Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Battle of the Bands:Ravel's Bolero: Bagpipes versus Guitars

In the Madness of March I want to revisit a theme of a classical piece covered in a different genre or setting if you will. My first Battle of the Bands of this year used Chopin this time it is Ravel. The madness part, think Bagpipes versus crazy classic rockers.

The piece for reference...

Contender One: Carlos Nunez

Contender Two: Jeff Beck

Who gets your vote? Carlos or Jeff? Bagpipes or Guitars? Both covers are certainly creative.  Vote for the one you like the best.  I will count up the votes and provide the results around the 7th. Vote in the comments and we will have a winner soon! If you liked this Battle please check out the other Battle links here. That site has the most up to date list.

Well I hope you enjoyed the Battle and come back and visit soon!


Cathy Kennedy said...


Every time I hear Bolero I think of the movie, "10" with Dudley Moore and Bo Derek. Your two covers weren't what I expected at all and my brain just couldn't make the connection mewsically with the original. I preferred the bagpipes to the guitars so you can give my vote to Carlos Numez. Interesting battle, my friend. Have a good day!

Arlee Bird said...

Interesting--I've been listening to Ravel's "Bolero" a lot lately as there is a very interesting video on YouTube that I discovered several years back and have been revisiting it lately.

When I saw "bagpipes" I got a little edgy. Ravel's "Bolero" and bagpipes sounded like a very strange mix, however upon listening I was pleasantly surprised. It worked!

The Beck version I've been long familiar with and it's always been a favorite of mine. Though it's not a straight-forward version of the Ravel tune like the bagpiper does, it is a very cool rock inspired by Ravel number.

Though I like Nunez's faithful rendering of Ravel, I've got to go with Jeff Beck on his "Bolero" as I really like what he does.

Interesting battle. Made me think of the movie 10.

Arlee Bird
Tossing It Out

Mary B said...

Great concept for a battle, Mike! My roots are from Scotland, so my body and brain instinctively react to the sound of bagpipes playing. Carlos Nunez did a fantastic job with his rendition. I'm going with my heart and gut here and giving my vote to Carlos Nunez


Stephen T. McCarthy said...

The bagpipes were originally invented as a device for torturing prisoners of war. But because the Scottish were too cheap to ALSO build musical instruments, they started using the bagpipes for BOTH.

And I've got some Scottish blood in me, so I can get away with that joke.

Give my vote to JEFF BECK, mainly just because I couldn't stand more than about a minute of that Scottish torture chamber.

~ D-FensDogG
Check out my new blog @
(Link:] Stephen T. McCarthy Reviews...

dolorah said...

Oh yeah, both are awesome for their style. Is that bells also in Nunez's rendition?

I could listen to either of these. Just awesome.

But, I really loved that bagpipe so giving my vote to Nunez.

John Holton said...

Jeff Beck is a classic, that's for certain, but my favorite version of "Bolero" on guitar was done by Joe Walsh on the James Gang's second album, "Rides Again." (It was on the original pressing, which I got because I knew someone whose mother worked at WCFL in Chicago, but was taken off when a distant relative of Maurice Ravel objected, claiming copyright infringement. When said relative died, "Bolero" was restored.)

I played bagpipes in a competition pipe-and-drum band for several years. Carlos Nuñez was hitting some notes not generally played on the piob mhor (the Great Highland Warpipes), which takes some doing. I knew some very good players that could do that, so Mr. Nuñez must be quite good. (I didn't hear the drones, though.) Anyway, he gets my vote.

Robin said...

Carlos Nunez for me.

Birgit said...

I always think of Torvill and Dean at the '84 Olympics which they performed their dance to Bolero.....brought the house down! I won't ever buy either of these version but I will go with he bagpipes because I just preferred it over the rock version especially when the rock version went all nutsy at the end.