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John B

Posts: 2,174
Reply with quote  #16 
I hear two good songs and two I don't care for. 

1) Etta James  "Somethings Got a Hold on Me"

my impression of her, is great singer with generally mediocre and derivative songs.  This is how close a Carl & the Passions song actually came to being my number choice: I decided to check, and if this was before "Mustang Sally (Ride, Sally ride), it would be number 1, and if the Wilson Pickett song was first, this would have been 2nd place.   She does look a little like Beyonce' in the face, huh?  Beyoncé should have Deneroed a little more with dairy products before that Chess movie, though...

2) The Boys' "Hold On Dear Brother"

an okay song on a generally weaker Boys' album. 

3) Triumph "Hold On"

thought this would be 4th, but on further listening, not as bad as I remember.   Triumph was one of those few bands who came to Oklahoma, like Head East, so they were artificially elevated in popularity at my Oklahoma Jr. High School.

4) Ambrosia, "Holding on to Yesterday"

dull.  bland.  for people with facial hair and silk shirts, holding alcoholic beverages at Sandles all inclusive resorts.  They would frown at my noisy kid-dominated family, I suspect.  As bad as Toto?  Does it matter?    
Larry Franz

Posts: 491
Reply with quote  #17 
Well, Sam & Dave's "Hold On, I'm Comin'" is no longer my second favorite holding song. Not sure which one is.

"Hold Me Baby" is an obscure recording by Robert James Byrd, Sr., from around 1956. Mr. Byrd may have recorded it as Bobby Byrd.

Robert Byrd is better known as Bobby Day. Under that name, he wrote and originally recorded "Little Bitty Pretty One", a hit for Thurston Harris, and had a big hit himself with "Rockin' Robin", which he didn't write. He did write the flip side, "Over and Over", a big hit for the Dave Clark Five. He was also an original member of the Hollywood Flames and co-wrote their hit "Buzz Buzz Buzz" ("goes the bumble bee"). He even recorded a couple songs written by Murry Wilson.

Bobby Day & the Satellites -- "Little Bitty Pretty One" (1957)

The Hollywood Flames -- "Buzz-Buzz-Buzz" (which sounds a lot like "Over and "Over") (1957)

Bobby Day -- "Rockin' Robin" and "Over and Over" (1958)

Bobby Byrd or Bobby Day -- "Hold Me Baby" (circa 1956)

I think I've got all that right.

PS:  Amos Milburn -- Another "Hold Me, Baby" (1949)

PPS: The productiveness and fluidity of the black musicians working in Los Angeles in the 1950s looks like what white musicians like Brian and others were doing in LA in the early 1960s.

Verden McCutcheon

Posts: 461
Reply with quote  #18 

  Season 10 Week 22..holding on for dear life

                       1)Etta of the best ever !!!

                      2)The Beach Boys...Does have a Vietnam thing about it...makes it more interesting

                      3)Triumph....certainly recall this one from the 70's

                      4)Ambrosia...Doesn't stack up with the others

                                                good theme !!


Cindy Hood

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Posts: 1,522
Reply with quote  #19 
Tom, they're all good ones!

I'll go with:

Gold:  Triumph for Holding On.  Never heard this one before, but really like this one the best out of this grouping.

Silver:  Ambrosia for Holding On To Yesterday.  Loved their hits, You're The Biggest Part of Me and How Much I Feel.  

Bronze:  Beach Boys for Hold On Dear Brother.  I'm not impressed.  The Boys have done much better than this.

Tin:  Etta James for Something's Got A Hold On Me. I just don't care for this style of music.


Here's one that I didn't see posted:


"They're not gonna catch us. We're on a mission from God".
Larry Franz

Posts: 491
Reply with quote  #20 

A few more to hold on to in these dire times.

John Lennon -- "Hold On"

Lykke Li -- "Hold On, We're Going Home"

Grizzly Bear -- "Sky Took Hold"

PS:  Dewey Cox -- "Let Me Hold You (Little Man)" (he wrote protest songs much more incisive than Dylan's back in the 60s)

bonnie bella

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Posts: 2,038
Reply with quote  #21 
Hi Tom. Another interesting line-up, and we can't fault your rockability, as usual.

My votes worked out like this:

GOLD - Ambrosia. Utterly gorgeous, and it's a new song to me, although wiki says it peaked at number 36 on the NZ charts in 1975 (back when I was smashing pureed pumpkin up my nose and finding new ways of keeping the household awake all night). David Pack and Joe Puerta sound amazing together in this instance. Listening to their other stuff, I recognised a few and think you picked out one of their better songs.

SILVER - Etta James. Soul in spades. Amazing woman. This performance right here:

BRONZE - Beach Boys. I'm a fan of this album for the most part and also really like this song, but I love Here She Comes, so my musical taste is questionable as it is. The way this combination works and that distinct 70s sound make for a very good song.

TIN - Triumph. Anthemic, to say the least. I can see how this song works for that purpose. Big sound, goes big places. Again, I had to do some digging to find songs I knew, I just had to dig a little deeper. Cousins of Journey? kds would know these guys and have helped their plight this week.

Some Holding On songs.

Jimmy Barnes, I know Tom enjoyed some of his stuff.

And another Australian this week - (what's come over me?)

A couple of overwrought kiwis, but it has some good moments.

And the reggae version of Can I Hold You Tonight from Foxy Brown because I happen to know Lee is in the vicinity. Those last few minutes on this are kinda groovy.

Thanks, Tom.


Clowns divorce: custardy battle.     Simon Munnery

Larry Franz

Posts: 491
Reply with quote  #22 
As bonnie reminds us, holding on is sometimes a song's topic. Two old ones:

The Four Seasons -- "Let's Hang On"

Harry Nilsson -- "Don't Leave Me"

Two newer ones to hold:

The War On Drugs -- "Holding On"

The Polyphonic Spree -- "Section 12 (Hold Me Now)"

Finally, three from the first album by Big Brother & the Holding Company (which owns enough voting stock in another company that it can control the second company's policies and oversee its management decisions, somewhat like a Big Brother!).

"Call On Me"

"Coo Coo" (for those of us who want to hear a surf instrumental with a vocal by Janis Joplin)

"Bye, Bye Baby"

Tom Tobben

Posts: 1,163
Reply with quote  #23 
Thanks to all our most recent voters and contributors since mid-week: John E., John B., Larry, Verden, Cindy, and bonnie!

John E., it's always good when we get a dose of Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick, & Tich in our BOTBs. Though they were quite popular and had a number of hits in the mid/late-60s in most countries represented by members of our weekly BOTBs, for some reason they hardly received any exposure in the US. 

John B., thanks for your votes and your comments. Sorry that none of these battle songs provided much appeal to you. I was glad to see, though, that the Etta James song earned your top vote. I'd have to disagree, however, that her sound was derivative. To the contrary, starting as a young teen in the mid-1950s, she was an early influence on a number of later female singers, both for her ballads and her up-tempo R&B songs. For example, she was a prime influence on Janis Joplin's gritty blues vocal style. 

Triumph's music was certainly derivative of its late '70s and early '80s arena rock era, but they did have a number of successful songs and albums. Besides "Hold On" and "Lay It on the Line" (see bonnie's post above), another big hit for Triumph in Canada and US rock stations in 1981 was "Magic Power", which you and others here might recognize:

Larry, right on about the dynamic black music scene in LA back in the '50s. Young Etta James, born in LA, is a perfect example, getting her start at age 17 singing with Harvey Fuqua (of Harvey & The Moonglows -- e.g., "Ten Commandments of Love", "Sincerely") in the mid-50s. Here she is with her first big R&B chart hit with Harvey Fuqua on backing vocals from 1955, reaching #1 for four weeks on the R&B charts:

Good background on Bobby Day and nice reach back to LA-based Amos Milburn who had a bunch of R&B hits in the late '40s and early 50s, such as this mellow hit song from 1953, later famously covered by John Lee Hooker and subsequently by George Thorogood:

Nice to see your inclusion of a number of other "holding" songs. I especially enjoyed your inclusion of Lennon's "Hold On", the Four Seasons' "Let's Hang On", and Harry Nilsson's lovely "Don't Leave Me". 

Verden, thanks for your votes, and glad to see you recall Canada's Triumph from all those years ago. Regarding the Beach Boys' "Hold On, Dear Brother", I had not really considered the possible Vietnam War connection to the song's lyrics until I found the video for this week's battle. It certainly does add a more powerful interpretation to this lovely song. 

Cindy, a pleasant change of pace in this week's voting, with you placing the Triumph and Ambrosia songs as your top two. Triumph's best songs are certainly good, especially if you like their arena rock feel. And, as always, thanks for bringing Carl Wilson's solo work into the mix!

bonnie, nice to see Ambrosia get your gold vote -- just one of several lovely songs by that group from your early kid years. And that's a wonderful live version of Etta James' "I'd Rather Go Blind". She was such a powerful R&B singer. Here's another of my up-tempo favorites by her, which she recorded at Rick Hall's now-legendary FAME studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, with the distinctive-sounding FAME session musicians. Interestingly, the song you offered up, "I'd Rather Go Blind", was the original B-side to her 1967 hit single, "Tell Mama":

And check out this dynamic live extended version of the song, performed at the late Fillmore West Auditorium in San Francisco, and also featuring Carlos Santana on guitar and John Lee Hooker on supporting vocals, from back in the mid-1980s:

Thanks also for that fine Jimmy Barnes song! I'm most familiar with his music as part of Cold Chisel, thanks to you and Darren exposing their music on past battles. Another excellent singer from down under who most of us in the northern hemisphere unfortunately aren't familiar with. Good stuff with the INXS hit. I always think of the late Michael Hutchence as an Australian counterpart to Jim Morrison.

I think you hit the nail on the head comparing Triumph to Journey, at least with regard to some of their up-tempo music and being a fellow arena rock group from that era. But, from my perspective, Triumph was more of a guitar rock group than Journey, which also had a number of slower-styled songs. If Lisa votes this week, perhaps she can add more perspective on Triumph's music since they were a major Canadian rock group back in their day.

I, too, hope that someday Lee makes his reappearance here. His broad knowledge of music and his in-depth knowledge of reggae, oldies, Top 40, and rock was a real plus here. 

Here's a few more well-known "hold on" songs that have not yet been mentioned this week, to my knowledge:

From one of my favorite groups, here's Santana's own hit "Hold On":

By the way, last weekend I attended an excellent concert featuring both the Doobie Brothers (featuring original members Tom Johnson and Patrick Simmons) and Santana. Both groups sounded great and covered a broad range of their best-known songs from over the years. Since this summer is the 50th anniversary of the original Woodstock festival, Santana started off their set with a medley of "Soul Sacrifice/Jingo/Evil Ways" from their famous appearance at Woodstock and from their debut album. 

Nobody has yet mentioned this .38 Special hit, which encourages us to Hold On but not too tightly:

And what about this biggie by the Thompson Twins from 1983:

One more day for everyone to get in your votes, comments, and additional songs for this week's battle! This week's battle will close Sunday night US time. 

Cantina Margarita

Posts: 161
Reply with quote  #24 
"Something's Got A Hold on Me", Etta James
great music like a reward for checking out the rest.

“Holding On to Yesterday", Ambrosia
George Michael on acid

"Hold On, Dear Brother", Beach Boys
transports all weirdness of senseless war games. Other kinds of weirdness as well.

"Hold On", Triumph
Shocking. Yes for primary school birthday parties.

This is just music. Music that doesn't hurt.

Had my encounter with Woodstock, too. Tuesday last week. My is that guy great.

Darren J. Ray

Posts: 3,431
Reply with quote  #25 

John B, we hear these with similar ears.

Gold - Hold On Dear Brother (The Beach Boys - 1972)
Sounds like someone’s been listening to The Band. Red Rhodes and Blondie save it. Just. Never thought I’d be giving anything from Carl and the Passions a Gold!

Silver - Something’s Got a Hold on Me (Etta James - 1962)
Sounds definitely like someone’s been listening to Ray Charles. The chorus of this is too similar for my liking to ‘This Little Girl of Mine’ from several years earlier. But, yes, she can sing. 

Bronze - Holdin’ on to Yesterday (Ambrosia - 1975)
The fact that I’d heard of the band, courtesy of their only hit here and a decent song, elevated it from Tin. But it is pretty dreary. 

Participant - Hold On (Triumph - 1979)
I feel like I’m being preached to. Grandiose ambition that tries to cover all bases but comes off as pretentious.

Larry beat me to the John Lennon and Dewey Cox. About time a host included Dewey in a week, isn’t it?

Busy week, but spent part of some days listening to these four, Tom. Even if someone's choices don't float my boat, I'll still spend days appraising them. 

Been gigging too. Opened a couple of times with this appropriate number, recorded here by Australian Reg Lindsay but written by the great John Stewart….

Saw Yesterday today. Has anyone here not seen it yet but intends to? Don’t want to spoil it.

Posts: 118
Reply with quote  #26 

Gold - "Hold On", Triumph
Silver - "Something's Got A Hold on Me", Etta James
Bronze - "Holding On to Yesterday", Ambrosia
Tin - "Hold On, Dear Brother", Beach Boys

David W

Posts: 466
Reply with quote  #27 
Even though I didn't know the first 3 songs I sort of knew that Etta James would be the number one..... and so it proved .

Gold , "Something's Got A Hold on Me", Etta James

Silver ,"Hold On, Dear Brother", Beach Boys

Bronze ,"Hold On", Triumph

Tin ,"Holding On to Yesterday", Ambrosia

Bit of a long intro rocker with the Quo

Lisa G/TS

Posts: 152
Reply with quote  #28 
Well, hold the phone there...

GOLD -- Etta James, Something's Got  a Hold on Me -- I seem to remember a cover (?) of this in a commercial from the past few years. Awesome voice for a lady who shared my birthdate (not year), not that that affects my vote. A treat to hear anything besides "At Last". 

SILVER -- Triumph, Hold On -- Possibly derivative...yet later works by Journey (good call, bonnie!) borrowed from them. So I'll give Triumph some credit for being the original Journey, and someone remind me to rank Journey slightly lower than Silver if they're offered again.  [biggrin]

Here's another Canuck that came to mind who fits the bill here (yep, he's the slightly younger brother of Second City comic actor Dave Thomas):

BRONZE -- Beach Boys/Carl & the Passions, Hold on Dear Brother -- Nice country/folk sound. Probably no coincidence if there was an intentional 'nam connection.

TIN -- Ambrosia, Holding on to Yesterday -- I'd only heard of 'em with their big breakthrough "Biggest Part of Me" which still holds my interest better. 

Having just mentioned that Y word, I did finally see "Yesterday" just earlier today (after a couple of failed plans to see with one friend or another fell thru the past couple of weeks, just went on my own). Such an original concept compared to some of the recycled, rehashed stuff people are clamouring to see with their hard earned cash. Loved the random humour of a couple of other things non-existent (ie: cigarette is only a town in France or something like that). I had stumbled across a slight spoiler alert on IMDB of that scene with a certain 78-year-old (ahem) which had 1 or 2 fellas in the audience gasp. Probably best scene in a movie that really get you thinking, but also very entertaining. I'm surprised this tune has been overlooked so far. Was thinking of posting the movie segment, but came across this bonus not from the film:

Thanks, Tom! Let's see how your week HOLDS up! 

"Stay-cation for the Nation", "Crush that Curve"
Tom Tobben

Posts: 1,163
Reply with quote  #29 
Thanks to our most recent voters and commenters -- Cantina, Darren, stkilda, David, and Lisa! Five voters and three different selections for gold. That's what I like to see -- we're not just musical lemmings who march together blindly in lockstep.

Cantina, considering that Etta James didn't have many big radio hits, it's been a pleasant surprise to see how many people have given her their top vote this week. Likewise, I've been surprised how many people have rated down Triumph this week, despite at least a couple gold votes for their battle song. Thompson Twins, yes! And a delightful recent Fogerty/CCR flashback too! Thanks for voting this week.

Darren, given our frequent differences in musical tastes in our weekly battles, I'm always interested in seeing how you vote and what you have to say about each song and artist. How about Blondie and Ricky earning some gold this week for one of their songs -- if they only knew that this relatively obscure song from a lesser-known Beach Boys album would earn some first place votes here! 

I'm not sure I see such a great similarity between the Ray Charles song and Etta's battle song, other than their R&B roots. But, on the plus side, the Ray Charles song brought to mind this later, similarly titled, song performed by Gary "U.S." Bonds, and written by Bruce Springsteen:

Thanks, as usual for taking the time to give all the songs multiple critical listenings before voting and also commenting on each.

stkilda -- hooray, another person who found Triumph's "Hold On" worthy of gold! They haven't been feeling too much love this week. 

David, fellow soul/R&B music fan that you are, I thought you might give Etta's song your gold, and deservedly so. In my opinion, it's one of her best. Nice addition from the Status Quo. Considering that they've been so big and enduring in the UK but only a one-hit wonder in the US, I'm always glad when someone exposes more of their music here!

Lisa, another Etta fan! She sure knows how to belt out a song, or to sing it smooth and silky, for that matter. And thanks for pointing out that Triumph was an influence on Journey, and not necessarily the other way around. Thanks also for mentioning Ambrosia's "Biggest Part of Me", another fine song. Here it is, with nearly 18 million views on YouTube:

Thanks also for bringing up the recent movie Yesterday and the famous Beatles song by the movie's lead character! What an entertaining film that recalls the amazing brilliance and originality of the Beatles music, even if the story line had to establish a premise that was quite a stretch. And thanks for sharing another "Hold On" song from Ian Thomas, this one the same song as Santana's hit.  

As far as my own votes this week:

Gold -- Gotta go with Etta James' "Something's Got A Hold on Me". This is classic up-tempo R&B with that great Muscle Shoals backing sound, and one of my favorites from Etta James. Chicago's Chess Brothers were sure right when they encouraged her to record this song at FAME studios in Muscle Shoals at a time when that studio was a hit machine. At her best, Etta James is probably my all-time favorite female R&B singer. 

Silver -- "Hold On", Triumph. This song has been a popular FM classic rock favorite here for many years, so it's quite familiar to me. They may have an arena rock sound, but what's wrong with that (as Paul McCartney famously sang). They are energetic, catchy, and have distinctive lead vocals and guitar. O Canada!

Bronze -- "Holding on to Yesterday", Ambrosia. A lovely light rock song and sound from this popular late 70s / early 80s LA group. If you're an AC/DC or Clash fan from that same era, you might not be especially fond of this group's laid-back, melodic vocal sound on their biggest hits. 

Tin -- "Hold On, Dear Brother", Beach Boys. I really like this song and the generally laid-back feel of the Carl & the Passions album. Personally, I don't think Blondie and Ricky have received enough credit for putting some fresh energy into the Beach Boys in the early/mid-70s. Thank you, Carl Wilson, for bringing them into the Beach Boys band, even if for only a few years and a few albums, at a time when the Beach Boys needed to explore additional music directions to remain relevant with changing times. 

A couple more songs to keep us in a brief "holding" pattern before our final voters in this past week's battle make their appearance:

"Gone country" with this old hit from Alan Jackson:

And this lovely soul classic from Joe Tex:

Finally, this early nugget from John "Cougar" Mellencamp, from his American Fool album:

Final voting will wrap up later tonight US time, and I'll post this week's results on Monday US time.
Lisa G/TS

Posts: 152
Reply with quote  #30 
Just came across this....Gadzooks! Is this for real?:

"Stay-cation for the Nation", "Crush that Curve"
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