Sunday, June 1, 2014


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

Far Away Series

Ferret-Faced Fascist Friends

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!

Where I fail to follow rules is, there's supposed to be a post in five days or so where I tally up the votes and disclose my preference.

Usually I disclose my preference in the comments, I assume anyone who can get to this site can also count, and I'm generally not motivated enough to do that second post. 

Plus, I stink at following rules!

I got the idea for this one from the new greatest hits compilation from John Waite.

He included two versions of his signature hit, "Missing You," a rerecorded version from 2014, and a duet version (with Alison Krauss) from 2006.

Today we're going to see how the duet stacks up against the original.

First, the classic from 1984...

And now, the duet version released in 2006...

So what do you think?


  1. I like Alison Krauss a lot. The duet is excellent, but they've slicked it up too much from the original and it lacks the passion that John Waite put into his first version. Really nothing much was added to the remake.

    John Waite's solo effort wins this for me--too many memories attached to times when I listened to this when it first came out.

    Tossing It Out

    1. Lee-

      After listening to the original for more than 20 years (and loving it), it would be hard for anything to subvert that.

      The duet is a refreshing spin. I remember when Tina Turner did a cover, it was a note-for-note remake, and nothing special at all.


  2. >>... "So what do you think?"

    I think you need to learn how to follow the rules. You know, the rules are put in place for the benefit of ALL. The rules are there so that everything comes out fair, and when you break the rules you cause people to lose confidence in the status quo. You should not think that you, an individual, are above the rules that were established so that a good time can be had by all. ...And other Socialistic Slop like that.

    I'm sure I must have, at some point during our many Grove Discussions, mentioned that as much as I was a fan of The Babys' first two and one-quarter albums, I was never a fan of John Waite's solo stuffs. I felt he really needed Tony Brock and Wally Stocker to keep from becoming too slick.

    When he went solo, all his big hits sounded too POPpish and artificial to me; he'd lost the "rockin' edge" which in hindsight I realized was probably Brock and Stocker's contribution.

    It's not that I hated his solo stuffs, but just that I thought it was too... boring. Too androgynous, too Metrosexual... just like Waite himself. I never purchased a single John Waite solo album.

    Therefore, I'm not a big fan of this song to begin with.

    Of the two versions here, I think I prefer the duet with Alison Krauss, even though I'm not one of her fans either; I could think of at least 100 female singers I like better than Krauss. But her inclusion on the song sort of "destabilizes" it just enough to overcome the way-too-polished, artificiality of the original.

    That's my opinion and I'm sticking to it.

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

    1. I always thought the original was a perfect problem is that Waite always seems to struggle surrounding the singles with songs worth listening to.

      He was born too soon-his output is tailor-made for today's music business (individual song-driven).

      Regarding the rules, I will respect your position as a cofounder of this blog series and cease participation immediately.

      In fact, I am so committed to atoning for my infraction, will not even leave this comment reply.

      THAT is how sincere I am being right now.


    2. PS-Stephen T, do you ever use Spotify?

      I'll speak to it in an upcoming post-if I did not already own every CD known to man, this is a service that might woo me away from wanting to own the physical disc.

      It has been around a while, but I never bothered to look, having been underwhelmed by Pandora a few years back.

      It's free, and there is an upgraded fee arrangement of some sort, but I did not dig into what that gets you.

      My acid test-they seemed to have everything by Rundgren on there, including a live release I haven't gotten yet (it releases Tuesday)

      Not sure if you have speakers hooked to your PC, but if so, you may want to check it out.


    3. LC ~
      Yes, I do have a Spotify account. I didn't know what it was but some young guy at work hooked me up with a free account (which means after every 4 songs or so, I have to listen to a 30-second commercial).

      I rarely listen to it though, and when I do, it's always just at work - never at home where I have so much great music on compact discs.

      At times I have been surprised by songs they have that I'd not have expected, and other times I've been surprised by songs they DON'T have that they should. For example, you can find the live version of The Dave Brubeck Quartet's 'Castilian Drums', but all the Bob Seger songs are by some Seger-sound-alike (it must have to do with licensing fees or something like that).

      I should probably also clarify (maybe just for Robin's sake) that when I said I could name at least 100 female singers I like better than Alison Krauss, that was definitely hyperbole, as I'm not sure I could even name 100 female singers off the top of my head.

      In truth, I have probably only heard her sing 3 or maybe 4 songs at the most, and none of them have captured my attention in any way. While she sings well and has a pleasant enough voice, there just isn't any one particular aspect of her voice that stands out and wows me.

      I mean, Mahalia Jackson sings with POWER, ba-beee! Karen Carpenter and Astrud Gilberto have that natural "saudade" in their voices that is so compelling and heartbreaking. Brenda Lee could do it all - sing with power, rock the house down, and put across a tender ballad. Ella Fitzgerald's voice wouldn't mean a thing if it didn't have that swing. And so on and so forth.

      Admittedly I've not heard much by Alison Krauss, but what I have heard has sounded nice but immediately forgettable to me. So far anyway, I have not noticed any one DISTINCTIVE quality to her voice or her manner of singing that makes her seem unique, and which makes me want to hear more from her.

      And John Waite... well, as I already implied... for a guy, he looks too wimpy and whines too much. 'Missing You' seems like a woman's song to me. And the same goes for 'Every Time I Think Of You', which marks the point where I really lost interest in The Babys FAST.

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

    4. Wow..if you think Waite is a whiner, what do you think of the "new crop" (John Mayer, Gavin Degraw, James Blunt)-they'll make your skin crawl!

      Interesting take on Spotify-I subscribe to a blog where the guy is an ex-label exec and he really sings its praises, but I think you and I are both exceptions to his rule because we're listening to stuff that's outside the mainstream...although Seger is certainly mainstream, so the service is not perfect.

      So maybe I won't toss the CD collection just yet...but I do worry about the availability of CD players...although only for another 30 years or so!

  3. It actually pains me to vote against Alison Krauss for anything. I disagree with Stephen (and his judgment of female singers) and will say that Alison easily makes my Top 10. Maybe my Top 5. She has the voice of a freaking angel. I don't think this song showcases her talent but she is breathtaking. I actually own a concert T-shirt from when I saw her in concert. Yeah, if I own the T-shirt I am a FAN.

    That said, I love love love the original of this song. And John Waite simply couldn't have done it better than he did it first. That was a great song. One of the best of the 80s. And I would karaoke that song if it were in my range. I know that it is not because I went through a phase of buying karaoke discs with handpicked songs (by me) on them and trying them out on my player at home. I cannot sing that song. Bah. But I still love love love it.

    So chalk up a vote for the original along with a bit of swooning over the awesomeness that is Alison.

    1. I have actually sung that song, but am not sure I could do it today.

      However, I once tried "When I See You Smile" (Bad English-JW was the vocalist) and when I hit the bridge my voice cracked horribly.

      But I'm with you-I love this song.

  4. My take- does everyone who needs an energy infusion in their career do duets with Alison Kraus? Agree with Arlee, no passion. Agree somewhat with STMC, that I wasn't a big fan of his solo stuff (except Change). But this song I kinda liked until it became soooo overplayed. But it wins in original form.

    1. CW-I loved "Change" as well (with Patty Smyth singing background, no less) but like this one a lot (obviously)-since I listen to so little radio (even true back in the 80's), I do not suffer as much from the overplaying syndrome...

  5. Another one that started playing in my head as soon as I saw the title. I'm not even a big fan of this song in either version, so it has to be that overplaying syndrome.

    I don't particularly like Allison Krauss (I LOL at CW's comment about her and the duets thing) or John Waite for that matter. I agree with you that he was ahead of his time, and is tailor-aide for this generation/era of Pop Music.

    All that said, I'll vote for the duet. It IS a little more interesitng than the solo.

    1. Wow-not a lot of love for Alison with this crowd...I'm not a huge fan of her genre, but I liked the album she did with Plant, I like this duet, heck I even liked her Rundgren cover ok.

  6. I don't mind Alison Krauss, and I like her voice... but she just really didn't do it for me in this song. One more vote for the original, and one more count of "no love for Alison."

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Wow-you bloggers are a tough crowd!

      I'd have thought with Colorado's enlightened substance policy, you'd be cranking Alison up and reaching for another bag of Doritos!

  7. Sheboyganboy SixJune 2, 2014 at 2:44 PM

    LC -

    Once again I think Robin and I are on the same page musically, a fact I've noticed this in at least a couple of these BOTB contests.

    I love Alison, and she has a TREMENDOUS amount of talent. But in this case, gotta go with the original.

    I am also a huge Waite fan, very much including his solo work. I sat 2nd row at his concert up here last year, and contrary to the misguided comments of SOME people, his solo stuff DOES rock! Still. His most recent album, "Rough and Tumble," rocks the whole way thru. His bluesy-talky voice is fantastic.

    However, I never thought that his duet with Alison quite worked for me.

    1. SS-

      Rough And Tumble was probably his best since (in my opinion), and both pretty solid albums.

      Other albums have moments of sheer brilliance, but I find half of the songs are almost throwaways (check out The Hard Way-the title track is awesome, but the rest of the album drops off a bit).

      He also seems to have been cheating a bit over the last fifteen years-having a few of the same songs on subsequent releases, I imagine because he could not come up with an album's worth of material and the label was knocking at the door.

      All that said, since the portion of his work that grabs me does so in a big way, I am grateful for his albums, warts and all-my music collection is better off with JW in it!

      I may have to put on Rough And Tumble-it has been a while..


    2. In case you didn't know, JW recently released a "best-of" with rerecorded versions of many songs.

      Check out these posts if you're interested: