37 CommentsBattle of the Bands (BOTB), Blogfests, Music

Happy September!
Time for another edition of Battle of the Bands.

Battle of the Bands, #BOTB GUANTANAMERA

BATTLE OF THE BANDS (BOTB), hosted by 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.)

We’re going international again today, with an old Cuban folk song:


[reference only – please do not vote on this one]

Guantanamera” (Spanish: “from Guantánamo, feminine” indicating a woman from Guantánamo) is perhaps the best known Cuban song, especially when using a poem by the Cuban poet José Martí for the lyrics. In 1966, a version by American vocal group The Sandpipers became an international hit. It has been recorded by many other solo artists and bands. – WIKIPEDIA

Click HERE for translated lyrics.

The foregoing serves as background information only.
Now, on to the actual contest……


Los Beta was a Mallorcan Spanish “garage rock” band, active from 1960 to 1970. Their recording of Guantanamera, released as a single, was a European hit in the spring of 1967.



Adelmo Fornaciari (born 25 September 1955), more commonly known by his stage name, Zucchero, is an Italian singer-songwriter and musician. His music is largely inspired by gospel, soul, blues and rock. He is credited as the “father of Italian blues” and is one of the few (continental) European artists who enjoy international success. Guantanamera (which he translated into Italian) is the 5th track from his 2012 album, La Sesión Cubana, recorded in Cuba.

Alternate source:


Please state your preference in comments below and why you chose it.

Voting remains open until 11:59 pm EDT Sept. 7th,
after which I will count the votes, add mine and publish the results.

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 / Cherdo On The Flipside / Curious as a Cathy / DC Relief BOTB / DiscConnected / J.A. Scott / Janie Junebug Righting & Editing / Jingle Jangle Jungle / Mike’s Ramblings / Pedestrian Writer / Quiet Laughter / Sound of One Hand Typing / HOST: StMcC Presents Battle of the Bands / Tossing It Out / Your Daily Dose

As always, “Sharing is Caring”. Spread this musical joy all over your social networks.
Hashtag is #BOTB

Want more musical bliss? Join me on Monday, Sept. 5:

Question of the Month | MUSICAL BLISS
“Which kind of music best speaks to you?”

Until next time.



♫♪♫♪♫ Rockchick Rapture!


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Debbie D. on FacebookDebbie D. on GoogleDebbie D. on InstagramDebbie D. on LinkedinDebbie D. on PinterestDebbie D. on RssDebbie D. on TwitterDebbie D. on WordpressDebbie D. on Youtube
Debbie D.

Canine Innkeeper in suburban Toronto, Canada, known as “The Doglady”. Writer/website owner, photographer, animal lover, music fanatic, inveterate traveller. History, literature and cinema buff. Eternal “hippie/rockchick”. Binational, German/Canadian and multilingual. Looking for the next adventure!

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    1. Hi, John; Thanks for coming by to vote. Another one for Los Beta! They’re gaining a little ground, now. Your description of Zucchero made me laugh. 😀 He certainly is flamboyant. Have a nice long weekend.

  1. Hi, Debbie! I tried to vote a few minutes ago and got an error message. I hope my vote goes through this time, or if the first one shows up, you’ll know I didn’t mean to vote twice. I think Los Beta is a little slow paced for this song. I prefer Zucchero’s guitar and vocals. I love all the Spanish-language songs I’m seeing in the current battle. It’s raining again, but it could be a lot worse. So many people in Florida don’t have power, are experiencing floods, or have endured a mandatory evacuation, which is for the best with a hurricane but it must be very difficult to evacuate. Great battle.


    1. Hi, Janie; Both comments showed up, so I eliminated the first one. Thanks for persevering! 🙂 That’s another vote for Zucchero. I’m glad to know you’re safe and hope everyone else affected will be okay. Having to evacuate must be awful!
      It’s interesting that so many of us chose Spanish music for this battle. Purely coincidental. Wishing you a Happy Labour Day weekend, despite the weather.

  2. Great battle today. Seems a few of us have a little Latin flare going on in our battles this round. I think I prefer Zucchero just a little bit more than Los Beta for this song. It could just be the mood that I’m currently in, but I’m sticking with this vote for now.

  3. You present some really golden oldies sometimes! Always loved the version by the Sandpipers and Los Beta does a mighty fine close-second 😉 Zucchero’s style was good, just not AS good.

  4. Hi Debbie! LOS BETA did a nice job with this song but I wanted a faster tempo…ZUCCHERO does that, and what a sexy voice!!

    Show my vote for ZUCCHERO, please.

  5. At first I didn’t care for Zucchero’s voice but as it progressed it really impressed me with his lust( if I can say that) for this song and love the musical styling too.

    1. Hi, Birgit; Zucchero definitely has a lust for pretty much everything he sings (and writes). You can tell the man has passion! 😀 Thanks for your vote. It looks like Zucchero is way ahead at this point. Happy Labour Day weekend!

  6. Debbie, I do remember this song, but I don’t recall who I heard do it back in the day. I like both covers. Los Beta has that 60s love-child flavor, which is okay. Zucchero sounded more authentic sealing it for me and am giving my vote to this band. Cool battle! Now, I want Mexican or Cuban food. 🙂

    1. Hi, Cathy; It was the Sandpipers who made it a hit in America, but there are dozens of versions out there. Zucchero’s take on it definitely has that Cuban flavour. 🙂 Thanks for your vote. Zucchero is miles ahead, at this point.

    1. Yay; another vote for Los Beta! 🙂 They’re far behind at this point, but I’m hoping they will gain more ground before the week is up. Their version was a big hit in Europe, but I don’t think it ever made it across the Atlantic. Thanks and Happy Labour Day weekend!

  7. DEBBIE, I really liked the very different stylistic approaches to this Battle. I know I’m still just “a mean widdle kid”, and even at the age of 57 I can’t listen to this song without hearing the infamous “ONE-TON TOMATO”.

    I liked both versions — and I’m always fond of a choral group and vocal harmonizing — but something about the rougher male vocal appealed more to me this time.

    Vote: Zucchero

    I think my favorite version of this song is an instrumental by some Russian guitarist guy named VADIM. Maybe ten years ago I heard him playing on Venice Beach in L.A. while I was having breakfast at ‘The Sidewalk Cafe’. He was so impressive — I mean, real virtuosity on the guitar — that I struck up a conversation with him after breakfast and bought one of his CDs. I still play it regularly. The guy was freakin’ great. And it boggles the mind that talent such as that is playing for scraps on a beach boardwalk, while people with less than one-tenth the talent make it huge on the world stage. For every Miley Cyrus, Justin Bieber, and Katy Perry, there are 100,000 vastly more talented people in every major city in the USA.

    Good Battle, DEBBIE!

    ~ D-FensDogG
    ‘Loyal American Underground’

    1. Hi, Stephen; I’m glad you enjoyed the battle. 🙂 Believe it or not, I’ve never heard of “One Ton Tomato”. Another case of misheard lyrics, yes? Your vote for Zucchero and his rough voice is duly noted. Thanks! You’re right; there’s so much fabulous talent in this world that never makes it big. I guess it’s a case of “right place, right time”. You mentioned buying one of Vadim’s CDs. Is he on Youtube? I’d love to see his work. Guitar virtuosity is always a thrill to watch. Speaking of Youtube, I found a video of One Ton Tomato. Not exactly inspiring. 😛

      1. DEBBIE ~
        “One Ton Tomato” is an old thing. Lots of people have sung that as the line just goofing around, doing a kind of “Weird Al” thing, long before there was a famous Weird Al. That was the first time I ever heard an entire song done as a spoof of it.

        Years ago I looked for Vadim on YouTube and came up with nuttin’. Just now I found the following guy, who may or may not be him. This Vadim is considerably older looking, but then that WAS quite a few years ago that I purchased the CD. There is a Yahoo Email address on the CD though. Maybe I’ll write and see what’s up with him.

        ~ D-FensDogG

        1. Apparently, Michael Nesmith of The Monkees did a version of “One Ton Tomato” as well, but there isn’t any performance video. Who knew? My musical education is obviously lacking. 😀

          Thanks for sharing that excellent performance video! This Vadim couldn’t be your guy, though. Ten years ago he was touring with Madonna and is fairly famous. Wouldn’t it be great if the other Vadim got discovered? I hope you find out.

  8. This is a great song… so great that I think it was played way too often on the radio. I find it amazing, that when a song has been over-played that it still has that same tiring effect on me years later. Do you know what I mean? I usually love original versions the best, and this is no exception. Zucchero has my vote.

    1. Good day, Angelika. 🙂 Guantanamera probably got more airplay in Europe, as I haven’t heard it all that often, here. Zucchero’s version is from 2012 and there were many recordings of this song before his but he certainly captures the Cuban flavour. Another vote for Zucchero! Thanks for joining in. Have a good weekend.

  9. Hi, Debbie the Doglady!

    I thoroughly enjoyed your refreshingly different European band battle. I well remember the Sandpipers’s hit single “Guantanamera.” I’m guessing that you recall the 1967 single by Los Beta from the portion of your youth spent abroad.

    This battle asks us to choose between a recording made in the mid 60s and one released in the 2010s. In cases like this, I always try to level the playing field, because it seems unfair to hold against a recording its 60s pedigree and the technology available at the time. Even if I hadn’t performed some “mental remastering” on the Los Beta recording, I still would have voted for that band’s version of “Guantanamera” because it is rendered with that old school, old country feeling, passion and soul that I remember and loved in my own youth – qualities that are missing from many of today’s recordings. Zucchero’s version is faster, brighter, more spirited, and I appreciated the female voice that accompanies him, but Los Beta’s version grabbed me by the heart and wouldn’t let go. The Los Beta band made me cry and, in doing so, they earned my vote.

    Thank you, Debbie the Doglady!

    1. Hi, Shady; Yes, I purchased the Los Beta record in 1967, when I was vacationing in the Canary Islands and still have it. It will forever be associated in my mind with that fabulous holiday! 🙂 Good point about the differences in technology, but they shouldn’t be a detraction. Each version has its merits. I completely understand how a song can grab you so strongly! That’s one heartfelt vote for Los Beta. I’m glad you liked it.

  10. Hi Debbie,
    Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to look at your version of Guantanamera by Zucchero, but I took the time and went on youtube and found a beautiful version because I wanted to hear how he did the song. For me, Los Beta doesn’t even touch the feeling, the emotions, the swing, the Cuban spirit that is found in the version by Zucchero.
    So my vote is for ZUCCHERO. He is absolutely fantastic.
    Shalom aleichem,
    P.S. the youtube version I listened too just in case others can’t listen to your North American version.

    1. Hi, Pat; I did check this time and knew that Youtube wouldn’t work for you, so I added an mp3 file under the video. That didn’t work either? So sorry! You’re going to laugh, but that video you posted isn’t viewable in Canada. These Youtube restrictions are SO tiresome. Anyway, your vote for Zucchero is duly noted. Thank you. 🙂

    1. First vote for Los Beta. I’m glad you enjoyed it, Myke. It will forever bring back memories of The Canary Islands for me. 🙂
      Who knows how this battle will end up? Stay tuned!

  11. I remember learning to sing this song in some class at school. Maybe it was Spanish class. The version I was familiar with is the one by the Pozo Seco Singers.

    The version by Zucchero was pretty interesting. I also liked the version by Los Beta. Based on the musical virtuosity I’m going to vote for Zucchero.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

    1. I just looked up the Pozo Seco Singers version. Good one! 🙂 Since you have an affinity for Spanish music, I’m not surprised you know this one, Lee. Zucchero gets another vote. Thanks and have a good weekend.

  12. Wow Debbie, this is a tough one. I really enjoyed both versions. But I enjoyed Zucchero best so please give my vote to him. I liked the faster pace and the instrumentation in his version.

    Nice battle! Something really different…
    Have a great weekend…Weekends start on Thursday in my book! 🙂

    Michele at Angels Bark

    1. Hi, Michele; I’m glad you enjoyed the battle. I recently saw Zucchero’s concert in Havana on TV, which inspired it. 🙂 First vote goes to Zucchero. Thanks and have a good weekend, yourself.