Wednesday, June 22, 2016
Should Some Things Stay As They Are? (#BOTB results)
Is It Almost Sacrilege to Tamper with Tradition?
If it were up to some folks, things would always stay the same. Over the decades we've seen updates on Shakespeare, Beethoven, and even the Bible. Some might argue when a story is a good enough one then it doesn't matter how you tell it as long as you tell it true. Others might bemoan the idea of taking a beloved classic and putting a different twist on it. Beethoven's Fifth Symphony disco or rock style? Really? But actually it did kind of work didn't it?
There might be some musical works that might be better not tampered with. Do we want to hear a rock version of Debussy's "Claire de Lune" or an up-tempo jazzed up version of Schubert's "Ave Maria"? I'm not sure, but I won't pass judgement until I hear a well done version of either if that ever happens.
The recent mash-ups of 19th century novels such as Pride and Prejudice with an inclusion of zombies and other popular literary works done in similar ways were fun (though I've heard the film version of PP&Zombies wasn't so great), but probably more novelty than any real literary breakthrough.
We've come to a time where almost anything goes when it comes to the arts--or it's at least worth giving the change up a try. Jazz and rock have probably broken more musical barriers then any other music form, but musical artists in all genres have explored the possibilities of what can be done with music. The question for some still remains--should you mess with a musical work that was outstanding in its original incarnation?
Sigmund Romberg's Musical Masterpiece Goes to Battle
My most recent Battle of the Bands contest put a sultry 1930's style jazz version of "Lover, Come Back to Me" that was closer to its intended light opera style up against a swinging upbeat big band jazz arrangement from the fifties. Either way you look at at the song works well in both styles. After all, a darn good song is a good song no matter how you play it.
The voting bore this out well I think. Each version had its fans which resulted in a nail-biter of a musical battle. There were turn-offs as well as big pluses to each version depending on the ears of the beholders. Some preferred the energy of Brenda Lee while others found her version "Las Vegasy", but most agreed she did a good job. Other listeners felt that Tamar Korn and Gaucho captured the essence of a musical era with their slowed down version.
In the end I was left with--are you ready?--a tie! What this means is that I get to break the tie with my vote for my favorite. I've got to go with that forlorn sound of Gaucho which seems more appropriate to the lyrical content of the song. The lyrics work for either style, but to me it's more of a sad song about the singer yearning for a lost lover. And I loved that smoky speakeasy sound of the jazz ensemble. This was some wonderful music.
This made for a great battle and kind of a tiring one. After that I need a slow song to wind me down.
Final Vote Tally
Brenda Lee 13
Next Battle Will Be Next Friday July 1st!
Hopefully you'll enjoy this next Battle of the Bands post. Between now and then I'll have a couple of posts about looking back and reliving old memories. My previous Battle may have dealt with an old song in old styles, but my next Battle will consist of two different not as old songs that were released in the 80's a couple of years apart. The songs will deal with the topic of living in the past and neither one is by Jethro Tull. Both song artists have ties to one another. One artist became a huge star while the other remained only a regional favorite. You're free to take a stab at guessing any part of this upcoming battle or you can just wait for the fun to begin next Friday. Please don't miss this one!
Do you enjoy twists on musical classics? What is your favorite re-imagining of a popular literary work? Would you prefer that something that works well not be tampered with?