Friday, January 31, 2014


Since I began this journey of posting daily with romantic clips, I've noticed one downside. And that is that I cover up my posts so quickly that things get missed. So, this is a reminder that I posted the HERE'S TO YOU post yesterday. You can click HERE to go there when you finish with this one.

For those of you keeping up, Battle of the Bands is slated for tomorrow. Well, folks, that just doesn't work for me. Saturdays are not high traffic days and that post will get buried by my Love Is In The Air posts if I wait. So, I am cheating and posting the battle today. You can't say I'm not a rebel.

In keeping with the spirit of romance, I chose the song Always On My Mind for this battle. Before I share my feelings about this song, let's see what Wikipedia has to say...

"Always on My Mind" is an American country music song by Johnny Christopher, Mark James and Wayne Carson, recorded first by Brenda Lee in 1972.

Allmusic lists over 300 recorded releases of the song in versions by dozens of performers.[1] While Brenda Lee's version had stalled at #45 on the country charts in 1972, other performers would reach the top 20 in the United States and elsewhere with their own versions: Elvis Presley in 1972; John Wesley Ryles in 1979; Willie Nelson's Grammy Award winning version in 1982; Pet Shop Boys in 1987.

I had no idea that the song was recorded by so many people. Being a child of the 80s, the first time I heard it was when Willie Nelson sang it. And then I heard it again when the Pet Shop Boys recorded it. I loved what they call synthpop, which is what Wikipedia calls their music. I also liked the fact that the Pet Shop Boys version was so different from Willie's version. Isn't that what Battle of the Bands is all about? One song. Two bands. Totally different sound. I am going to tell you up front that I like BOTH versions.

Even though I am (almost) certain you've heard it before, let's start this battle with Willie.

versus the Pet Shop Boys with their synthpop sound

Now your job is to vote for your favorite in the comments.  What did you like about each version? What did you not like? Who has the edge here? Tell me. I really want to know!!!! I will post the results for this battle on February 6.

Other battles will be taking place tomorrow (on the correct date), so be sure to visit them and cast your votes there!


  1. First, let me say, I am not a country fan. My apologies, but it is my least favorite type of music. So my vote has to go to The Pet Shop Boys. If nothing else, it's a very original remix.

  2. I'm not going to be much help here. I adore the Elvis version and sang it for years in resort hotels. Willie has too much of a nasal voice for me, and the PSB have nice voices but the disco beat destroys the beauty of the song's lyrics. In lieu of Elvis, I'll stay with the country tradition and vote for Willie. ;)

  3. My grandma loved Willie Nelson, so to me that's the only version (that I've heard thus far) that sounds authentic. Gotta go w/Willie for this one.

  4. Like Alex, I'm not down with country. I grew up listening to the Pet Shop Boys version of the song, so nostalgia is winning out for me.

  5. The PSB do a very good job on this... But the whistle in the instrumental break always chokes me up. Too much memory in the original. A+ to B in Willie's favor.

  6. I have to go with Willie. Just something about his voice that makes it such a sad song.

  7. Oh no, no, no. Pet Shop Boys, you desecrated Nelson's song with this attempt. Willie Nelson for the win!


  8. There's more emotion in Willie's version, but you can dance to the PSB. I have to go with habit. My dad always loved Willie and so that's what I grew up with too.

  9. I really dislike the Pet Shop Boys version. The hyperactive background beat is annoying, and the vocals leave me flat, too. I prefer Willie's slower, more romantic sound, and my goodness, you can certainly dance reeeeeal slowly around the floor to that version, too. Yep. My vote goes to Willie.

  10. "Always on My Mind" very beautiful .. I remember interpreted by Elvis Presley, from us very famous, that I hold one of the best interpretations.

    That of the Pet Shop Boys is a remix (also her very beautiful), with a very different rhythm, an attempt to do "to accept" to a younger public ..perhaps a succeeded attempt.

    My preference however is for Willie, "classical" model, difficult to modifiable ..(my personal opinion).

  11. I prefer Willie's. It's more sentimental and more appropriate for the lyrics of the song.

  12. Call me old fashioned, but I'm going with Willie Nelson. I've never heard the other band sing this particular song before, but prefer Willie crooning it. Great song choice btw!

  13. No contest, that backbeat on Pet Shop boys was annoying.

    Willie should take the day. He's got depth and the right tempo for such a song. My vote to Willie Nelson. Sorry a little late stopping by.

  14. I'm not going to vote as my sound is broken on my computer- but I will say when I first read synthpop, I read it as synthpoop first time around... Whoops! =)

  15. OK, you finally got me on one of these! Bittersweet music has got to be my favorite. Really, bittersweet is a place that feels pretty comfortable for me.

    Willie is a classic for most people I'm sure and his sound is strangely appealing to me. For this song the fact that his voice is SO imperfect is actually just that: perfect.

    The PSB holds a dear place in my heart as it reminds me of someone who loved them and taught me probably my most valuable life lesson- stay true to yourself. She loved the PSB so much and I just never got them, but along with many things I pretended to be so we could be friends, I let her think I loved PSB too. When it was all said and done I realized we never really made it as friends because I never let her meet the real me. A wonderful bittersweet memory, but I still don't really like the Pet Shop Boys!

    I'm going to actually vote this time- for Willie Nelson. ;)

  16. ROBIN ~
    Well, this was a very interesting 'BOTB' installment. For one thing, despite being a real Brenda Lee fan (have even seen her perform live), I had no idea she ever recorded this song, let alone recorded it FIRST!

    In fact, I didn't know anyone other than Willie Nelson had recorded it.

    Now, this song holds a special place for me. It takes me back to 1982 / '83 when there was this... yeah... girl. You knew I was gonna say that, right?

    My buddy Pooh and I used to go to Azteca Mexican Restaurant for what we called "The Ninety-Nine Cent Club" - between certain hours (which were way too early for Margaritas) the Margaritas were only ninety-nine cents. Pooh and I went often, and the jukebox contained the Willie Nelson song 'ALWAYS ON MY MIND'. I'd always play it and think of that girl who was now... yeah... gone. (You knew I was gonna say that too, right?)

    Her name was Terrill, and I still carry some regrets about that relationship. I once wrote what was probably the craziest love letter of all-time to her, while enduring a weird hangover. I took my big, heavy, manual typewriter, drove to Venice Beach, parked on a side street and typed out that letter while sitting in the bed of my pickup truck. (I posted the letter some time ago on my old 'Stuffs' blog.)

    Anyway, Willie's version of 'Always On My Mind' will always make me think of "T" until the day I die. Aside from that, I genuinely like the song.

    It wouldn't have mattered what the Pet Shop Boys version had sounded like, it wasn't going to get my vote - too much history with Willie. Even so, I did not like their rendition at all. What did THAT music have to do with the sentiment of THOSE lyrics?

    Nevertheless, it was an interesting match-up because both versions sounded so utterly different and, heck, the Pet Shop Boys HAVE scored a few votes, even though they're getting their "tails" kicked in this contest.

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

  17. I was never a Pet Shop Boys fan. They always sounded kind of wimpy and manufactured to me and that's how their version of this song sounds. I mean, it's okay and brings back that 80's synth drive that makes me want to dance (in my mind), but it's pretty lackluster for me.

    Willie's version has depth and emotion. He puts his heart and soul into the song and it can almost bring me to tears if I'm in the right mood. Nelson's version evokes wistful memories for me and still sounds fresh.

    I vote Willie Nelson.

    An A to Z Co-Host
    Tossing It Out

  18. As always, I'm late to the party but I'll make up for that by being at best semi-coherent.

    I like the Pet Shop Boys version better-- like you, I heard it as a kid and I liked the Pet Shop Boys. And that sound, synthipop? I liked that. A Flock of Seagulls, um.... other bands.

    I've got nothing against the Willie Nelson version, though. Back when I played guitar (I haven't played in years) I could play a version of "Mamas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys."

    I also could play "Burning Love" by Elvis Presley, which is a fun song to play. LORD AMIGHTY I FEEL MY TEMPERATURE RISIN'.

  19. I love the Willie Nelson version so much, I almost didn't listen to the Pet Shop Boys, but I gave it a go. Sorry. It's Willie. Hands down.

  20. Man this is hard. See I love Willie's version and for my mom I want to say that one. Still, I am a huge 80s pop music fan. I guess in honor of my mom I will go with Willie.

  21. Willie wins it for me. The other version just takes away from the meaningful lyrics.


  22. Willie by miles and miles. I found the Pet Shop Boys to be annoying.

  23. Some contrasting views. The Willie Nelson version is okay, even if the dude can't actually sing. I actually like the Pet Shop Boys music, but not this particular song by them. I don't like either version. If I had to vote, rather reluctantly, I'd give the nod to good ol' Willie.

    Enjoy your Sunday, Robin.

    Gary :)

  24. I'm not a country music fan, however, when the Pet Shop Boys came out with their version of this song, I HATED it. And listening to it now, all these years later, yep, still hate it. I vote for Willie.

  25. I love Pet Shop Boys!!! I remember when their version came out. Loved it then, love it now. I actually like Willie Nelson too, but I still gotta vote PSB all the way!!

  26. What-no Elvis version?

    Of these two, I'd pick Willie.

    I have a version of Chris DeBurgh singing it that is probably my favorite.

    I'm noit a huge PSB fan-I got dragged to see them a few years ago at the AZ State Fair, and they came off as karaoke to me (no band, sang to backing tracks).

    I know I am letting the performance form my opinion of the music, but there ya go.

    Register my vote...for Willie!


  27. I'd forgotten the Pet Shop boys had done a version, so I listened and it was okay, for a while, but I'd had enough after half. I love Willie Nelson, so he's the winner for me.


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