Monday, September 1, 2014


Started on the Far Away Series, and refined by the bloggers noted below, I've been somewhat of a wannabe player in the Battle Of The Bands blogfest, which happens on the first and fifteenth of each month. These guys are to blame for this foolishness:

Far Away Series


Tossing It Out

Your Daily Dose

The way it works is, I put up two versions of a song and you tell me which one you like better.

Simple right? If you look at past comments, some people agonize over this decision, but I'll let you in on a little clue.....there's no wrong answer! Whatever you like IS the right answer!

There's supposed to be a post in five days or so where I tally up the votes and disclose my preference, but I'm generally not motivated enough to do that second post. Plus, if you can sit infront of a computer, I am assuming you can count.

Sometimes, a cover song becomes more popular than the original-in fact, sometimes the original goes largely unheard and people assume that the cover is the original.

Not to pick on Rod Stewart again, but another song he covered was "Downtown Train" by Tom Waits.

Both Stephen T. McCarthy and I have sung Waits' praises as a songwriter, and he's put out some that rank him as one of the best.

His voice is an acquired taste, so he's more unknown as a songwriter than a performer, as the public has no idea who is behind the songs he's written that others turned into hits ("Old '55"-The Eagles, "Jersey Girl"- Bruce Springsteen, "Trampled Rose"-Robert Plant and Alison Krauss, "Long Way Home"-Norah Jones, "Temptation"-Diana Krall).

Me, I like Waits voice, at least on his output through the early eighties (through One From The Heart), after which both his voice and songwriting style seemed to become a "put-on" to be cool with the college crowd.

And while I also like Rod Stewart's voice, after his run of classic albums in the early seventies his choice of material became questionable-anyone else remember living through the pain of "Do Ya Think I'm Sexy?"

So let's compare Waits' original recording of "Downtown Train..." Rod's cover:

By now, you know what to do and where to do it...if not, one of the other sites probably spells it out.

And once again, here is a bonus rendition, from the lovely Patty Smyth (formerly of Scandal)...