Friday, August 1, 2014

Battle of the Bands ~ Passionate Kisses

 Hello everyone! I am back. If you didn't at least glance over yesterday's HERE'S TO YOU post (there might be something for YOU!), I suggest that you take a moment after this post and do just that!!!

Today is Battle of the Bands!



Okay, stop that hootin' and hollerin' and sit back down. This isn't a high school football game.

Up for today is a song called Passionate Kisses. It was written and first recorded, without much fanfare, by Lucinda Williams. Not saying I don't like her version, because I do (very much). In the early 90s (I am relying on memory here instead of consulting wacky wiki for the answers), Mary Chapin Carpenter recorded the song. It was HUGE for her and won MCC an award (Grammy maybe?) and Lucinda Williams an award as the songwriter that same year. In other words, they both won on this one.

I discovered Lucinda Williams and her music about a decade after all of this went down. Lucinda Williams is one of those grassroots artists that has a tremendous fan base but I have never heard her on the radio. There simply isn't an easy niche that she she fits into. Her version of Passionate Kisses remains true to her overall style. Ironically, after MCC achieved rather a lot of success she, too, stopped recording songs that the radio wanted to play BUT she still puts out albums enjoyed by her loyal fans. I think Passionate Kisses is also very representative of her sound - at least at that time.



First up, the songwriter and the first to record it... Lucinda Williams




versus

Mary Chapin Carpenter (if your vote will be swayed by the images, just listen and do not watch!)




For more Battle of the Bands fun, check out the other BOTB bloggers to vote on their battles:


Now, is the critical moment. It is time to vote for your favorite version of this song. I even encourage you to leave me long comment explaining all the ins and outs of why you voted as you did! 

53 comments:

  1. Not my type of music, but I thought the second singer had a smoother voice.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. She does have a smooth voice.

      Williams 0, Carpenter 1

      Delete
  2. This is tough to pick since both versions are very similar. I've been a listener to Lucinda since the beginning of her career and have a few of her CD's--I like her music. But I also like Carpenter--she's one of my favorite female country artists and I have a few of her CD's as well.

    For me it's really a toss-up, but I'm going to go with Mary Chapin Carpenter because I guess I like her music over-all better and she does a great shop covering this tune.

    Lee
    Tossing It Out

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    1. Back when I actively started listening to country in the early 90s, because I wanted to as opposed to my father liking it, MCC quickly became my FAVORITE artist. I adored her (still do). Part of the appeal is that she writes nearly all of her own music. This is one of the few exceptions and it suits her very well.

      Williams 0, Carpenter 2

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  3. Listening to them both, there doesn't seem to be much of a difference, except for MCC adding a piano at the beginning. I'll vote for Lucinda Williams, because MCC doesn't seem to add anything to the original beyond the piano and the video.

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    Replies
    1. Fair enough.

      Williams 1, Carpenter 2

      Delete
  4. I'd heard of Lucinda Williams before but... somehow I thought she was a raunchy actress who was arrested multiple times on drug charges.

    (Maybe I need to cut down on the drugs myself.)

    Well, here's the thing for me: I want a female singer to sound like a female singer. I want a pretty voice and NOT a throaty, semi-male voice coming from a female singer. (The only exceptions to that are when the female singer has such a powerful voice that she can cave the roof in with it, a la Mahalia Jackson and Brenda Lee. But those are very, Very, VERY rare exceptions.)

    Lucinda Williams has that sort of voice I DON'T like in a female singer. She sounds semi-manly at times - not seductive, not pretty at all - and yet she doesn't have the power to 'Wow!' me.

    I didn't think I was going to like the Mary Chapin Carpenter version because I've heard her before and I already knew that I like the Virgin Mary, Harry Chapin, and Karen Carpenter better than I like Mary Chapin Carpenter.

    But then her version started out so much slower than Lucinda's and I immediately thought: Wait! I think I MIGHT like this!

    No sooner had I thought that when suddenly her version picked up the same tempo and basic instrumentation as the Lucinda Williams (that slutty actress with the drug problem!) version, and I thought: Oh, POOP! I'm not going to like EITHER of these versions.

    But then I noticed that Mary Chapin Carpenter had a pretty nice female voice (not as nice as Karen's by any stretch of the imagination, but plenty nice enough) and I could actually make out the lyrics when SHE sang the song.

    So... no question about it, I'm voting for the Virgin MARY Harry CHAPIN Karen CARPENTER version. It's pretty easy for me to hear why the cover version was much more celebrated than the recording by the song's actual writer. (Maybe Lucinda should go back to making raunchy movies and mainlining 'Horse'. ;-)

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

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    Replies
    1. Now I am trying to figure out which raunchy actress you had her confused with... Lindsay Lohan maybe? It's hard to tell because so many of them fall into that same trap.

      Well, I don't mind Lucinda's raspy voice. In fact, on some of her songs I like it a great deal. However, you have raised an interesting question... why is that men who have that raspy voice are often heralded as fantastic while women with raspy voices... well, the opposite?

      I love MCC and was thrilled when I FINALLY saw her in concert back in the mid-2000s... twice. I even went out and bought a flamingo for the second one. Yeah, there is a story there. Both of these artists have a devoted fan base and I guess I belong to both of them.

      Williams 1, Carpenter 3

      Delete
    2. A "flamingo"?

      I'll believe that when... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S5ZRIlgjaIc

      Maybe you meant you bought a Flamenco guitarist? (I hear some of them are pretty hot guys... in a hot Latin kind of way.)

      No, not Lindsay Lohan.
      I'm not sure who I had in mind.
      Maybe Cindy Williams? Didn't she play a lesbian in that show with Lenny and Squiggy?

      Ha!-Ha!

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

      Delete
    3. No.... no. I should have been more clear. Here is a snippet of concert footage from Chastain Park in Atalanta (where I saw her twice). I think this will clear it up...

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HuRonojfWcU

      And that Van Morrison footage... do you realize that is exactly how my process works for HERE'S TO YOU????

      Delete
    4. Watching that snippet reminded me how much I love that song...

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Om3j8VP1oCI

      Delete
  5. I used to line dance to MCC's version way back in the day, so I was all prepared to not like Lucinda Williams' version.

    Boy, was I wrong.

    This was a toughie. On one hand, I think Williams has a slightly better voice than Carpenter, but I like the slightly quicker tempo of Carpenter's version.

    Can I call a "tie"? :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No ties. It does nothing for my vote tally. I *expect* you to come back and flip a coin or whatever is required so that I can put you down for ONE of them. ha!

      Delete
    2. O.k, o.k... :P I'm going to go with Lucinda Williams then....but just barely.

      Delete
  6. I like Mary Chapin Carpenter's version best. There is just something about the country twang and her voice that makes it as if she owns this song. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Many would say that she does own this song. It was HUGE for her.

      Williams 1, Carpenter 4

      Delete
  7. I have to give the nod to Lucinda. It's the version I'm more familiar with, so it sounds more natural to my ear.

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    Replies
    1. Aha. A Lucinda Williams fan. We are a rare breed. Celebrate your individuality. I will add it to the vote.

      Williams 2, Carpenter 4

      Delete
  8. My vote is for Mary Chapin Carpenter's version. I like the piano in the beginning, the beat, and her voice.

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    Replies
    1. I like that piano riff, too. It is classic to the MCC "sound" and puts her own little stamp on this song.

      Williams 2, Carpenter 5

      Delete
  9. I’m more familiar with the Mary C-C version, but I really don’t care for her much. You warned us not to watch the video, so, of course, I did. The video was cute but it really did nothing to sway me in my vote.

    I had never heard the Lucinda Williams version before, but I started the video thinking this will be a slam dunk, because unless she has the same ‘tough chick’ style of Mary C-C, I’m bound to like it better.

    This is a song that seems kind of ‘cute’ to me and the style of both of these women, just doesn’t seem to fit, IMO.

    Although, both were very similar I liked Lucinda’s voice and presentation even less than Mary C-C. My vote goes to Mary Chapin Carpenter by default.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If I have learned anything by doing BOTB it is that you won't please all of the people all of the time. I am sorry that this wasn't your time. But, I appreciate you listening and voting.

      Williams 2, Carpenter 6

      Delete
  10. Robin-

    You may be a little surprised to hear I own everything by Lucinda Williams.

    And she's getting my vote.

    Larry

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Actually, your taste is extensive and eclectic so it doesn't surprise me at all!

      Williams 3, Carpenter 6

      Delete
  11. I like Mary Chapin Carpenter's version. This actually surprises me, because I'm not a huge country music fan, and Mary's sounds more country-ish. But her voice is so smooth.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aha. Swayed by smooth vocals. It's as good a reason as any.

      Williams 3, Carpenter 7

      Delete
  12. I like both versions.

    Lucinda's version has a rockier edge with a late-80's touch -- that chimy, chorusy guitar is right up front, and this has a much more rock feel than a country one. Her vocals are edgier and gravellier, too.

    The slow piano starting Mary Chapin Carpenter's version is nice, but actually seems a bit out of place -- the song itself ends up being very close to Lucinda's arrangement. But the guitars are softer and mixed in more, and overall the production is a little more rounded, I think. Plius, MCC's vocals also add more of that smooth country/folksy sound than Lucinda's.

    Again -- I like both, and typically I'm more of a rocker than a country guy, and I generally really like that 90's chimy guitar-driven sound (I love the Gin Blossoms, for example). But here, I'm going out-of-character and voting for MCC. I think her vocals really add to the song.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you are familiar with the larger body of MCC's work then you would recognize that little piano riff as being very much her "style." I suspect it was just a way to personalize the song for her.

      I like your breakdown of both these versions. They are both very appealing in their own ways.

      Williams 3, Carpenter 8

      Delete
  13. Carpenter gets my vote, I like the visuals and her strong voice. Not my usual fare, either.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love her voice, too. Well, I am glad you found something that you liked *reasonably well* that was completely new and not your usual flavor.

      Williams 3, Carpenter 9

      Delete
  14. I met up with Lucinda when she sang the female lead on a Flogging Molly song (Factory Girls), and went out and bought her Car Wheels On A Gravel Road. My vote for her.

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    1. I love Car Wheels on a Gravel Road. Right In Time remains one of my all-time favorite songs. Just love love love it.

      Williams 4, Carpenter 9

      Delete
  15. I'm going w/Carpenter. Though take my vote w/a grain of salt as I'd never heard of either of these ladies before. I'm such a music dummy! =D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hear all sorts of things I've never heard before by participating in these BOTB installments. It's so much fun.

      Williams 4, Carpenter 10

      Delete
  16. I LOVE Mary Chapin Carpenter! Just checked out Thursday. Too funny, Robin:) Thumbs up.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Score update: Mark came back and voted for Williams making it...

    Williams 5, Carpenter 10

    ReplyDelete
  18. I'd vote for a tie but I read earlier that is not allowed. Williams is briefer without the piano intro. From the video I thought Carpenter was a bit more passionate about the song so she gets my vote. Of course I could listen a few more times and change my mind.

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    1. Yeah, the tie is just *unacceptable*!!!! I know what you mean. I am undecided about my own vote. I like them both.

      Williams 5, Carpenter 11

      Delete
  19. Neither of these are really what I like to listen to, but Carpenter wins this one for me easily. Looking pretty lopsided this time around!

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    Replies
    1. I never can predict how these things will turn out. I keep thinking I will get better at it (the predicting) but nope.

      Williams 5, Carpenter 12

      Delete
  20. I like them both, but I like Carpenter's better.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for voting, Rosie.

      Williams 5, Carpenter 13

      Delete
  21. This is a TOUGH one, but I have to go with Mary Chapin Carpenter.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am glad that you had a hard time. It isn't supposed to be EASY.

      Williams 5, Carpenter 14

      Delete
  22. I didn't see Sandra's vote in the middle...

    Williams 5, Carpenter 15

    ReplyDelete
  23. I like the piano work... I like Karen Carpenter...
    Not sure who Mary Chapin Carpenter is, but maybe she's related to Karen Carpenter - cousins or something like that??
    So my vote goes to Carpenter!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't think they are related at all, but your vote for MCC is still good.

      Williams 5, Carpenter 16

      Delete
  24. I'm deliberately going to wait to read the comments until after I've made my own. ;) On this one, it really feels like the MCC version is actually a serious endeavor while the Williams rendition comes off as more of a sort of ironic loungy kind of tune. Not really a fan of this song overall and yet the difference between these two makes me appreciate how much MCC did with some pretty cornball lyrics, imo. So my vote- yet again I find myself drawn into BOTB- goes to MCC

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    1. I had several people tell me that the differences between this song just weren't that much. I think the "sound" is very different... as do you judging from this comment. Whenever you participate in one of these, I get a little tickle in my tummy. You may like this feature yet!!!

      Williams 5, Carpenter 17 (and this makes how many for you? 3?)

      Delete
  25. I'm going for Mary Chapin Carpenter...she just sounds more "passionate" to me.

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    Replies
    1. That is as good a reason as any... Passionate!

      Williams 5, Carpenter 18

      Delete
  26. I always liked the Lucinda Williams version, but this was the first time I've heard Mary Chapin Carpenter sing it. I prefer her voice - much less nasal. I also like her opening better.

    ReplyDelete

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