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Darren J. Ray

Posts: 3,431
Reply with quote  #1 

Hi everyone.

Welcome to the Season IX Battle of the Bands Play-Off Week 4.

It’s the penultimate week – the Preliminary Final.

Let me explain how this works.

From the 44 weeks of competition, the seven highest ranked Gold songs have already advanced to next week's Gold Play-Off, where they will be revealed.

The top three vote getters from this week will meet them in that major play-off.

This week was devised to reward hosts who had particularly strong weeks, giving a lifeline to the winners of the Silver & Bronze play-offs and, indeed, giving them a chance to battle it out for the top three spots of the year.

This week features the following:

- the Gold song that defeated the winner of the Bronze Play-Off

- the winner of last week’s Silver Play-Off, which hasn’t finished lower than second in either week (regular or play-off) that it’s competed in

- the song that defeated the runner-up of the Silver Play-Off in its original week (unless it had already qualified for the Gold Play-Off in its own right, which it hadn’t)

- the three songs that were ranked 8-10 at the end of the regular season

- the remaining (four in this case) selections to make up the 10 for this week are the songs that won Gold and were ranked next in order beyond the 10; in this case, the songs ranked 11-14.

Unusually, the week does not include:

- the song that won the Bronze Play-off as the song that won Silver in its original week qualified for the Silver Play-Off in its own right and was eliminated

- the song that defeated the Silver Play-Off winner in its original week because it has already qualified for the Gold Play-Off in its own right

Here are the nominees for this week:-

What Ever Happened (Brian Wilson featuring Al Jardine and David Marks - 2015) (52 votes, 32.50%) (Week 6 - Larry Franz)

#9 Dream (John Lennon - 1974) (56, 32.94) (Week 9 - Deb#1)

The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine Anymore (The Walker Brothers - 1966) (49.5, 30.94) (Week 10 - Cindy Hood)

Rio Grande (Brian Wilson - 1988) (56, 32.94) (Week 12 - Tom Tobben)

A Whiter Shade of Pale (London Symphony Orchestra - 1990) (55.5, 34.69) (Week 18 - GGH)

All Summer Long (The Beach Boys - 1964) (55, 32.35) (Week 21 - Al Forsyth)

Surfer Girl (live) (The Beach Boys - 2012) (52, 37.14) (Week 22 - bonnie Bella)

I Go to Pieces (Peter and Gordon - 1964) (51, 30.00) (Week 29 - Larry Franz)

Heroes and Villains (The Beach Boys - 1966 & 1967/2011) (55, 34.37) (Week 36 - Cindy Hood)

Miss You (single version) (The Rolling Stones - 1978) (53, 33.12; 102) (Week 39 - Cindy Hood)

The clips have been posted below.

Throughout the play-offs, I will list 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. The clip for ‘#9 Dream’ has been replaced as the original was taken down. 

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.)

Again, this week's top THREE vote getters will go on to compete in next week's Gold Play-Off, from which we will choose the Gold, Silver & Bronze winning songs for the year!

See you next Monday (with the results).

What Ever Happened
#9 Dream
The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine Anymore
Rio Grande
A Whiter Shade of Pale
All Summer Long
Surfer Girl  
I Go to Pieces
Heroes and Villains
Miss You

What Ever Happened (Brian Wilson featuring Al Jardine and David Marks - 2015) 

#9 Dream (John Lennon - 1974) 

The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine Anymore (The Walker Brothers - 1966) 

Rio Grande (Brian Wilson - 1988) 

A Whiter Shade of Pale (London Symphony Orchestra - 1990)

All Summer Long (The Beach Boys - 1964) 

Surfer Girl (live) (The Beach Boys - 2012) 

I Go to Pieces (Peter and Gordon - 1964) 

Heroes and Villains (The Beach Boys - 1966 & 1967/2011) 

Miss You (single version) (The Rolling Stones - 1978) 
Cindy Hood

Avatar / Picture

Posts: 1,522
Reply with quote  #2 

Darren, this week is a tough one and next week will be even tougher, I'd imagine.  Here we go:

1.  Heroes and Villains.
2.  Surfer Girl.
3.  Miss You.
4.  All Summer Long.
5.  The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine Anymore.
6.  Rio Grande.
7.  #9 Dream.
8.  I Go To Pieces.
9.  What Ever Happened.
10.  A Whiter Shade of Pale.

That's how my boat floats this week.  



"They're not gonna catch us. We're on a mission from God".
Al Forsyth

Posts: 3,641
Reply with quote  #3 
My boat is docked still but I have my top five, I think. The challenge really is in the bottom five votes. 
A diamond necklace played the pawn...
Larry Franz

Posts: 491
Reply with quote  #4 
  1. Rio Grande  (the top)
  2. Heroes and Villains
  3. I Go to Pieces 
  4. All Summer Long 
  5. The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine Anymore 
  6. Miss You
  7. #9 Dream 
  8. Whatever Happened   (correct spelling)
  9. Surfer Girl   (the performance, not the song)
  10. A Whiter Shade of Pale   (way back)

Thank you, Darren.

John B

Posts: 2,174
Reply with quote  #5 
no, it's not Russia yet, Larry.  I guess I'm a little behind trends and things, cause I just became aware of the words/phrases Baizuo (white left--used as disparagement) and Shengmu (birth mother).    IMO, those are sometimes very valid... also finally saw the 1989 movie "Roadhouse" on TV.  What's up with Tony Bordain's calling it perfect and with a complicated plot?  I mean, when Tony was regular-guy slumming with Bill Murray, why didn't he say the same about 'Death Wish'? 

man, hard as heck, this contest, as all the songs are good or great.   But, off the top of my head:

1. "Heroes & Villains"

2. "All Summer Long"

3. "Surfer Girl (live)"

4. "Rio Grande"  (Brian & Andy's H & V)

5. "I Go to Pieces"  (by the always melodramatic Del...).  would a little humor have killed him (or Bordain)?  I would assert lack of humor killed them both.

6. 'Miss You' by The Rolling Stones

7. 'Whatever Happened?'   (first time I heard this, I thought it was top shelf classic.  With more playings, though, the lyrics are not up to the melody and vocals, again, IMO).  Still good.

8.  "The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine Anymore' by the Walker Bros.  (not true, you know.  poor me, my love left, no more sun.  hey, wait a second, there it is now! ).

9. '#9 Dream'   non-sense lyrics knock it down the list.

10. 'A Whiter Shade of Pale' (with the London Philharmonic).  Is it baizuo, though?  you decide!    still good, but some song had to be 10th.

Posts: 234
Reply with quote  #6 
  1. The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore
  2. I Go to Pieces
  3. Miss You
  4.  Surfer Girl  
  5. Heroes and Villains
  6. A Whiter Shade of Pale
  7. All Summer Long
  8. #9 Dream
  9. Rio Grande
  10. What Ever Happened


Posts: 118
Reply with quote  #7 
1. The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine Anymore (The Walker Brothers - 1966) 
2. A Whiter Shade of Pale (London Symphony Orchestra - 1990) 
3. Miss You (single version) (The Rolling Stones - 1978) 
4. Surfer Girl (live) (The Beach Boys - 2012) 
5. Heroes and Villains (The Beach Boys - 1966 & 1967/2011) 
6. #9 Dream (John Lennon - 1974) 
7. I Go to Pieces (Peter and Gordon - 1964) 
8. All Summer Long (The Beach Boys - 1964)
9. Rio Grande (Brian Wilson - 1988) 
10. What Ever Happened (Brian Wilson featuring Al Jardine and David Marks - 2015) 

Darren J. Ray

Posts: 3,431
Reply with quote  #8 
I’m a fan of the first two….
1. #9 Dream (John Lennon - 1974)
That opening note from Jesse Ed Davis gets me every time. The whole feel evokes reminiscence and, for me, it’s what ‘Tomorrow Never Knows’ should have sounded like. And the B-side of the single, ‘What You Got’, was cool too. Yes, I believe. Doesn’t hurt that it was probably the first single I ever bought with my own money. 
2. Rio Grande (Brian Wilson - 1988)
The last track off Brian’s eponymous debut album and probably the most impressive. Not my favourite, though.
I don’t love or hate any of these. They could almost be in any order….
3. The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine Anymore (The Walker Brothers - 1966)
Didn't realise these guys were so popular until I was a Blueboarder! The board opened my ears to them, and I enjoy the record in moderation. Twice in the first season was a bit much though. Plenty of photos of these three posers in the clip.
4. I Go to Pieces (Peter and Gordon - 1964)
I played this to a friend the other night. She remarked that the start sounds like the intro to ‘Galveston’. I told her this came first. “But ‘Galveston’ is the better song”, she replied. The Rachel Sweet version might have gotten my Gold – one of my favourite records ever. No-one can sing the word ‘shaky’ like Rachel. Credit to Del Shannon (who wrote it but also covered it following this original hit version). Very good song with plenty of covers. But I don’t think this is the best version. Peter and Gordon are a remnant of America’s mid ‘60s fascination with all things British. The US took to this pair (and The Dave Clark Five) more than the UK. Americans here will favour it because most of them were teenagers in the ‘60s and grew up with it. Two Everly Brothers wannabes who got lucky because one of them had a sister whom McCartney fancied and doors subsequently opened. Asher’s luck held out when he was gifted James Taylor. As for actual talent, give me Freddie and the Dreamers over Peter and Gordon any day. 
5. Heroes and Villains (The Beach Boys - 1966 & 1967/2011)
There’s a reason the released single wasn’t a hit. The whole Smile thing ultimately frustrates me - contradicting reasons as to why it wasn’t released and never really finished, the multiple versions of the same song, the gibberish lyrics - it’s just all too confusing, it does my brain in. I can’t begin to comprehend what those harmonies are doing. The production is delightful. BUT. It’s all about what gives the listener the most enjoyment, and this is not it for me. Pet Sounds and Smile are not the reasons I’m a Brian Wilson fan. 
6. All Summer Long (The Beach Boys - 1964)
One of those rare Beach Boys song from this period, especially from the album that this is the title track of, that has never really done it for me. Re: the album cover, Wiki says: Jardine was unable to participate in the session due to illness. Sound familiar?
7. Surfer Girl (live) (The Beach Boys - 2012)
Sweet but seems too orchestrated. "This one’s called ‘Surfer Girl’” might work for a new original but not for a song that’s 50 years old that we all know. Hard to ignore the elephant in the room, too. 
8. A Whiter Shade of Pale (London Symphony Orchestra - 1990)
Great! A version of the song without the pretentious lyrics and Gary Brooker’s strained vocal. Strong elevator music. 
9. What Ever Happened (Brian Wilson featuring Al Jardine and David Marks - 2015)
Sorry, but I’ve heard nothing on this album – and most of the tracks have been used by hosts – to entice me to buy it. Luke warm water. It’s moderate. And moderation sucks. 
10. Miss You (single version) (The Rolling Stones - 1978)
Not a Stones fan. 
John B

Posts: 2,174
Reply with quote  #9 
hey, another Rachel Sweet fan.!  also liked her covers of 'B-A-B-Y (baby)' and 'Everlasting Love.' 

Concerning the lyrics of "Whatever Happened" (Larry has it right), they SHOULD have been more critical and less Statler Bros. ordinary.  e.g. addressing a lack of concern for standards, and things going downhill or lost due to not caring and accepting a lessor status-quo.  (used in a sentence: 'Whatever/nevermind happened' said Kurt before he went for his shotgun).  It shouldn't be a sway back and forth song with your baby like 'The Class of 57 Had Their Dreams.'  I'm not a lyrical expert, but I greatly prefer lack of convention and symbolism such as "Heroes & Villains."  The themes of both songs in intent may not have been so far apart-(texters on cellphones, just see what you've done) but I think "Heroes" was the record(s) Brian & Van Dyke wanted to make, and 'What Ever Happened' ... not so much.  

I'm going to stick up for 'NPP' just a little more than Darren.   'The Right Time' is really good.  Also 'Sail Away' and 'Half Moon Bay' and 'I'm Feeling Sad'.  Also, 'On the Island.'  It's fair to say though that it appears to ...emulate songs (and full albums such as 'Friends') that Brian did better in the past, unless you count these more than 3 or 4  references as 'tributes' to himself.
Al Forsyth

Posts: 3,641
Reply with quote  #10 
Prelim Votes:

TOP #1 Heroes and Villains – This IS THE H and V that needed to come out.  It is beyond amazing in so many ways!!!!! Thank you to Mark Linett and Alan Boyd for getting it right and of course to Brian and the Beach Boys for this master-stroke. 

#2 Surfer Girl  - Hasn’t it been retired already at BOTB?  Surfer Girl done right here in the spirit of the reunion. Still not thinking it's live. 

#3 I Go to Pieces – I have a weak spot for this song and prefer this version. In the heart of the British Invasion. P & G show their Everly.   (original demo -  Looking back at it (not live)

#4  All Summer Long – Great song from an amazing album. The walk down harmony - so fine. Brian getting MORE into production.

#5  Miss You – It’s still the mighty, mighty Stones  It's snarly, it's cool.

^^^^^^ Top 5^^^^^^^^^ and then

#6 The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine Anymore Thank you John Maus

#7 A Whiter Shade of Pale – Orchestral – I remember that week!

#8 IS #9 Dream – BIG JL fan but not really of this song or album.

#9 What Ever Happened – Pretty with the mood and the harmonies
#10 Rio Grande – A Brian sound collage.  It’s interesting. I know that some LOVE this.

A diamond necklace played the pawn...
Verden McCutcheon

Posts: 461
Reply with quote  #11 

   Season 9 week 4 playoffs Prelim Finals

                                               1)no.9 dream

                                               2)The sun ain"t gonna shine anymore

                                               3)All Summer long

                                               4)Surfer Girl

                                               5)Miss You

                                               6)Heroes and villains

                                               7)A whiter shade of pale

                                               8)Rio Grande

                                               9)What ever happened

                                              10)I go to pieces

                                                                                            my Peliminaries
Darren J. Ray

Posts: 3,431
Reply with quote  #12 
Thanks very much to Cindy, Larry, John B, Graciegirl, stkilda4ever, Al and Verden for the first batch of votes and comments. 

There are a couple of obvious polarisers already in this 10.

stkilda4ever, nice to see some love for the LSO version of 'Whiter Shade...'.

John B, ha, yes, another Rachel Sweet fan. To me, she had/has a voice like Ronnie Spector.

Al, the 'Surfer Girl' that has been retired (Season IV winner) is the 1963 Beach Boys recording. This is, of course, a live recording for Rolling Stone in 2012. I recall we had the debate about its liveness back in Week 22. 

And thanks for posting the demo of 'I Go to Pieces'. I wasn't aware of its Australian connection or that the Searchers had passed on it. 

Looking forward to the next two and a half days of votes. It looks like being another close one. 

Tom Tobben

Posts: 1,163
Reply with quote  #13 
Coming into the final turn with lots of good music trying to battle its way to the front of the pack to contend in the grand finale:

The best:

#1. "Rio Grande", Brian Wilson. Brian's music is often most interesting and creative when he is experimenting and stretching the boundaries of the pop song format (e.g., "Good Vibrations", "Surf's Up", SMiLE album, this song), and not just cranking out more "formula" hits and subject matter. With its evocative movements painting aural images of the Rio Grande valley and its history. We spent four days this past year by the Rio Grande River when we visited Big Bend National Park along the southwestern Texas/Mexico border. I'm sure glad there was no "big beautiful wall" there on the American side to block the lovely views of the river, or to separate it from its lush river valley, desert scenery with its cacti in full bloom, and surrounding mountains, and canyons.

In that regard, "Rio Grande"reminds me of gorgeous earlier 20th century classical pieces, such as Gershwin's heady Rhapsody in Blue, Aaron Copland's Rodeo ballet with is west-inspired imagistic movements, or Ferde Grofe's Grand Canyon Suite. All heady stuff that evokes specific aural images of its subject matter.

2. "Heroes & Villains", the SMiLE-y Beach Boys. To those not trapped in the Beach Boys' "formula music" rut, one of Brian's most interesting and experimental pieces from the post Pet Sounds era. After the originally released Smiley Smile single version, the later-released SMiLE project versions made the song that much more interesting. (Upon watching this video again, I noticed how much parts of the video are derivative of the Beatles' animated Yellow Submarine film, though that had no impact on my vote this week.)

3. "The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine Anymore", Walker Brothers. What a lovely pop ballad with those dynamic British Invasion-inspired Walker Brothers vocals and the powerful "wall of sound"-style instrumental arrangement. It's too bad that in the US only two of their early songs found their way up the pop charts in the mid-60s. We deserved to hear so much more from them. 

4. "I Go to Pieces", Peter & Gordon. Another lovely pop ballad, this time from a true British Invasion group that had a nice run of good songs. And after the group broke up, Peter Asher had a very successful career as a producer for James Taylor, Linda Ronstadt, Bonnie Raitt, 10,000 Maniacs, and many others. And he's still interesting to listen to these days, telling stories of the past as one of the hosts of the Beatles channel on Sirius XM. 

5. "Miss You", Rolling Stones. Ditto my detailed comments from last week. 

6. "What Ever Happened", Brian Wilson featuring Al Jardine and David Marks. Another lovely ballad with gorgeous vocals and a delightful instrumental arrangement. Unlike some here, I really liked most of the songs on Brian's No Pier Pressure album. This song also evokes for me Brian's best songs from the end of the Beach Boys' TWGMTR album in 2012. After so many decades on the radio and in live concerts hearing the old Beach Boys' classics, these days I'd much rather hear new music from Brian, such as this song and its album, and a number of Brian's other solo albums from the past decade or two.   

The rest:

7. "All Summer Long", Beach Boys. Back in the '60s when this song was so new and fresh and in the early '70s when this song was featured in the final credits of American Grafitti and on 1974's Endless Summer oldies compilation album, this song sounded fresh and exciting. After so many years, it's become for me just another Beach Boys oldie.

8. "Surfer Girl (live in studio), Beach Boys. As far as I'm concerned, this is the same song by the same group that won our annual BOTBs some years ago and should be considered retired, but I don't make the rules. This live studio version from 2012 is even interpreted nearly identically to the original. Perhaps every year someone here could enter a slightly different Beach Boys version of "Good Vibrations" to see if it could win every year and bore us to death. 

9. "#9 Dream", John Lennon. #9 ranks #9 for me this week. The only thing missing here is "Revolution #9". Number nine, number nine, number nine...

Did you know that Aphrodite's Child's album 666 placed upside down is "999"?

As far as I'm concerned, this is one of John Lennon's weaker singles from his solo career. 

10. "A Whiter Shade of Pale", London Symphony Orchestra. Why ruin a perfectly good classic from Procul Harum with this overdone symphonic slop. (Whose idea was it anyway to do something similar recently with old Beach Boys classics?)

A much better instrumental interpretation of this song, in my opinion, is the version recorded by the legendary Shadows years ago, back in 1986, on their Moonlight Shadows album:

On to the final round next week!

Darren J. Ray

Posts: 3,431
Reply with quote  #14 
Thanks a lot for the votes and comments, Tom. 

Strong opinion is always welcome and respected. 

Re: 'Surfer Girl', a number of retired 'songs' have been re-used as performed by different artists, orchestral versions and even in different languages. None have gotten this far so far. 

This is the first time it's been 'The Beach Boys' covering their own retired song. 

If they were the same recording, the host definitely couldn't use them. 

In this case, sure, it's credited to the Beach Boys. But it's obviously not the same track. It's 49 years later, a live recording, with different personnel to the 1963 studio recording. Al Jardine, Bruce Johnston, Scott Totten weren't on that record or in the case of Jeff Foskett, all over it! Obviously missing are Carl and Dennis.

And if people are bored with the 'song', they can vote accordingly as you have done.  

I don't make the rules either. I just try to ensure a smooth adherence to them so the contests remain fair to all. When conundrums have occurred, such as the same track being used in the same season, I've tackled them and sought our community consensus on the course of action. 

24 hours to go, everyone, before the polling booth closes and we reach the climax to our ninth season. 

David W

Posts: 466
Reply with quote  #15 
My Votes !

1-Heroes and Villains 

2-The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine Anymore

3-Miss You 

4-#9 Dream

5-All Summer Long 

6-Surfer Girl  

7-Rio Grande 

8-What Ever Happened

 9-A Whiter Shade of Pale

10-I Go to Pieces

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