Saturday, August 15, 2015

Battle of the Bands ~ Look What They've Done To My Song, Ma

First of all... yes, I'm home again. Alive and in one piece. Not exactly migraine-free, but you can't have everything. I'm really glad I pre-wrote everything that posted in July and early August before I left. Otherwise, the posting would've been very slim around here (as in nearly nil). I kinda wish I'd decided on my Battle of the Bands for the 15th back in June, too. Yep. It's been that sort of insane here.

So... I spent some time wandering around on YouTube just to see what I'd find. There's always tons to find. Doesn't mean it's all useful for Battle of the Bands, but still it's interesting. Turns out I thought I was going in one direction and ended up somewhere else. I'd tell you that's shocking, but it really isn't.

I ended up (quite by accident) in these backyard sessions that Miley Cyrus recorded in 2012. For those of you not familiar, this was before the MTV awards in which she cut her hair (not attractive, but not over-the-top ridiculous) and stepped onto the profanity gesture wagon that many people, myself included, found extremely offensive (not attractive AND over-the-top ridiculous). This foray into offensiveness landed much media attention (which was surely the intention), but begs the question of talent versus antics. Is it possible to achieve superstardom in this day and age without going beserker? It also begs another question: how helpful are the people behind the scenes in trying to help a singer achieve success? Are these string pullers really helpful? In the end, what do they do to the song (by completely messing up the singer)? Miley isn't the first performer to ask this question. Rather ironically, she recorded her cover of Look What They've Done To My Song, Ma before her "song" was irrevocably pushed into the insane corner. It makes me wonder if people have a sixth sense of what's coming before it arrives. (I kinda think they do.)

If you haven't guessed, the song for today is Look What They've Done To My Song, Ma. This song was new to me. I'm fairly certain that the original performer of this song was Melanie Safka. So, let's give her version a listen. Yep, this is contender number one.

Pretty catchy, no? Now, here is Miley singing the same song back in 2012... before they took her song and twisted it all up.

Is that good? Is that good for everybody?

We've got so many new Battle of the Bands players that I'm having difficulty keeping up. (We post a new battle on the 1st and 15th of each month.) For those who've been following this feature/blog for a while now, can you believe that once upon a time -- for a long time-- there were only five of us??? Well, now the list grows each battle. So, if your name is not on here and you're participating, please leave me a message in the comments. Thanks for your patience!

 Also, please vote for the version of this song you prefer. If you want to get into the Ins and Outs of why you like one better than the other... I LOVE long comments!

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


  1. Lots and lots of Battle's now. I vote for the first one.
    I never really listened to the Cyrus babe's voice
    before and I never realized her voice was so nasal.

  2. Welcome home! ☺ Hope your migraine disappears, soon.
    I'm old, so am intimately acquainted with the original by Melanie. I love her voice and she gets my vote. Miley Cyrus wasn't bad, but really, no comparison.

  3. Another vote for Melanie here... Her version is not just a classic (sort of... well, to me it is :D ) but musically accomplished. Miley... look, it's not the 2012 thing. She just strikes me as another pseudo-singer that's more into image and fame than into any serious artistic endeavor. (And her voice sounds uneducated to me. She can hit the notes, sure, but there's a quality missing, a sense of control.) Melanie, on the other hand... Well :)

    Cool battle! Hadn't heard this song in a-ges!
    Guilie @ Quiet Laughter

  4. Hi, Robin!

    You know what they say about all twerk and no pray...

    As you might have noticed I mentioned Melanie on Jeffrey Scott's blog today. It's quite a coincidence that she is one of your BOTB contenders. As you also might have noticed, I usually vote against the crowd (you included). I do so not just to be different but because my tastes truly are different. My vote in this battle of yours today is no exception. I am a baby boomer and Melanie was one of the greatest and most important voices of my ge-ge-generation, but I refuse to be a Miley hater. I think Miley did a great job with the song and her updated version is more listenable than Melanie's original. Young, modern artists like Miley Cyrus and Taylor Momsen have earned my respect because they are the real deal with genuine talent and I will not let their bad behavior distract me from that fact. Shady casts his vote for Miley Cyrus!

  5. Welcome back! I'm sure the last month or so has been an adventure.
    My vote goes to the original. Miley didn't do much unique with it.

  6. OMG! I can't believe I am about to say(write) this but I am giving this to ,...gulp,...Miley! I hate saying this...I really do because she needs her mouth washed out with soap, a good clean scrub and food to add a few pounds to her but she sang this classic well and it works with her voice. If she keeps her voice in check, doesn't scream things out and just takes in the words she does this quite well. I really like this song and was sure to give it to Melanie but Miley's voice, for this song, works. Now if Miley would just never talk that would be a blessing.

  7. The thing that gets me about Miley's version is it's trying to be acoustic and is outside, but her voice is SO studio recorded. Melanie just did a much better job. It sounded more authentic to me.

  8. I love miley. I think she's young and sewing oats...she has real talent...if she straightens out in a year or two..writes some music..she'll be around for years.

    I'm voting for MELANIE's song. But I'm also voting for Miley's tongue, which I can't get enough of. (Thank God she sticks it out every time there's a camera present. That's REAL TALENT to be able to recognize a camera in time to get yer tongue out!)

    Did Miley sing this song OK? Yeah. She sang it OK.

    There are also about 50 girls in 2 square miles of me right now who could sing it OK, and 10 who could sing it better.

    More times than not, it's who you know (or who your Mom or Dad know) and who you're willing to sleep with, that determines your fate in Hollyweird.

    I would probably be a big star today if I had said "yes" to a homosexual director in Hollywood who wanted to take me on an all-expenses-paid vacation to Australia.

    Why did I have to be born in these times with the curse of heterosexuality, the decorum to keep my tongue in my mouth, and a sense of awe and respect for Jesus Christ?

    ~ D-FensDogG
    'Loyal American Underground'

  10. I like the Miley version better. She gets my vote. Got your message on my blog about personal 'me' posts. You're right, they're gone. I wish I could delete the ones that remain, but not because I want to. :) Lots of 'stuff' going on over here. The blog's now just going to be for review. I hope you'll still stop by though, I enjoy your visits. :)

  11. Not a Miley fan and she didn't win me over with this one. I still think she's a whe lot more gimmick than talent, but then the nut doesn't fall far from the tree, eh?

    Give my vote to Melanie here.

  12. I can't stand Miley Cyrus. I just wish she'd go away already. With that said, I gave her a fair chance. Yes, she sang this just fine, but "just fine" isn't enough for a win. She didn't bring anything new to the table. A very easy vote for Melanie here.

  13. Robin, glad to see you back all in one piece! Thanks for answering my letter. I hadn't really expected that, but what a delight. :D I remember when snail mail was the height of my day. There is nothing extraordinarily special about Miley voice. Of course, she sings better than me, but I'm not in the music business so who cares, right? Like everyone (almost) here has said, Miley does okay with the song and that pretty much sums up the way I feel. Melanie's voice is a kinda interesting in a strange sort of way. I don't know, if I'd like other songs by her or not. I ought check YouTube to see...anyhow over all I like the original the best, so give Melaine my vote. Cool battle!

  14. Robin, Robin, Robin- so glad you're back!! Hope you could read my letter I sent. My hand writing is atrocious!. I actually became a fan of Miley with Wrecking Ball. I really do like that song. I wish she wasn't so crazy with her antics. I like Miley but for this battle I'm going with Melanie. She just sang this better.
    Hope your migraine goes away soon. Hugs!

  15. I'm going with Melanie. It's much more earthy and bluesy and evocative. I like Miley's voice but I don't feel like she's "feeling" it as she sings. This song is an oldie but a goodie...I've heard it playing in the background of my life since I was a kid.

    Welcome back Robin. Hope camp was great!

  16. Welcome back! I hope you feel rejuvenated by your time away!

  17. I believe I shall go with the original Melanie. I'm not much into antics, that Miley tends to get involved in, so hard for me to choose her song. Even though this version was fairly straightforward.

  18. I like Melanie's version better. It has a catchy feel and I like the quality of her voice better.

    It's too bad about Miley. I just read she felt she had some sort of body dismorphia from doing Hannah Montana. I think she's a messed up individual. I hope she sorts herself out and doesn't get into any major trouble.

  19. Hmmmm, the vibrato in Melanie's version makes the whole thing sound so much more pleading and tortured over what was happening. What wasn't torture (for a change) was listening to Miley. I still pick Melanie though.

  20. Never knew Melanie's last name until now. I never cared much for this song when it first came out. Maybe it was the portions where she sang in French--this was kind of annoying to me. After having not heard this song in many years it sounds much better to me now. I like the cabaret sound to it all which I guess I didn't hear in having sloughed this song off for so long. Not bad, not bad.

    I figured I'd dislike Miley's version, but actually I recognize her talent and though not appreciative of her antics as you say, I do like a lot of her music. Too bad about the direction she's taken with her image.

    I'm going to go back to see what everyone else says about this Battle after I've voted but I think I might be in a minority. I like Melanie's version, but I actually prefer what Miley and her friends did.

    Cast my vote for Miley Cyrus.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

  21. Welcome home!

    This was a tough one, as I'm not too crazy about either vocal. I think I"ll have to go with Melanie Safka. Miley was OK, but her weird throaty-vibrato just grates on me.

  22. I'll give props to Miley Cyrus she does have talent. She does some great covers and this is one. She also does some songs/music that is not my cup of tea. However my vote goes with Melanie I really felt the emotion coming off of her version of the song.

  23. Miley Cyrus shows some talent her, but Melanie brings this one home for me. Good song choice!

  24. I remember the original by Melanie (she went by just her first name back in the day) from 1969. I don't know if it's the fact that I'm hearing this through pretty good-quality headphones instead of the speaker of an AM transistor radio, but... this wasn't it. The nasal twang in Miley Cyrus's voice is annoying, but she did an OK version of it. It's really a tie, with neither doing it all that well, but I'll pick Miley's version just because I have to pick one, and she won "eeny meeny miney moe."

  25. I vote for Melanie, even though I like Miley's version better. I don't like that girl.

  26. Hi human, Robin,

    I've had to take over for my human. Sorry about the absence of visiting your good human self.

    I vote for Melanie's version, even if she sounds a bit um "ruff", when she sings. As for Miley, she sounds like a typical fake country n' western sound.

    Have a nice weekend, Robin.

    Pawsitive wishes and doggy kisses,

    Penny xx

  27. I'm probably too late, but MELANIE MELANIE MELANIE. I have a real love-hate going with Miley. I like some of her stuff...till I have to watch her video and then I'm reconsidering everything.

  28. I think Melanie Safka's version comes more from the heart. Good to hear you're back. :)


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