Tune du Jour: “Paranoid” – Black Sabbath
THE CLASH of Cover Tunes: Ruder Than You vs. Soft Cell
Peruse, Comment and Vote (I Beseech, Implore and Urge Thee, respectively)
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Paranoid was released in 1970 on Black Sabbath’s second album, which was also titled Paranoid. The song’s popularity in the US started slowly – reaching only as high as number 61 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 – but built over time as album rock radio stations played it incessantly. On the other hand, the U.K. fell in love with it immediately.  Paranoid reached number four on the U.K. Singles Chart in 1970 and, amazingly, appeared on that same chart again in 1980, breaking into the Top 20. In fact, unlike the U.S., Paranoid was an immediate success throughout Europe and South Africa. 

Broccoli For Miles And Miles And Miles And Miles And Miles ... Oh Yeah!

Broccoli For Miles
And Miles And Miles
And Miles And Miles …
Oh Yeah!

Among Paranoid’s awards:

1976, NME (United Kingdom) ranked it number 41 on their All Time Top 100 Singles list.

1989, Spin (United States) ranked it number 81 on their 100 Greatest Singles of All Time list.

1989, Radio Veronica (Netherlands) ranked it number 16 on their Super All-Time List.

1994, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (United States) named it to their The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll list.

1998, Guitarist (United Kingdom) ranked it number 84 on their Top 100 Guitar Solos of All-Time list.

2004, Rolling Stone (United States) ranked it number 250 on their 500 Greatest Songs of All Time list.

2004, Q (United Kingdom) named it to their 1010 Songs You Must Own! list.

2006, Q ranked it number 100 on their 100 Greatest Songs of All Time list.

2006, VH1 (United States) ranked it number 34 on their 40 Greatest Metal Songs list.

2008, VH1 ranked it number 4 on their 100 Greatest Hard Rock Songs list.

Paranoid is generally thought of as Black Sabbath’s crowning achievement. Yet, it almost did not come to be. According to Black Sabbath’s bass player, Geezer Butler:

“A lot of the Paranoid album was written around the time of our first album,Black Sabbath. We recorded the whole thing in about 2 or 3 days, live in the studio. The song Paranoid was written as an afterthought. We basically needed a 3 minute filler for the album, and Tony came up with the riff. I quickly did the lyrics, and Ozzy was reading them as he was singing.”

And that my friends is how you compose a heavy metal anthem! Can you imagine a world without Paranoid?

The Original

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Black Sabbath:

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THE CLASH of Cover Tunes

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Ruder Than You vs. Soft Cell
Ruder Than You:

Ruder Than You holds the distinction of being CMI’s Reigning Exultant Virtuosic Performer of “Paranoid”. Additionally, Ruder Than You is also a recipient of CMI’s universally coveted title of Uni-Victor Melodious Maximus in Adversarial Replication. Among the title’s myriad of rewards and benefits, perhaps most desirous is that it bestows upon the recipient the eminently yearned for privilege of having one’s name appear in print media in bold orange!

Ruder Than You’s triumph in CMI’s THE CLASH of Cover Tunes competition is detailed below:

11/6/2013 – “Paranoid” (Black Sabbath) – Ruder Than You (71%) expunge The Dickies (29%)

Soft Cell:

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Oh the disharmony! Much like Harlan County there are no neutrals here. Only one cover tune will live to play another day and it is your solemn responsibility to decide which one prevails. So tell me … Which Side Are You On?!!?

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Votes can be cast up to three months from the day and time of the original post.

Disclaimer: Votes cast from Florida may or may not be counted.

Tune du Jour: “When The Ship Comes In” – Bob Dylan
THE CLASH of Cover Tunes: 
David Franklin vs. The Clancy Brothers and Robbie O’Connell with Tommy Makem
Peruse, Comment and Vote (I Beseech, Implore and Urge Thee, respectively)
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You used to be so amused, At Broccoli Man, and the carrot for a guitar he used ...

You used to be so amused,
At Broccoli Man,
and the carrot for a guitar he used …

When The Ship Comes In appears on Bob Dylan’s third album, The Times They Are A-Changin’, released in 1964. According to Joan Baez, Dylan wrote When The Ship Comes In in a hotel room, incensed, after the clerk initially denied him a room. The clerk had felt the remarkably unkempt Mr. Dylan was not the type of guest the establishment preferred to accommodate. Baez, who was traveling with Dylan, had to intervene on his behalf, vouching for his “good character”.

According to Dylan’s old girlfriend, Suze Motolo, as well as his biographer, Clinton Heylin, an additional inspiration for the song was probably Bertolt Brecht/Kurt Weill’s song, Pirate Jenny. Pirate Jenny, from the Threepenny Opera, tells of Jenny’s dark dream of a mysterious ship that arrives to vanquish her foes.

While these suppositions represent the generally accepted beliefs on the origin of the song, in fact, Dylan’s inspiration for When The Ship Comes In was actually the celebrated composition, I’ll No Longer Shave For You, by the criminally underappreciated Gatorwood Sunshine Singers, a tune that, oddly enough, would not be written until decades later.

The Original

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Bob Dylan:

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THE CLASH of Cover Tunes

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David Franklin vs. The Clancy Brothers and Robbie O’Connell with special guest Tommy Makem

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David Franklin:

The Clancy Brothers and Robbie O’Connell with special guest Tommy Makem:

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Oh the disharmony! Much like Harlan County there are no neutrals here. Only one cover tune will live to play another day and it is your solemn responsibility to decide which one prevails. So tell me … Which Side Are You On?!!?

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Votes can be cast up to three months from the day and time of the original post.

Disclaimer: Votes cast from Florida may or may not be counted.

Tune du Jour: “Have You Ever Seen the Rain” – Creedence Clearwater Revival
THE CLASH of Cover Tunes: The Ramones vs. Hi-Standard
Peruse, Comment and Vote (I Beseech, Implore and Urge Thee, respectively)
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GREAT SONG! Along with Fortunate Son probably Creedence Clearwater Revival’s two greatest numbers (although I’ve also always had a soft spot for Someday Never Comes and Long as I Can See the Light as well). Have You Ever Seen the Rain  was written by John Fogerty and released as a single in 1971. It had originally appeared on Creedence Clearwater Revival’s album Pendulum, released in 1970. The song charted highest in Canada, reaching number one on the RPM 100 national album chart in March 1971. In the US, it peaked at number eight on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart. And it reached number 36 on the UK’s Pop Singles Chart.

I'm Hooked On The Ceiling I'm High On Believing That You're In Love With Me

It Ain’t Me
I’m Broccoli
I Ain’t No Fortunate One!

Given the polarizing and contentious time in which Have You Ever Seen The Rain was written there has been much speculation as to the true meaning of the song. At the time the US was entangled in a seemingly endless unpopular war and the nation was struggling to make sense of the Kent State shootings. Not surprisingly, most music critics attributed the lyrics to the political and social turmoil of the day. Writing about the song, Have You Ever Seen The Rain, Mark Denning of AllMusic surmised:

“In 1970, a time when the giddy possibilities of political and social change of the late ’60s had been put in check by the sobering realities of Altamont and Kent State and both rock & roll and the youth culture at large were beginning to move away from idealism and into the self-centered decadence of the ’70s, Fogerty was one of the few songwriters grounded enough to suggest the issues had not gone away, but that we had lost the courage and the vision to face up to them.”

Yet, interestingly, Fogerty has stated on more than one occasion that the song had nothing to do with political and societal issues. He contends that it was his lament of the turmoil taking place within the band, Creedence Clearwater Revival. At the time, despite having achieved fame and fortune, the members of the band were in a state of constant conflict with each other. It was particularly upsetting that his brother, Tom, was so dissatisfied that Fogerty felt sure he would soon leave the band. Fogerty’s perception turned out to be accurate. Not only did Tom leave, but the whole band split up the following year.

The Original

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Credence Clearwater Revival:

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THE CLASH of Cover Tunes

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The Ramones vs. Hi-Standard

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The Ramones:

The Ramones hold the distinction of being CMI’s Reigning Exultant Virtuosic Performer of “Have You Ever Seen The Rain“. Additionally, The Ramones are also a recipient of CMI’s universally coveted title of Uni-Victor Melodious Maximus in Adversarial Replication. Among the title’s myriad of rewards and benefits, perhaps most desirous is that it bestows upon the recipient the eminently yearned for privilege of having one’s name appear in print media in bold gold!

The Ramones’ triumphal exploits in CMI’s THE CLASH of Cover Tunes competitions are detailed below:

1/30/2014 – “Have You Ever Seen Rain” (Creedence Clearwater Revival) – Ramones (80%) wallop Minutemen (20%)

Hi-Standard:

Oh the disharmony! Much like Harlan County there are no neutrals here. Only one cover tune will live to play another day and it is your solemn responsibility to decide which one prevails. So tell me … Which Side Are You On?!!?

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Votes can be cast up to three months from the day and time of the original post.

Disclaimer: Votes cast from Florida may or may not be counted.

Tune du Jour: “The Freshmen” – The Verve Pipe
THE CLASH of Cover Tunes: Bronson Arroyo vs. Mustard Plug
Peruse, Comment and Vote (I Beseech, Implore and Urge Thee, respectively)
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Everybody's Dressin' Funny ... Cover Me Impressed!

I Won’t Be Held Responsible…

Man, the successful marketing of this song was truly an exercise in perseverance! The Freshmen was originally released in 1992 in an acoustic format on The Verve Pipe’s first album, I’ve Suffered A Head Injury. For some strange reason the world did not love it. So The Verve Pipe gave us all a second chance, rerecording it as more of a rocker and re-releasing it in 1996 on their third album, Villians. Now we were starting to get it, but not as reverently as a song like The Freshmen so richly deserves. So the band released it as a single…just not the album version. Nope, instead The Verve Pipe enlisted the help of Grammy Award-winning producer Jack Joseph Puig and recorded the song a third time. And you know something? That one was just right! In fact, it was so right that on subsequent pressings of Villians, the original album cut of The Freshmen was expunged and replaced with the Puig-engineered “single” version. The album version was gone, as if it never existed! And it was thusly proclaimed that hence forth, the mere mention of a first and second version of The Freshmen would cause the offending party to be dubbed an Enemy of the State and, as such, summarily banished to the Pointless Forrest… 

The singles rendition of The Freshmen peaked at number 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, thereby proving the age-old adage: If at first you don’t succeed, then try again, and if that doesn’t work then have Jack Joseph Puig do it for you.

The Original

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The Verve Pipe: I’ve Suffered A Head Injury

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The Next Original

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The Verve Pipe: Villians (at least for awhile)

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The Most Popular

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The Verve Pipe: Single

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THE CLASH of Cover Tunes

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Bronson Arroyo vs. Mustard Plug

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Bronson Arroyo:

Yes that Bronson Arroyo! Before tonight I had no idea what a Renaissance man Bronson Arroyo was/is. World Series’ pitcher, nutritionist, studly musician, charter member of the Eddie Vedder Buddyroo Club and world-renowned physicist. Okay, I made the last one up. But I betcha he could be if he wanted to…

Mustard Plug:

I’m fairly certain that the name of this band refers to something disgusting. But I couldn’t tell you why or what it is.

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Oh the disharmony! Much like Harlan County there are no neutrals here. Only one cover tune will live to play another day and it is your solemn responsibility to decide which one prevails. So tell me … Which Side Are You On?!!?

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Votes can be cast up to three months from the day and time of the original post.

Disclaimer: Votes cast from Florida may or may not be counted.

Tune du Jour: “Heroin” – The Velvet Underground & Nico
THE CLASH of Cover Tunes: Beck vs. The Vitamin String Quartet
Peruse, Comment and Vote (I Beseech, Implore and Urge Thee, respectively)
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I've been a Puppet, a Pauper, a Pirate, a Poet, a Broccoli Man ...

I’ve been a Puppet, a Pauper, a Pirate, a Poet, a Broccoli Man …

Here’s a nice and cheery TGIF song. Heroin was first released in 1967 on the self-titled album, The Velvet Underground & Nico. Coming in at over seven minutes long, the song changes tempos from slow to fast to frenetic before reverting back to slow to begin the cycle anew. This turbulent process imitates in a very effective way, the anticipation, the high and ultimately the frenzy of a heroin trip. There’s been much debate as to what Lou Reed was trying to convey about heroin in the song. Many critics assailed it for supposedly glorifying the use of heroin. But Reed claimed the song neither glorified or condemned the use of heroin; it sought only to portray the effect of the drug as closely as possible. In Reed’s words “Heroin is very close to the feeling you get from smack. It starts on a certain level, it’s deceptive. You think you’re enjoying it. But by the time it hits you, it’s too late. You don’t have any choice. It comes at you harder and faster and it keeps on coming. The song is everything but the real thing.” Music critic, Mark Deming, of AllMusic concluded, “While Heroin hardly endorses drug use, it doesn’t clearly condemn it, either, which made it all the more troubling in the eyes of many listeners.”

Heroin is one of The Velvet Underground’s most influential compositions. In 2004, Rolling Stone placed it #455 on their list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. In addition, Heroin is included in The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll.

 

The Original

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The Velvet Underground & Nico:

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THE CLASH of Cover Tunes

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Beck vs. The Vitamin String Quartet

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Beck:

The Vitamin String Quartet:

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Oh the disharmony! Much like Harlan County there are no neutrals here. Only one cover tune will live to play another day and it is your solemn responsibility to decide which one prevails. So tell me … Which Side Are You On?!!?

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Votes can be cast up to three months from the day and time of the original post.

Disclaimer: Votes cast from Florida may or may not be counted.

Tune du Jour: “I Am A Rock” – Simon & Garfunkel
THE CLASH of Cover Tunes: The Church vs. The Coolies
Peruse, Comment and Vote (I Beseech, Implore and Urge Thee, respectively)
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Broccoli Fields Forever ...

Broccoli Fields Forever …

Okay here’s one that until today I did not know. I Am A Rock was originally released in August 1965 on a Paul Simon solo album, The Paul Simon Songbook. The album, which was not a commercial success, was only released in the United Kingdom and was not available in the United States until 1981. Simon supposedly hated the album, The Paul Simon Songbook, but I cannot honestly state that I ever personally heard him say so.

The version of I Am A Rock that we all have come to know and love was released in January 1966 on Simon & Garfunkel’s second album, Sounds of Silence. Simon & Garfunkel’s I Am A Rock was released as a single in May 1966 and became an immediate hit reaching number #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. It was also a hit in Sweden (#10), Netherlands (#10), United Kingdom (#17), Australia (#20), Canada (#22), and Germany (#35).

In the late ’90s, after years of research, a team of forensic scientists came to the unequivocal conclusion that Paul Simon, “in fact, is not nor ever has been an island”. Their report did leave open the possibility that “he may have been somewhat of an isthmus for a short period of time” in his late teens. The inevitable ‘but what of the rock’ question was strangely absent from the study. 

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The Original

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Paul Simon:

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The Most Popular

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Simon & Garfunkel:

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THE CLASH of Cover Tunes

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The Church vs. The Coolies

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The Church:

The Coolies:

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Oh the disharmony! Much like Harlan County there are no neutrals here. Only one cover tune will live to play another day and it is your solemn responsibility to decide which one prevails. So tell me … Which Side Are You On?!!?

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Votes can be cast up to three months from the day and time of the original post.

Disclaimer: Votes cast from Florida may or may not be counted.

Tune du Jour: “Laugh At Me” – Sonny Bono
THE CLASH of Cover Tunes: Mott the Hoople vs Pete Stride and John Plain
Peruse, Comment and Vote (I Beseech, Implore and Urge Thee, respectively)
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Everybody's Dressin' Funny ... Cover Me Impressed!

Everybody’s Dressin’ Funny …
Cover Me Impressed!

Laugh At Me, released as single in 1965, was Sonny Bono’s only hit as a solo artist. The song  reached number #10 in the U.S. on the Billboard Hot 100 and number #9 in the United Kingdom on the Pop Singles Chart. Laugh At Me reached #1 in Canada on the RPM national singles chart, ironically to eventually be overtaken by Sonny & Cher’s Baby Don’t Go.

Sonny wrote Laugh At Me in angst after being refused service at a Los Angeles restaurant for wearing what the owner considered to be “hippie attire”. He was not happy about it!

Sonny has often been the butt of jokes, many times deservedly so, yet the guy actually had some talent and could write a decent song every now and then. I would submit that this is one of them.

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The Original

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Sonny Bono:

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This is an alternate version. The sound quality is not nearly as good but it’s worth checking out just to see the controlled rage Sonny seems to be in as he belts out the lyrics.

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THE CLASH of Cover Tunes

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Mott the Hoople vs Pete Stride and John Plain
Mott the Hoople:

Mott the Hoople holds the distinction of being CMI’s Reigning Exultant Virtuosic Performer of Laugh At Me. Additionally, Mott the Hoople is also a recipient of CMI’s universally coveted title of Uni-Victor Melodious Maximus in Adversarial Replication. Among the title’s myriad of rewards and benefits, perhaps most desirous is that it bestows upon the recipient the eminently yearned for privilege of having one’s name appear in print media in bold gold!

Mott the Hoople’s triumph in CMI’s THE CLASH of Cover Tunes competition is detailed below:

11/17/2013 – “Laugh At Me” (Sonny Bono) – Mott the Hoople (93%) thrash Otis Ball (7%)

You don’t suppose Ian Hunter could have related to these lyrics, possibly turning a few heads every now and then with his look? He obviously really dug the song though. He recorded it with his band, Mott the Hoople, and again during his solo career.  And he must have played it live a lot. Laugh At Me appears on no less than five Mott the Hoople/Ian Hunter live albums.

Pete Stride and John Plain:

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Oh the disharmony! Much like Harlan County there are no neutrals here. Only one cover tune will live to play another day and it is your solemn responsibility to decide which one prevails. So tell me … Which Side Are You On?!!?

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Votes can be cast up to three months from the day and time of the original post.

Disclaimer: Votes cast from Florida may or may not be counted.