Happy November and welcome to another edition of
BATTLE OF THE BANDS
When you’re finished here, please scroll down for an exciting announcement!
BATTLE OF THE BANDS (BOTB), hosted by Far Away Series and StMcC Presents Battle of the Bands. is where you listen to different recordings of the same song and vote for the one you like best. Two “Battles” per month, on the 1st and 15th. Votes will be tallied and posted the following week. (See below for further details.)
♫♫ This is another battle of the sexes,
pitting disco against prog rock. ♫♫
Heads up: Long song and write-up!
[reference only – please do not vote on this one]
From Wikipedia: “MacArthur Park” was written and composed by Jimmy Webb in the summer and fall of 1967. The inspiration for the song was his relationship and breakup with Susie Horton. MacArthur Park, in Los Angeles, California, was where the two occasionally met for lunch and spent their most enjoyable times together. At that time (the middle of 1965), Horton worked for a life insurance company whose offices were located just across the street from the park. In an interview with Newsday in October 2014, Webb explained: “Everything in the song was visible. There’s nothing in it that’s fabricated. The old men playing checkers by the trees, the cake that was left out in the rain, all of the things that are talked about in the song are things I actually saw. And so it’s a kind of musical collage of this whole love affair that kind of went down in MacArthur Park.”
“MacArthur Park” was first recorded by actor Richard Harris, after he met the composer at a fundraiser in late 1967. Webb had been invited to provide the musical backdrop at the piano. Out of the blue, Harris, who had just starred in Camelot, and had performed several musical numbers in the film, suggested to Webb that he wanted to release a record. At first, Webb did not take Harris seriously, but later received a telegram from Harris, requesting Webb “come to London and make a record.” Webb flew to London and played Harris a number of songs for the project, but none seemed to fit. The last song Webb played was “MacArthur Park,” originally written for The Association, whose members had rejected it because of its length, complex arrangement, and unorthodox lyrics. Harris chose it for his debut.
The recording appeared on his album A Tramp Shining in 1968 and was released as a single. It was an unusual choice, at its more than seven minute length and multi-part structure. It topped the music charts in Europe and Australia and peaked at #2 on Billboard’s Hot 100 in the U.S. In 1969, “MacArthur Park” received the Grammy Award for Best Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s).
The foregoing serves as background information only.
Now, on to the actual contest……
LaDonna Adrian Gaines, better known as Donna Summer, (December 31, 1948 – May 17, 2012) was a Boston-born singer, songwriter, and painter, who came to prominence in the Disco Era. She released a multi-million selling vinyl single disco version of “MacArthur Park” in the fall of 1978.
It reached #1 on the American pop music sales charts for three weeks and was nominated for the Grammy Award, in the Best Female Pop Vocal category.
THE NEAL MORSE BAND
Neal Morse (born August 2, 1960) is an American singer, bandleader and prog rock composer based in Nashville, Tennessee. “MacArthur Park” is an uncharted bonus track, from the album The Grand Experiment, released in February of this year.
The album was composed and recorded over a short period of time, with no preparation work before entering the studio. This is the first time Morse has recorded this way, with no pre-prepared material (and as a completely collaborative effort with his new band), hence the album’s title.
Please state your preference in comments below and why you chose it.
Click on your preference here too:
[socialpoll id=”2305058″ width=”375″]
Voting remains open until 10 am ET, Nov. 7,
after which I will count the votes, add mine and publish the results.
COMING NOV. 9!
You are cordially invited to drop by The Doglady’s Den and visit with BOTB regular,
author Guilie Castillo-Oriard (Quiet Laughter), as she talks about her new release,
“The Miracle of Small Things”
Mexican tax lawyer Luis Villalobos is lured to the tiny island of Curaçao
anticipating a fast track to the cusp of an already stellar career.
But the paradise we expect is so rarely the paradise we find.
“MacArthur Park” is a song that holds special meaning for Luis Villalobos, the book’s main character, who’s spent his adult life as a serial monogamist. As an international tax attorney, he lives a jet-set kind of gypsy life, never in one place more than a few years, and always with his eye on the next big financial center, the next tier of achievement. Most of his lovers understand this; most are part of the same world. In the song’s opening lines he sees the inevitability of the end… It can’t be helped, “spring was never waiting for us”. It’s a song that validates his belief that everything is transitory, nothing lasts, and it’s a mistake to believe otherwise. It takes a dog, rescued by accident, to show him that it’s not the length but the strength of the commitment that matters.”
Intrigued? Come back on Nov. 9 to learn more.
These are the other BOTB regulars and semi-regulars.
Please cruise on by their sites and, if they have a post up, vote on their selections as well:
[Check back – there’s no set posting time]
Angels Bark / Book Lover / Cherdo On The Flipside / Curious as a Cathy / DC Relief BOTB /
Far Away Series / Holli’s Hoots & Hollers / J.A. Scott /Jingle Jangle Jungle / Mike’s Ramblings /
Novel Brews / Quiet Laughter / Sound of One Hand Typing / StMcC Presents Battle of the Bands /
Tossing It Out / Women: We Shall Overcome / Your Daily Dose
As always, “Sharing is Caring”. Spread this musical joy all over your social networks.
Hashtag is #BOTB
Until next time.
♫♪♫♪♫ Rockchick Rapture!