Monday, September 1, 2014

BATTLE OF THE BANDS: You've Really Got A Hold On Me | The ...


Arlee Bird, from the blogs Tossing It Out, A Faraway View, Wrote by Rote, and A Few Words, left me this comment today:

I think you should start doing a Battle of the Bands post on the first and 15th of each month. With your musical range and knowledge I think you’d come up with some good match-ups.

Thank you, Arlee, and may I say, you asked for it.

On the first and fifteenth of each month, therefore, starting today (it being the September 1), I’ll find a song that’s been done a bunch of times by different artists (maybe even the same artist) present them all, and let you, the readers, choose which version of the song you like best. To vote, leave me a comment and share with me and everyone else why you made the choice you made. Okay? Okay!

Our first Battle of the Bands here concerns “You’ve Really Got A Hold On Me.” Written and produced by Smokey Robinson, it was originally released on the Tamla label (one of Motown’s labels) in November 1962. It reached #8 on Billboard’s Hot 100, and #1 on the Hot R&B Sides chart.

Here is the original version:

The Beatles recorded the song just as it was becoming popular, and it was included on their second album, With The Beatles, released on November 22, 1963, while the assassination of President Kennedy was diverting everyone’s attention. In the US, Capitol saved the track for The Beatles’ Second Album, releasing it in April 1964. John Lennon handled the lead vocal, backed by Paul McCartney and George Harrison, and producer George Martin joined them on piano. Here’s their version:

Finally, I just heard this version today. It’s by She & Him, “She” being Zooey Deschanel, “Him” being M. Ward. It was on their first album, Volume 1.

There were other versions, by The Supremes, The Temptations, The Zombies, Mickey Gilley, and Phil Collins, and countless others, no doubt, but I’m going to leave it at those three. The song is a classic, and I can’t say anything bad about the three performances I’m featuring today.

So, I’m going to leave it up to you. Which of these is your favorite, and most of all, why? I’ll keep voting up until midnight EDT (Atlanta time) on August 7, and hope to have the results by next Monday.


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