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The Great HTF Music Challenge (2 Viewers)

Walter Kittel

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Well, this is one of those 2-in-one songs. I didn't care for the first part which ended around the 2:50 mark but the up tempo 2nd portion is very nice indeed. What a powerfully foreboding voice and some great instrumentation to boot! Added!

Yeah, I think that Chris Rea has a terrific voice. This song triggers two associations for me (both of which are intended as compliments):

a) Chris Rea's vocal performance and the song's lyric content both remind me of Leonard Cohen.
b) The up tempo guitar that starts the second half of the song is reminiscent of Mark Knopfler's work with Dire Straits.

- Walter.
 

Walter Kittel

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The Dovells - "The Bristol Stomp" - I don't think I've ever heard of this group or song. Kind of a fun time capsule song that hearkens back to the doo-wop era.

- Walter.
 

Malcolm R

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The Dovells - "The Bristol Stomp" - I don't think I've ever heard of this group or song. Kind of a fun time capsule song that hearkens back to the doo-wop era.

- Walter.
They weren't a hugely successful group, but they did have a handful of Top 40 hits. Their other big hit was "You Can't Sit Down", #3 in 1963.
 

jcroy

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April Wine, "Roller" - Not bad, but not one of their best. This one's a farily decent boogie type rock anthem type affair.

Here are a few of the tracks I know best from April Wine.

"Sign of The Gypsy Queen" (this one's a cover):

The original version sounded slight different.

 

John Dirk

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Dovells Bristol Stomp
Hmm... I know they're from Philly but they look and sound more like a bunch of Harvard types trying to perform a style that requires a little more "Soul" than they can muster. Didn't work for me.

You Can't Stop the Beat - Hairspray Finale Spectacular
This is beyond "Spectacular" and more than makes up for the pervious track :drum: :drum: :drum:
Thanks so much for sharing!!!

This is Me [The Greatest Showman]
Great voices indeed!!! This isn't my usual style of music but that's not at all the point here. Beautiful presentation.
 

Malcolm R

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You Can't Stop the Beat - Hairspray Finale Spectacular
This is beyond "Spectacular" and more than makes up for the pervious track :drum: :drum: :drum:
Thanks so much for sharing!!!
One of the most energetic and joyous endings to any movie I've ever seen. If you're not completely averse to musicals, you should check out the 2009 version of Hairspray. Lots of great songs and dancing, start to finish (the 1988 original film is great, too; lots of period music, but not really a "musical").
 

John Dirk

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One of the most energetic and joyous endings to any movie I've ever seen. If you're not completely averse to musicals, you should check out the 2009 version of Hairspray. Lots of great songs and dancing, start to finish (the 1988 original film is great, too; lots of period music, but not really a "musical").
I'm a huge fan of the Classic musicals such as the Rogers and Hammerstein collection. Newer stuff is hit & miss. Will definitely check this one out.
 

Malcolm R

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I'm a huge fan of the Classic musicals such as the Rogers and Hammerstein collection. Newer stuff is hit & miss. Will definitely check this one out.
Of newer musicals, I've loved Hairspray (2009) and The Greatest Showman, found La La Land OK, but haven't really cared much for others like Chicago or The Producers.
 

BobO'Link

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Chris Rea, "The Road To Hell - I *think* I like this but I'm just not in the mood for such a moody, depressing, kind of tune. And as soon as I type that the tempo and tone of the song picks up considerably. I can safely say the "intro" is far too long. The back half is very good.

The Dovells, "The Bristol Stomp" - Nice enough 50s doo-wop, though nothing all that different or special.

Hairspray, "You Can't Stop the Beat" - Meh. Musical stuff from a show I absolutely did not like. I only made it a couple of minutes into this one before giving up. The production concept is interesting so there's that.

The Greatest Showman, "This is Me" - Numerous parts looked like they were lip synced. Didn't care for this one either. Like with the other, I like the concept and the execution but not the song or "performances" on this one.

RE: Musicals - If I'm going to watch one it's going to be something from the 60s and earlier. I'm not a fan of "modern" musicals at all and not much of a fan of the "classic" musicals. There are a half dozen I'll put on myself with any kind of regularity (once a year or so) with all others getting, at most, a viewing every 5-10 years.
 

BobO'Link

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The original version sounded slight different.

Nice find! I didn't even look that one up as it's so obscure that I thought it'd not be available anywhere. It was released as a single in 1973 and only saw release in Canada and Japan. It *did* reach #16 on RPM magazine’s national chart in Canada. Hud played all of the instruments on that recording and is also Canadian. April Wine mostly took his arrangements and turned it into a hard rock song.
 
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Walter Kittel

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"You Can't Stop The Beat" - I'll give them an E for effort. Conceptually interesting, but musicals are very hit and miss with me. Not a huge fan of the genre and what I do enjoy tends to be from the classic era of Hollywood.

"This Is Me" - Enjoyed this presentation. Thought the vocal presentation was much stronger on this selection.

"Sign of the Gypsy Queen" - Kind of a toss up between this version and the cover by April Wine. I think I prefer the guitar arrangement more on this version. The echo effect is kind of interesting and feels like something from the '70s. Okay, I think I've talked myself into preferring this version. :)

- Walter.
 

John Dirk

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Back in post #311, @BobO'Link listed a couple of really nice Bill Withers tracks. Here's another I stumbled across tonight.

Bill Withers - Who Is He (And What Is He to You)?​

 

John Dirk

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Sombras Nada Más
Enjoyable tune as is common with this type of music. Very festive and melodic.

The Mavericks - No Vale la Pena
Again, nice musicality here. I always love horns and this one has them aplenty.

One And Only
Great vocals on this one. Nice mellow track and the guitar is excellent.

El Rey - George Strait - Twang
Well this was a surprise. A bit too traditional musically for my taste and George should probably not sing in Spanish. :cool:
 

John Dirk

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Liz Phair's Cinco de Mayo.

Another festive tune perfect for the occasion. I felt the heavy bass drum sort of distracted from the overall feel of this one. Interesting they chose that sound over a more subdued bass backbone.
 

jcroy

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Here's another Canuk band that's been overlooked - a true "spiritual cousin" to The Guess Who is Bachman-Turner Overdrive, aka BTO. Randy Bachman was guitarist for The Guess Who and left the band in May 1970. In 1973, Randy, his brother Timothy (guitar), his brother Robbie (percussion), and Alan Turner (Bass), formed BTO. The first album was OK but didn't produce any hit singles. They struck gold with the 2nd.

Speaking of BTO, "Rock and Roll Hell" was covered by KISS (and former KISS guitarist Ace Frehley) which sounded very different than the original BTO version.


BTO


KISS


Ace Frehley
 

BobO'Link

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Bill Withers, "Who Is He (And What Is He to You)?" - I really like his voice and the instrumentation but not so much this particular song. It's rather bland and very repetitive.

The Mavericks, "Sombras Nada Más" - This one sounded a bit somber for a Cinco de Mayo song. But, I'm not a Spanish speaker so have no idea if the topic fits or not. I enjoyed the song. And I looked up an English translation... Oh, my! That's one depressing song! Here's the first verse: "I would like to cut open my veins slowly, all my blood pouring out at your feet. To be able to show you that I cannot love you more, and then die afterwards."

The Mavericks, "No Vale la Pena" - This is more like it, style wise. Also enjoyable. And I looked up these lyrics as well. For such a bright, happy, sounding song it, too, is somewhat depressing talking about a "lover" he just doesn't see enough and who, apparently, doesn't return his feelings.

Texas Tornados, "One and Only" - Nice barroom ballad/slow dance type song. After the last two I'm not looking up the lyrics (and these are in English) as what I'm picking out sounds just a bit sad/depressing.

George Strait, "Twang" (or is that the album and "El Rey" is the song?) - Just a bit too cliche' sounding. I agree with John, George should stick with English.

Liz Phair, "Cinco de Mayo" - I didn't much care for this one.

And you guys with your Cinco de Mayo songs just barely got 'em in... ;)
 

BobO'Link

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B.T.O. "Rock And Roll Hell" - An OK track that's obviously from B.T.O., but not even close to being their best work. This would be one I'd skip if it came up on a playlist.

KISS, "Rock and Roll Hell" - There are only 3 songs from KISS that I'll willingly put on. This one *almost* becomes #4. They call themselves a "hard rock" band when, IMHO, they're really "Teeny Bopper Rock" (and with that ridiculous makeup I could never take them seriously). In spite of my general dislike of this band, I have to say that their cover is better than B.T.O.'s original.

Ace Frehley, "Rock and Roll Hell" - Doesn't sound that much different than the KISS version, and it goes on for over 6 minutes. In researching the song I discovered Frehley didn't play on the original KISS version as he was in the process of quitting the band at the time.

Of the 3, I'd pick the one from KISS as the "best" recording/version. It's still not that great of a song, being somewhat a cliche' sounding arena rock type affair, but *is* a bit "heavier" than the B.T.O version. I looked it up to find Gene Simmons has a songwriting credit... OK... he wasn't on the original so what gives? Here's the story from Jim Vallance, who wrote the original:

In 1979 Bryan Adams' manager Bruce Allen asked me to write a song for BTO, a group he managed (they'd changed their name from "Bachman Turner Overdrive" to "BTO" when Randy Bachman left in 1977).

I came up with a couple of song ideas including "Rock 'n Roll Hell", which I loosely based on the tempo and chord structure of Randy's song "Takin' Care Of Business".

BTO liked "Rock 'n Roll Hell" and included it on their 1979 album, "Rock ‘n Roll Nights", which I produced.

Fast-forward a few years to the summer of 1982. Bryan Adams and I got a call from producer Michael James Jackson, asking if we'd be interested in writing a song for KISS. To be honest I've never been a huge KISS fan, but it was early in our writing career and KISS were selling a lot more records than we were, so it seemed like a good idea.

Bryan and I wrote two songs for KISS: a new one called "War Machine", and a re-worked version of BTO's "Rock 'n Roll Hell", with a new lyric and a slower, heavier feel.

Not long afterwards we received an unexpected telephone call from Gene Simmons!

Gene said he loved both our tracks, and KISS were definitely interested in recording them. There was just one problem. "Rock 'n Roll Hell" needed an extra verse!
Gene Simmons

Adams and I were in the same room, on separate phones. We looked at each other and shook our heads. The song was finished. Why on earth would Gene want us to write another verse?

We told Gene how we felt about it.

There was a moment of silence on the other end of the line and then Gene spoke, very slowly and firmly: "You don't understand", he said. "The song needs an extra verse. And I'm going to write it".

Suddenly it dawned on us. Gene was trying to tell us, in not-too-subtle terms, that KISS wouldn't record our song unless his name appeared as a co-writer. The choice was obvious: we could share songwriting credit (and royalties) on an album that would probably sell 10 million copies, or we could have no songs on the album at all.

In the end Gene did write a verse, which appears in the song. And to his credit, he only requested a modest share of the royalties. Regardless, the experience left us with an empty feeling.

Twenty-five years later I'm not bitter, I'm simply philosophical about the experience. The truth is, when it came to negotiation and intimidation, Gene Simmons was much more skilled than we were!
 

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