Time--2017 A to Z Theme

My theme for the 2017 Blogging from A to Z April Challenge was "Time". The posts are of a more philosophical, contemplative, and even autobiographical bent. No time management tips in this theme, but stuff intended to make you think.

Always a work in progress--welcome to my blog...

**

Monday, January 15, 2018

Hammond Song (#BOTB)

           My wife and I have been gone for 24 days and it's good to be back.  It was a fun trip back east.  We only put about 6200 miles on our van and it was about the most perfect trip we've had yet.  I had been apprehensive about my solo portion of the trip in which I would drive from Houston to New Jersey.  It was a breeze and I found the entire journey to be relaxing.

          I spent one day at my sister's house in Maryville, Tennessee.  From there I took an extended trip to New Jersey.  Friday-my first night was spent at an old restored hotel in Marion, Virginia.  For so many years I had been intrigued by that town so I finally figured I'd stop.  It was too cold to enjoy the town, but the room was comfy and I enjoyed a peaceful evening of TV.

         Saturday was a meandering day that ended up in Winchester Virginia.  There had been a sizable snow so things were a bit of a mess. After settling into a very nice hotel I went out to a nearby Italian restaurant and had some pizza before returning to the room at about 8 PM.  Scrolling through the television channels I discovered that YouTube was available and that was the final word for me.

         My request went for a relaxing song from the seventies.  At the end of that video a recommendation came up for "Hammond Song" by the Roches.   I'd heard of the group but didn't know that much about them other than they were strange--at least from what I'd heard. I dismissed them as a novelty folk group.  I figured that maybe I should listen to this "Hammond Song" to see what I've been missing for the past forty years. 

         Talk about obsessions.  This song cast a spell on me as I spent the next three hours listening to every version of "Hammond Song" that I could find on YouTube.  They were all good in some way--or least  interesting.  I'd fallen into one of those black internet holes.  As I descended into the world of song versions, two versions kept showing up.

          Forget that Battle that I'd had scheduled ahead of time.  That one can wait as a new Battle shoves to the forefront.  I'm not sure why I became so engrossed in this song on that Saturday night.  Perhaps it reflected the mood that I was in on that evening.   Or did the song express something I could relate to?  To me there is an ethereal quality to the music with good story-telling lyrics. 

          This has become my new favorite song.  Is it just me or do you feel it too?  In any case let's get down to the business of Battle...

Battle of the Bands

Battle of the Bands is the blogging event started by Far Away Series and now hosted by StMcC Presents Battle of the Bands.   This event happens each month on the 15th and on some blogs there is also a Battle on the 1st of the month.  My blog is one of those with a second Battle on the 1st of the month.   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.



The Colourfield  "Hammond Song"  (1985)

        This English New Wave pop band was new to me, but on hearing this cut I'm interested in hearing more from them.  This exquisite cover of "The Hammond Song" comes from their album Virgins and Philistines.

          A YouTube sampling of this group's work as well as videos by artists related to the group tells me that I like the talent behind this.  How did I miss them back in the 80s?   See what you think...




The Roches  "Hammond Song" (1979)

        I've had an awareness of The Roches since the release of their first album in 1979.  I'd just never listened to their music other than catching their appearance on Saturday Night Live in that year of their first album's release.  I own a couple of compilation albums on which the Roche sisters appeared, but can't recall what songs they sang.  They have a sometimes quirky sound, but using their voices as instruments they can create amazing sounds.

      "Hammond Song" tells a story that could come from true life--probably did in fact.  The intricate vocals with a steady rhythm backing of guitar and triangle are interlaced with tasteful synthesized guitar work by King Crimson's Robert Fripp who also is the album's producer.  The following is the first version I heard of this song...





Time to Vote!

    
    This song might not be your cup of tea, but hopefully you can pick a version that you like better than the other.
  Which song version do you like best?   You don't have to know about music to have an opinion since it all comes down to your own personal taste.  

        Please vote on your favorites by letting us know your choice in the comment section and tell us why you prefer the version you chose. Then after you've finished here, please visit the other blogs listed below who may or may not be participating this time around. And if you've put up your own BOTB contest let us know that as well so we can vote on yours.


Here are some other places where you might find BOTB posts:

 StMcC Presents Battle of the Bands

 ‘YOUR DAILY DOSE’ 

 'MIKE'S RAMBLINGS'

'Curious as a Cathy'

Sound of One Hand Typing

The Doglady's Den 

Angel's Bark  

Jingle, Jangle, Jungle 


Cherdo on the Flipside 



Winner of this Battle Announced on Monday January 22nd.

         No posts on this blog until next Monday.  Please vote and leave whatever other comments you'd like to make.  I've had a long break and I'll have to get back into the swing of this blogging thing.  Your comments will help.

            Have you ever gotten obsessed with a song to the point that you play it repeatedly?    Why do you think certain songs stand out for us?   Do you enjoy traveling alone?  






48 comments:

  1. Not my type of music but it was easy on the ears. I listened to the original first. Both are good. Second one adds a layer of production and instruments. They each fit for their time, so not sure if either is better.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Alex, didn't figure this would be your type of music. There are a few rockin' versions on YouTube that I found though.

      It would be difficult to say that one version is "better", but I know which version I prefer most. But it's very close.

      Lee

      Delete
  2. Generally, I'm only a fan of Robert Fripp's guitar playing when it is on King Crimson records - anywhere else, it sort of irritates me.

    I like the the first one's simpler approach, but I'm still going with the Roches.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Harry, I hear you regarding Fripp's playing. He does have a keen ear for music nevertheless.

      First vote goes to The Roches.

      Lee

      Delete
  3. Because of conversation in the room, I couldn't hear the lyrics, but could hear the voices and music. I really liked both. I think I liked the first "Colorfield" better, as it was mellower. The Roch's voices were a bit piercing in spots.
    Both had nice harmony and an ease to them. Definitely not an "Everybody sing!" song, though.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Donna, I agree that the Colourfield is more accessible to a wider audience.

      A vote for Colourfield.

      Lee

      Delete
  4. Lee,

    I'm glad to hear your trip back East went well. I guess it was a lot colder than the usual Cali temps, huh? The next three days is forecast to be frigid again with a chance of snow accumulation tomorrow. We'll see how that goes. Now for today's battle song. This is new-to-me, as are both bands. So, comparing the cover to the original I had no preconceived ideas formed and I based my decision solely on each recording for the first time. That all being said, it was an easy pick for me. I prefer the somewhat hypnotic, lullaby by The Clourfield. Now, you got me curious to hear more by this British band. Thanks for the introduction & for stopping in earlier to vote in my round of BoTB. Have a good week, my friend!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cathy, we had some very cold days for sure, but the trip overall was fantastic. Have fun in the snow--if you get it.

      A vote for Colourfield.

      Lee

      Delete
  5. That's a really long drive.

    The song is very haunting. I really like the original.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. L.Diane, it's a long wonderful drive. And we broke it up in manageable chunks.

      A vote for The Roches.

      Lee

      Delete
  6. Sixgun McItchyfingerJanuary 15, 2018 at 10:16 AM

    My peculiar musical tastes compel me to say that this is my favorite BoTB you've done in many moons. I really enjoyed it!

    I am a casual fan of The Roches. Their Christmas album is one of my favorites, and of course I just played it last month. They have a sound like nobody else. Sometimes their voices harmonize, but more often than not they do a "Wall of Sound" thang with their voices: all the same note at the same time. It is very cool, but - as with many really distinctive sounds - it can get overwhelming/annoying if heard too much.

    The Colourfield was new to me; I remember hearing of them but do not remember listening to any songs of theirs. Their version was excellent, also. I'd like to hear more of them, and plan on looking them up and seeing what became of them and the members. Probably in rest homes by now.

    They are very close and the vote is tough. I am going to go with The Roches... more for old times sake than any other reason. Since I like both versions, I have to find a winner based on something.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 6Gun, glad you appreciated this Battle. In my opinion "peculiar music taste" translates to an eclectic appreciation of fine music. I can see what you're saying about that "wall of sound" with the vocals. I do like it, but I can see how some might find it grating especially if they're listening on sub par speakers like computers usually have.

      The Colourfield likewise has an eclectic range of music as I've discovered in exploring their videos. I like their sound a lot.

      It's another vote for The Roches.

      Lee

      Delete
  7. It's crazy how sometimes different songs get stuck in our heads. I think many of my posts are based on songs or themes that are entrapped on the brain. I can certainly see how this one would get caught in there as well.

    I'm going to cast my vote for The Colourfield. They just seemed a bit smoother to me.

    ~Mary

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mary, for me a song has to be unique sounding and not something I'd normally hear on commercial radio if I'm going to go into repeat play mode. Though sometimes I might do this with an old popular tune that I've rediscovered.

      A vote for Colourfield.

      Lee

      Delete
  8. Welcome back, Lee! Sounds like you had a lovely holiday.

    This song is new to me, as are both artists. Please give my vote to The Colourfield. Their version is vocally more pleasing, as is the arrangement.

    Your questions, my answers: Have you ever gotten obsessed with a song to the point that you play it repeatedly? Yes, many times. Why do you think certain songs stand out for us? For me, it's emotional response; any combination of vocals and melodies that gives me chills. Do you enjoy traveling alone? I don't mind it. In 2010, I drove 6 hours up the California coast and back (San Diego to Santa Maria) by myself. The scenery was magnificent!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Debbie D, the emotional response certainly must have a lot to do with what music grabs us. If a piece of music speaks to me then I tend to listen with great interest and return to it when I can. YouTube is such a great tool for accessing music that catches my attention.

      A vote for Colourfield.

      Lee

      Delete
  9. Glad you had a safe and enjoyable trip! I think overall I like the Roches better- even if the song didn't hit me quite as hard as it did you. But I love those moments when you find something like that!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. CW, I've often had a song or music grab me. Now it's easier to find the obscure stuff. I used to scour record stores looking for the more offbeat stuff. No more. Besides there aren't many good stores left.

      The Roches.

      Lee

      Delete
  10. I will play whole albums over and over and over. The only song I can actually remember playing twice in a row was 'Terrapin Station', the album version, by the Grateful Dead. It's an amazing 18 or so minute suite of incredible music and lyrics.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. JoJo, I usually like a lot of variety to my music listening and will jump from style to style. I like those jam songs and sometimes wish they could go on for longer than they do.

      Lee

      Delete
  11. Glad to hear you had such a nice trip, LEE.

    I was not familiar with this song, but I did know of the existence of The Roches. I don't believe I ever heard any of their recordings on the radio, but I do recall seeing that album in the record stores back about '79. And that album cover sure as hell did not do The Roches any favors! It would have scared me off, even if I HAD been inclined to give them a chance.

    As for the Battle -- THE COLOURFIELD get my vote hands down. They had a pleasant, mellow, fuller sound, while that high-pitched sound of The Roches is not my mug o' beer.

    ~ D-FensDogG
    STMcC Presents 'Battle Of The Bands'

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. STMcC, I don't whether The Roche Sisters had much if any play on mainstream radio. The album cover is quirky like some of their vocals, but it isn't much stranger than a lot of album covers that have come out over the years. I never pursued their music because I thought they were just a weird artsy folk act which they may have well been.

      You might be turned off by some of The Colourfield's other music which is pure 80s, but judging from videos I've watched so far they play a wide range of music.

      A vote for Colourfield.

      Lee

      Delete
    2. >>... "The album cover is quirky like some of their vocals, but it isn't much stranger than a lot of album covers that have come out over the years."

      LEE, it's not that the album cover is overly "strange". I didn't use the word strange.

      Strange album covers that come to my mind would be ELP's 'Brain Salad Surgery', the debut album by Black Sabbath, King Crimson's 'In The Court Of The Crimson King'.

      The album cover for 'The Roches' is more affected than strange, and it is very aesthetically unappealing. More than that, it's rather ugly. When I saw it in record stores in '79 / '80, I always thought: Pretentious & Ugly. It turned me off, rather than arousing my curiosity.

      I will add, however, that the aforementioned cover by King Crimson is BOTH: Strange & Ugly.

      In my life, I HAVE purchased a few albums based solely on a curiosity that was piqued by the cover design. But then there has also been the opposite effect, and 'The Roches' being one of them.

      I sure don't think album cover art can ultimately make or break an LP, but it I certainly believe it can boost or hurt sales. And, as I said previously, I would be surprised if that design on the cover for 'The Roches' did the girls any favors when it came to spontaneous sales, albums purchased on a whim.

      ~ D-FensDogG
      STMcC Presents 'Battle Of The Bands'

      Delete
    3. I know I've bought some albums based on their covers, but I can't think of any specifically offhand. I've bought albums based on the band's instrumentation line-up, name of album or band, or even names of the songs. I guess this carries over from my younger days when I wanted to get those surprise balls that had prizes wrapped in layers of paper or the surprise bags stores used to see to get rid of crap.

      I like the personality of the Roche cover. It's not just a head shot or group portrait that shows what the group members look like, but it kind of tells a story that we have to guess. I see three sisters goofing off at a photo shoot that they may have thought was kind of dumb anyway. I would be interested in seeing the other photos that were part of the shoot. The one used apparently struck someone's fancy to use it and I think it's okay. Certainly not anything that would have kept me from buying the album.

      I looked at a number of "worst album covers" sites and this Roche cover was nowhere to be found. However I did find a lot of really weird ones (I hesitate to say "bad" because they are all rather curious.

      Lee

      Delete
  12. Good to see you back Lee. Hope all is well.

    I prefer the second version of The Hammonnd Song.

    Yvonne.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yvonne, everything is very well to date. Hope you are well as well.

      A vote for The Roches.

      Lee

      Delete
  13. Glad to hear you had a good trip. And discovered new (old) music, that's always great! It's a beautiful song. My vote goes to Colourfield, though I liked both versions.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nilanjana, I've been often surprised at how much interesting music I've missed over the years.

      Colourfield.

      Lee

      Delete
  14. Glad you made it safely back. I think the Colourfield version is the one for me, although it might actually put me to sleep. The vocals on the Roche are a little grating.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Janet, it is a relaxing song I think. It put me to sleep after 3 hours of listening to many versions.

      Colourfield.

      Lee

      Delete
  15. Hands down, The Colourfield version. I really liked it and I don't know where I was in 1985, but I don't remember this. My youngest son was born sept 84 so I was probably changing a lot of diapers.

    Your road trip is what we want to do, in a few years. We used to take trips like that when I was a kid with my parents. Fun fun fun. The longer the better. So much of the country I want to see and not always on the tourist trail. I want to get to those backroads..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Debby, I was following music a lot back in 1985 but I missed Colourfield. Guess they weren't heavily promoted or I was just looking in other directions.

      I heartily recommend an extended road trip for anyone with the capacity to undertake it. No matter how many times I drive a route I always get new perspectives. The U.S.A. is a great country to travel.

      Colourfield.

      Lee

      Delete
  16. The Colourfield  gets my vote. I didn't care for the vocals on the second one. My 11-state Holiday road trip also included passing through Marion, Virginia.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mike, I-81 through VA is one of the most beautiful drives in the nation. There are many towns along the way that I'd still like to explore including more of the Marion area. A few hours there wasn't enough.

      Colourfield.

      Lee

      Delete
  17. Sounds like you had an amazing trip! To be honest, both versions of the song make me twitch, but the one that makes me twitch less is the one by Colourfield.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Loni, I'm ready for my next trip! Not sure what made you "twitch" about the songs, but I'm sure it all comes down to musical tastes.

      Another vote for Colourfield.

      Lee

      Delete
  18. I've been trying to talk myself into solo travel. Not there yet but you've just helped.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kali, when you travel solo you pretty much can do the things and go the places you want without compromising with a companion. I don't mind traveling on my own, but it is nice to have the company.

      Lee

      Delete
  19. Hi Lee.
    Sounds like you had an amazing trip. And your solo journey sounds fun. I've done those before and it is always enjoyable. When I moved to Austin from DC, I took an alternate route so that I could stop in New Orleans. It was pretty crazy thinking of doing Bourbon Street alone but I ended up meeting some guy in the elevator who was also alone there so we ended up doing dinner together then met some other guy on a balcony bar who happened to be from Austin (where I was headed to start my new life) and the three of us did a bunch of bars on Bourbon Street for half the night, until I bowed out and caught a cab back to my hotel to get some sleep so I could get on the road again in the morning. Was interesting to say the least.

    Very cool that your battle idea came to you in that hotel room that night. I have never heard the Hammond Song but it's a neat tale of trying to convince one not to follow their heart. I'm going to vote for The Roches. I like their sound a whole lot better than The Colourfield.

    I didn't get a battle together for this month but will be back next month.

    Glad you had a great vacation...24 days, now that's a fabulous get-away!

    Michele at Angels Bark

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Michele, the New Orleans excursion sounds potentially risky but fortunately it turned out well for you.

      I'll be watching for your next Battle.

      A needed vote for The Roches.

      Lee

      Delete
  20. I'm glad you enjoyed the drive. Going away is wonderful, but there is nothing like coming home.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. HR, I still love driving and traveling. Coming home is nice, but I kind of wish it was just to regroup and rest up a bit for the next trip which would come pretty quickly if it were practical for me to do so.

      Lee

      Delete
  21. So glad you and your wife had a good trip, but I agree with the others. There's nothing like returning home after a satisfying vacation.

    I like the smoother sounds of the first soundtrack, the Virgins and Philistines one. All the best to you, Lee!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Victoria, I wish our home was closer to our kids. That would me more trips to see them but not for as long of a duration.

      A vote for Colourfield.

      Lee

      Delete
  22. Hi Lee,
    Yep, the only thing better than going away is coming back, long as there’s still a key under the mat ;-) Glad your trip was relaxing!

    These contenders are two more firsts for me and both enjoyable. I listened to the second one first and was immediately reminded of America (the band), though somehow the vocals had me expecting church bells in the distance. The lyrics were much more discernable by Colourfield, and I knew right away why you fell in love with the song. It was easy to imagine grappling with controversial choices, as presented in the song, with such a peaceful, no-pressure consonance that seems to suggest you might make the wrong decisions, but at least you know they’re yours to make. Colourfield, for me!

    Old or new, there’s always a song on my mind. Lately, I’ve revisited the Cranberries. I’d have to have a least a pet with me while traveling a long distance. I like having someone to talk to, share the adventure with.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Diedre, the Cranberries are a group I've always liked. Losing their singer is sad.

      When I drive I might talk to the radio or just to myself. Then I've got the Bluetooth connected to my phone so I often call people while I drive and talk as long as they want or I can.

      A vote for Colourfield.

      Lee

      Delete
  23. Colourfield, all the way. Wow, I didn't know this song till today. I'm realizing that the participation in the BOTB has really introduced me to so many new songs and that is the biggest blessing.

    Next time you're in Maryville, let me buy y'all a cup of coffee!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cherdo, I will keep that invite in mind. Summer I'll be back hopefully. BOTB is the main thing that keeps me blogging these days.

      A vote for Colourfield.

      Lee

      Delete

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