Sunday, February 15, 2015

BATTLE OF THE BANDS 'Oh no, not another love song!"

Today's selection is written by none other than the famous and infamous singer, songwriter and nefariously flawed individual Mr. Robert Zimmerman; otherwise known as Bob Dylan. Here's what Wacky-Watchee has to say about 'It Ain't Me Babe"

 It Ain't Me Babe" is a song by Bob Dylan that originally appeared on his fourth album Another Side of Bob Dylan, which was released in 1964 by Columbia Records. According to music critic Oliver Trager, this song, along with others on the album, marked a departure for Dylan as he began to explore the possibilities of language and deeper levels of the human experience.[1] Within a year of its release, the song was picked up as a single by artists who were forging the folk rock movement, including The Turtles and The Byrds.[2]

Dylan's biographers generally agree that the song owes its inspiration to his former girlfriend Suze Rotolo. He reportedly began writing the song during his visit to Italy in 1963 while searching for Rotolo, who was studying there.[1][3]
Clinton Heylin reports that a Times reporter at a May 1964 Royal Festival Hall concert where Dylan first played "It Ain't Me" took the lines "no, no, no, it ain't me babe" as a parody of The Beatles' "She Loves You".[4]

Now I know you all probably know this, but just for the sake of clarity, which by the way, is a rarity on this blog, I like to call wikipedia, 'Wacky-Watchee, because since we all live in the 'People's Republic of the Internet' any ole joker can publish something there (the same goes for YouTube as you will soon see) and the folks take it as gospel truth.

While looking for worthy opponents in this BATTLE, I found that just about everybody and their dog has recorded this one. Joan Baez, one of Bob's...ahem, cough, cough...lady friends was particularly found of it.

When I listened to one of the You Tube recordings of Joan doing this song she called it a 'protest song' or an 'anti-love song', then she goes on to say actually it's an 'anti-marriage song'. Little bit of 'bitter' there, Joan, eh?

Anyway...Here's a link to a recording of Bob and Joan trying to harmonize on 'It Ain't Me Babe'. NOTE - this is not a part of the competition here,  it's simply for your listening pleasure. Well, maybe not. But, if you have the time give a listen anyway. It apparently comes from a happier time for Bob and Joan as they keep breaking up during the performance. ALSO NOTE - whoever posted this at YouTube mistakenly said it was Bob and Janis Joplin. Don't be fooled by the images in the video, this is definitely Bob and Joan.  Are you thoroughly confused now, I know I am, but then what else is new?



Now, let's get to the heart of the matter. THE BATTLE.

You guys know I like to pit two very different versions against each other and I found two that are quite diverse. Let's start with Johnny and June.



Next up, Miss Nancy Sinatra



Well, waddaya think? Please don't vote for Bob and Joan, as they really are not a part of this competition, but if you must I'm not gonna take you to court or nothing.

Leave e a comment with your vote and the reason you chose as you did.

NEXT, head on over to the site of Mr. BOTB hisself, Stephen T. McCarthy, you can find him HERE. I'm sure he has  perfectly marvelous BATTLE posted for your listening pleasure AND he will provide you with the links to all the other participants.

I'll be back on the 21st of February (the day before George Washington's actual birthday - see my birthday post, if you're wondering what that's all  about) with my vote and the final tally.
Until then; "Happy Trails to You'!
 
 

   
 

41 comments:

  1. I have seen Joan Baez in an interview and even after decades, she is still bitter about her and Bob Dylan-not good for one's health I say. I listened to both and I have issues with both. Nancy's voice doesn't sound strong enough for this and lack lustre. Johnny and June Cash are OK but he takes over the vocals and I hardly hear June. Now that being said I prefer June & Johnny Cash. I felt their Mexican/ Spanish flair to the music was cool and there was emotion in the song so they get my vote

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    1. Yeah, IMO Joan was always kind of a bitter ole prune. Guess you can figure that I really don't like her too much.

      OK, first vote outta the gate is for Johnny and June.

      Delete
  2. Johnny and June get my vote. Nancy singing it, well it ain't me babe!

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    1. Nice comment, Mike. Johnny and June it is.

      Delete
  3. Hmm the first I found was all over the place, third was good, but Cash wins for me, as they stuck out more.

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    1. Oh, oh...three votes and we're looking at a shut-out!

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  4. For smoothness, I'm going with Nancy Sinatra.

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    1. Yes, a vote for Nancy. No shut out this time.

      Delete
  5. Oh :/ and here's my other thought. I like Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass. The Sinatra background is vaguely similar. So whatever planet they had to visit to play for Nancy... I hope they left her there. That said, I never liked this song, not Dylan, Baez... and well... The Cashes?... just no.

    My vote: Nancy(and Herb Alpert) I'm sorry (smile). This was great!!!

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    1. OK, I got it - not a favorite tune for you.

      BUT, Nancy picks up another vote.

      Delete
  6. First, I woulda voted for the Turtles if allowed. I thought it had more emotion than the others.
    Second, I woulda voted for Bob and Janis given that opportunity, because, as Hootie says, "Ain't Bobby so cool?"

    Third, I might not have voted for Johnny and June. While a pretty true sound, I never cared for the arrangement. But I REALLY didn't like Nancy's arrangement, so Cash and Carter get mine.

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    1. PS obviously, I was confused.

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    2. Glad to hear I'm not the only one confused here, for a change.

      The turtles had a big hit with this one, so I'm figuring, at least, some people are gonna be pretty familiar with that version. No fun in going with the 'most popular' iffin you don't have to. Ha.

      Delete
  7. I really thought I'd vote for the Johnny/June pairing unheard. Turns out, I didn't really like it. Johnny Cash's voice is never what I'd call smooth, but it does have its appeal. I also like two part harmony, and June did a good job with the harmony part. But, John's voice bugged me in this song. I think maybe he was hearing Bob Dylan in his head while he sang it and sounded raspier than usual. Not really sure.

    Bob Dylan's voice is an acquired taste. I found that it went down a bit easier when he was younger (yeah, I actually like his oldest stuff), but now it chokes my throat. What's worse than listening to Dylan live right now? Not much. My dog can sing better.

    Anyway, I think I would have like Cash/Carter better if he'd firmly pushed Bob Dyan out of his mind.

    So, after listening to the Cash/Carter duo (and not being all that impressed), I found I really liked the Nancy Sinatra version. She wasn't trying to emulate the Dylan sound. She sang it smooth. What do you know... it went down just fine.

    Chalk one for Miss Sinatra.

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    1. I'll accept that Dylan's voice is an acquired taste, but whatever you think of the guy, and believe me my opinion of him varies (Chrysler Bob? Are ya kidding me?) his songwriting talents are pretty darn good.

      As a big 'new' country fan, I'm wondering if you knew that he wrote 'Make You Feel My Love', which was a big hit for Garth Brooks In 1997 and the song from the movie 'Hope floats".

      Anyway...I get it, you're not crazy about Bob and his newer stuff, and apparently Johnny and June, or at least Johnny didn't do it for you either.

      Another vote for Miss Nancy.

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    2. I think Bob Dylan is an amazing song writer. And his voice is better when he's younger. Did he smoke? I'm pretty sure he did. That can be tough on the vocal chords, though lots of famous singers do it. Anyway, I've noticed that in live performances as he's gotten older he slurs a lot. Very difficult to understand him. And that gravelly sound that was once appealing isn't so much anymore. That's what I was trying to say....

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  8. That first Dylan/ Baez version was one of the most hideous recordings I've heard. Hated it! Glad that wasn't in the running.

    I love Nancy Sinatra and she does a nice pop version of the song. I don't have any problem with what she does with the song.

    My first exposure to this song was Johnny's version when it came out in about 1964 or '65. It was the flip side of a 45 by Cash that I liked a lot, but after hearing the Dylan song it became my favorite over the A side which I now forget what it was. I like the drive of the Cash version and the interplay of the vocal between Johnny and his wife. Cash's version of "It Ain't Me Babe" is among the best ever recorded in my opinion--better than Dylan.

    So my vote obviously goes to Johnny Cash.

    Now I'm going to go back and read the other comments since I didn't want to influence my thoughts with any of their's.

    Arlee Bird
    A to Z Challenge Co-host
    Tossing It Out

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    1. Hideous, Eh? Don't hold nothing back there. Actually, I'm not sure I would call it hideous, but certainly not one of my favorites. It is a live recording and those are never the best, but Bob and Joan just didn't seem to go very well together on any level.

      It is interesting to me that you would think the Cash version is the best recorded of this song. Not sure I agree with you on THAT, but it definitely outshines the other duo by more than a mile.

      The comments have been interesting as have the votes. I'm sure you figured I chose these two versions so as to keep this a contest and not have another shut-out.

      Delete
  9. Johnny and June, it is then. But I would have voted for the Bob and the Joan, as I've seen them both live. . .they deliver. Sinatra never did. Love the deep voice of Johnny Cash, even if country isn't something I care for.

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    1. I've never seen Joan,live, but if you've read some of the other comments and my replies, You know that I really don't care for her. Bob I have seen in person and it was a great show.

      got you down for Johnny and June.

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  10. As some others have said, Nancy's voice just isn't strong enough for this. And while Johnny Cash isn't exactly what I'd call a 'singer' either, his version sounds a lot better to my ears, and I love that Spanish-style zing the music has. Very easy vote for the Cash-man and June.

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    1. So it's the Cash's and their Spanish zing for you.

      Delete
  11. I thought I'd be voting for Nancy Sinatra hands down...and while I did not loathe the Johnny/June version as much as I expected to, truth be told, I don't care much for either version.

    However, I care less for Nancy's version. Both versions seemed to lack emotion to me, but I kind of liked the Cash arrangement...it had me craving a burrito....

    And since you'll take me to court if I vote for Bobby's original version, make mine a vote for Cash.

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    1. Ha, not court date for you.

      Johnny, June, and a burrito it is. BTW, I hope you wee able to satisfy that craving sometime over the weekend.

      Delete
  12. You've found two interesting versions of the song for us to consider, leaving out the ones you know people would have picked before these.

    So, dealing with the hand dealt (which is a Jack, a seven, a three and a pair of deuces): I'll vote for Johnny Cash, simply because my father-in-law would vote that way. Plus, I like the harmonica. Also, Cash actually plays an instrument. Oh... and his name sounds like money. But that's about all I like!

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    1. Ya got me figured out. I've had a few too many shut-outs on my BOTB and while they don't bother me the way they would some people, I do strive to present you guys with 'interesting' and 'diverse' of the tunes I chose. I admit to liking other versions a whole lot more than these two, but they did seem to present two very different sides of the same coin, so to speak.

      Going for the cash or sound of it(dang, I hate the new type slot machines, where you don't actually hear the coins drop) is as good a reason as any.

      Delete
  13. Well first, I think this is a great song. But all three performances fall a little short for me.

    The first one just quite grab me as well as it should for some reason, not even considering Bobby Z's normal cat-in-a-blender vocal pitch. The interplay between him and Joan feels harsh and at odds (which probably fits for the song), and the rendition is just too rough.

    I like the second one, although June Carter's backup singer is just too over-powering. Musically, it's definitely the best, but the way that guy snarls "Nahw,, nahw,, nahw" all over June is really annoying.

    Nancy does an ok vocal rendition, but where the other two versions are too rough, this is too schmaltzy smooth. The musical orchestration is 60's canned hokey. This has turned the song into generic lite-pop music schlock.

    So given the choices, I'm going with June Carter (and I guess I gotta take the other guy with her).

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    1. Thank you for saying this is a great song. Too many other comments started out telling me how they really didn't like the song choice at all.

      I love some of your descriptions 'cat-in-a-blender vocal pitch', June's backup singer snarling. 'schmaltzy smooth, and 'generic lite-pop music schlock'. Can't really say that I can argue with any of 'em. :-)

      So, I've gotten my first vote for June and that guy singing backup with her. Ha, ha, ha.

      Delete
  14. Wow. I'm not a great fan of any of those, but I'll go with Johnny.

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    1. Well, my friend, if you read some of the other comments, you are not alone. This seems to be a contest of the lesser of two evils.

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  15. FAE ~
    So sorry it's taken me so long to get over here with my vote. You know all the carp that's going on in my life now, so I know you understand the deviation from my normal timely responses.

    However, I did take note of the song covers you presented here before I left for work the other night and listened to them at Spotify and made my choice.

    First of all, I think it's astounding that someone at YouTube thought it was Janis Joplin and not Joan Baez that Dylan was singing with. Unbelievable!

    I am a huge Dylan fan, as you know, but my preference is his 1965 work and beyond. Of his earlier stuffs, I like the cleverness and humor in 'Talkin' World War III Blues'. I also like 'Blowin' In The Wind', 'The Times They Are A-Changing', and 'A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall'. But mostly I embrace the stuffs where he made that creatively cosmic leap in songwriting and revolutionized lyrics in songwriting for so many songwriters who came after him.

    I know you agonized over which two performances you were going to present for this BOTB. I gotta say, I wish The Turtles or Jan And Dean (or even Dylan's original sans Joan Baez) had been a voting option. Of course, then you would have had a blow-out (maybe not a shutout). But even as it is, this BOTB is definitely going to be won by Cash/Carter. But I'm about to balance out the voting just a tad more...

    As you know, I have NEVER been a fan of Johnny Cash (his former roommate, Waylon Jennings, is a very different story). Johnny's popularity mystifies me. He was a monotone baritone, and June's attempt to harmonize with him is equally bad, in my opinion. I don't think ANYTHING could have saved this Cash/Carter recording, and I absolutely despise the way Johhny bites down so hard on the word "babe": "...it ain't me, BABE!

    I'm not going to rush right out and acquire a version of Nancy Sinatra's recording either, but between these two options, I most definitely prefer hers. It's a little too happy-go-bouncy for the lyrics, but it doesn't assault my ears like Cash/Carter do, so she gets my vote.

    I'm curious to see who YOU are going to vote for. I would guess it will be Johnny Cash, but I can also (slightly) imagine you going the other way, too.

    TRT tonight, right? 'American Graffiti'. I'm sure 6-B has a source that you can probably also use.

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

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    1. You may be right about the Cash's taking home the prize, but so far Nancy seems to be holding her own (I don't count the votes up until the 21st, but I do think you are the last of my regular voters, so we're probably done here.), it may end up as a surprise to you.

      Seems you're not the only one voting for what they consider the lesser of two evils, but I at least gave you two rather diverse versions to chose from, and neither (at least IMO) was a big major hit, likely to run away with this BATTLE. That was done by design.

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  16. Definitely different, you got that right! I ain't gonna lie to you, I'm not a fan of old country. I respect the artists. I love the artists because they are so down to earth, but I'm casting my vote for Miss Nancy Sinatra!!!

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    1. I have no problem with another vote for Miss Sinatra. I think this is a pretty close race so far and you are helping to keep it that way.

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  17. Oh, wow. I liked both - a lot. However, my vote is going to Johnny and June since I loved their harmonizing and the simpler music :)

    Sorry I am so late getting over to see YOU! I got back into town almost two weeks ago, and have been working every day since. I don't know which end is up anymore! But it is all for the greater good, as I have lots of stuff to accomplish this spring/summer.

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    1. Another vote for Johnny and June,

      Never worry about stopping by a little late. Heck I do it all the time. As long as you make it by the midnight the 20th (or (6th when the BATTLE is on the 1st) you are in plenty of time.

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  18. Of course I love Johnny Cash - that voice rumbling into my own heart. And the words of it - it ain't you babe, it ain't me you're looking for. Harmonising with June did it for me. Nancy's sounds too meek.

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    1. Hey Susan, thanks for stopping by and casting a vote for the Cashs and their great harmony.

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  19. Well, I hated the Bob/Joan version but it's not in the running so no problem there. Unfortunately I wasn't crazy about the Johnny and June version either. Johnny seemed to be attacking the lyrics and I could barely hear June. So although it was rather weak, I found the Nancy version the least objectionable and it gets my vote.

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    1. Hey LD, thanks for stopping by and casting a vote. You are not alone in voting for the least of two evils here. Nancy is a bit weak, but so far she is holding her own in this BATTLE.

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  20. Hmm-- A results post showed up in my sidebar but then I can and nothing was here as far as results. False alarm I guess. I'll come back tomorrow.

    Arlee Bird
    A to Z Challenge Co-host
    Wrote By Rote

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