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Sunday, September 15, 2013

Battle of the Bands: Hair Cuts

Battle of the Bands Special Sunday Edition 

       Since the rules of the game devised by my blogger friends at Far Away Series and Ferret-Faced Fascist Friends (FFFF) call for Battle of the Bands (BOTB) posts on the 1st and 15th of each month, this week I'm adding an extra post on a Sunday while maintaining my regular schedule.  In order to stay focused on the BOTB feature my preceding post and my post tomorrow are connected to today's post.

        In this round we've decided to take on a theme of sorts.  We are doing face-offs  between versions of songs from the musical Hair.   I won't go into the history of this musical here since most of you are probably familiar with the musical, the movie, or the songs.   If you don't know about Hair then you can either look it up or I'm sure Stephen T. McCarthy will have some great information on his FFFF site.

Let My Battle Commence

         For my Battle entries I'm going to start with the original Broadway cast recordings of two songs--"Ain't Got No" and "I Got Life".   To listen you will probably have to click on the box below a couple of times to be taken to YouTube.  You might even have to suffer through a very, very brief commercial.  Sorry--that's YouTube and not me.  The YouTube links are also in the titles below in case you have any problem accessing the embedded video.  Enjoy.

     

"Ain't Got No"  Original Cast (1968)




"I Got Life"  Original Cast (1968)



And Now Another Version

           In 1968 Nina Simone released an arrangement of a medley of these two songs from Hair.   Her rendition did particularly well on the pop charts in the UK.  Julie Driscoll with Brian Auger and the Trinity expanded on Simone's arrangement on their 1969 album Streetnoise and this is the version I became familiar with when I saw them perform it on the Tom Jones television show in 1969.  That's when I became sold on the talents of Brian Auger.

            Take a listen to their version and compare it to the original Hair cast.

"Ain't Got No/I Got Life"  Julie Driscoll, Brian Auger and the Trinity (1969)



          Which version do you like best?   Why?   Give us your thoughts and vote for your favorite in the comment section.   Don't forget that you will be eligible for a prize later if you vote.   Find more information on the prize eligibility here

           Find other battles at:
              Faraway Series
              Ferret-Faced Fascist Friends
             Your Daily Dose
             DiscConnected

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18 comments:

  1. Fortunately, I didn't have to go to YouTube to hear them or see any commercials.
    The originals are better because they felt like they had more emotion in them. (And between the two, I Got Life is the best.)

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  2. A great choice Lee especially "I Got Life". Great post.

    Yvonne.

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  3. I think I prefer the original in this one buddy, great post.

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  4. Definitely the original. Especially 'I got life'. Sorry but that new version is just way too depressing to listen to early in the morning.

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  5. I like the last one that merged the two songs because the first section doesn't answer what it doesn't 'got'.
    Cool post my 1968 friend.

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  6. ARLEE BOID ~
    Well, as I stated in my BOTB introduction, I pretty much grew up with the Broadway soundtrack album to 'HAIR', so I had heard those versions of 'Ain't Got No' and 'I Got Life' countless times.

    Also, I am a HUGE fan of Brian Auger - he is my all-time favorite Hammond B-3 player and the person I credit for really turning me onto Jazz, which today is my favorite musical genre.

    Unfortunately though, I'm just kind of "eh" when it comes to Julie Driscoll's singing. To me, her voice is passable but not genuinely outstanding in any particular way. I liked her style more than her substance.

    In the Auger/Driscoll version, I start digging it more when Auger adds those especially "bluesy" flourishes periodically, such as at 2:06, 2:55, and 3:35, etc.

    But truthfully, before the song has ended, Driscoll's vocals have begun to get on my nerves a little bit and I'm just ready for the tune to be done.

    With the original versions from the Broadway play, I don't dig 'Ain't Got No' very much, primarily because of the background "response", which just seems to dice the number into "little chunks".

    I do, however, enjoy the rhythm and enthusiasm of 'I Got Life' (I always did).

    So, based primarily on the strength of 'I Got Life', I'm voting for the original Broadway musical version.

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

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  7. I wore out the original Hair soundtrack when I was young. I've got to go with the original -- it has more passion and hope.

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  8. For a few minutes there I was a bit confused. Kinda looked like a ménage a trios, but I think I get it. While I found the Driscoll/Auger version interesting ( I have to agree with STMc some of the bluesy insertions by Auger got my interest up, but that woman’s voice was annoying) it was not my cup a tea. I did go over to youtube and check out Nina’s version which I liked better, but that’s beside the point. In the end I’m gonna cast my vote for the original versions of which I like ‘I Got Life’ better.

    As a side note, apparently I’m the only one in the universe who did not own the soundtrack to either the Broadway musical or the movie. I did have a bootleg cassette copy that a friend had made me, which was recorded during a live performance and I own a copy of the movie on VHS. I guess while everyone else was wearing out an 8-track or LP I was busy…well, maybe I don’t want to admit what I was busy doing, but I will admit to knowing most of these songs by heart.

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  9. I am voting for the original songs. I honestly didn't care much for the singer's voice in the second version and by the mid-point I was just ready for it to be over.

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  10. Having never seen Hair, I am hearing these for the first time today.

    While I agree with the feeling that the voice on the cover leaves a little to be desired, I kind of dig the arrangement....

    So I'm going to vote for Brian Auger's version...

    LC

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  11. Alex -- Off to a good start.

    Yvonne -- Thanks for stopping in.

    Yeamie -- Is this musical still feel relevant to your generation?

    Sheena-kay -- Depressing? Uh oh.

    Desert -- It is a clever juxtaposition.

    Stephen -- Kinda harsh on Julie. Maybe that's why their team didn't last more than a few albums.

    Kelly -- Passion and hope. Maybe that's what resonated with the youthful fans of this musical back then.

    Faraway -- Julie is not making much of a hit with anyone so far.

    Robin -- Wow. Tough day for Julie Driscoll.

    Larry -- Finally, a vote for Brian Auger (though not so much for Julie).

    Lee

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  12. I Got Life (original cast, 1968)
    gets my vote. That cover looks familiar. This version seems to have more energy and reflects the original song's intent.

    Good choices, Lee.

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  13. I've gotta go with the original version. At its onset, I liked the sound of the second one, but it wore thin pretty fast, and like some others have already said, I could hardly wait for it to end.

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  14. DG -- An iconic album of the late 60's.

    Susan -- Julie is not doing so well here.

    Lee

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  15. Honestly, I'm not real sure which way to go here. So I'll go first gut reaction and take the originals.

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  16. CW -- There is definitely a trend toward the originals.

    Lee

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  17. LEE (and FAE) -

    Well, you three really have me perplexed with all this Hair stuff. I voted my curmudgeonly vote on the F-FFF site.

    I am going to do all the rest of the voters a favor (allowing them one competitor closer to winning the CD) by NOT VOTING.

    I dislike all three songs. I hate "Hair"! Give me "Oklahoma" or "My Fair Lady."

    I didn't want to NOT comment after you and FAE graciously opened up your comment sections to undocumented ninnies such as myself. Thanks, even if I am unable to choose with this Hobson's choice.

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  18. Can't stand the second one. Major fan of the originals...appalled that I own a copy of the soundtrack and Faraway does not!!!!!!!

    Anywho...original wins again with me... and I GOT LIFE what a great song!!!!

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Go ahead and say something. Don't be afraid to speak your mind.
I normally try to respond to all comments in the comment section so please remember to check the "Email follow-up comments" box if you want to participate in the comment conversation.

For Battle of the Bands voting the "Anonymous" commenting option has been made available though this version is the least preferred. If voting using "anonymous" please include in your comment your name (first only is okay) and city you are voting from and the reason you chose the artist you did.

If you know me and want to comment but don't want to do it here, then you can send me an email @ jacksonlee51 at aol dot com.

Lee