Sunday, June 15, 2014

Battle of the Bands ~ Romeo and Juliet

I know that I am late in the day posting this Battle of the Bands feature. I will simply say that time got away from me. Better late than never, right???

The song for today is Romeo and Juliet, written by Mark Knopfler, for his band Dire Straits. It has been featured on many Dire Straits records, but the first was Making Movies in 1980. This song has been covered by multiple artists including Lisa Mitchell, The Killers, Matt Nathanson, Edwin McCain, and The Indigo Girls (to name a few). Had I been able to find the original recording from Edwin McCain on YouTube this might have been a very different battle... because his version is COMPLETELY different than the others.

Oh yeah, failed by YouTube AGAIN.... I know I make it look easy, but it is NOT. ha!

Anyway, after much back and forthing on my part, I decided to pair the Dire Straits version against The Indigo Girls. Since Dire Straits recorded first, we shall listen to them first.

Dire Straits...


The Indigo Girls...

This is not the only battle going down today so make sure you visit the following blogs and vote on their match-ups:

Now, is the time to vote. 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. Extensive comment? Me?
    Not a fan of the song, but prefer Dire Strait's version. Other one came across as too folksy and whiny.

  2. I'm a fan of Dire Straits but I can't say I've ever heard them to this song. Maybe I just wasn't paying attention.

    Never cared for the Indigo Girls. Have a couple cassettes by them but their sound just never clicked with me. In this song they sound like they're doing a folk cover of the Dire Straits version.

    Dire Straits it is for me.

    Tossing It Out

  3. Thanks for voting guys.

    I just realized that I didn't indicate when I would post the results and the vote would close. Let's say next Sunday. So get those votes in now!!!

  4. I am not a fan of the Indigo Girls to begin with.

    Back in the day, they always made a bigger deal of the fact that they were lesbians than musicians, and that was a turn off for me.

    I don't care who a singer wants to sleep with-shut up and let your songs do the talking.

    So today, we're going to see how these ladies let a Dire Straits song do the talking for them, and it's going be a tough sell as I have always loved this song and the album it came from (Making Movies). I thought the band's high point was this album-by the time they were an MTV fad with "Money For Nothing," I'd thought they lost their muse.

    Two verses in, I was already sure I'd go with my initial inclination.

    I don't know it it is Amy or Emily doing lead, but it's like she's trying to go for a Springsteen vibe, and she simply can't pull it off.

    Melissa Etheridge did the "female Springsteen" thing a lot better, and she also dealth with her sexuality a lot more professionally. I long ago sold off the only Indigo Girls CD I ever owned, and I've never felt the need to reacquire it, nor does this cover make me feel any fond memories.

    I tried to have an open mind, I really did, but my vote goes to Dire Straits!


  5. There is something personal and sacred for me in the Dire Straits version, so it just doesn't sound "right" to hear the girls sing it. Don't get me wrong, they have a place in my heart as well for other college memories..driving past the Jesuit residence on campus on numerous occasions senior year blasting a certain part of Closer to Fine.

  6. Hey Robin,

    I'm very familiar with the Dire Straits version. The Indigo Girls didn't do it for me. Which means, no contest, Dire Straits for me. And extensive comment would also expect an extensive reply. Thus, I wouldn't want to exhaust you with one of my long, drawn out, nonsensical, incoherent, disjointed comments that would just confuse you and then you would also notice that this has become a run-on sentence and that's not good either. Sometimes, it better to variate sentence lengths.

    Cheerio from England on an early Monday morning.....

    Gary :)

  7. I tried not to be biased with this song because I'm a Dire Straits fan; but can't fault good quality. My vote goes to Mark Kopfler.

  8. Mmm, I'm not a Dire Straits fan nor do I like this song, BUT, if I had to choose, I would choose the Dire Straits version.

  9. I prefer Dire Straits, so they get my vote. Neither song made a strong impression.
    As for the second version, it just doesn't appeal to me, sounds a bit harsh. Coming by late - family duties.

  10. I've never really liked the Indigo Girls. On top of that, this song isn't something I'd particularly listen to to begin with, but Dire Straits definitely did it better. The Indigo Girls cover was just too harsh.

  11. Although I really like Dire Straits I prefer the Indigo Girls with this one. I felt they sung it with more feeling than Dire Straits. I know that probably sounds stupid.

  12. I'm going with Dire Straits, but that's because I'm not an Indigo Girls fan. Their voices don't appeal to me. This is all so subjective, just like books. :-)

  13. I'll go with the Dire Straits version though I don't really like the song that much. I can't remember ever hearing it before.

  14. I'm going with the Indigo Girls for this one. I think I'm one of the few who just doesn't like Dire Straits (even my mom likes them).

    I forgot about Edwin McCain! He did a song called 'Solitude' that I really liked, way back when!

  15. Angry Girl Bands = YUCK!

    I'm with LC about the sexuality thing also, just sing and make music, for cryan out loud, will ya?

    I bet you guessed I'm voting for Dire Straits.

  16. Dire Straits between these two. But I really really love the Killers's version. It's very similar in style to Dire Straits, but they have the piano line coming through like a haunting refrain, and just totally changes the feel into something pensive. :-)

    1. I like The Killers version, too. Have you heard the Edwin McCain version?

    2. I haven't, and I can't seem to find it either. :-(

  17. I've always liked Dire Straits (Skateaway is my favorite song by them) so they are my choice.

  18. I agree with L. Diane on all points- especially Skateaway.

  19. Mark Knopfler will always win out over remakes of his stuff. Dire Straits for sure!

  20. Well, this is the post I landed on tonight and I made it through another day of packing until midnight. So... at the risk of becoming a BOTB regular (oh, the horror) I have to let you know I've never heard this song before. I'm also not a big fan of either group. However, the Dire Straits one is much more of a story song type thing and I like those a lot. So I'm going with Dire Straits and now I'm going to bed!

  21. Don't love either of them, but I'm going with Indigo Girls.I do wanna hear that Killer's version tho. :)

  22. First of all, thanks for stopping by the other day and for your comment on my post. :)

    As much as I love the Indigo Girls, I'm going to have to go with Dire Straits. There's just something a bit more mellow and endearing about that version.


  23. Oh you chose one of my favorite bands- Dire Straits! Started my day off with a smile and tappin' toes!

  24. ROBIN ~
    Sorry I'm so late getting over here. Actually, I was here yesterday and listened to the Dire Straits version and about a minute of The Indigo Girls version. But I didn't have time right then to compose a comment so I've returned here for that.

    I'll preface this by saying that I really dug the first two albums by Dire Straits and I still own both on CD. After those first two releases, they seemed to change a bit - their sound kind of went in a slightly different direction which I did not prefer, so I never bought another one of their recordings. I did hear a number of their songs on radio for years after that though, and I always really liked 'MONEY FOR NUTTIN'', and I remember the video for that song which got played to death on MTV in its very earliest days (but I still never grew tired of hearing it).

    I did not like any of their later songs, and I am really surprised that this one has been covered so many times because, although I’ve heard it maybe four times, I have never been able to find the melody in it. To my ears, it just seems to meander around and there is nothing catchy about it. I couldn’t begin to whistle or hum it because, as I said, I don’t hear a memorable melody in ‘Romeo And Juliet’. I assume the “lack” must be in me, since so many people have wanted to record their own version of it, so they MUST be hearing a distinct melody of some sort, but I sure don’t.

    When I played a minute of The Indigo Girls recording of it yesterday, I figured that was enough for me to come back today and vote for Dire Straits because as others have said here, TIG take on it sounds harsh, and I thought I might as well cast my unenthusiastic vote for the original performers.

    But this morning I decided I wasn’t being fair and that I ought to listen to the entire TIG version before voting, so I just played the entire song. I’m glad I did because it caused me to change my mind and vote for The Indigo Girls. Yes, it is a bit harsh sounding, but it also sounds much more passionate, like they REALLY MEAN it. I can almost – almost – even discern a wisp of a melody in their version; it seems tighter, and being more forceful than the D.S. version it strikes me as being a bit less meandering than the original.

    So, to my great surprise, thanks to my decision to give it a second – and this time complete chance from beginning to end – I am casting a surprising (but still not overly enthusiastic) vote for The Indigo Girls.

    ~ D-FensDogg
    ‘Loyal American Underground’

  25. This is a tough one. I'm going with the Indigo Girls. I think the song fits better with the lyrics, whereas Dire Straits' version feels too playful for the lyrics. So I'm with Stephen in the strong but mighty minority on this one.

  26. PS LOL, I meant "small but mighty" minority.

  27. Though I'm not crazy about either one, my vote is for Indigo Girls. I'm just not a Dire Straits fan.


  28. I've been out of the music world for so long, I'm not really a good judge. But my kids are pulling me back in, and there's some really cool stuff out there.

  29. Late again. Dire Straits came along at a formative time in my life. They have to get my vote.


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