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GGH

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Hi everybody! This is my first week hosting. Hopefully I won't let you down. I had lots of theme ideas but the one I settled on for this week is covers. I often think about how Beach Boys covers measure up to the original songs and I'm sure most of you do as well...

Several months ago, I found a live version of Ray Charles' What'd I Say, covered by the Boys in January 1964. It's been a highly controversial subject lately, due to the mystery of the lead vocalist. I am 99% sure it's Carl (as I have gathered from a few sources and my own ears) but other sources claim it's Brian. Either way, I absolutely love the track, and I think even though it's live, it measures up fairly against the recorded opponents.


The original What'd I Say is a great tune by the fantastic Ray Charles. Enjoy!


I have always loved The Beach Boys version of I Can Hear Music. It has another beautiful vocal from Carl. It was the first Beach Boys song not involving Brian in any way. It was arranged and produced by Carl. Interesting that he chose a Phil Spector song to cover. Influence from Brian there. I got lucky and found a video from Amsterdam in 1969 to go along with this one.


The last song I selected is the original I Can Hear Music, performed by the Ronettes, produced by Phil Spector.


I hope you all enjoy the music. Let the voting begin!

~Jenny

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t bedford

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Hi Jenny. Here's my votes:

GOLD to the Beach Boys - I Can Hear Music

SILVER for the Ronettes - I Can Hear Music

BRONZE to Ray Charles - What'd I Say

Leaving TIN for Beach Boys - What'd I Say

Here's the Lovin' Spoonful covering The Ronettes - You Baby


And here's the Ronettes version:

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Cindy Hood

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Jenny, Welcome to your first of many weeks hosting the Battle of the Bands!  I hope you have an easy week for your first time.  

Some good choices in cover songs!

I'll go with:

GOLD:  The Beach Boys for I Can Hear Music.  This was Carl's first production and I think he did a splendid job.  I like this version way better than the Ronette's.  However, the Beach Boys did a cover of the Ronette's Be My Baby that they'd have better off not doing.  The Ronette's were far superior on that one.

SILVER:  The Ronettes for I Can Hear Music.  Still very good, just a little slower tempo.

BRONZE:  Ray Charles for What'd I Say.  Very good song, but I just never got into his songs.

TIN/PEWTER:  The Beach Boys for What'd I Say.  Pretty good live cover of this song.  I don't know who the lead is.  I was thinking it was Al, though it does sound a little like Carl too.  I didn't know if Carl was really doing any leads back then.

My final answer.

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John B

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1.  'I Can Hear Music'  The Ronettes
2.  'I Can Hear Music'  The 'Boys
3.  'What'd I Say' Ray Charles
4.  'What'd I Say' the 'Boys

Hey, this reminds me, that Youtube has a very nice live version of the Boys--with Brian there, performing outside the restaurant at the Waikiki Hilton (where I was about 1 year ago), and they ask Ray Charles to come out and he signs lead on 'Sail on Sailor'.  Brian explains I believe that he was thinking of Ray Charles' voice when he was writing 'Sail on Sailor.'
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kds

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Reply with quote  #5 
John, I think that version of SOS is from The Beach Boys 25th Anniversary show in Hawaii, which featured a few guest stars.

Gold - BB - I Can Hear Music - Ranks among the BB best covers, and a great Carl lead.

Silver - Ray Charles

Bronze - Ronettes

Tin - BB - What I'd Say
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Professor Dewey

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Jenny: Very interesting choices!

Gold -- Ray Charles -- Easy winner for me in terms of the song and the performance.

Silver -- The Beach Boys, "What'd I Say" -- Definitely a rousing performance. The vocal is difficult to place, but I'm around 99% sure it's Brian. Actually, you could have convinced me this isn't the Beach Boys at all, except that Brian has been quoted saying they performed it live in the early days because he loved it so much, and the longer recording from that concert is available.



Bronze -- The Beach Boys, "I Can Hear Music" -- They did an excellent job on it, and it was nice to hear the Beach Boys on the radio when it came out in 1969, but it was disappointing that they were doing somebody else's song. And the song itself isn't that great.

Pewter -- The Ronettes -- They were terrific, but this wasn't one of their best.


The second song that came to mind today was the relatively overlooked "Farmer's Daughter". The original:



Fleetwood Mac's concert version:



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D.A.N

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Sounds like Carl to me, and I think I can pick out Brian in the response "oohs" (the last minute or so)

Yeah they're often very similar 
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Lee Marshall

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Reply with quote  #8 
OK...Here's my take on these 4 choices

What'd I Say...Ray Charles by the tiniest bit of a margin.  Barely GOLDEN.  Kind of grates on me and I like A LOT of Ray's body of work.

I Can Hear Music...Beach Boys.  The clear-cut Silver winner here.  An extremely Solid Second.  NO!! Wait.  I'm gonna tie it with Ray.  GOLDEN too.

What'd I Say...The Bronzed version.  Was that?  No!!!!  It can't be.  But who was playing the sax?  Was Mike ever capable of playin' it THAT well?  I don't think so.
It's not Brian singin' lead.  I think it's Al.  Pretty well done.  Maybe it's Carl but I'm gonna stay with Al.  Voice development was still to come where it would become far easier to guess who's who.

Last by a country mile...The Ronettes.  "Not their best."  [thank you Johnny Miller.]
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Professor Dewey

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It seems to me that in early 1964, it would have been very rare for anyone but Brian or Michael to sing leads. Dennis sang "The Wanderer" on the concert album, but he got a special introduction when he did so. I also don't see young Carl bursting out with all that singing style and nobody ever mentioning it or making use of it until later in his career.

Also, in the comments underneath the YouTube video, someone who goes by the name Darren J Ray added this a few days ago:

Quote:

I've been in correspondence with a BW band member and a Beach Boys historian in the last couple of days. They both believe the vocalist to be Brian. One commented: "It's been known since the album came out that Brian was singing lead. In 1964, Carl probably didn't handle any lead vocals in concert. His first real lead vocal on record was "Pom Pom Play Girl," but I've never seen any evidence that the group performed the song in concert. Which likely means he didn't have a lead vocal in concert until after "Girl Don't Tell Me" was released in July 1965". The other commented: "Carl we know did not get his first lead vocal until Girl Don't Tell Me the following year, plus the vocalist has the authority and assurance of NOT the youngest guy in the band. Despite the track featuring some blue notes and phrasing that aren't really classic Brian, I still think it is him". Kent Crowley says he got his information from Steve McParland. If I knew how to find him.... Anyway, I'm just looking for the truth, which is why I played this recording to THE BRIAN WILSON in a phone call (thanking me for a donation to the Hurricane Katrina disaster relief) in 2005 and asked him who was singing lead. His enthusiastic response: "That's ME!!!"


Since I'm here again, one of my absolute favorites, "Just Once In My Life"

Carole King's demo


The Righteous Brothers


This is definitely Carl and raspy-voiced Brian


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GGH

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Reply with quote  #10 
Yes I'm aware of that. We're still working on finding out for sure.
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bonnie bella

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Reply with quote  #11 
Hi there Jenny.

A stellar start to your battle career, well done. 

Richie Valens.  "Bluebirds Over the Mountain."



I think "The Beech Boys" do a much better job of it.  Apart from Mike's hat making him look like he's missing half his head, this is fabulous.







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Deb#1

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Jenny, thanks for the novel theme, and as a new host welcome to the BOTBs.
Curiously, I just pulled 15 Big Ones out of the CD stack last week to listen to in the car for a short trip I was taking. There are many good covers on that album. And then Mary posted Hushaby to her song of the week on Sunday. Great minds thinking alike.
My faves from 15 Big Ones (sadly, I’d have to say I like the hits versions the best):

Palisades Park..I really like Carl here:
[hqdefault]  

The BBs:


Freddy Cannon’s hit:

Blueberry Hill:
[2554147_orig] 
The BBs:


Fat’s Domino’s hit:

Nevertheless, here are my votes in this week’s battle:
  Gold – The Beach Boys - I Can Hear Music, Carl outdoes himself.
  Silver – The Ronettes - I Can Hear Music, I love Ronnie. I got to see her last year
  Bronze – Ray Charles - What'd I Say, wonderful.
  Tin - The Beach Boys - What'd I Say, still great, tho.


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Al Forsyth

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Reply with quote  #13 
Looks like a GREAT and challenging week.  I'll have to vote later on in the week.  Nice kick-off Jenny!

The original Bluebirds:


Other mics off:

Kathy and BB's:

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Professor Dewey

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Burt Bacharach and Hal David wrote "Trains and Boats and Planes". Gene Pitney declined to record it, so Bacharach recorded it himself with vocals by uncredited singers. The original from 1965:


Billy J. Kramer & the Dakotas released their version around the same time, which makes it semi-original:


Both those versions did well in the UK.

Dionne Warwick's version (produced by Bacharach and David) from 1966 did well in the US:


The Everly Brothers put it on an album in 1967:


Fountains of Wayne put it on an album in 2003 (but not on their album Traffic and Weather):


Although I left out Joanie Sommers (produced by Nick Venet) and a few others, I think that about covers it.

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bonnie bella

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Reply with quote  #15 
It's always quiet this time of week, Jenny.

The Paper Dolls have a go at Darlin'.


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