Saturday, February 14, 2015

Battle of the Bands for February 15

So my last Battle of the Bands was a real miss on a hit-or-miss scale. Why, I may never throw Gordon Lightfoot covers into the ring again! And I certainly won't be using so many - at least not all at once.

Now the time has come for a brand-new, shiny battle, and I will try to cleanse your collective palates of the bad taste left behind after the Lightfoot covers of which there were too many. In this battle, I will be breaking a rule of mine (which is not putting the original up for voting. Or, if the original isn't the one that made the song famous, then putting the best-known version of the song up for battle) by posting both the original AND the most popular version of a certain song for your consideration. But I promise they're both really good! On with the show...

My song this week is "Black Magic Woman". Originally recorded by Fleetwood Mac, it gained massive popularity when Carlos Santana recorded and released his version two years later. I don't feel I need to introduce any of these musicians; instead we'll just listen to their songs!

First up is Fleetwood Mac:

And Carlos Santana's version - including "Gypsy Queen", of course!

Which version of the song do you like best? Feel free to vote and tell me why you chose your version in the comments!  I will return on the 6th to cast my vote, tally 'em all up, and declare a winner. 

To participate in Battle of the Bands, head over to STMcC presents Battle of the Bands, check out the rules, and link up your own post.

23 comments:

  1. I did not realize Fleetwood Mac recorded this, much less the original.
    It's really interesting. I like their little quirky twist in the last minute... nice beat.

    Santana has always been the fave, and I guess I always thought they were the original.
    Totally blew me away, but then some things get better with time, other musicians...
    something! I suppose the big drawing points, for me, were the guitar, and the strength
    of the vocal. (And that 'big-time' beat.)

    My vote is for Santana. Nice one, Kim!

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    1. Thank you for voting! I really like both versions, but I also didn't know for the longest time that the Santana version wasn't the original :) I think both are very good, and am very interested to hear what others will say about the Fleetwood Mac original.

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  2. The first I knew of this song was Santana's version which I thought was absolutely great with the voodoo Latin sound. The percussion, smooth vocals, and flawless guitar are all outstanding making this song an absolute winning combination--no surprise it was such a hit.

    Later I learned that Fleetwood Mac Peter Green edition did the original, but it's a version I still haven't heard as much so it sounds fresher than the Santana version. It's got a simpler sound without all the flash and fireworks of the Santana version.

    This is a tough choice because they're both great in their own ways, but right now I'm going to go a bit divergent with a vote for simplicity and purity. My preference at this moment is going to give my vote to Fleetwood Mac.

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

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    1. For the longest time I didn't know Fleetwood Mac had done the original, either. It's definitely more stripped down than the Santana version, but still very, very good. Thank you for voting!

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  3. Back in the pre-smartphone days, this used to win me a lot of bar bets. EVERYBODY thought Santana did the original version. They were all wrong.

    I really like the Peter Green / Fleetwood Mac original. It's a little rougher, a little sparser, definitely bluesier, and that reverb-thick guitar is wonderful. I also really like the way it shifts into the blues shuffle, and was always disappointed when it faded out just when I was sure another solo was coming. ;)

    But the Santana version is stellar. The mood is mesmerizing. The Latin percussion and Greg Rollie's organ-playing are wonderful. Santana's guitar is wonderful -- shifting between smooth jazzy chords to tasty lines and that screaming, distorted, edge-of-feedback lead that send chills down my spine. Abraxas is by far my favorite Santana album and the way the awesome "Singing Winds / Crying Beasts" -- "Black Magic Woman" -- "Gypsy Queen" -- "Oye Como Va" all flow together is pure gold. Add in the amazing "Incident at Neshabur" and you just might have one of the best complete album sides ever.

    So Santana definitely for me.

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    1. I do not own this album, but know many of the songs from it. I recently saw it in an antique store - couldn't walk out with it that day, but I am going to go back for it as soon as I can! I love the cover so much, too.

      I agree with a lot of what you said. I really think both did excellent versions, but it all comes down to preference. For the longest time, I had no idea that the Santana version wasn't the original, let alone that Fleetwood Mac was the first to record it.

      Thanks for casting your vote!

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  4. Damn, Peter Green vs. Carlos Santana.... what a choice, huh?

    Carlos took a great song and made it infinitely better with his addition of Gabor Szabo's "Gypsy Queen." Love the feedback at the end. antana wins this one.

    You can find my battle here: http://bit.ly/1FUc0qB

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  5. Hey, KIM, this was an outstanding BOTB! And I think you were right to use the original since so many people out there have no idea that the Peter Green era Fleetwood Mac wrote and recorded this song. I've been into Blues for a long time, so even though at one time I too thought Santana had written this, I eventually learned that Santana's big hit was a cover.

    I remember my Brother one time telling me had seen a TV show where Santana played 'Black Magic Woman' live and afterwards Whoopi Goldberg thanked him for having praised Black women everywhere with this song. What an idiot!

    OK, my vote...

    I love the raw, gruff Bluesy sound of the Fleetwood Mac original. It's pretty danged exciting. It's like rubble compared to Santana's glass, but there's a lot to be said for Rubble Rock 'N' Blues!

    However, I've always been wild about Santana's sleek, spiritual guitar sound. So in this case, I am going to vote for Glass over Rubble. Nevertheless, both recordings are gangbusters and this was my favorite BOTB that you've put together so far.

    Now I'm left wondering whether you prefer Jo Stafford or Willie Nelson (or even Frank Sinatra) singing 'Moonlight In Vermont'. See ya at my BOTB?

    I don't know why you're not getting more votes here. Have been visiting and voting at other BOTBs? Maybe some folks still need to be reminded that you're a BOTBer too.

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

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    1. Thanks for your vote! I actually haven't been anywhere else yet....I'm coming off an 8 day work stretch which ended with me having to rush my 21 y.o. to the doctor today. I am definitely returning visits and such tomorrow, after I've been able to catch my breath a bit.

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  6. Hey Kim, sorry it's taken me so long to get by. Mondays are always hectic for me and this one was no exception. With BOTB starting out on a Sunday this time, I was already behind before Monday hit. So, here it is Tuesday and I'm still making my way around.

    Anyway...this is a terrific BATTLE and hard hard one to chose, at least for me. BUT, I guess the cover (SANTANA) wins it over for me.

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    1. Thanks, FAE! I understand completely. I still have not been able to return visits or get by other battles just yet. It's been a hectic, hectic week already (but my week started LAST Tuesday. Retail = no work days, or tons of work days all in a row.), but I will get caught up just as you will :)

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  7. I'll vote for Fleetwood Mac with Peter Green. Because you wouldn't have the song without Peter Green.

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    1. Oooh, that's very true, Mike! Thank you for your vote!

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  8. I can't believe it, but I am actually not going with the Original!! surprising. but I just love the sounds of Carlos Santana guitar! it's mesmerizing!

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    1. "Mesmerizing" is a very apt description of Santana's version. I am inclined to agree. Thank you so much for voting! I will get around to return visits and regular blogging again hopefully soon :)

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  9. As someone who is not a fan of screaming guitar, I probably seemed like a Vote In The Bag for Fleetwood Mac. Alas, I think you've found the exception (though I am consistently amazed at how different the 60s FM sound is compared to FM that became "popular"). The ethereal guitar suits the message of the song. It sounds magical and "otherworldly" compared to the original (which is a very good song, btw). Santana just took it to a whole new level. That's all. So, one more for Santana.

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    1. Thank you for your vote! I agree - 60s FM and 70s FM seem almost like completely different animals. I do love me some 70s Fleetwood Mac, though :)

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  10. Santana's version was blocked from my country! Arrghh, was looking forward to hearing it! But Fleetwood Mac's was GREAT!

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  11. Though Fleetwood Mac's version is top knotch, I've got to go with Santana! He rules this song.

    Great post!

    Cherdo
    www.cherdoontheflipside.com

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  12. Fleetwood Mac does a great job with this song, but like the rest ~ I love Santana the best! Chalk up another count for Santana! ;)

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  13. KIM, no BOTB results post?

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

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