're welcome here anytime.)

      Gotta go with what "feels right", eh?

      Manfred Mann takes a 2 to Zero lead in what for me is the most difficult 'BOTB' challenge I've ever been presented with. (STILL haven't yet decided how I myself will vote!)

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

      Delete
  3. McDogg-

    I did not have to do any listening for this post, as familiar I am with both versions.

    I became a Springsteen fan in 1973 or 1974 (started out as forced listening from sharing a room with an older brother), so by the time MM released their cover, I already knew the Bruce original by heart.

    Back then, I hated the cover.

    Over time, I have mellowed, and appreciate the cover's radio appeal, but I am still going to vote Bruce, and here's why.

    Emotion.

    Chris Thompson (who I believe was the lead vocalist by the time was released) sings the song well, but for some reason not much inflection comes to my ears.

    On lines like ...and asked me if I needed a ride, Bruce's voice seems to convey more feeling.

    If I was voting on the radio merits/commercial sensibilties, MM would win hands down, and I given them credit for an original take on the song that I could not give them in 1977.

    But I still have to vote for the Jersey Devil.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LC ~
      Of course I knew beforehand that your vote would go to Springsteen. Although I didn't know you actually disliked the Manfred Mann cover back when it was released. I didn't think there was ANYONE who disliked their take on it. And as I pointed out in this 'BOTB' blog bit, it was Manfred Mann who indirectly turned me into a "Boss" fanatic.

      I can think of really good reasons to vote for either of these takes on the song, and I still don't know for sure how I will vote when June 7th gets here.

      In all honesty, this is the toughest 'BOTB' decision I have ever faced, and I would LOVE to call it a "Tie", which for me it really is. But I'm afraid that would open the floodgates to a lot of voters calling future 'BOTBs' a tie. So far, no one has tried to pull that stunt, and I don't want to be the one who starts a cascade of ties. But... I can't imagine any contest more closely resembling a genuine tie than this one does to me.

      Come the 7th, I will decide on one or the other, but you can be sure my degree of preference (whichever way I decide to lean it) will be no more than 51% to 49%.

      One thing I like about Springsteen's version is that it has ALL of the lyrics; Manfred cherry-picked them, and even left out the one I illustrated in the 1970s about "unsnapping his skull cap".

      And I TOTALLY understand what you are saying about the vocal inflections, and I agree, but... ironically, the one you specifically mentioned ["...and asked me if I needed a ride!] is one where I actually prefer the inflection on the Manfred Mann version. Go figger.

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

      Delete
  4. I have listened to both of these twice AND looked up the meaning of the lyrics on several different sites. This song is WORDY.

    You were right that the MM version was somewhat easier to follow because the words were printed on the screen. BUT, they didn't (often) make sense to me. And I snickered every time they sang revved up like deuce because it sounded like they were saying douche. After visiting several sites about the song's meaning I discovered that it was a common misconception and Springsteen accredited MM's success with the song because of their nod to feminine hygiene. That just made me laugh harder.

    I also didn't understand "revved up like a deuce." Say what? There is an explanation that a deuce refers to a car (a 1932 Ford hot rod to be specific), but that doesn't make sense with the rest of the lyrics. Springsteen says "cut like a deuce" and I think what he meant was the 2 in a deck of cards. That makes sense.

    Here's the rub with this song. MM's version is better produced. The vocals are easier to understand (even though much of it makes no sense) and just sounds more polished. Of course, after a couple of listens I am completely bored with it. Springsteen's version is harder to take on that first listen because it is rougher. But this story is personal to him and I want to listen to it again and again because I want to figure it out. I don't have that same compunction with MM's version. To them, from everything I've read, the lyrics are just nonsense. They didn't understand "cut the deuce" so they changed it to "revved up the deuce." Did they even know a deuce was a car? I don't think so. I think they just liked how it sounded better. In other words, if the lyrics are already nonsensical to you, why not make it more so? But it means something to Bruce and when I hear him sing it I want to figure it out.

    I have taken the Very Long Way Around to say that if I only listened once I would vote for MM because it is more aesthetically pleasing (polished). But if I knew I had to listen to that song every single day for the rest of my life, I would rather listen to the Springsteen version. I think every time I heard it I would glean meaning from it.

    So, I will break your tie (as it exists now) and vote for The Boss.

    Now, why did you break up with him in 1984? Please don't tell me that you didn't like Dancing In The Dark and it was the last straw for you. I like that song so much that I stepped out onto a very weak limb and karaoked it recently. Not my best effort, but I didn't feel the need to apologize after...:D And I love to sing Fire by The Pointer Sisters (another Springsteen tune). And I rock that one... woot!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Part 1 Of 2:

      ROBIN ~
      As always, I truly appreciate your thoughtful, sincere comment and the great detail you provide as the basis for your vote.

      First of all, am I to understand that you NEVER heard Manfred Mann's version of this song prior to my 'BOTB' here?

      Didn't you recently say you are 44 years old (give or take a couple years)? If so, I only have 10 years on you, and it's hard to imagine anyone from our age bracket who's listened to a lot of radio could be unfamiliar with Manfred Mann's cover of this song. It went to #1 and was absolutely a monster hit that one couldn't possibly escape in 1976, and for many years thereafter. Anyway...

      Yeah, the "douche" bit was well known and it confused a lot of people. Considering the time period and sounding as much like "douche" as it does, it's a little surprising this song got all the airplay it did.

      As for the meaning of the song - what it meant to the writer as opposed to the covering artist - while I FULLY respect the weight you give to that, I myself don't factor it in as nearly so important. The old saying back in the Dick Clark 'American Bandstand' era was "It's got a good beat and you can dance to it". That saying, used in evaluating a song's appeal, has become an often borrowed joke, but I think there is some truth to be found in it...

      I don't believe every song necessarily needs to make a lot of sense; sometimes it's just the sound of it, or some aspect of the song - whether the beat, a quality in the vocals, the tone of a particular instrument, etc. - that can make or break a song.

      I mean, when we get right down to it, what does Bob Dylan's 'Stuck Inside Of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again' mean? I have no idea, but it's still one of my favorite Dylan songs. Or how about 'Bang-A-Gong' by T. Rex? Hell if I know for sure exactly what it means, but the song still appeals to me for several reasons, meaning of the lyrics aside.

      Continued Below...

      Delete
    2. Part 2 Of 2:

      >>... Now, why did you break up with him in 1984? Please don't tell me that you didn't like Dancing In The Dark...

      I didn't like 'Dancing In The Dark'.

      No, I kid.

      Actually, it was because Springsteen kept requesting that he be on top and I am just WAY TOO MANLY to be on the bottom.

      Well... you did use the expression "break up with him". I said it was a "quarrel", but I did NOT call it "a lover's quarrel".

      There's a lot I could say in answering that question. But in a nutshell... Some of it was definitely about politics. Springsteen is unquestionably "A White Guilt, Swimming Pool Socialist" and I have no use for those folks.

      But musically speaking, 'Dancing In The Dark' DID play a role, but it wasn't Springsteen's original recording that was involved. Some of this is covered in my 24-page essay that I composed the year 'Born In The USA' was released. It caught me right on the cusp of turning from a Springsteen fanatic into a Very Disappointed Fan.

      In the essay, I mention that Springsteen allowed some dipshit, fluff-headed New York record producer to remix 'Dancing In The Dark' into an extended 12-inch (disco-styled) dance record. That was my SECOND CLUE that Springsteen was starting to sell-out and turn his back on what he had seemed to represent to me previously.

      And then he released his music video for 'Dancing In The Dark', which pretended to be a performance of the song photographed live, but was really a semi-lip-synched studio production in which an "actress" played the part of some random fan brought up onstage in the heat of the moment to dance with Bruce.

      It was bullshit. And I NEVER thought Springsteen would resort to commercial bullshit!

      To understand how important this sort of sell-out was back then (stuffs that is just very common and easily accepted by fans today) you had to be a huge Springsteen fan back then and have an understanding of all the things he seemed to represent to his fans back then (e.g., 100% authenticity; no compromises; street-level cred; and complete, unadulterated devotion to one's personal art).

      Springsteen sold out big time in my view. Add in the Socialism he promotes (which I learned about later), and I simply had to say to Bruce-y Boy, "Bruce-y... we need to talk."

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

      Delete
    3. With all of my typing I should have made it more clear that OF COURSE I have heard MM's version of this song. I was 8 in 1976 so I don't think I actually heard it on the radio when it was popular. But, it has gotten enough airtime since then that it is not unfamiliar to me. I can't say that I knew any of the words other than Blinded By The Light, though. It does have a peppy beat and I recognized it immediately.

      As a person who didn't love Springsteen like you loved Springsteen... I didn't put together the fact that the video for Dancing In The Dark was all a big set-up until Courtney Cox was on the TV show Friends. It was only then that I recognized her as the "random girl" in the audience from the video. And I knew she wasn't at all random. I remember some pangs of disappointment over that revelation.

      Delete
    4. ROBIN ~
      Oh, was it Courtney Cox? I knew it was some actress who made it big later but I'd forgotten the name, and even now (I'm proud to say) if you put together a lineup of 25 currently famous actresses, I couldn't begin to tell you which one was Courtney Cox. All I can say is... I've heard the name Courtney Cox... and that's more than enough for me.

      I'm that weirdo your father warned you about.

      Yeah, "The Boss" thang... I got wrapped up into it early. I was a fanatic before his fourth album, 'Darkness On The Edge Of Town', was released and I remember eagerly awaiting it. I loved it. I also loved 'The River' and 'Nebraska'. But with 'Born In The USA', the Springsteen-colored glasses began to get foggy... and then they fell off my face and broke on the sidewalk. 'Born In The USA' was the last Springsteen album I ever bought.

      The funny thing was that once "the spell was broken" I could suddenly see all of his musical faults which previously were invisible to me. For instance... has Bruce ever actually "sung" a song? Yeah, I suppose he's sung a few, but if you really zero in on his vocal performances you begin to discover that Springsteen actually "talks" and "shouts" his way through songs, but rarely does he actually "sing" one. Singing (as you well know, being a singer yourself) is where you hit and hold certain notes, and drag out certain notes, sometimes bending or lilting them.

      Bruce Springsteen doesn't really sing. He talks and shouts while music is playing in the background.

      I was OBLIVIOUS to that OBVIOUS fact until I reached the point that I couldn't abide any more of his sell-out activity and gave up on him and moved on to... better musicians and real "singers".

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

      Delete
    5. Bruce Springsteen doesn't really sing. He talks and shouts while music is playing in the background.

      Isn't this what a good bit of rock, soul, and certain other modern forms of music is? And in that vein I think Springsteen does it as well as most others in his genre. I believe it's in the nature of the songs themselves. I think of some of the rock songs that have be lounge-i-fied by "singers" and it sounds unnatural. Then there are songs like "Brilliant Disguise" where, yes, I suppose he fits that "talking" or even "shouting" criteria, but it still comes across as a lovely piece of music.

      Personally I just got kind of tired of Springsteen, yet when I do put on one of his CD's (I own several) I still enjoy hearing his music.

      As far as "Dancing in the Dark" I think a good many videos that appear to be made in "concert" are staged. I remember reading about one such video where they got an audience by offering a free concert and they did several takes of the already recorded song shooting from different angles and trying different staged effects, etc. It was staged, but the video turned out well and the audience got a free show even though part of it was takes and retakes. I was never fooled by the "Dancing in the Dark" video, but I was never very impressed by it either other than I do like that song. Oh, and Courtney Cox in the video looked so much like my first wife when I was married to her that I was always struck by that.

      Do you think that Bruce Springsteen is less of a singer than Bob Dylan or Tom Waits?

      Lee
      Tossing It Out

      Delete
    6. >>... Isn't this what a good bit of rock, soul, and certain other modern forms of music is?

      Not the GOOD examples of those forms.

      As for the 'Dancing In The Dark' concert video goes, it may be what a lot of performers are doing now. It may even be what some of them did in the past. But "The Boss" always presented himself as this totally authentic, no compromises, no stooping to Public Relations commercialized bullshit performer.

      He was supposedly a man of "the real people", a genuine urban, man of the streets writing and singing for the kids who weren't poseurs but who were really living in the concrete jungles; the kids who hung out at night under 7-11 signs, who drag raced in the streets, who understood the meaning of "the spirits in the night".

      So, what might be acceptable for other performers to do, was NOT acceptable for Springsteen to do, because his whole persona had set him above such low, phony tactics. If you weren't a Springsteen fanatic back then, then you can't really understand what I'm saying and what he was SUPPOSEDLY all about.

      Go read the lyrics to his song 'The Price You Pay' and it might give you some idea of what I'm referring to. Pay special attention to the last stanza.

      Yes, in general, Springsteen is less of a singer than Bob Dylan. Springsteen is absolutely less of a singer than Tom Waits if we're only counting Waits' first two albums. After that, Waits mostly became just a talker/shouter too.

      In order to get what I'm saying about Springsteen, you need to listen while focusing hard on his vocals and ignoring all the music in the background. If you're able to do that, what I am referring to becomes painfully obvious.

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

      Delete
  5. I know both songs well, and will generally vote for the MM covers of Springsteen over the BS originals. Not that Blinded, Spirits In The Night, or For You aren't among Bruce's better songs, I just enjoy the covers more. Especially on this one, which is one of those songs I never grow weary of. 3-0 MM. (Not counting votes you haven't moderated yet!)

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    1. BROTHER MARTIN ~
      Like you, I have never grown tired of Manfred Mann's cover of 'BLINDED...'.

      Interestingly though, I didn't think their covers of 'Sprit In The Night' and 'For You' came close to touching Springsteen's originals... even though 'For You' I consider to be a very minor Springsteen song and my 3rd least favorite track on his 'Greetings...' debut. (I found - and still find - 'Mary Queen Of Arkansas' utterly unlistenable. And 'The Angel' is only slightly better. Then it's 'For You', which isn't bad but hardly on a par with the rest of that album.)

      Thanks for checking in here, Bro!

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

      Delete
  6. Apparently Blogger ate my damned comment, which took me a LONG time to compose... so I will just vote Mann. If I find the time to come recompose (or re-compost) the comment, I will. Time seems to be in short supply; I wish I could bottle it.

    BTW - you probably won't see the latest X-Men movie, but in it there is a two minute scene featuring "Time in a Bottle" by Jim Croce that is the most fun scene I've seen in a movie in five years.

    ReplyDelete
  7. SHEBOYGANBOY SIX ~

    For one of the smartest persons I've ever personally known... you seem to be taking a long time to learn this lesson.

    Once again...

    If you're going to post a comment more than two paragraphs long, you're smart to compost it in a Word File where you can Save it, Copy it, and Re-Post it if Blogger eats it. (Ate it? No sweat. You'll have it re-entered again in less than 15 seconds.)

    I almost always compose all of my Comments in a Word File if I expect them to extend beyond the 2-paragraph memory limit. Occasionally, I will start writing a comment for someone's blog, thinking it will be short and sweet. But then realizing I am now unexpectedly in my 4th paragraph, I will pause for the 30 seconds it takes to copy and paste the comment in a Word File, knowing that it has now gone beyond the 'I-Can't-Afford-To-Lose-This-One-To-A-Blog-Bug' level (and Blogger has a buncha bugs!)

    Or, if you don't want to stop and copy what you've written in a Word File, you can just highlight and copy everything you've thus far written every couple of paragraphs. This way, even if the Blogger Bug eats your comment, you will have saved all but the last couple paragraphs in your "mighty mouse".

    Anyway... your Manfred Mann vote is noted.

    Hmmm... I guess that settles it then... I simply MUST vote for Springsteen in order to, once again, hold back the Apocalypse for another two weeks. HA!
    [;-)}

    Thanks for always being here, Bro-Six.

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

    ReplyDelete
  8. You are right, of course. I made that my practice for a long time, but Blogger lulled me into a false sense security, waiting for its chance to pounce.

    One thing I said which is short:

    "AL BONDIGAS?!?!? AL BONDIGAS??!!!!
    WE WAS ROBBED! WE WAS ROBBED, I TELL YOU!
    THE FIX IS IN! BACK ROOM DEALS! NEPOTISM!"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I got this one. This was a joint endeavor and it was me who did the puckin' outta the hat this time. Go figure. Al only votes twice (two entries) and on only one stinking' site no less, but he won fair and square.

      Delete
    2. Ha!-Ha!

      Ya know, considering the fact that some voters had 6 and 7 chances to win the drawing (you being one of them) and Al Bondigas (that meatball) had only 2 chances to win, I'd ordinarily tend to agree with your charge about Back Room Deals and The Fix being in.

      Only problem is... that all falls apart when one realizes that I had nuttin' whatsoever to do with the drawing. FAE handled that whole process up in Tahoe without consulting me at all. I was as surprised to learn of Meatball's win as you were!

      I don't think he even knows it yet because I haven't mentioned it, and he hasn't come here to vote on 'Blinded By The Light'. Eventually he will stumble across it.

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

      Delete
    3. FAE ~
      We were writing essentially the same comment at exactly the same time! Ha!

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'L.A.U.'

      Delete
  9. I had to laugh when I first saw your song selections. Of course I know this song. You would have had to be living in a cave somewhere to not. But, what made me chuckle was the reminder of all the animated discussions by the drunk and or high (pick your favorite form of stuperfication) about the lyrics and their meaning. Everyone had a different idea about what they were signing, and just what it might mean.

    Anyway…it is indeed a tough choice. I was never a big Springsteen fan even though he coined the line ‘tramps like us, baby we were born to run’, now there’s a blast from the past, an all too familiar one, at that. It just keeps playing over and over, again and again. But back to ‘Blinded’, he puts the heart and soul into this one and you know, he knows exactly what HE’S singing about.

    Manfred Mann on the other hand, has that slick version that is most familiar (another one playing over and over in my head – thank you very much). It’s slick. It’s polished. It DOES have a good beat, so much so, that you really don’t care what they are saying or what it might mean.

    This is almost an eenie, meeie, miney, moe, vote, but I’m gonna give it to Springsteen, if for no other reason than that ‘tramps like us’ line and the fact that it is his song. He definitely owns it.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. FAE ~
      I knew absolutely that you would be familiar with the Manfred Mann hit, but wasn't sure if you'd previously heard the Springsteen original. There were no big AM hits on his debut album (and none on his second album either, which very nearly cost him his recording contract, and then... 'Born To Run' was released and the rest, as they say, is... pisstory).

      To this day, probably most fans of this song don't even realize that it wasn't a Manfred Mann original.

      I think I just now decided who I'm going to vote for... I think.

      A 'BOTB' challenge couldn't get any closer for me than this one is.

      I haven't counted the votes up to this point, but I sense Brucie is starting to pull ahead. That surprises me.

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

      Delete
  10. Springsteen gets my vote. The Manfred Mann version is too soft sounding, no energy. A young Springsteen had energy! Sorry, late dropping by.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No problem, D.G. Always glad to see you here, and you made it well before the 7th, so your vote is in early enough to count and with plenty of time to spare.

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

      Delete
  11. Two botes incomin'!

    First off, I'd only ever heard the MM version. I thought that was the original. And I do like the song, even now. But something about Springsteen's I like more. Perhaps it's the emotion of it all, but it seems to have more heart. And I dig that. We both do.

    2 botes for Springsteen, mang.

    And I love the sketches. If we ever change things up and turn ourselves into dogs, I know who I'm consulting first.

    ~6B&B

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, 6-B & Beer Boy Brandon.

      Glad you liked the dog cartoons. (My favorite is the only one whose name doesn't begin with an "M". But I also like 'Manny' with his weak chin.)

      You should see what 'The F Street Dogs' look like!

      ~ Stephen

      Delete
  12. Al Bondigas here. I am the happiest man on the planet. I thought I was going to have to vote for that piece of shit, scumbag liberal, cog zucker, low life, wife cheating on, flat out sissy bitch Bruce
    Springsteen. But, luckily for me, you, my good brother, played both of the songs for me tonight, and I now cast my vote, ( just narrowly, mind you ), for my now favorite band, Manfred Mann. God bless Manfred Mann forever. If anyone encounters that piece of human excrement Springsteen having a heart attack, please shove lard down his throat. I will reimburse you for the lard expense.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. AL BONDIGAS ~
      I may not agree with your vote (June 7th will tell), but I hereby award you the trophy for the 'ALL-TIME, ALL-TIME GREATEST COMMENT EVER SUBMITTED TO A BLOG O' MINE'. (It must be genetic!)

      F##k Springsteen and the drag-racing motor he road in on! What that f##ker spent on leather jackets you could feed an African family of four on for 12-friggin'-years!

      As are all Socialists, Springsteen is... well off.

      But 'BOTBs' are purely about "the music"... which is why I will vote for Manfred Mann on the 7th.

      [F##k Brucie and the horse-colored-'Marx' that he rode in on ...even though 'BOTB' is ENTIRELY about the music, and the music ONLY... (plus the Marxism, that is not mentioned in the Rule Book).]

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

      Delete
  13. I genuflect in a general southerly direction towards "Good 'ol Al," for what you rightly call the best comment ever on your blog. I thought YOU were a good writer. It must run in the family. That guy has a way with woids.

    I take back all that "nepotism," "fix is in" nonsense. He deserved to win the CD. (I can safely assume that will not be a Springsteen disc.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha!-Ha!

      Glad you liked that, BROTHER 6GUN.

      When I saw what Al Bondigas submitted, I simply couldn't help playin' along with him.

      I'm not really sure WHAT Springsteen rode in on - whether it was a sixty-nine Chevy with a 396, Fuelie heads and a Hurst on the floor, or whether it was a horse of another color (other than the color "Marx") - but anyway, it was a case of funnin' with Brother Bondigas.

      His line about the lard made me laugh. (Methinks Napoleon has trouble separating the man from the music.)

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

      Delete
    2. Al Bondigas here. Thanks for the kind words Six. With the way Stephen holds you in such high esteem, I take it as a mighty compliment.

      Delete
  14. I've always liked the sound of the MM version insomuch as it has an irresistible toe-tapping quality to it that appealed to me whenever I heard it on the radio. But those lyrics? No matter how hard I tried to listen to them, it always sounded like "Wrapped up like a douche." What the heck? So I asked our son-in-law (the musician) what they correct lyrics were. He said something or other that didn't make sense, so I looked 'em up on the Internet. Ah HA!

    It was then I learned that Springstein was the writer and original artist, and he allegedly said MM's version was more popular because it made reference to a feminine hygiene product. HA! So, natch, I had to find and listen to Springstein's version.

    Anyhow, that's a long way of saying I was familiar with both versions. And in spite of the lingering to-my-ears words of "wrapped up like a douche," I've gotta go with MM. I like Springstein, but not so much on this song.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. SUSAN FLETT SWIDERSKI ~
      And let us not forget to mention Dave FLETT who plays the lead guitar on the Manfred Mann version and whose tone is like polished steel that slashes through the song. I've always loved that guy's sound!

      As always, thanks for your vote!

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

      Delete
  15. STMcC’s Vote On ‘BOTB #21’
    And The Final Tally:


    As I said in my introduction to this installment of ‘Battle Of The Bands’, I became familiar with Manfred Mann’s cover of ‘Blinded By The Light’ a short time before I heard (and purchased) the Springsteen original.

    However, I became such a Springsteen fan that eventually I came to hear the original more times than the famous Billboard #1 hit version and my mind accepted it as the “real” one.

    Looking back on it all this time later, I can say that I still really like BOTH versions a great deal. In fact, of all the ‘BOTB’ blog bits ever posted (not just my own, but EVERYONE’S), deciding which of these two versions to vote for was the toughest it’s ever been for me.

    This is so close to a tie for me that I really would like to call it a “Tie”, but if I do, I figure future voters will start copping out by also calling some ‘Battles’ ties, and I don’t want to be the one who opens the floodgates for that kind of thing.

    Therefore, I have decided to vote for one over the other, but for the record, my degree of preference is 51% to 49%. Yes, just one percentage point of preference! And I can even tell you precisely WHERE in the song that one percentage point comes into play and my vote goes to Manfred Mann’s Earth Band (MMEB)...

    In this video, at the 2:50 mark, the line sung is “...through the night” and then immediately the song slips into that wonderful Dave Flett guitar solo. That, right there, is where I decided that I had to vote for Mann’s cover over Springsteen’s original. I love BOTH versions, but MMEB nails my vote to the floor at 2:50+.

    I gotta say, this ‘BOTB’ installment was a real winner. Even before I had decided who I myself would be voting for, I guessed that Manfred Mann would run away with this one fairly easily since his cover was a massive #1 hit and Springsteen’s original isn’t well known beyond big Springsteen fans. So I was really surprised how close this race was.

    This race was SO CLOSE that my own vote broke the tie and decided the winner:

    Springsteen = 6 Votes
    MMEB = 7 Votes


    Thanks again to EVERYONE who took part in this ‘Battle’. Please be sure to return for ‘Battle Of The Bands #22’ on June 15th, because I have what I think will be a really fun one planned and I believe everyone is going to dig it. I can hardly wait to get to the next one so... please do return on the 15th!

    Speaking of close races... I’m off to see a man about a horse (named ‘California Chrome’). Gotta get to bed soon because I need to wake up earlier than usual so I don’t miss The Belmont and what might just be sports history in the making (“Triple Crown Fame Here I Come...”?)

    ~ D-FensDogg
    ‘Loyal American Underground’

    POSTSCRIPT: I’m encountering computer problems (again), so if I disappear for a little while all y’all will un’erstan’ why.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. The right version won but it should have been by a larger margin. That was indeed a tight race, but mine was nearly a 3 way tie and in the end there was a two-way tie for winner. Now that's close! And if I were to count late votes that have come in since, the classical version of the song I picked would have won.

      Enjoy the race. I'll be glad when it's over so they can talk about the next big thing on L.A. news. Whatever will it be next? Can anything top the Sterling/Clippers scandal for sheer entertainment value? Or the prisoner swap for more nefarious Obama treachery?

      I can hardly wait.

      Lee
      Wrote By Rote

      Delete
    2. LEE ~
      Well, certainly I agree that the right version won (since I'm the person who made certain of it), but I think the margin was also exactly right.

      [You and I voted the same way this time. That doesn't happen very often. Hmmm... Triple Crown Horse Racing Champion coming later today? Hmmm... It's enough to make a bloke thank.]

      Maybe if you heard Springsteen's original more times you might begin to see what those people who voted for it (and myself also, even though I didn't vote for it) hear in it.

      This horse racing thing REALLY IS BIG NEWS since no horse has won the Triple Crown since, I believe, 1978.

      I'm rooting big time for California Chrome to win it but, honestly, I doubt he will. It's one of the hardest accomplishments in the Sports World to achieve, and it's been so many decades since the last one that I've almost lost my faith that it's even possible anymore. We'll see. I'll love it if it happens, but I wouldn't put any money on it.

      >>... Can anything top the Sterling/Clippers scandal for sheer entertainment value? Or the prisoner swap for more nefarious Obama treachery?

      I doubt that even Barack Oliar can top himself in the Treachery / Treason Dept. But I think the Second Coming of Jesus Christ will top the Sterling / Clippers Scandal "for sheer entertainment value".

      And, unfortunately, I think the Second Coming of Jesus Christ will probably occur BEFORE we have another Triple Crown winner in horse racing.

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

      Delete
  16. POST-POSTSCRIPT:
    I also meant to mention that "exactimages" - the pseudonym used by the person who created the Manfred Mann's Earth Band video for this song - did a GREAT job! This is probably the most creative use of lyrics in a song video that I've yet seen. It's all timed out just right to coincide with the musical changes and there is so much variety in it that I enjoyed watching the video almost as much as I enjoyed listening to the song.

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

    ReplyDelete
  17. Sheboyganboy SixJune 7, 2014 at 9:54 AM

    "Maybe if you heard Springsteen's original more times you might begin to see what those people who voted for it (and myself also, even though I didn't vote for it) hear in it."

    HA. This is a low blow, and you know it! Although it is possible for one to grow fond of music that you don't appreciate upon first listening, this rule does not apply to individuals as it does to genres. A gap in genres is WAY harder to bridge than mere artists. But like Lee, I am convinced that we can and do often learn to appreciate things we don't understand, including other musical genres.

    In a previous snarky comment on your blog, I equated liking Karen Carpenter to a musical version of the Stockholm Syndrome, and though I was joking I was not far off. As an example, when you and I started our friendship several years ago I did not like the Doors. You did. I listened to them more closely and more often over the last couple of years, and - people are strange - I changed my mind.

    I know - for a fact, without fear of contradiction (although that is certainly waving a red flag in front of a bull), that OPERA is an acquired taste. Almost nobody loves it right out of the box. One HAS to listen a while unless you are already closer to appreciating it by already liking what is termed "classical music." I love opera and wanted to send you some once. I did not after you strongly advised against it.

    It is way easier for someone who already likes the Kinks to like the Rolling Stones than it is for them to like "The Marriage of Figaro."
    --
    Congrats to you on voting - yet again - in lockstep with me in these battles.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Shaughnessy O'McSixgun ~
      If that was indeed a low blow, I was merely returning to the groin the low blow that Brother Lee delivered to me when he said I was an uncultured brute for not appreciating Classical music (that meandering musical mess loved by pseudo-intellectuals the world over).

      OK, I'm lyin'. He didn't say that at all. (He may have implied it, but if he did, I am 50-I.Q. points shy of picking up on it.)

      However... I really was kinda inside-joking with him because of our earlier yakcussion on his blog about Schubert, Go-Kart Mozart, et al.

      >>... I know - for a fact, without fear of contradiction (although that is certainly waving a red flag in front of a bull), that OPERA is an acquired taste. Almost nobody loves it right out of the box.

      Well, I know for a fact that it would drive me right out of my opera box (no matter how much I paid for those seats).

      >>... I love opera and wanted to send you some once. I did not after you strongly advised against it.

      That was a while ago... but I'm pretty sure the words "murder you and everyone you love" were used in that reply.

      >>... Congrats to you on voting - yet again - in lockstep with me in these battles.

      It's startin' to get pretty freaky! If 'California Chrome' had won the Triple Crown of Horse Racing today, I'd be sure that it's the end of the world as we know it (and I'd feel fine).

      But as it is, I think planet Earth has at least one more year before She blows. (Well, It already "blows", but you know what I mean.)

      Back to bed and disappointment for me now. Even the California avocados on toast and the California beer couldn't help 'California Chrome', and I can feel the sleeping pills starting to kick in.

      [*See Brother Bondigas' reply to you above*.]

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Undergrounzzzzz...

      Delete
    2. Shaughnessy O'McSixgun ~
      DOH!
      I just now re-read my earlier comment and I hope you don't think I was calling you (or Arlee Boid, for that matter) pseudo-intellectual. It looks like it could be interpreted that way (since you both dig Classical music) because I left out a key piece of info, but nuttin' could be further from my mind.

      I've been reading quite a bit lately about various theories of Evolution and the people who hold them. It seems that Classical music is popular with a lot of them, and I suspect it's because they think it makes them appear more "intellectual". But anyone who buys into any form of macro-evolution ain't no intellectual!

      I thought I'd better clarify that just in case I gave the wrong impression.

      As Al "Nappy" Bondigas wrote earlier, I hold you in "high esteem", so obviously I don't consider you anything but genuinely intellectual.

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

      Delete

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