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Darren J. Ray

Posts: 3,431
Reply with quote  #1 

Hi everyone.

Welcome to the Season X 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 2019 and the top three vote getters from last week's Preliminary Final.

Here are your nominees:- 

In My Room (The Beach Boys - 1963) (56 votes, 37.33%) (Week 2 - Larry Franz)

  • Comes in ranked as #1. Easily escaped Bruce Springsteen, the Drifters and the Byrds. Its third time around, most recently coming 2nd in Season VII. Can it go one better this time? Larry’s sixth entry in a Gold Play-Off. He currently holds the crown from last year with ‘The Warmth of the Sun’ (also from a Week 2).

California Girls (The Beach Boys - 1965)
(47.5, 33.93; 105.5) (Week 9 - stkilda4ever)

  • ‘The cutest girls in the world’ saluted in a strong week over other Hal Blaine recordings from the Ronettes (‘Be My Baby’ - 2nd in Silver Play-Off), the Byrds and the Mamas & the Papas. Its third time around also, its previous best was 3rd in Season III. Stkilda’s debut entry in a Gold Play-Off.  

Rescue Me (Fontella Bass - 1965)
(53, 33.12) (Week 10 - Cindy Hood)

  • Voters clearly rescued it from ‘Getcha Back’ and recordings from Justin Timberlake and Michael Jackson. The first and only Fontella Bass entry in the Battle. But Cindy’s record fourteenth entry in a Gold Play-Off.

Imagine (John Lennon - 1971)
(49.5, 35.36) (Week 11 - Tom Tobben)

  • John Lennon’s invitation to a Utopian world toppled Randy Newman, Leonard Cohen and ‘He Come Down’ in a week about faith. Lennon’s second solo entry in the major play-off.

Something’s Got a Hold on Me (Etta James - 1962)
(55, 34.37) (Week 22 - Tom Tobben)

  • Held on to easily triumph over ‘Hold On Dear Brother’, Ambrosia and Triumph. Comes in ranked #2. Only the second Etta James in the Battle and her first entry in a Gold Play-Off. Tom’s eleventh.

The Longest Time (official video) (Billy Joel - 1984)
(48, 40.00) (Week 24 - The Egg)

  • Only the third song to ever receive unanimous Golds in a week, it outlasted Huey Lewis & the News, ‘In the Still of the Night’ (The Beach Boys) and a song from National Lampoon’s Animal House. Billy Joel’s fourth entry in the Battle, his previous best is two 9ths in Silver Play-Offs. The Egg’s second entry in a Gold Play-Off.

A Day in the Life (The Beatles - 1967)
(54, 30.00; 106.5) (Week 28 - Darren J. Ray)

  • Won in a very strong Week 28 over ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’ (1st in Silver Play-Off), ‘She Knows Me Too Well’ and ‘I Am the Walrus’ (1st in Tin Play-Off) before taking out 1st place in last week’s Preliminary Final. Has to be a strong chance to be the first non-Beach Boys song to take out the title.

Strawberry Fields Forever (The Beatles - 1967)
(52, 28.89; 116; 103) (Week 28 - Darren J. Ray)

  • Third place in the Preliminary after winning the Silver Play-Off. Can it go one better than ‘Penny Lane’ and win a year? My seventh entry in a Gold Play-Off.

Our Prayer (The Beach Boys - 1966/2011)
(53, 33.12) (Week 33 - Cantina Margarita)

  • This song has never lost in the three weeks it has competed. The 20/20 version won both its weeks but did not qualify for play-offs. This Smile Sessions version was an easy winner in a week of Beach Boys/Brian Wilson album openers. Cantina’s second entry in a season decider.

Round (Penelope Isles - 2019)
(50, 33.33) (Week 44 - paul g adsett)

  • The bolter from the pack in a popular week of new releases. Just Paul’s second 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.

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. ‘Imagine’ has been taken down and a substitute found.  

Again, if any of these links do not work for you now, 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’, ‘Don’t Worry Baby’, ‘Surf’s Up’, ‘’Til I Die’ and ‘The Warmth of the Sun’ in the Battle Hall of Fame?

See you next Monday (with the results).

In My Room
California Girls
Rescue Me
Something’s Got a Hold on Me
The Longest Time
A Day in the Life
Strawberry Fields Forever
Our Prayer

In My Room (The Beach Boys - 1963)

California Girls (The Beach Boys - 1965)

Rescue Me (Fontella Bass - 1965)

Imagine (John Lennon - 1971)

Something’s Got a Hold on Me (Etta James - 1962)

The Longest Time (official video) (Billy Joel - 1984)

A Day in the Life (The Beatles - 1967)

Strawberry Fields Forever (The Beatles - 1967)

Our Prayer (The Beach Boys - 1966/2011)

Round (Penelope Isles - 2019)
John E

Posts: 863
Reply with quote  #2 
Here's my order:

1. Strawberry Fields Forever

2. A Day in the Life

3. In My Room

4. Rescue Me

5. Imagine

6. Our Prayer

7. California Girls

8. Something's Got a Hold on Me

9. Round

10. The Longest Time
Cindy Hood

Avatar / Picture

Posts: 1,522
Reply with quote  #3 

Here's to the final contest of season ten - The Coveted GOLD!

1.  In My Room
2.  California Girls
4.  Rescue Me
5.  Imagine
9.  Something’s Got a Hold on Me
8.  The Longest Time
6.  A Day in the Life
7.  Strawberry Fields Forever
3.  Our Prayer
10. Round

Is there going to be a season 11?  If so, are there any changes?

It was a great year, so sorry to see you go, Season 10!

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

Posts: 491
Reply with quote  #4 
  1. In My Room
  2. California Girls
  3. A Day in the Life
  4. Strawberry Fields Forever
  5. Our Prayer
  6. Rescue Me
  7. Round
  8. Imagine
  9. The Longest Time
  10. Something’s Got a Hold on Me

Darren -- Thanks for all your work.


Posts: 118
Reply with quote  #5 

For me it came down to the Beatles, Beach Boys and Billy ... then a gap for 6-10. Thanks for all your efforts everyone.

1. A Day in the Life 
2. California Girls
3. Strawberry Fields Forever
4. In My Room
5. The Longest Time
6. Rescue Me
7. Imagine
8. Round
9. Something’s Got a Hold on Me
10.Our Prayer

Tom Tobben

Posts: 1,163
Reply with quote  #6 
Powerful battle! This final round is going to take some considered thought. It sure makes a difference when songs by the Beatles are once again able to be included in our battles. 

Thank you, Darren, for all you do throughout the year, but especially to organize and host these year end playoffs and to analyze and report the results! 
Lee Marshall

Avatar / Picture

Posts: 21
Reply with quote  #7 
1. In My Room
2. Our Prayer
3. A Day in the Life
4. The Longest Time
5. California Girls
6. Strawberry Fields Forever
7. Round
8. Imagine

9. Something’s Got a Hold on Me
10. Rescue Me

The hectic pace of prepping, launching and tweaking has finally slowed to the point where I can now while away a few odd minutes here and there.  And YES...we surely DO play a wide array of Beach Boys and Brian Wilson Music at  How could I not?
Al Forsyth

Posts: 3,641
Reply with quote  #8 
Okay, got my votes and accompanying notes. I didn't want to be a muller this week.  Just getting on with it. 

My votes begin with the ethereal - the other-worldly sounding and feeling songs/compositions - especially my first three. 

GOLD - Strawberry Fields
It was an astonishing sound when you first heard it and I STILL hear things in it.  Having lived the days when the Beatle singles and albums came out and you went scampering to buy them.  This was my paper-route money - well spent.  It was the double sided hit - (which they all were by this time) and Penny Lane was the double A side. No one else was doing this except the Beach Boys on occasion.   In the UK - Engelbert H. kept them off of #1 (first time since Love Me Do - Whaaaaaat?) It was sooooo far ahead of anything that was going on really!  Some more things about it: Going through several arrangements in the studio (the finished record is a splice of two versions), the song became The Beatles’ most elaborate production—a relay of cellos, trumpets, backwards cymbals, Mellotron (the flutey–sounding keyboard at the front) and svarmandal (the Indian zither that plays the descending raga scale at the ends of choruses). And as one last unusual touch, over a trick fadeout, Lennon mumbled “cranberry sauce” (later misheard by conspiracy-minded fans as “I buried Paul”). Even today, after hearing it thousands of times, the song has the power to startle. Imagine how it must’ve sounded to listeners experiencing it for the first time in 1967.
^^^^^^ =
And if you have 32 minutes to REALLY hear the song (slowed down - I dare you/get in the trance/warning - may creep you out and you may become mind-altered naturally)
To me, it stands above all else this week. In a league of it's own!  John, Paul, TWO George's and Ringo decided to alter the pop musical universe. And they succeeded! 

Silver - Our Prayer  - The angels sing!  But how did he do this and those voices so perfect in it's Bach-style part movements?????  It never gets old to me. What it does do is sadden me that it never came out when it should have - which either would have shaken pop music OR been taken very badly as Capitol was ALL about GH packages now. B-turds. It's simply sublime and PERFECT in it's vocal movements and breathing/phrasing. He was on another plane and the Boys were right there with him. I REALLY love the Mike parts (no pun). 

Bronze - In My Room - From Maureen Love's harp to a doo woppy (almost) sound with the arpeggiation that makes it Beach Boys 63.  A scarily beautiful recording to this day!  And it's simple in structure but complex in it's performance.  Those harmonies are TIGHT.  I love that what I call drop down chord (surfer chord) in this case the VII chord which is not in key sig and is a whole step down (and major, not minor) - this piece calls it a pull chord. He uses the trick a few times in the early years.

Fourth - A Day In The Life - YES, it ends the magnificent Sgt. Pepper and makes it the classic that it is and was in the day.  I don't think of it as a psychedelic like SFF, LiSwD, and Walrus were (TNK was pre-psych to me).  The beauty of it's perfectly sung and played beginning to the crazy ascending string part with Mal Evans counting to Paul's interlude and then the amazing E chord ending (they originally were humming the chord - thank goodness they changed) - John, Paul, Mal Evans and Ringo each on a piano. It is sublime but not quite to the three above ^^^

Fifth - Cali Girls The Today album and this song were really getting us set up for Pet Sounds.  It's CLASSIC Beach Boys and kind of saddens me to put it fifth, but … That amazing opening - it took me forever to figure out the pedal bass that was designed into this. The loping bass in the song - thanks Carol - and the incredible vocals throughout.  Yes Mike, there are beautiful girls everywhere.  I remember coming back from San Diego beaches one year and back into Central Park (NYC) and thinking, no Mike, you got it wrong. BUT that was their west coach utopian sales pitch - they had em better than the rest. It worked!  

Sixth - Something's Got A Hold On Me  It really bothers me to drop this one so low. But look what's above it!!!!  She simply sings the heart of this and then some.  AMAZING artist.  I saw her once live opening for the Mighty Dells and then James Brown himself.  Etta was first on the bill - go figure. She's one of a kind!  One of the GREAT female singers of the last century. 

Seventh - Imagine  Okay, it's an anthem and John was getting good at writing anthems.  I'm not really a fan of this song but seeing the artistry of the video you get to think that he was again on another plane. They were TWO artists together now and he described his utopia opposite to what he did in his previous album - "I don't believe in …"  (God).  I actually like the next song better (BJ) BUT the anthemness wins out. 

Eighth - The Longest Time  REALLY like this song BUT in the context of Billy Joel songs, it's a second ten group song to me.  It's so cool in it's street corner style (high school bathroom song) but there is too much power in the songs and artists above this. 

Nine and Ten tie - Rescue Me and Round (couldn't put one completely on the bottom).  They are both interesting in their own way.  Fontella Bass sounds a bit old-time to me now and here's to the upcoming brother and sister from the UK going somewhere.  They simply don't hold anything close to the songs above. 

BRILLIANT year by the creators of the battles and the voting posters, but MOST important is ALL of the work put in by moderator, Darren J. Ray, from down under the equator on all of this. Actually the song that hit me the most this season was from a Darren week (I think) and the song begins at 1:25 here:
I STILL love it ^

I am NOT changing any votes unless gerrymandering exists here too, but I think NOT! These votes are BOOKED.  Goodbye 2019. 

A diamond necklace played the pawn...
Darren J. Ray

Posts: 3,431
Reply with quote  #9 
#9 post....

1. Imagine (John Lennon - 1971)
John meant everything to me as a teenager. Absolutely loved him. I remember first hearing this on the radio. I was 13. Never had a problem with the lyrics. In fact, John was always straight-to-the-point and never used two words when one would do. He was anti-religion but not necessarily anti-God. My world stood still when he died, although I associate the songs from Double Fantasy more with that tragedy. I remember looking outside and thinking, this is a world without John Lennon in it. Not released as a single in Britain until 1975 but spent five weeks at #1 in Australia in 1971. This song was voted Song of the Millennium at the turn of the last century here on a TV panel show, and you won't get an argument from me. Over the years, I have put together a list of my Top 1000 Songs of All Time. I sometimes utilise it when ranking the songs a host puts up each week. This is currently ranked at #1. (The only other time ‘Imagine’ was used in the Battle, it was hampered by one particular voter who voted it last in its week and its play-off, in really close weeks. That person doesn’t vote anymore, so I was starting to feel safe. But after last week, I’m a bit worried. Pete, you haven’t been reincarnated as John B, have you?)

2. Strawberry Fields Forever (The Beatles - 1967)
Not bad for ‘not one of my favourite Lennon tracks’. I’m reminded how when I bought 1967-1970, for a time the left speaker wasn’t working on the family stereo. I didn’t hear half of this, including ‘cranberry sauce’, until about a year later! (For the same reason, I thought Brian was the only vocalist on ‘Don’t Worry Baby’ for quite some time!)

3. A Day in the Life (The Beatles - 1967)
I gave this Tin! But I’m falling in love with it at last, especially through these speakers, both currently working. John’s voice is haunting. Sugar plum fairy. Nevertheless, I’m still disappointed and shocked John didn’t take up the changes recommended to him by the Royal Albert Hall Chief Executive. And I still don’t know who is singing at 2:49.

Barely a gap between these next two. I went with the more dynamic…

4. California Girls (The Beach Boys - 1965)
This used to be one of my favourite Beach Boys songs. Probably still should be. Radio saturated but, re-visiting it, it is a fabulous record.

5. In My Room (The Beach Boys - 1963)
It’s still beautiful, but I’ve probably heard this just too many times.

6. Our Prayer (The Beach Boys - 1966/2011)
Ethereal. My favourite song on SMiLE. Best lyrics on the album.

7. Rescue Me (Fontella Bass - 1965)
The first time I ever heard of this was in the George Harrison song ‘This Song’. I’ve read before that that’s actually Bass forgetting the words towards the end of the song. We used to do this in our show. I’ve had two young ladies who could belt this out of the park. Always popular. I’ve never heard another Fontella Bass record. Wiki says Minnie Ripperton is one of the backing vocalists on this.

8. The Longest Time (official video) (Billy Joel - 1984)
On top of his game and didn’t he know it. ‘Uptown Girl’ was better. This song always got on my nerves. 

Hard to decide which of the next two I like the least…

9. 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 sure sing. 

10. Round (Penelope Isles - 2019)
I voted this last in its week. It was obviously a great week; one I enjoyed very much. But I enjoyed the other three that week a lot more.

Darren J. Ray

Posts: 3,431
Reply with quote  #10 
RIP Bob Shane (85)

(Raspberries, Strawberries - The Kingston Trio, 1960) (Tin in Week 12 of Season II, 10th in Tin Play-Off - Darren J. Ray)

Bob was the last surviving member of the original group.

Verden McCutcheon

Posts: 461
Reply with quote  #11 

 Season 10..2019 Battle of the Golds...

                   1)Imagine....Its a giant among giants

                   2)A Day in the Life

                   3)California Girls

                   4)Strawberry Fields Forever

                   5)In My Room

                   6)the Longest Time

                   7)Rescue me

                   8)Somethings Got a Hold on me

                   9)Our Prayer


                                                       A Golden Group
John B

Posts: 2,174
Reply with quote  #12 
1. "In My Room"
2.  "Our Prayer"   (these two are the most original)

3.  "California Girls'
4.  "The Longest Time"

5.  "Imagine"
6.  "Strawberry Fields Forever"
7.  "A Day in the Life"

8   "Rescue Me"
9.  "Round"  (good songs)

10. "Something's Got a Hold On Me"  (this one is most derivative)
bonnie bella

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Posts: 2,038
Reply with quote  #13 
The Goldest Gold votes of all. Sayonara 2019!

GOLD - If I don't put In My Room here, check it's actually me posting.

2. Strawberry Feilds. A whole lot of almost meaningless lyrics except those two lines ... "living is easy with eyes closed ...."

3. A Day In The Life - Spooky psychedelic groundbreaking sound.

4. Our Prayer - I'd got to this first over Imagine

5. Imagine. I try.

6  California Girls. I only learnt to appreciate it's compositional intricacies recently.

7  The Longest Time. Catchy. Billy Joel looks so young here.

8.  Round. Hidden treasure.

9.  Something's Got A Hold On Me. Etta James was nothing but cool.

10. Rescue Me. Indeed. Going under in a sea of hits.

Thanks for hosting again, Darren. Another year of fine listening.

And a reminder that there are still good artists out there making beautiful music. This first clip was a school project for Billie Eilish, much like Brian's Surfin. I'm glad this young lady scooped up a pile of Grammys.


Clowns divorce: custardy battle.     Simon Munnery

Al Forsyth

Posts: 3,641
Reply with quote  #14 
Bonnie,  I like Ocean Eyes and haven't seen the dance version of it prior to this. Thanks! It was her dance teacher that encouraged this when she was 13 - yes? Somehow, she/they makes/make you listen.  
A diamond necklace played the pawn...

Avatar / Picture

Posts: 1,951
Reply with quote  #15 
So we wrap it up and put a bow on it for season 10. This is the one that usually hits me as a 10 way tie, but this season is a bit easier. The list says a lot about us. Old fogies we must be. There is hope. bonnie’s Billy Eilish video tells me so. “there are still good artists out there making beautiful music”. And that’s what it’s all about.

1 In My Room
2 A Day in the Life
3 Our Prayer
4 Strawberry Fields Forever
5 California Girls
6 Imagine
7 Rescue Me
8 The Longest Time
9 Something’s Got a Hold on Me
10 Round

I try hard to be strong
But sometimes I fail myself
And after all I've promised you
So faithfully
You still believe in me
I wanna cry . . .”

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