Monday, December 1, 2014

BOTB-ALRIGHT GUY


It's pretty simple, really. 

I post two versions of a song. Then I'm done.

You listen to them.

You pick the one you like best and say why in the comments.

If I feel like it, I may comment back.

These other bloggers are doing the same thing, although they'll do things like tally the votes and tell you who won.

I figure you already know how to count.

Far Away Series

STMcC Presents BATTLE OF THE BANDS


Tossing It Out

Your Daily Dose


Curious As A Cathy

The Creative Outlet of Stratplayer

The Sound Of One Hand Typing


I've posted more than once about Todd Snider, and have given high marks to his 1994 debut album, which is, in my opinion, one of the best debuts of all time.

One of the songs, "Alright Guy," cleverly describes the narrator's (presumably Snider's) relatively harmless wild side, and showcases Snider's sense of humor and clever storytelling ability. The song was a minor "hit" for Snider, although it hit number 33 in Canada.



video

This song has also been covered a couple of times, most notably by Gary Allen, who made it the title track of his 2001 album which went platinum.

Here is Allen's version.




Well, you know the drill...who gets your vote?

22 comments:

  1. This was easy for me. I like Snider's cover the best. It was combination of reasons ~ his voice and style just suited my ear better than Allan's. So, my vote goes to Snider! BTW, you totally cracked me up with I figure you already know how to count statement and you know what, you're right! No one is usually surprised by the results, so I guess they are keeping count. lol Have a good week! :D

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    1. Cathy-

      Todd Snider's is the original, not the cover, and the reason I like his best is that after you see him live once, you know that the last verse has to be autobiographical!

      Delete
  2. I was all set to vote for Snider based on the mandolin backing, but Allen's version comes across as more authentic and more professional--and he still has the mandolin in it.

    My vote goes to Gary Allen.

    Lee
    Tossing It Out

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Hmm...hard to imagine a cover coming across as more authentic than the version by the man who wrote (and probably lived) it.

      But I welcome people to my site, regardless of their origin...even you country music fans!

      Delete
  3. Ha! It's hard to believe ANYONE has covered this song. Of all the songs on Snider's debut album, I would have said this was one of the very least likely to be rerecorded by someone else.

    Musically, Gary Allan (I'm pretty sure it's spelled "an" and not "en" as you have it written, since it clearly says "an" on the album cover displayed on the video) doesn't stray far from the way Snider presented the song, and I figured he wouldn't since he's a Country performer and Snider's original definitely had a Country flavor to it.

    But I did like the way Allan twisted the lines about smoking dope and the reference to the pope. (I've used that Clinton allusion to dope and the presidency many times - it's just too easy and fun to pass up, even though I wasn't really a dope smoker, not even the non-inhaler variety, like Bill Clinton was.)

    Anyway, for the vote, Snider wrote it and recorded it first, and Allan's version is no improvement on the Snider original, so my vote goes to Snider. A no-brainer, this Battle.

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

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    1. You're right, it's "an"...force of habit.

      As I note above, the last verse makes it Snider's song...when he sings it, I feel like I'm haveing my head held down while beng put in the car next to him....not that I actually eveer....oh forget it!

      Delete
  4. I like the Todd Snider version. There's a John Mellencamp-ish, rootsy, country-meets-rock vibe. I enjoyed the humor and fun of the lyrics. All in all a very enjoyable song. I have to say that I like Todd much better than his brother, Dee Snider...

    Gary Allen's version is fun too, but here the rock-country pendulum has swung much harder to the country side.

    Fun, catchy song, but I'm definitely going with Todd Snider on this one.

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    1. Chris-

      Snider's debut CD is phenomenal, although sadly unnoticed. And as both McCarthy and I have blogged, his live albums are worth the purchase price just for the stories he tells. His live show is a lot of fun, although he's even more "alt-country" now than on the debut.

      Delete
  5. Snider's has a little less twang to it and gets my vote.

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    1. Snider's debut was a mish-mash of styles (rock, alt-country, folk) as he found his sound. Album two always sounded like John Mellencamp to me, and album three sounded like Tom Petty.

      By album four, he settled into his sound, which is actually a little twangier than this song, but he is such a masterful storyteller that I suffer through the country stylings.

      But the lower twang quotient gets my vote, too!

      Delete
  6. I thought for sure I would vote for Snider but I really liked Gary Allen and felt it was more in keeping with his style. I could understand the words better too from his singing so that gets my vote

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    1. A couple of comments have me wondering if I made it clear that this is Snider's song-Allan's version is the cover.

      Delete
  7. First, I started reading the comments while the song was playing. I want to address your uncertainty about who wrote this song: YOU DID MAKE IT CLEAR THAT SNIDER WROTE THE SONG AND IT IS THE ORIGINAL, WHILE GARY ALLAN COVERED IT (ALBEIT WITH MORE COMMERCIAL SUCCESS). There. Glad we settled that!

    Now, I love Gary Allan. He is one of the few country artists whose CDs I still buy when they come out. I love me some Gary Allan. I don't know where I read this, but Allan's wife committed suicide after he "made it" (while he was on the road?). It really wrecked him. He was so upset about it that he refused to even sing a "love song" on several albums. Just couldn't do it. I'm not sure a person ever really gets over that sort of thing; when someone you love kills him/herself it makes you question yourself and your decisions. Could I have done something differently? Should I? The list is endless. I don't know where this album fits into the timeline of his "real life." Okay, I popped over to WackyWiki. The wife killed herself in 2004. After that he came out with the album Tough All Over, with several songs speaking directly to her suicide.

    Here's the dealio... I really liked Snider's song. If anyone other than Gary Allan covered it.... I'd probably give it to him (this is really close in my mind), but I just love Gary Allan. If he didn't have tattoos I'd consider becoming a groupie and follow him around. hahahaha. So, my vote goes to Gary Allan... because I'm helplessly infatuated and love his voice. Just love it.

    Didn't you tell me that you liked 24. This song is from his Living Hard album (one of my favorites), but it was never popular. Anyway, it always makes me think of Jack Bauer:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f7mRAhKSfLM

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    1. Robin-a couple comments referred to Snider's version as a cover, hence my confusion.

      I think I've also made clear that, although I poke fun at country music, much of it is really singer/songwriter style rock with the twang...and it's really that tuning I do not care for. So it's not that Allan's version is bad as much as it has more country styling than Snider's.

      Plus Snider is absolutely the character embodied in the narrator of the song!

      You should move to Arizona-you'd fit right in (country music everywhere-it's like Nashville with cactus...or is it cacti?).

      Delete
  8. An easy vote for Todd Snider. First off, as was already said by more than just me, he has such a masterful way of storytelling in his songs. Also, I'm not a big fan of country, and Gary Allan's twang is just a bit... too twangy for me.

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  9. While I have not the problem with twang, I like the original sound (and words) better. Todd wins for me.

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    1. It's something about the name...I feel compelled to vote for Todd....

      Delete
  10. Holy carp! I'm a bit late on my BOTB rounds and you've already posted two (count em) two new posts. I'll come back and give a listen to some of those Christmas tunes, but I'll tell you right now, I'm no fan of someone who puts out a Christmas album without any reference to the Savior. I mean the secular songs are fun, but SHEESH!

    OK, now, the business at hand. I'm much more familiar with the Gary AllAN version, and I like it, but I love Todd Snider (I just didn't know this was his song). I like his lyrics better, and his laid back country feel. And, after saying that IT is HIS song, so he gets my vote.

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    1. Excuse the profanity, but the line

      I was only kidding when I called them a couple of dicks

      Still makes me laugh out loud after twenty years of listening to it!

      Delete
  11. I liked the Todd Snider version's lyrics, and the harmonica. Not to say Gary Allan's version is bad: I liked the steel guitar, and he has a slightly better voice. Nevertheless, I'm voting for Todd.

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  12. Snider gets my vote, I am not familiar with him but I might have to check out a few more songs of his!

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