Welcome to the Season VII Battle of the Golds, the fifth and final play-off.
After 44 weeks of competition and four weeks of play-offs, it has come down to this.
From 176 selections, we’re left with the last 10 standing.
This week will decide the Gold, Silver & Bronze winning songs for the year!
Contesting songs are the seven highest ranked Gold songs through 2016 and the top three vote getters from last week's Preliminary Final.
Here are your nominees:-
If I Fell (The Beatles - 1964) (70 votes, 36.84%) (Week 2 - D.A.N)
- The Carpenters, ‘Leaving This Town’ and Paul Kelly & the Coloured Girls fell by the wayside, catapulting this Beatles favourite into its second Gold Play-Off after a 5th placing in the Season V decider. D.A.N’s third entry in a Gold Play-Off.
This Whole World (The Beach Boys - 1970) (2016 re-master) (71, 35.50) (Week 3 - Al Forsyth)
- Emerson, Lake & Palmer, James Taylor and Chicago were no match for a Beach Boys song that had also previously finished 5th, in the Season II Gold Play-Off.
Help Me, Rhonda (The Beach Boys - 1965) (61.5, 30.75; 123) (Week 7 - BrianFan)
- 3rd place in last week’s Preliminary Final after defeating ‘Help’ (The Beatles) (winner of the Silver Play-Off), Stevie Wonder and Joni Mitchell in Week 7. BrianFan’s first entry in a Gold Play-Off.
The Ballad of John and Yoko (The Beatles - 1969) (74, 37.00) (Week 8 - Cindy Hood)
- Had a huge win over Don Henley, ‘The Private Life of Bill and Sue’ and Elton John to come into this final ranked 1st. Cindy’s record-equalling tenth entry in a Gold Play-Off, the Queen of the Battle is shooting for her fifth crown in seven years.
You Still Believe in Me (The Beach Boys - 1966) (73.5, 33.41; 148) (Week 14 - Larry Franz)
- Trumped ‘True Love Ways’ (Buddy Holly), The Temptations and The Ronettes before coming 1st in last week’s Preliminary. Further proof that Pet Sounds is the favourite album of Blueboarders as a whole. Larry’s second entry in a Gold Play-Off.
Oxygen to the Brain (Brian Wilson - 2008) (80, 34.78) (Week 21 - Cantina Margarita)
- Proved too strong for ‘Picasso’s Last Words’ (Paul McCartney & Wings), ‘Heffalumps and Woozles’ (from Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day) and ABBA. Not counting ‘Caroline, No’ (8th in Season I), this is just the third Brian solo track (see below) to ever make a Gold Play-Off, after ‘Your Imagination’ (8th in Season IV) and ‘Love and Mercy’ (8th in Season VI). Cantina’s first entry in a Gold Play-Off.
Surf’s Up (The Beach Boys - 1966 & 1971/2011) (72, 36.00) (Week 28 - Al Forsyth)
- Had a resounding win in a strong week against classics from Elvis Presley, The Rolling Stones and the song that won this year’s Tin Play-Off, ‘My World Is Empty Without You’ (The Supremes). The Surf’s Up version came 2nd in the Season II Gold Play-Off. Could this Smile Sessions track go one better?
Cabin Essence (The Beach Boys - 1966 & 1968/2011) (75, 35.71) (Week 37 - Darren J. Ray)
- Another Smile Sessions track. Smashed Kasey Chambers, Ross Ryan and ‘Crazy Horses’ (The Osmonds) to come into this final ranked 2nd. My fourth entry in a Gold Play-Off. (My last two, in Season V, finished 9th and 10th!)
Don’t Talk (Put Your Head on My Shoulder) (The Beach Boys - 1966) (66, 36.67; 146) (Week 40 - Peter Simpson)
- Finished head and shoulders above ZZ Top, Bread and The Weeknd before coming a very close 2nd in the Preliminary Final. Came 5th in the Preliminary in Season I, 1st in last year’s Preliminary before finishing in 2nd place (Season Silver) in the Season VI decider, behind ‘Don’t Worry Baby’. Another Pet Sounds winner in its 50th anniversary year.
Lay Down Burden (Brian Wilson - 1998) (69, 38.33) (Week 42 - Al Forsyth)
- And here is just the fourth Brian solo track to make a Gold Play-Off. Laid out Leonard Cohen, Twenty One Pilots and Regina Spektor to give this Imagination track its first play-off of any type after three previous attempts, and it’s struck Gold. And has never lost a week in the four it’s been selected. Al’s third entry this week and record-equalling tenth entry in a Gold Play-Off.
The clips have been posted below.
Throughout the play-offs, I have listed all links previously used by the respective hosts excepting where clips have been taken down for copyright infringement or when clips with improved audio have become available.
I have sought the approval of substitute clips from the hosts whose selections this has affected.
Nine clips this week are the originals used by the hosts.
As everyone is aware, there is a ban on Beatles recordings (previously owned by EMI) on internet video-sharing services.
This affects one of this week’s contenders, ‘If I Fell’.
I welcome any help in showcasing the master recording of this song from A Hard Day’s Night.
Unlike weeks when hosts choose to use live clips to represent their selections, I would encourage voters to judge the song from that studio version rather than the live BBC recording presented here, which is a poor substitute in this case but the best currently available.
The clip for ‘The Ballad of John and Yoko’ is the one used by Cindy in Week 8. As per that week, please click the link and the song should play.
Also, ‘Oxygen to the Brain’, as in its original week, has two clips due to copyright infringement blocking certain clips in some countries.
Hopefully, you’ll be able to view at least one of them.
Now if any of these links do not work for you, just let me know and we’ll endeavour to find an alternative clip.
As per each week of the play-offs, I ask you to vote using either one of three methods.
Ideally, people will vote 1-10 (in their order of preference).
If this appeals to you, you can copy and paste the titles (just below) into your post and put next to each song your order (1 = favourite song, 10 = least favourite song).
Otherwise, feel free to just vote for your top 3 or top 5 in order. (The songs you don't rate will then be allotted equal points of the remainder.)
Which song will join ‘Good Vibrations’, ‘God Only Knows’, ‘Wouldn’t It Be Nice’, ‘Surfer Girl’, ‘I Get Around’ and ‘Don’t Worry Baby’ in the Battle Hall of Fame?
See you next Monday (with the results).
If I Fell
This Whole World
Help Me, Rhonda
The Ballad of John and Yoko
You Still Believe in Me
Oxygen to the Brain
Don’t Talk (Put Your Head on My Shoulder)
Lay Down Burden
If I Fell (The Beatles - 1964)
This Whole World (The Beach Boys - 1970) (2016 re-master)
Help Me, Rhonda (The Beach Boys - 1965)
The Ballad of John and Yoko (The Beatles - 1969)
You Still Believe in Me (The Beach Boys - 1966)
Oxygen to the Brain (Brian Wilson - 2008)
Surf’s Up (The Beach Boys - 1966 & 1971/2011)
Cabin Essence (The Beach Boys - 1966 & 1968/2011)
Don’t Talk (Put Your Head on My Shoulder) (The Beach Boys - 1966)
Lay Down Burden (Brian Wilson - 1998)