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Larry Franz

Posts: 1,864
Reply with quote  #46 
It's not like the fate of the world is at stake. (We don't get to decide that until a week from Tuesday.)

I think they're all excellent, but:

Gold -- The Beach Boys -- The one I'd miss the most if I never heard it again. 

Silver -- Jan & Dean -- The Beach Boys probably would have done it even better.

Bronze -- The Byrds -- The first 30 seconds are outstanding. 

Pewter -- Stevie Wonder -- If there's anything to complain about, the "haystack needle" line grates. 

Petula Clark, "Downtown", 1964

bonnie bella

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Posts: 2,032
Reply with quote  #47 
This has been one of the best weeks for music in a long time.  And I still have all today's stuff to work through!

Hard to vote, but here they are, my votes.

GOLD - TBB.  Until Larry said it, I couldn't decide.  But when you put it like that, it's certainly the one I would miss the most.  I only have one peeve about this song, and that's the message.  It makes me think of failure and a general lack of independence.  That then always makes me think of me when I was leaving my small town for the city, only I was the opposite, I COULD NOT WAIT, and boy was it fun!  

SILVER - The Byrds.  Love the intro.  Could have been gold, but I wouldn't miss it as much!  I became a Byrds fan after watching Forrest Gump.  They really caught my attention and so I bought a couple of CD's and spent a summer getting high with The Byrds.  Eight miles?  I don't know, we work in kilometers.

BRONZE - Stevie.  Dang this guy can sing.  I don't like to rate it this low, but the other two are emotionally connected, while I wouldn't have a clue what he's rabbiting on about.  Gets a bit gospel at the end, and never really seems to reach its point.  You're right Larry, haystacks belong in the country.  And putting a needle in one is just plain old dangerous. 

TIN - Dan and Jean.  Proof that it's not surf music that I like, but the boys harmonizing together and that special sound they create.  Tried a couple of times to "get" these two.  Not happening.  I wonder what the boys sound like singing it?  "Two girls for every boy..."  ooohhh.  [eek] 


Two "buildings" you really need, one big, one small.

"Welcome Home". Stan Walker (2011).

"Letterbox", Ok Go (2011).

Thanks, Larry. [wink]


Clowns divorce: custardy battle.     Simon Munnery

Darren J. Ray

Posts: 3,404
Reply with quote  #48 

Lisa, try singing along following that karaoke version of 'There's a Place'. You won't get very far. [confused]
Darren J. Ray

Posts: 3,404
Reply with quote  #49 

Gold - Surf City (Jan and Dean - 1963)
Yeah, I prefer the re-recording from 1977 (thanks again, Larry). But it’s a great little song. If I was Murry, I would’ve been cheesed off too. My band does it. We usually introduce it by saying the boys in the band and I can relate to the motto of this next song, and if there are any ladies in the audience who can relate to the motto of the song to visit us in the dressing room after the show!

Silver - Eight Miles High (The Byrds - 1966)
I laugh when I recall McGuinn claiming in that ‘60s doco that does the rounds that this wasn’t about drugs. The Byrds are a bit like the Raspberries to me. I’m an admirer, but not an ardent fan. That said, I’ve been planning on selecting one of my three favourite Byrds tracks for my Battle this coming week. Might not now.

Bronze - That’s Not Me (The Beach Boys - 1966)
Other than the hits, Pet Sounds just doesn’t float my boat, and is not the reason I’m a Brian Wilson fan.

Participant - Living for the City (single edit) (Stevie Wonder - 1973)
Stevie Wonder doesn’t press my buttons either.


t bedford

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Posts: 2,004
Reply with quote  #50 
King Crimson - Pictures of a City

I'm not a real billionaire, but I play one on TV!

Posts: 234
Reply with quote  #51 

Gold - Surf City – Jan & Dean

Silver - Living for The City – Stevie Wonder

Bronze - That’s Not Me - The Beach Boys

Tin - Eight Miles High – The Byrds


David W

Posts: 464
Reply with quote  #52 
My votes:

Gold: Stevie Wonder
Silver: Byrds
Bronze: BBs
Tin: Jan and Dean

The Corrs and Old Town

Rockin Berries and He's In Town

The Shadows and Frightened City

What happened to Duffy ?

Larry Franz

Posts: 1,864
Reply with quote  #53 
Thanks bonnie, Darren, Graciegirl, David & t. for your votes and/or additional songs. Nice to see Stevie get his first Gold. 

"He's In Town" sounded a little familiar but the group didn't sound familiar at all. The Rockin' Berries never made the charts in this country. But the Tokens' original version, released a month earlier in 1964, reached #43 In the US and the Top Twenty in Los Angeles.

With 14 voters having spoken, we now have a tie.

In other news:

Nick Drake, "At the Chime of a City Clock", Bryter Later, 1970

Bruce Springsteen, "Racing in the Street", Darkness at the Edge of Town, 1978

Nirvana, "Frances Farmer Will Have Her Revenge on Seattle", In Utero, 1993

Elliott Smith, "Rose Parade", Either/Or, 1997

Darren J. Ray

Posts: 3,404
Reply with quote  #54 
Glad Larry mentioned 'Friday on my Mind', but here's a beauty that doesn't look like it's been suggested yet. 

(Love in the City - The Turtles)

Covered faithfully by the Wondermints.
Lisa G/TS

Posts: 803
Reply with quote  #55 
Darren -- re: "There's a Place" -- Yeah, I'll admit I didn't run it completely thru (only jumped near the end to make sure there was no unintended weird stuff). When I did play it a couple of hours after posting, yessirree bub, there's skipped lines and more holes than Swiss cheese. There were actually just 2 or 3 with lyrics to choose from: runner-up had an accompanying singer who really sounded like a bad karaoke host. 

That left me a little perpluxed and pezzled (typos deliberate to emphasize my baffled brain) which to use. Seems danged if I do, danged if I didn't, doesn't it? Yet, there were TONS of links for the Actual Beatles, which of course, would be not viewable in most countries, blast it all! (Pardon my excessive expletives). [rolleyes]
Cantina Margarita

Posts: 347
Reply with quote  #56 
1. That's Not Me
2. Eight Miles High
3. Living For the City
4. Surf City

In the early 1990s a temporary bandmate (a nervous potsmoking guitarist) claimed that 8 Miles High is not about streets and cities, but about LSD trips. Overinterpreted ?

I can clearly remember him twisting in ectasy while trying the solo. Me trying to sing all vocal layers at the same time. We both failed.

... by the way: I never got any higher than to the 3rd or 4th can of Pilsener.
Tom Tobben

Posts: 1,148
Reply with quote  #57 
What an excellent collection of songs and artists for this week's battle, Larry! That made my ranking process more difficult, but here's my definite personal choices for the week:

Gold -- "Living for the City", Stevie Wonder. One of Stevie's most impactful songs from one of his very best albums, Innervisions. I remember its time and themes so well from 1973, when racial tensions and discrimination were so much in the news in the US following the numerous Civil Rights protests and conflicts in the 60s and 70s. The lyrics of the song are particularly poignant about a black family trying to get by and to live decent lives in a racially challenged country where the deck is stacked against them, but still hoping for a better tomorrow, and ending with a powerful message in the final verse.

A boy is born in hard time Mississippi,
Surrounded by four walls that ain't so pretty.
His parents give him love and affection
To keep him strong, moving in the right direction.
Living just enough, just enough for the city.

His father works some days for fourteen hours
And you can bet he barely makes a dollar.
His mother goes to scrub the floors for many
And you'd best believe she hardly gets a penny.
Living just enough, just enough for the city, yeah.

His sister's black but she is sho 'nuff pretty,
Her skirt is short but Lord her legs are sturdy.
To walk to school she's got to get up early,
Her clothes are old but never are they dirty.
Living just enough, just enough for the city.

Her brother's smart, he's got more sense than many,
His patience's long but soon he won't have any.
To find a job is like a haystack needle,
'Cause where he lives they don't use colored people.
Living just enough, just enough for the city.

Living just enough for the city.

His hair is long, his feet are hard and gritty,
He spends his life walking the streets of New York City.
He's almost dead from breathing in air pollution,
He tried to vote but to him there's no solution.

Living just enough, just enough for the city yeah, yeah, yeah!

I hope you hear inside my voice of sorrow,
And that it motivates you to make a better tomorrow.
This place is cruel no where could be much colder,
If we don't change the world will soon be over.

Living just enough, just enough for the city!

If I remember correctly, Stevie Wonder not only wrote the music and lyrics for this album, but he also produced and arranged it, as well as playing many of the instruments on the songs. A truly stellar song and album by young Stevie Wonder during a period when he was at a creative peak.  

Silver -- "Eight Miles High", Byrds. Perhaps my all-time favorite Byrds song and right at the peak of the mid/late 60s psychedelic era. I never tire of hearing this great song, including the distinctive guitar work.

Bronze -- "That's Not Me", Beach Boys. Just one of so many fine songs from Brian's classic Pet Sounds album, and in many of our battle weeks it could have been my gold choice. But with this week's strong battle, it falls to a solid third place for me. Not as good as the best songs on Pet Sounds but still a fine song and fine lyrics.

Tin -- "Surf City", Jan & Dean. Perhaps their best song, compliments of Brian! Certainly an excellent, fun-loving, and catchy song, but lyrically not as substantial as the other songs in this week's battle.

Also, slight modification to Lee's earlier comments regarding Alzheimer's disease. Linda Ronstadt has Parkinson's disease, which has robbed her of her singing voice and likely gradually also of other muscular controls. Other famous people, such as Michael J. Fox and Muhammed Ali, have also suffered from Parkinson's, which is different from Alzheimer's in most of its symptoms, and often in its rate of advance. But many victims of Parkinson's can live for many years with proper medication, and without near-term loss of their mental functions. To my knowledge, Linda Ronstadt does not also suffer from Alzheimer's disease.

Some more city/town songs:

Here's one that I featured some years ago in one of our battles, the catchy "Guitar Town" by young Steve Earle:

Chuck Berry was famous for his name-checking of cities in some of his songs. And this one, "Sweet Little Sixteen", inspired Brian Wilson to adapt it into the early Beach Boys hit "Surfin' USA":

Another famous city name-check song was Tommy Facenda's "High School USA":

Finally, Bruce Springsteen famously sang about "My Hometown" on his classic Born in the USA album:

Excellent battle this week, Larry!

David W

Posts: 464
Reply with quote  #58 
Funny you had never heard the Rocking Berries version of He's In Town as I had never heard The Tokens version until today's a great song and here's a French version .
paul g adsett

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Posts: 1,360
Reply with quote  #59 
tin: 'surf city'

bronze: 'that's not me'

silver: 'livin' for the city'

gold:  eight miles high' 

- crikey, a difficult one.
after regulating jan'n'dean to lowest place,
it was touch'n'go
as to what went where.
but, ultimately, this was the ultimate wrestling order.

from sunny sydney harbour
(though it was tipping down when we arrived!)

Larry Franz

Posts: 1,864
Reply with quote  #60 
Regarding "He's In Town", it always surprises me when a song I almost certainly haven't heard in more than 50 years sounds familiar. It's one of the benefits of this place that we often get to renew old acquaintances.

Petula Clark, "I Know a Place", 1965 (#3 in the US, only #17 in the UK)

Cantina, Tom and Paul -- thanks for your votes. With 17 voters so far, we no longer have a tie, although it's still too close to call.

A few more from this week's "City, Town, Village" playlist:

Riders in the Sky, "Streets of Laredo", Weeds and Water, 1983

Marty Robbins, "El Paso", 1959

Lightnin' Hopkins, "Back to New Orleans" (aka "Baby, Please Don't Go"), 1947

Wilbert Harrison, "Kansas City", 1959

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