Saturday, May 31, 2014

Battle of the Bands ~ Brandy (You're A Fine Girl)

According to my calendar, I have something special slated here for Monday, June 2. So that means I am running Battle of the Bands one day early AGAIN. I want to give you folks a chance to vote before it is GONE.Well, not gone, but covered up by another post. You know what I mean.

And I also want to say a Huge Thank You for all of the wonderful comments on my last post. Since I wrote it, I have spent my mornings (which turns out to be my most productive writing time) on my novel. I am actually moving forward again, which feels great. Susan commented yesterday and said something about facing a similar decision. We must decide if we are bloggers who write or writers who blog. I didn't use the quotation marks because I am not sure I got it precisely right. But that is/was my dilemma in a nutshell. My blog was taking priority over my writing and I was a blogger who writes (sometimes, when I can fit it in). Now I am writing daily and I read blogs when I can fit it in. So far, it is working fairly well. I FEEL much better. Going back to the wind sock analogy... I feel free and am riding the wind. It is good.

Let's move on to Battle of The Bands.

My mom and I have been singing karaoke on Friday nights for a while now. Not every Friday night. But most. A couple of weeks ago, a guy sung this song. I knew the song, but I also knew he was singing a different arrangement of the song. So, I asked him who sang it. He told me Looking Glass. Looking Glass? Never heard of 'em. But, I knew right then and there that the version I knew was a COVER. ha! Funny the places you get inspiration for these battles.

Turns out Looking Glass wrote and sang the song back in the 70s. I could tell that from the music. You know how some songs just sound 70s? Well, this was one of them. After some digging around I found out that two covers of this song exist. They are both quite different from the Looking Glass original. I toyed with the idea of pitting two of them (Looking Glass vs Cover) against one another in this battle and then bringing back the victor on the 15th and pitting that version against the other cover. Why? Because I think all three versions are good, but I don't like pitting three songs against one another. What do you think of that idea (for future battles) when there are more than two good versions? (Let me know in the comments because I really am interested in your thoughts on this.)

The song is Brandy (You're A Fine Girl) and Looking Glass recorded it in 1972.

Let's first listen to the original by Looking Glass:

*Notice that whoever posted this video spelled Brandy with an "i" so it is Brandi. That is NOT correct. I really wish people would check spelling and grammar before they post anything anywhere.

The second version is by the Red Hot Chili Peppers. It is from their Live in Hyde Park album recorded in 2004.

Here is the Red Hot Chili Peppers:

*Notice no spelling or grammatical errors on this one.

And that brings us to the version that I knew. In 2006 Kenny Chesney released the CD The Radio and The Road. That is back when I still bought CDs (thank you LC for pointing out that even I have quit doing this!) and listened to them all the way through. Usually my favorite songs never made it to the radio, so it was a treat. This record has 4 Bonus Tracks including... Brandy (You're A Fine Girl). I have very much enjoyed listening to Chesney's progression as an artist. This was his 11th album and he has become freer with each one to be himself. He really likes beach/island music (not your typical country fare) and every album includes more of it. One day he might jump off the country charts altogether and live in the islands like Jimmy Buffett.

Here is Kenny Chesney:

*Notice whoever posted this video spelled Brandy correctly, but then they ruined it by spelling You Are as Your. ::shakes head sorrowfully::

Tomorrow the rest of the crew will be posting their battles for this feature. Make sure you stop by and vote at the following locations:

Now, is the time to vote. There are three versions. Please tell me which one you liked best and why. Yes, this is the time for that extensive comment you have always wanted to write.  I'm listening...


  1. Well I listened carefully, and although I definitely think the Looking Glass is the version I'm familiar with,I liked Kenny Chesney's version best. He has such a clear voice that brings out the words more. . . Kenny gets my vote. I'm not a big country fan but this guy I like.
    The Red Hot Chili Peppers is another group we like, but their version sounds very similar to the Looking Glass, and they don't have that lilting sound of the Looking Glass. I like hearing music first thing Sat morning, Robin!

  2. ROBIN ~
    The Looking Glass version was from 1972, eh? Hmmm... I would have guessed '74. I didn't even need to play the original because I know it like I recognize myself in a looking glass. I remember when it was getting played every couple hours on AM radio. It's a great song and I have always loved it.

    I didn't know it had ever been covered, let alone covered twice.

    When I saw the first cover was the Red Hot Chili Peppers I *gulped* hard because... I REALLY DISLIKE THOSE GUYS! My first thought was something like this: Alright, what are these assclowns going to do to wreck this "fine" song? Well, OK... let's get it over with...

    But to my pleasant surprise, their version was actually pretty good. Knock me down with a feather! Of course, they didn't stray very far from the original either - they didn't decide to muck it up by doing something stupid with it - so that's why I found their version quite listenable.

    The Kenny Chesney cover was nice too. Likewise, it isn't all that far removed from the original, but it doesn't have all the harmonizing you find in the Looking Glass.

    I don't know the name of the lead singer for Looking Glass, but that guy had a voice as smooth as the finest bourbon; add the great harmonizing, the story-song approach of it, and add the fact that Looking Glass got a four and a half decade jump on the covers, and... well, there you have it. In my opinion, ain't no way no one is going to come speeding up in the rear-view mirror and steal that song away from Looking Glass at this point! Too good, too much history.

    As for doing 3-Way BOTBs, I don't have any problem with them myself, as long as the songs aren't too long. I only do them when I have 3 versions that I think are all good and all drastically different from each other. But I'm good with the 3-Way. Breaking it into 2 parts though, with the winner of Part 1 facing off with another version in the next BOTB installment would be OK with me too. Either way.

    Well, 'Joan Of Arcadia' is here in Phoenix. (It's a long way from Arcadia to Phoenix. Believe me I know, I've been in both places... but not at the SAME time... as far as I know.) So, Tuesday night I'll begin watching this show to see what I think.

    Yak Later...

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

  3. For some reason I couldn't get the Kenny Chesney one to play but I didn't care much for the Red Hot Chili Peppers version. I know I like the original. :)

    And wahoo for your decision to focus on writing! I'm excited for you. :)

  4. i usually lean toward the original and do again here... its got too many memories attached!

    and i liked your windsock/bullet point post. i highly recommend stepping back, you will be fine & hav solid support! write on!

  5. D.G. ~ I don't think there are any "wrong" votes here. For me, the Chesney version is the Original. I like the beach sound of the music (given the lyrics) and the purity of his voice makes the song sweet to my ear.

    StMc ~ Well, I am trusting Wikipedia with the dates on who released this song when... so, if you think it was 1974 vs. 1972 go with your best judgement! I am glad that you didn't dislike the cover versions, but understand your partiality to the original. I might still employ that strategy of two songs in a battle followed up with a face-off in the next battle. You just never know... I appreciate your input. Send me an email after you watch JOA. Remember that you are starting in the middle!

    Kimberly ~ I just checked the Chesney version and it played for me. Got you down for the original.

    Tara ~ Noted. The original it is!

  6. I dropped by to say hello! I have been absent from blogging for a while, and I did miss your posts. It’s good to be back. I must go with Looking Glass. I remember it well. However, for the first time, I liked all three.

  7. I find it sad, please take no offense, that I have reached the age where I can hear people say, "Looking Glass did Brandy? Who are they?" They also did Jimmy Loves Mary-ann, just as good but never got the airplay. I have to stay true to the original.

  8. Now I feel old because the original is the only one I've heard!

  9. Hi Robin,

    Right then, before my computer blows up, I'd better quickly type my comment. First of all, a most encouraging outcome from the support you received on your previous post. A positive catalyst.

    The first version is my favourite of that song.

    Enjoy the rest of your weekend, Robin.


  10. I won't be treading new ground with my comments. Neither cover strayed that far from the original, which had more than a forty year head start (I still have my copy of the 45).

    That said, there was nothing wrong with either cover. Out of character for the Chili's!

    Chalk one up for Looking Glass.

  11. I think they remakes here sounded pretty similar to the original. The Red Hot Chili Peppers surprised me being so similar actually, when I saw their name here I thought they'd stray quite a bit from the first one. I like all three versions, I'm torn between Looking Glass (the one most familiar to me) and Kenny Chesney.

    I like Kenny Chesney's clear voice, but I'm going ultimately with Looking Glass for my vote.

  12. The only version of this song that I was familiar with was the original by Looking Glass. The song was all over the radio in the early 70's and every respectable cover band at that time performed it. I had no idea that anyone had recorded a version. The remakes add essentially nothing to the arrangement other than their own sound style which they do fine, but not strikingly enough to overshadow the original.

    Looking Glass definitely wins this round with the other two doing good bar band imitations.

    Tossing It Out

  13. I'm not a fan of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, but there version has the cleanest sound and sounds a little less dated.

  14. Oh, by the way both the Chili Peppers and Chesney versions played for me though it took a half hour for me to get through them with downloading and all. . Like Stephen there was no need for me to listen to Looking Glass since it's part of my permanent brain music collection.

    Regarding the 3 way contests, I try to avoid them unless there are so many versions that are so good and so different that I think they're worth showcasing. Also length of the cuts matter. Though in my post today I use one cut that is nearly 8 minutes, but I let visitors know they can skip over it. I had an important reason for doing this because I wanted to get feedback for the series I'm doing on my blog.

    Mostly I'll try to avoid the 3 entry competitions though they are often very tempting.

    Tossing It Out

  15. I like 'The Looking Glass' version the best... but I am old and cranky...

    How are you doing?? :o)


  16. Of the three I'm most familiar with "The Looking Glass' version. so familiar that the song started playing in my head before I clicked on the video, but I have to admit without seeing the video, I could not have told you who recorded it to save my life.

    The Chilli Peppers version was kind of 'meh', so no contest there.

    I really do like Kenny Chesney and his version is very nice, but in the end I think familiarity wins out on this one. That and the fact that The Looking Glass version is what played is still playing in my head.

    As far as the three way BOTB contests go; I run a few of them myself, but I think most people would rather hit and run and don't want to spend that much time, listening to three different versions of the same song. As far as doing a two-way and then letting the winner battle it out in two weeks with another version - well, I personally would rather have a brand new song to listen to, but since nobody has done that yet, maybe it would be fun.

  17. I suppose I'm too late. I come in from the yard at 10 P.M.
    Looig a country mile, for me.

  18. The RHCP version was better than I expected it to be, mostly because I usually can't stand them. Still doesn't really do it for me, though.

    Why am I not surprised that a Kenny Chesney fan doesn't understand how to correctly use the right version of 'your'?

    ...With that said, I pick his as my favorite.

  19. I left a comment here a couple of minutes ago, then clicked Sign Out instead of Publish. Had to sign back in and reopen my blog LOL. What a ditz. Anyway, LOVE Kenny Chesney, but my vote here goes to RHCP.

  20. Keep writing. It's what it's all about!

    Going with Looking Glass. They did it first, they did it best.

    Google is hating me today, so I'm going to try anonymous.
    :) Elizabeth Seckman

  21. I agree that Looking Glass did it best. To me, the style of music suits their style of singing. While the other two just didn't fit right. :-)

  22. I love that you sing karaoke with your mom! I thought for sure I would vote for the original Looking Glass version until I heard RHCP. They added just the right spice to the song.


  23. Oh, what a nostalgia teaser! Looking Glass all the way, because they sing with such angst and heart as they tell Brandy's story, but I'll give a nod to Kenny Chesney as runner up. And oh, golly, I hope you never critique my spelling and typos. I know they are rampant. I'm hopeless that way!

  24. Thank you EVERYONE for the voting. I enjoy this feature so much and I love reading your reactions to the songs. I plan to post a blog end of the week with the winner. Although, if you have followed along thus far I can predict Looking Glass taking this without actually counting....ha!


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