Friday, August 1, 2014

Battle of the Bands #2: Somewhere Over The Rainbow

I'm back for a second helping of Battle of the Bands which hopefully will become a regular feature of this blog.

Anyway here is how it works:

Listen to the song clips in the blog post. In the comment section vote for the one you like the best. Feel free to explain why you voted the way you did. The battles take place on the first and 15th and winners will be announced on the 7th and 21st. I will normally post the winner in the comments. Of course have fun and enjoy!

If you are still looking for more musical fun after you vote, you can check out these sites for more battles:

  Faraway Series
         Ferret-Faced Fascist Friends
         Your Daily Dose
           Tossing It Out
           STMcC Presents "Battle of the Bands"
           A Writer's Life In Progress

If you have one and I missed it let me know in the comments. If you just started your battle let me know in the comments.

I'm not going to post the original song. I learned from my first one since the original was the most popular one.

Today's battle features the song "Somewhere Over the Rainbow." I am going to pit two of the best guitarists of all time against each other.

First up is Eric Clapton. Below is Slowhand's version...

Next up is Jeff Beck's take on this piece...

A classic song, two legendary guitarists of the same generation, friends, peers, pitted against each other in this Battle of the Band. Vote away and I will be back with the winners on the 7th, a new battle on the 15th and a new post sometime soon! Enjoy!


Arlee Bird said...

I like Jeff Beck a lot, but in this instance his version of "Rainbow" was too lackluster for me--maybe that's not the right word, but I just wasn't particularly moved by this little guitar showcase.

I'll vote for Clapton's version since for me it was more listenable and had more variety and substance to it.

Tossing It Out

Rebecca Black said...

Well written!

farawayeyes said...

Several months back I used ‘Over the Rainbow’ in a BOTB. I pitted Miss Judy Garland against that big Hawaiian, IZ. Interesting, IZ won that battle, and he got my vote.

Although I know this is one of those tunes that has been covered by just about everybody and their dog, I had not heard either of their versions. Wow and double Wow! I really like them both.

Beck gives us that soulful solo weeping guitar, and Clapton vocals with that incredible backup make this a real ‘horse race’.

I think I’m gonna have to go with Clapton and the more polished arrangement. Yep, it’s for sure; give my vote to Eric Clapton.

Glad to see that you’ve decided to make this a regular thing. Be sure STMcC knows and gets you on the list. Hopefully some of the regulars at the other sites will start to drop by here also.

Chris Fries said...

Hi! I've returned to taking part in the BOTB's also, so feel free to include my blog in your list, and I'll be sure and include yours too.

Wonderful battle you put together! You're right -- these are two of the greatest guitarists ever going to head to head.

But here's the thing: While, it's cool, we're given a song where Eric isn't playing his Strat and isn't really doing much more on the guitar than comping chords. Yes, it's a very cool jazz-blues vibe, but where's the scorching Slowhand playing? This is less likely to evoke the famous "Clapton is God" graffiti than it is "Clapton is a Lounge Singer." This is like watching a video of Micheal Jordan playing golf -- Yes, he's still a sensational athlete, but where's the basketball slam dunks and amazing ball control that MJ is famous for?

On the other hand, Jeff Beck had me at the intro volume swells and never let go. Such amazing control and emotion he gets out of that guitar! This version was all ABOUT the guitar, and that's what I expect from a battle featuring Jeff Beck and Eric Clapton.

So while I remain a huge Clapton fan, I'll give this one handily to Jeff Beck.

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

If you had let me know you were planning to participate in 'BOTB' again I would surely have included a link to YOUR blog on my blog.

Well, I have since corrected that and have you linked TWICE at my new 'Battle Of The Bands' blog. (And that reminds me: In the future 'BOTB' installments, could you please link to my NEW 'BOTB' blog, as I do not intend to post any more "Battles" on my 'Ferret-Faced Fascist Friends' blog... which I will be shutting down soon. Thanks, Mike!)

In future 'BOTB' installments you should be getting more traffic since you are now listed as a permanent participate at 'STMcC Presents BATTLE OF THE BANDS'.

OK, this was a nice 'Battle' here. I'd never heard either of these versions of 'Somewhere Over The Rainbow' before.

I liked them both pretty well. Generally, I prefer Jeff Beck as a guitarist over Eric Clapton (who was great in his day, but who I feel has since been eclipsed by many guitarists who came along in his wake).

However, this song has some meaningful lyrics and I think it's almost a shame to record it instrumentally, retaining only the melody and leaving out the sentiment and the imagery that the words evoke.

So in this case, I'm voting for the version with the (very nice) vocals. 'Slowhand' gets my vote this time. (In most actual "guitar duels", however, I would likely vote most or all of the time for Beck.)

~ D-FensDogg
'Loyal American Underground'

Robin said...

I read over the comments, and while I understand that these are two excellent guitar players... it ultimately isn't about the guitar. It's about the SONG as a whole. So, if this were a battle of who exhibited the finest guitar work Jeff Beck would win this handily. But it is about the song as we perceive it as a whole.

And Jeff did an outstanding job using only the guitar. But, for me, so much of the sentiment of this song is in the lyrics. The lyrics are outstanding in their own right. Clapton allowed the lyrics front and center and didn't even attempt to overshadow their glory with the guitar. And his voice was smooth and emotive. So, when he asked, "So, why can't I?" for the last time I was pondering my own desire to go over the rainbow and really was saddened that it wasn't happening.

So, put me down for Clapton.

Donna Hole said...

Both were nicely done for their style. But, I liked Eric the best.

mike spain said...

Clapton with the win!