Tuesday, October 1, 2013


I know that I am late posting today.  It is the 1st of the month and the time for another Battle of The Bands match-up.  We finished the final leg of our travels today, so this is my first opportunity to get this post up.  Apologies...everyone!

I did take a moment before deciding (definitively) about my bout to check out what was going on over at other blogs participating in this music fest.  Far Away Series,  FERRET-FACED FASCIST FRIENDS,  and DiscConnected are all hosting triple plays.  Tossing It Out has two songs up for your consideration.  Alex J. Cavanaugh is not participating this round.  So, now you know who to visit in order to complete your tour of the Battle of The Bands!

 I checked over my list of possible contenders and found one with multiple recordings.  Since most of the other bouts are engaging in a triple this round, I changed my mind and opted to go with this song.  There are actually five very different recordings (at least) of this song, so it wasn't easy narrowing it down.  ::understatement::

The song for this week is The First Cut Is The Deepest.  It was written by Cat Stevens and first topped out on the charts when P.P. Arnold recorded it.  That was back in May of 1967.  That version was reintroduced to the public in the movie Seven Psychopaths.  Cat Stevens recorded his own version later that year on his album Master Cuts, which came out in December of 1967.  However, he never released it as a single.  In 1973, a Canadian by the name of Keith Hampshire recorded it causing it to once again hit the Billboard charts.  However, for many younger people the song was "unknown" until Rod Stewart recorded it in 1977.  It rocketed once more to the top of the charts in 2003 when Sheryl Crow released it.

The first three versions of the song (Arnold, Stevens, and Hampshire) all sang the chorus like this:

"The first cut is the deepest, Baby I know —
The first cut is the deepest
'Cause when it comes to being lucky, she's cursed
When it comes to lovin' me, she's worse
But when it comes to being loved, she's first
That's how I know
The first cut is the deepest."

The Stewart and Crow versions both omitted the last three lines, lending an entirely different sentiment to the song.

Here is the original by P.P. Arnold:

Here is Keith Hampshire's version:

Here is Sheryl Crow's version:

Now, I know that there might be a die-hard Rod Stewart fan of this song. If so, you can still vote for him. Here is the link to hear his version. I am not embedding it, but you can still vote for it if it is your favorite!

To vote, just comment on which version you think is best and why.  The results will be posted in one week, so you have seven days to decide!


  1. I'm going with Keith Hampshire. It had the most unique and memorable sound to it.

  2. Well Robin, you learned me sumpin'!

    I always assumed Cat's version (which would get my vote if it were a choice) was the frist committed to vinyl.

    Absent Cat, I'm gonna vote Sheryl Crow since I have a schoolboy crush on her (and I do like her version).

    The PP Arnold version sounds too happy, and the Keith Hampshire version is a little overproduced for my taste (this coming from a Rundgren fan)....

    Sheryl Crow's version still gets the heartbreak across.

    Rod Stewart's version never quite captured the emotion, in my opinion-I had the same problem with his cover of "Have I Told You Lately," he just does not capture the emotion that oozes out of Van The Man's version.


  3. I never cared much for this song and don't like Rod Stewart's version at all. I didn't know the song was written by Cat Stevens which gives me all the more reason to dislike the song since I've never been a Stevens fan.

    If I had to pick one then I would go with the P.P. version. I like the orchestration and vocals in that one.

    Tossing It Out

  4. I never knew about the lyrics that were omitted. They certainly do give a different sentiment to the song.

    First, I thoroughly enjoyed the movie 'Seven Psychopaths', and while this 'music box' version of the song definitely lends itself perfectly to that flick, it is not my favorite.

    The Keith Hampshire version has a 'Gary Puckett and the Union Gap' (also, not my favorite) sound to me, so I have to rule that one out also.

    Sheryl does a nice job, but still a little so sweet, or more like saccharine, for my taste.

    I guess I'm that die hard Rod Stewart fan you talked about, cause that's who gets my vote.

  5. Alex ~ One for Keith.

    LC ~ Here is the link to the Cat Stevens version: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aBccr-aLu4I. If you decide you like it best, I am taking write-ins... So, let me know if you change your vote from Sheryl to Cat.

    Arlee ~ Got you down for P.P.

    farawayeyes ~ Noted. Vote for Rod Stewart!

  6. You know, of all the things you said, mentioning Cat Stevens was what caught my attention. I used to have his Greatest Hits album, as in vinyl. I tended to keep all my vinyl always, but the last several times I've gone looking for that album I can't find it. I have no idea what happened to it. So now I need to buy a new one. Any idea where a man can buy a brand new vinyl Cat Stevens Great Hits album these days?

  7. Sheryl Crow. I didn't know it was written by Cat Stevens.

  8. ROBIN ~
    This was a very interesting BOTB post because I learned several things. For one thing, I had no idea that Cat Stevens wrote 'The First Cut Is The Deepest' (and many people think of me as - and I consider myself to be - a pretty knowledgeable guy when it comes to pre-1985 Pop music).

    I think the only version I ever heard or was aware of was the Rod Stewart hit. And I will say that I did kinda like Rod's hit, even though normally I do not care for Rod Stewart's stuffs at all! I never felt compelled to buy Rod's version, but didn't mind hearing it played on the radio.

    I checked out your URL to the Cat Stevens original. Unlike Arlee Bird, I did like Cat once upon a time and owned his Greatest Hits on LP. That video was a trip because Cat looked so young in the earlier photos; and minus the long hair, mustache and beard, I NEVER would have recognized him!

    Also, I thought Cat's original was pretty good. But if we throw ALL the versions into the mix, it wouldn't get my vote. Neither would Rod's.

    The P.P. version was pee-pee to me (although I suspect THAT is the version YOU will vote for on the 7th). I usually have little tolerance for high-pitched, squeaky singing voices. That sounded like a toned down Cyndi Lauper or Lick-The-Tins chick to me.

    My friend DiscConnected wrote: "Sheryl Crow's version still gets the heartbreak across."

    I totally disagree. To begin with, there's something about Sheryl Crow that really annoys me. She comes across to me as UTTERLY SUPERFICIAL; not just here, but in every song I've ever heard. I could be wrong, but I think she's a ditz - a "hollow Heather". The ONLY THING that comes across to me in Crow's version / video is that she thinks she's a supermodel. There's probably a good reason she got hooked up with Lance "The Fake" Armstrong. I think they're BOTH fakes.

    KEITH HAMPSHIRE... Who dat? I never heard of him before, but his version GETS MY VOTE (over Rod and Cat, too). That guy has a good voice. I didn't care for the "tinkly" instrumental intro to the song (which reappeared again later in the musical bridge), but I feel his voice was the best, and he also managed to convey some real emotion in the song. The clear winner to me.

    Hard to believe, but I'm voting for a dude I never heard of before, over Rod's decent hit version and Cat's decent original version. Good options, Robin!

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

  9. Memphis Steve ~ Is that a vote for Cat Stevens???? As for buying vinyl records... some places still have stores that sell them. If you don't, I imagine EBay would be your best bet.

    Carol ~ Vote for Sheryl. It is interesting the things that come out when you do these BOTB bits.

    Stephen ~ Very interesting analysis. The Cat Stevens video was shocking to me, too. I read on Wikipedia when I was checking my information that Cat Stevens never intended to be a singer. His goal was that of a songwriter. Ergo, that is why he sold The First Cut Is The Deepest to P.P. Arnold. He recorded it, but didn't release it, because he felt that her version was definitive (or something like that). Anyway, it is good to know that you can still be surprised!

    Vote for the "unknown" Keith Hampshire! Got you down.

  10. I'm not a big fan of this song, but I used to enjoy listening to some of Cat Stevens' stuff. (Not that I KNEW this was "some of his stuff", mind you.) Anyhow, of the choices, I pick Sheryl. I don't know if she's superficial or a model wannabe, but I like her voice the best.

  11. This is the first time I've seen this Battle of the Bands meme/linky but I love the idea! Even though I'm not technically participating, I hope it's OK if I cast my unofficial vote... I have to pick Pat Arnold's version - hands down. It isn't just that she released the first "official" recording, either. I feel like she really nailed the essence of what I believe Cat intended when he wrote it and I can't honestly say that I get that from any of the others. If you listen to his version right before (or after) hers, they invoke the same emotion and soulfulness. I will give Sheryl Crow's version an honorable mention (so to speak) for having a similarly soulful feel.

  12. Susan ~ Vote for Sheryl.

    Mary ~ Vote for P.P. Arnold. And you are "technically participating." The vote is open to everyone!

    Thank you everyone for not only voting, but explaining the "whys" of your choice!

  13. I know the voting is over, but I'm going to go with Sheryl Crow. Now I'm going to go look up the R.Stewart and C. Stevens' versions. :)

  14. gaaaaaaah, I liked C.Stevens, but no more than Sheryl Crow's. I think Rod nailed it. He was young in the video I found. I can't believe I haven't heard him sing it.


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