What's now is Battle of the Bands, the blogging event helmed by our friends at Far Away Series and StMcC Presents Battle of the Bands. This event happens twice each month on the 1st and 15th and since the 15th comes on a Saturday this November I am posting special on this day. The premise is simple: Listen to the songs presented below and then in the comments vote for your favorite and tell us why you liked it. Then visit the links listed near the bottom of this post for more Battle action So now is the time to start:
Frank Sinatra "What's Now Is Now" (1970)
With a singing/acting/entertainment career that lasted for 60 years, Frank Sinatra is not an artist who can be discredited for his accomplishments. Whether you like him or not, the fact remains that a lot of people did like him and he stayed on or near the top of the heap throughout his lengthy career. Those who do like Sinatra undoubtedly have their favorite phases of his career and can cite albums that stand out among the others.
I'm particularly fond of the work he did during the 50's with Nelson Riddle, Gordon Jenkins, and Billy May. Those were the albums from my parents' collection that I listened to back in junior high thus honing my appreciation for Sinatra's song stylizing.
My all time favorite Sinatra album is one of his least known. Watertown (1970) is a concept album with songs composed by the team of Bob Gaudio of the Four Seasons and Jake Holmes, who was also the writer of the Led Zeppelin classic "Dazed and Confused". The song cycle tells the story of a small town husband and father whose wife leaves the family. The songs describe the heartbreak, sense of loss, memories, and hopefulness the man goes through as he deals with the loss of his wife. For me these are some of Sinatra's best performances and taken as a whole the album is a powerful piece of work. The album was critically acclaimed but essentially tanked with the public.
On my memoir blog Wrote By Rote I have more to say about this album and the memories that I connect with it. I hope you'll click on that link to read my story about Watertown, but first here's one of my favorite songs from the album:
Cake "What's Now Is Now" (2011)
My first encounter with the band Cake was in the latter 1990's when I overheard my daughter playing her copy of their second album Fashion Nugget (1996). I began listening closely to the album and eventually borrowed it to listen more. The band has a unique sound that uses a trumpet to great advantage. The band displays an eclecticism that appeals to my musical tastes, performing catchy tunes with intelligent delivery.
I was previously unaware of the album Showroom of Compassion on which their cover of the Sinatra tune appears. In fact, I was surprised to see that any of the tunes from Watertown had been covered by any other artists since the album seemed to be in the dustbin of musical history. Now that I know that more than one of the cuts from Watertown have been covered, I will undoubtedly be using some of them in later Battles. After all, it's one of my favorite albums and I want those who don't know about it to be persuaded to listen to more of it. You can find Sinatra's complete version of Watertown on YouTube.
But I digress--first let's listen to Cake's version of "What's Now Is Now":
Now What? Let's Vote!
These are two great versions of one great song--at least I think so and I hope you've enjoyed hearing them both. But surely you prefer one over the other. I'll tell you my preference on my post of Friday November 21st. I'll also be announcing the winning version on that day. Please vote for your favorite in the comment section and let us know why you prefer that one. After you vote here, make sure to visit the links listed below for other possible Battles.
‘FAR AWAY SERIES’
StMcC Presents Battle of the Bands
‘YOUR DAILY DOSE’
‘CREATIVE OUTLET OF STRATPLAYER’
Are you familiar with Sinatra's Watertown album? Do you like Cake (I mean the group not the food)? What about cake (the food)? Can you think of a relatively obscure song that you like that you were surprised to hear covered by another artist?