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Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Battle of the Bands: Alone Again (Naturally)

Happy 2014!

         And for just the thing to start off a new year I'm presenting another installment of the Battle of the Bands.   This is the bimonthly song contest where two versions of one song are pitted against one another and you readers vote on your favorite version.   This event was started by the bloggers at Far Away Series and Ferret-Faced Fascist Friends.   Be sure to visit them to see what they might be offering.  At the bottom of this post I'll list some more possible folks who might be participating.

      Of course this being New Year's Day none of them might be posting and if that's the case I'll be the Lone Ranger for this round.  That being a possible scenario I've picked what I think could be an appropriate song.  After the festivities of New Year's Eve, the following day always seems like kind of a lonely day in some ways and thus the appropriateness of this Battle pick.

"Alone Again (Naturally) by Gilbert O'Sullivan (1972)

         This sad song was all over the radio back in 1972 which saw success that most likely made Mr. O'Sullivan very happy. The song is a wistful reminiscing of sad lonely times in peoples lives.  I don't know if it's autobiographical or what, but it could very well be.  This was a giant hit.   Could anyone possibly do a cover that is better than this original?  I dedicate this song to Stephen T McCarthy.  I know he likes this song.

"Alone Again (Naturally)"  Berk and the Virtual Band (2006)

            I was trying to find a jazzy version of this song that I hear played in a local Thai restaurant that I go to on occasion.  They always seem to have the same jazz album playing in the background.  This song is one of the covers included on that album.  This is not the same version from the restaurant , but it's the closest I could find.   I don't know anything about the artist or musicians, but this project is by Spanish music producer Sergi Perez Berk.

Vote Again (Naturally)

        In the comment section please cast your vote for your favorite version and tell us why you chose it.  I'll tally them up in a week or so and reveal the winner.

         If they're posting today, visit the others at:

        Was 2013 a good year for you?    What are your expectations for 2014?   Are you alone again naturally right now or do you have a house full of guests?

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  1. I kinda Ike the second one best. I'm not sure why it may just be that the guy sounds younger fresher cuter in an "oh, I need to mother you sort of way". With the original it's nice but with him it just makes me want to say Awwww come here let me give you a hug and make it all better lol. I am slightly weird though lol. Can you tell :) happy new year I hope it is a good one for you :)

  2. It's not autobiographical....I was reading about the origins of it not too long ago. I prefer the Gilbert O'Sullivan version b/c it reminds me of my childhood. My dad LOVED the song and I bought the album for him for his birthday with my allowance. I was like 7 at the time. We used to listen to it all the time in an outbuilding on their property that was used for recreation. He'd be doing paperwork for his plumbing business at the desk and I was colouring or doing paint by number at the picnic table.

  3. Gilbert has proven yet again why he's a classic. His version tops 100%. Nice attempt Jazz Chill. Happy New Year Lee.

  4. Gilbert does it best. Sad, yes. Pathetic, yes. Just the way I like 'em!!!!

    Happy New Year Lee!

  5. Have to agree with the others.... Gilbert is a real classic! One can never beat a classic.

    Happy New Year Lee!

  6. Joss -- Interesting analysis. 1 for Berk.

    JoJo-- I think there will be a few with a sentimental connection to the original version. 1 for Gilbert.

    Sheena-kay--Happy New Year to you as well. Got your vote!

    Cathy-- Nothing like starting a year off on a sad, pathetic note.

    Elizabeth-- O'Sullivan is zooming ahead in the race.

    Michael-- Another voice spoken for the classic version.


  7. Happy New Year to you too. 2013 was pretty good for me and mine. I found myself reflecting many times that I was simply happy.
    I have to vote for the original song even though I was too young back then to care if I was alone.

  8. I too like the second one.
    A great start to the new year.

  9. BOIDMAN ~
    Thanks for the dedication!

    Well, I may not have selected a song you like for 'BOTB #11', but you certainly did well with your choice, in my opinion.

    Yes, you remembered correctly: I love 'Alone Again (Naturally)' - always did.

    The cover version has that Bossa Nova-ish drum stick clacking I enjoy (I loves me some Bossa Nova), but other than that...

    I very rarely like it when someone starts talking in the middle of a song, as they do in the cover version.

    Not much more to say about this. It's simply NO CONTEST for me. I vote for the original by a huge margin.

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

  10. I like Gilbert's version best, probably because it takes me back to another era and all the memories associated with that season of life. Music is magic.

    Happy New Year!

  11. Ah the nostalgia--Gilbert it is for me (wait, no I'm not giving away my age am I? :-)).

  12. Susan GK-- Funny. Too young to care. Ah, those were the days.

    Yvonne - Finally another vote for Berk.

    StMc-- I'm not a big fan of mid-song soliloquies either. I'm not surprised with your vote.

    Joyce -- A memory filled song for many.

    Jagoda-- I guess I was 21 when this song hit the U.S. charts. That's my age.


  13. Gilbert O'Sullivan gets my vote. Nice voice and reminds me of Gilbert and Sullivan.

    #2 sounds too slick for my taste.

  14. This is an interesting match-up. While I like the sound and beat in the Berk version, I found myself constantly distracted by the woman singers accent. When she sang what sounded like 'cut me into little pizzas' I got a serious case of the giggles. Shortly thereafter it hit the speaking section and I was done.

    Give my vote to Gilbert's bouncy version of a rather sad and lonely song - naturally.

  15. First, I like my sad songs to sound sad. The O'Sullivan version nails it. As soon as the jazz version began, I was thinking, "Hmmm." Then the singer started and I couldn't understand ANYTHING she was saying. It was work to try and decipher the lyrics. And then the talking in the middle. Egads. O'Sullivan wins this by a country mile.

  16. DG-- You got it!

    Faraway-- The vocalist definitely has that accent. I assume she must be from Spain like the music producer.

    Robin -- Country mile version beats out Spanish jazz.


  17. I love the original, which is a favorite, so it gets my vote. It would be very hard to top. (I appreciate jazz, but not so much a fan of the smooth stuff.)When I was young, I remember thinking it was Paul McCartney singing, and I think the vocal is very similar to his style.

    Thank you for not posting the Anita Bryant version.

  18. The music on the second one was Sergio Mendes-esque (IOW I liked it) but the clunky, too-much-accent vocal was Charo-esque (IOW not so much). In sum, give me the instrumental with the chick from Brasil 66 and we'll talk. Otherwise, Gilbert is the man.

  19. I always thought the song said "Stallone Again, Naturally..."

    Gilbert O'Sullivan's version has ALWAYS made me sad-one of the first songs from my yewt that I remember being able to do that to me.

    The second version makes me feel like I am at a tiki bar. It does not generate any emotion in me at all.

    Gilbert wins.

    Happy New Year, Lee!


  20. Happy New Year!

    There are some things to like about the cover version -- the beat is cool, and the trumpet is ok, but the singing is not as effective (regardless of the accent), and the talking part is simply too cheesy.

    Gilbert's original wins easily for me.

  21. Kelly--Glad to have not posted the Anita Bryant version.

    CW-- Yes! Brasil 66! I forget the vocalist's name, but I heard her on an interview recently.

    Larry-- Gilbert Stallone gets this vote.

    Chris-- No talking! Shhhh!


  22. I also prefer Gilbert O' Sullivan. It brings back many memories for me, and I'm pretty sure that I had the 45 when it first came out. Happy New Year to you, and your family Lee!


  23. The second one makes me feel like I should be wearing an oversized Hawaiian t-shirt in some cheesy bar while trying to pick up women.

    Gilbert definitely takes this one. No contest.


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.