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Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Battle of the Bands: You're No Good

BOTB Time Again!

         It's time for another Battle of the Bands!   Once again I'm joining Far Away Series and Ferret-Faced Fascist Friends to present faceoffs between two versions of songs that you may or may not know.  After you've voted on my site visit the other sites to leave your votes on theirs as well so you can increase your chances of winning a prize.  Yes there will be a prize awarded!  You can find out more at Stephen T. McCarthy's site.

        Since the Battle of the Bands (BOTB) posts are supposed to appear on the 1st and 15th of each month, today's post is a special post on a day when I normally do not show up on this space.  My future participation in this blog event will most likely mean I will sometimes post on off days when the BOTB falls on them.

         And now for today's contest.

"You're No Good"

         Nearly everyone is familiar with Linda Ronstadt's 1974 hit version of "You're No Good"--one of her biggest hits.  She made #1 on the charts with her recording.  However, she was just one of many who recorded this classic song.  Many recordings have been made since Ronstadt's popular version and many were made before she scored her hit with the song.

         In today's match-up I'm pitting two very different takes on pre-Ronstadt recordings of "You're No Good".  Just forget for a moment that you've ever heard Ronstadt's version and see which one of these you like best.

Dee Dee Warwick  "You're No Good" (1963)

        If her name sounds a wee bit familiar it's partly because she was the sister of popular singer Dionne Warwick.  On top of that her aunt was Cissy Houston and cousin Whitney Houston.  Though not the star that her sister was, Dee Dee had a fairly credible singing career with a number of recordings after her 1963 solo debut.  She's attributed to the earliest version of  "You're No Good", written by Clint Ballard Jr.   Check out the fuzzy guitar break in the middle.

(You may have to click twice on the video to be taken directly to YouTube.)

Potliquor "You're No Good" (1971)

        Some of you rock fans might remember Van Halen's 1979 version of "You're No Good".   A decade before they came out with that version Southern rockers Potliquor rocked the song even harder with their own rendition.   The Potliquor album made many a spin on my record turntable back in the early 1970's.  I'd heard Potliquor's song "The Train" on the radio and loved the sound.  Every song on the album was a winner. They took Ballard's "You're No Good" in a very different direction than the earlier versions of the song.

Time to Vote!

      What is your favorite version?   Do you prefer the traditional sound of Dee Dee Warwick or the Southern blues rock of Potliquor?   Is there another version of this song that you would recommend?

Be sure to visit the other participants at:

           Faraway Series
              Ferret-Faced Fascist Friends
             Your Daily Dose

   If you've done your own BOTB entry please let me know so I can add it to my list.

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  1. I'm a young guy who has never heard this song until today so my opinion doesn't hold as much weight as others does but the second version I listened to, the sort of rocked up down and dirty version is my favourite, I'm off to check out Van Halen's now though, that could be something quite special too!

  2. I am not a fan of anything Southern rock, so the original gets my vote.

  3. Always enjoyed Linda's songs, but in this contest I vote for the Southern rock of Potliquor! Excellent!

  4. Here in the UK we had a version by The Swinging Blue Jeans...... loved it.


  5. I am gonna go with Potliquor's version :)

  6. Dee Dee Warwick gets my vote out of the two, but still doesn't replace Linda R's version. It has the bluesy tone I like. I'd probably only ever buy Linda's version.

  7. Yeamie - The fact that you weren't tainted by hearing other versions makes your opinion more relevant. Thanks for letting us know.

    Alex -- That's a pretty all-encompassing judgement on Southern Rock. Now I'm curious what brings that on.

    Yolanda -- Ronstadt has quite a musical legacy.

    Yvonne -- I remember the Swinging Blue Jeans, but I don't recall ever hearing their version of this song until I was putting this post together. Let's write in for Swinging Blue Jeans?

    Lucy -- Another for the boys.

    DG -- Warwick's version is very different than Ronstadt's. Both good, but the latter is more updated.


  8. Van Ha1en had a pretty crappy version of this c1assic. My vote goes for the origina1 version from !inda Rondstandt.

  9. Lee-

    You turned me onto a band I'd never heard of in Potliquor, and I'm voting for their version (since the VH and Ronstadt versions are not a choice).


  10. Very familiar with Linda's version, of course. That said, I have to go with Dee Dee. Makes me want to get up and west coast swing.

  11. I prefer the Potliquor adaptation. However, the version I would recommend is by The Swinging Blue Jeans.


  12. The library I'm at doesn't allow sound so I can only wish both songs all the best in votes.

  13. Stephen Tremp -- Another write in vote! For Linda Ronstadt this time.

    Larry -- I don't know why Potliquor never got bigger than they did. They were a smokin' group.

    Wendy -- Classic sounds of Dee Dee get another vote.

    Gary-- I was trying to get some time between the two versions. Swinging Blue Jeans did have a good version though.

    Sheena-kay -- Yeah, this contest doesn't work well without sound.


  14. I did enjoy the Dee Warwick version, so I'll give it second place. I have to give the win to Linda, but I admit that part of my vote is due to the fact that she can't sing anymore due to Parkinson's. That Heartbreaking news just makes me so much more appreciative of her voice when I hear it.

  15. Interesting, if obscure match-up. It's amazing how much Dee Dee sounds like Dionne. Can't say that I'm a fan of her peppy pop version of 'You're No Good'.

    Never heard of Potliquor, but I like their more bluesy Rockabilly version better. They get my vote.

  16. Potliquor was entertaining... but Dee Dee.

  17. I really liked both of these versions. It continues to stun me what a difference an arrangement can make to a song. Dee Dee gets my vote only because I spent the entirety of the song tapping my toe.

  18. Kelly -- Since Ronstadt wasn't officially part of the contest I'll put you in for a vote for Dee Dee since you mentioned her.

    Faraway -- I guess it makes sense that Dee Dee would sound like her sister since they started out singing together. Potliquor it is for you.

    CW -- I guess that "but" is the qualifier. Dee Dee for you.

    Robin -- That's why I picked these two versions. So different!


  19. Hm, that's a hard one. Yet since I heard Dionne's first and have memories of that song, I'm going to vote that one.

  20. Since I heard Linda's version first and loved it, I'm going with Dee Dee. :)

  21. Christine & Kimberly--That's two more for Dee Dee.


  22. They are both very good in their own ways, but I like Dee Dee's version best. I've never heard of Dionne's talented sister before.


  23. I prefer Dee Dee's more soulful sound. The second version is too loud for my taste.


  24. Sorry, but I'm doing a write-in vote. Linda Ronstadt's version has to be my choice. Was just listening to it the other day.

  25. Julie --- I'd never heard of her before I found her version of this song.

    Robyn -- So you're not so "rawkn" after all?

    Susanne-- No back up for the choices I've offered. Okay write-in for Ronstadt.


  26. BOIDMAN ~
    You're about the only person I know who can actually introduce me to bands in my "musical wheelhouse era" that I've never even heard of before. You got me beat in musical knowledge, buddy-boy!

    I like a lot of Dionne Warwick's songs and have even owned an album or two by her in the past, but I had no idea she had a singin' sister named Dee Dee.

    Potliquor... you got me there, too. Can't believe I'd never even heard the name before. And that band you used to compete against Neil Young's 'Down By The River' (already forgot their name), I'd never heard of them either. You've put me in my place, Boidman.

    Now to my vote:
    I am not really a fan of Linda Ronstadt nor of most of her music. However, I did always like her version of 'YOU'RE NO GOOD' quite a bit; even owned it on a 45 single once upon a time. If Ronstadt's version had been a contestant here, it would have won my vote with ease. But given the choice between Dee Dee and Potliquor...

    Not crazy about Dee Dee's version primarily because of the musical arrangement. The vocals were fine, but I really didn't care for that "clicky, clack, clunk" percussion and the sorta "child's toy piano"-sounding accompaniment (was that Schroeder on keyboards?)

    Potliquor had a very recognizable style which struck me as something like an amalgamation of several other bands from that general era. Maybe Blood, Sweat & Tears, combined with Three Dog Night, Bad Company and Led Zeppelin's heavy bottom. (I could probably come up with a better musical Frankenstein creature if I thought about it longer.)

    Final analysis... I wasn't wild about either version, although neither one was unlistenable. Since Ronstadt's superior version is not eligible in this BOTB contest, I'll cast a somewhat unenthusiastic vote for Potliquor.

    ~ Stephen

  27. StMc -- When it comes to musical knowledge you've got me beat in a lot of realms--we just know different things I guess, but know a lot about certain kinds of music.

    When I listen to Potliquor's version of the song I can't help but think that Ronstadt or her producer where influenced by that version. I can hear certain similarities between the two. Ronstadt's version is definitely more modern rock influenced than Dee Dee's 60's style. What she recorded was pretty exemplary of a lot of the record production of that era. Since I was weened on that sound I guess it doesn't have a sentimental appeal for me.

    Another vote for Potliquor albeit an unenthusiastic one.


  28. I'm going with Dee Dee. The other version is okay, but I prefer the original.

  29. Susan FS -- Dee Dee's picking up another vote!


  30. Now see that's the hallmark of a great song--it can be interpreted in numerous ways and still sound great. Can I vote for the songwriter? No? Okay, then Potliquor's rockin' it out wins my vote today. But Linda's bluesy, powerful voice--none of 'em have anything on her.

  31. Stupid phone published my comment in mid sentence!!!!! Voting for Potliquor, but overall it woulda been Van Halen

  32. Lee - I realize that it is past time for my vote to count, but I wanted to support the whole "BOTB Thang" by at least chiming in on the battle anyway. I have been on the road... actually OFF the road, in an area without even cell service for a week. Just got home.

    After listening then reading all the other comments, I found that I agreed quite strongly with Stephen, who cast an "unenthusiastic" vote for Potliquor. I liked Ronstadt more than he, apparently. I liked her version of this song and most of her other ones, as well.

  33. Jagoda -- I like to hear artists put a different spin on a song. When they pull it off successfully all the better.

    Mama-- Recorded your vote for Potliquor.

    Sheboyganboy -- Your vote would have made the contest a tie, but since the vote came after the official count the tie will be unofficial. Linda was a no brainer which is why I intentionally left her out. Nearly all of us know her version, but I wanted to dig more deeply into the history of the song. In future match-ups I will sometimes do the same while at other times I'll be using more famous versions matched up with very different versions. I hear a similarity between the earlier Potliquor version and Ronstadt's version that makes me think that her version was influenced by theirs. Prior to Potliquor the song had been recorded by many artists who essentially performed the song in a similar vein. I felt like the Potliquor version added something new to the tune which changed the way later artists did it. Thus the logic for my match-up. Thanks for adding your voice even if it did come late.



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