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

Welcome to another edition of

Battle of the Bands BOTB

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 week, it’s a knockdown, drag out BATTLE OF THE SEXES!


[reference only – please do not vote on these two]

Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” is a song written and sung by Bob Dylan, for the soundtrack of the 1973 film Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid, which he also appeared in. Released as a single, it reached #12 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart. This song was covered by many artists. Among the most successful were Guns ‘N’ Roses. A live version of the track was initially released on the maxi single of “Welcome to the Jungle” in 1987. They recorded a studio version in 1990 for the Days of Thunder soundtrack, which was later slightly modified for the 1991 album “Use Your Illusion II”. Released as the fourth single from the album, it reached #2 on the UK Singles Chart as well as #12 in Australia and #1 in Ireland.

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


Chicago born Warren William Zevon (Jan. 24, 1947 – Sept. 7, 2003) was a rock singer/songwriter and musician, known for a dark and somewhat quirky sense of humour in his lyrics. His best-known compositions include “Werewolves of London”, “Lawyers, Guns and Money” and “Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner” (click links to view videos). In the fall of 2002, Zevon was diagnosed with terminal abdominal cancer. Refusing incapacitating treatments, he instead began recording his final album, “The Wind”, which includes guest appearances by close friends Bruce Springsteen, Don Henley, Jackson Browne, Timothy B. Schmit, Joe Walsh, David Lindley, Billy Bob Thornton, Emmylou Harris, Tom Petty, Dwight Yoakam, among others. Bob Dylan’s “Knockin on Heaven’s Door” is the third track. An all-star cast sang it as part of a tribute to Zevon on the 2004 Grammy Awards broadcast.




Rachel Rabin, also known by her stage name RAIGN, is a singer-songwriter, born into a musical family in London, England. In 2009, while working as a vocalist and songwriter, she self-released a demo in the UK under her full real name. By 2010, she was performing original music with a mix of blues, folk, and pop, on both sides of the Atlantic. There was a short-lived stint on The X-Factor UK in Sept, 2014, after which she released her second single as RAIGN, an electro-pop cover of “Wicked Game” by Chris Isaak. The EP “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” came out in March 2015. It included three of her previous tracks in addition to the title song, which was played on the season 2 finale of TV series “The 100”. In its first week of release, it reached no. 116 on the US iTunes pop charts.


Please state your preference in comments below and why you chose it.
Click on your preference here too:

[socialpoll id=”2281520″ width=”375″]

Voting remains open until noon, EDT July 21,
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 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
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!

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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. This was a Dylan song? Wow. Nobody does it better than G n R. Of these two though, I think Raign sang with more heart for the song. She just made me believe it more; don’t know why.

    1. LOL Yup. Some of the best Dylan songs are done by other artists. 😀 Mind you, I thought this was among Dylan’s best vocal performances. Thanks for your vote. Nice to see another one for Raign.

  2. When I first heard Dylan do this song I kind of liked it but it became old for me very quickly. It’s too drawn out and repetitious for my taste and it’s funny because I often like long drawn out repetitious stuff. Not this song.

    Raign took a slow boring song and made it more slow and boring–at least to my ears. I can imagine times when I might like their version better, but then again I don’t really care for this song that much.

    Zevon’s version has more going for it and in context of his performance it’s more poignant.

    I vote for Warren Zevon.


    1. Thanks for taking time out from your vacation to respond, Lee. Yet another vote for Warren. 🙂 Pretty much a slam dunk, here. I agree about the context. Hopefully, the next BOTB will be more to your liking. Cheers!

  3. This is my first BOTB! Sorry I missed all the others…will have to go back though can’t vote anymore! 🙁 I preferred Bob Dylan’s over any and all of them. However, between the two, I would say Warren Zevon as his voice sounded more real (authentic) than Raign’s. Hers sounded like a theatrical drama! 😉 <3

    1. HI Elly; Thanks for playing! 🙂 If you’re interested, Battle of The Bands is published every 1st and 15th of each month, with results posted a week later. Great fun for music lovers. You’re not the only one who mentioned Raign’s theatrics and preferred Warren. Looks like he will be the winner by a mile here.

    1. Hi Mike; That’s one more for Warren. He is trouncing Raign at this point, but I’m glad you appreciate her version as well. Thanks for coming by and have a good weekend. 🙂

  4. I love Warren Zevon’s rendition because it came from the heart and has the blues feel which seems to work better for me anyhow. Raign is different but it seemed repetitive near the end for me and I am not one for her voice…it sounds a bit nasally to me so another for Warren

    1. Hi Birgit; Warren is running away with this battle! Thanks for your vote. I guess Raign is an acquired taste. LOL Have a good weekend.

  5. A most interesting BATTLE you’ve got going here. Very familiar with the song and know that it has been covered by just about everybody and their dog, but I had not heard these two versions before. (Surprised me, because I thought I was pretty familiar with Zevon’s stuff.)

    Of course, in my mind Mr. Zimmerman does it best (And, it is so appropriate in the movie. did I ever tell you that I dated Pat Garrett {no not that one, although I’m probably old enough to have, but a fellow who was in fact, a lawman from Texas, living in Colorado when I knew him, named Pat Garrett). Anyhow…enough abut me. I’m gonna go with Warren. Let’s face it he was in fact ‘Knockin On Heaven’s Door’ when he recorded this and as usual he did it with is sardonic style. That guy was in a class of his own.

    1. I agree Dylan’s version is the best one. 🙂 That is a fascinating story, FAE! Was he related to the famous Pat Garrett? 🙂
      Your vote for Warren is duly noted. He’s running away with this battle. Cheers!

  6. This song has never been one of my favorites. Dylan’s version was sad enough, but Raign turned it absolutely funereal. At least Zevon’s version was a little less depressing than Dylan’s, so he gets my vote here.

    1. Sorry, this wasn’t to your liking, John. Maybe next time. 🙂 Thanks for your vote. Warren it is.I find it heartbreaking that he was singing this as he was literally dying. but I understand what you’re saying.

  7. Maybe it’s because it’s closer to the original, but my vote goes to Warren Zevon. I did like Raign, though; her voice (and her style) is really cool. I’d never heard of her, so thanks for the introduction 🙂 And thanks also for the visit and vote over at Quiet Laughter — always lovely to find your name in the comments, Debbie. Have a great day!

    1. Hi Guilie; Thanks for your vote. Looks like Warren is trouncing Raign! Glad to know you like her too, though. 🙂 She was a new discovery for me, as well. Always a pleasure to visit your site. Cheers!

  8. DEBBIE ~
    Oh, this was easy!

    First, I wanna say that Dylan influenced almost every single songwriter who came after him. I’m not a big fan of Dylan the person (read a lotta biographical stuffs), but he was, without question, one of the most innovative and influential persons in the history of American music. (It saddens me that some folks older than I am, who were MUSICALLY AWARE at the time Dylan was changing everything, seem to be unaware of what an impact he was making and eventually, forever, made. I won’t mention any names, but he knows who he is.)

    In this Battle, my vote goes to WARREN ZEVON without hesitation. This is a very serious, somber song, and RAIGN’s overly “theatrical” approach to it was entirely inappropriate, in my opinion. I liked the musical arrangement (kind of Classical), but her vocals ruined it for me. That is to say, listening to her, I didn’t for one second believe she was “knocking on Heaven’s door”.

    Very happy to see you dig BOTB so much and glad to have you with us!

    ~ D-FensDogG

    1. Hi Stephen; I’m not disputing Dylan’s influence on music; he certainly is a brilliant songwriter, but everyone is entitled to their opinion. 🙂 Don’t usually care for his vocals, but this was one of his best performances.
      Thanks for your vote. Warren is leading by a wide margin and you’ve increased that lead even more. I agree that Raign is very theatrical, but, I kind of like that. This a great blog fest and I hope to keep doing it for a long time. Cheers!

      1. DEBBIE ~
        I don’t think you caught my meaning. Of course everyone is entitled to their opinion, and I’m not saying everyone SHOULD like Dylan’s music. (His voice was BAD – not the worst, in my opinion, but one of the worst and close to the bottom. So I can easily understand a person who says they don’t like his singing.) But no musically educated person should ever question nor underestimate the enormous influence he had on songwriting. No one ever changed it more. And yet I know folks who don’t seem to grasp how drastically he changed the “lyrical landscape” even though they were alive and greatly interested in Pop music at the very time that Dylan was altering it forever.

        ~ D-FensDogG

        1. Well, it’s like the old saying: “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.” I understand you have strong feelings about this, Stephen, but if someone doesn’t see things your way, there’s little you can do about it and it’s a waste of energy to be upset about it. As mentioned, I don’t disagree with you and music has been a huge part of my life since early childhood (late 50s/early 60s). You might enjoy this article from 2011:

          Have a good night. 🙂

          1. Thanks for the link to that article, DEBBIE! For the most part, I think that writer really nailed the reasons why any person who appreciates Rock music should have a great deal of respect for what Bob Dylan accomplished, even if his music doesn’t appeal to them personally.

            I consider item #51 to be the most significant, and have said so often. Dylan was the first to incorporate surreal images and ideas in Pop songs, and yet he left enough space so that each listener could insert his or her own experiences or interpretations into them. They were surreal, but as this writer said “unlike his imitators, he managed to make them mean something.” Most who tried to duplicate what he did (and almost all Rock songwriters tried, including The Beatles), failed miserably at it because it was an art they hadn’t mastered.

            Also, #59 was probably even more significant than the writer realized. I could be mistaken, but I believe that with the album ‘SLOW TRAIN COMING’, Dylan actually INVENTED the ‘Christian Rock’ genre.

            In #26, the writer calls ‘Visions Of Johanna’ “the greatest song of all time”. I’ve never much cared for it. But if you have some free time someday and feel like it, take a piece of paper and write out the rhyming scheme for the song ‘IT’S ALRIGHT, MA (I’M ONLY BLEEDING). Just the rhyming pattern alone is astounding (even before one’s mind boggles over the lyrics). Nothing like it had been done before, and I don’t think anything like it has been done since. Even Dylan has admitted that he would be incapable of duplicating something like that today.

            Great discussion, Debbie! I’ve enjoyed yakking with ya.
            ~ D-FensDogG

  9. No problem going with the Raign version presented here, Debbie.

    Of course, you already know, that for me, the definite version comes from Avril Lavigne.

  10. Once again, it was a difficult choice. I liked Raign in that she really has a nice voice. No one sang Werewolfs of London better than Zevon.

    1. Hi Ann; Yes, I agree it is a difficult choice. I couldn’t discern from your comment who you voted for. Would you mind telling me specifically? Otherwise, I have to go to the polling website and figure it out by process of elimination, because the votes are anonymous. This would be so much quicker. Thanks! 🙂

  11. Raign sounded much, much better than I was expecting. Great vocals; however…

    I’m a ZEVON girl, through and through.

    Nice job, lady!

  12. This was a tough one for me. Both songs have their merit. In the end, I went with Reign because it was as enjoyable as Warren’s version, even though it was slightly different from the original. She made the song her own and I liked that.
    Vote – Reign

  13. Great song choice! While Warren Zevon’s version made me feel sad, wondering how he felt dying while recording that… I prefer Raign. I like a few of her songs and it’s the first time I’ve heard a female version of this song!

    1. Glad you enjoyed the song, Madilyn. Yes, this was Warren’s “goodbye”. Definitely sad. 🙁 Raign has a great voice, doesn’t she? Your vote for her is duly noted. Thanks for playing.

  14. Hello again, dear Debbie the Doglady! What an evocative song this is! I remember Dylan singing it as well as the popular Guns N Roses version. This is the first time I am hearing these two contest entries. I found it very difficult to simply listen to the recordings and push from my mind the dramatic behind the scenes story of Warren Zevon’s battle with cancer. In fact, it was impossible to do so because that terrible reality comes through in his voice. Zevon’s recording of the album The Wind while enduring the ravages of terminal illness reminds me of gospel/soul singer Linda Jones, who continued to record and tour while suffering from diabetes. in 1972 Linda waxed the towering deep soul masterpiece “For Your Precious Love” just before her death at age 27. I appreciated the RAIGN rendition used in the soundtrack of the post-apocalyptic TV drama, but the poignant version by Zevon and the all stars is the one that grabs me by the soul and won’t let go. I voted for Warren Zevon. Thank you, dear Debbie!

    1. Evocative is the perfect word for this song! Well said, Shady. 🙂 You echo my sentiments about Warren Zevon as well, and your vote for him is duly noted. I wasn’t familiar with Linda Jones and went searching. A similar, tragic story, except she died so young! 🙁 Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I always enjoy your comments. Cheers!
      For you:

      1. Thank you, sweet friend! if you have a minute, click at the 3:00 point of that video/song and listen as Linda’s emotion charge vocals explode. I get goose bumps every time I hear that part of the recording and tears in my eyes the rest of the way to the end. Thank you again, Debbie, for being the complete blogger and the complete friend!

  15. Ha! My battle for August 1st is Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door too!! Great minds. I’m still going to let mine stand since it’s already queued up and ready to post: plus I pitted completely different bands so I don’t think it will be all that bad. It’s such a classic song. As for my vote, I really liked Raign’s version. I liked her voice and I liked the melodic way the song flowed. I’d heard Warren’s before and like it just fine but my vote is going to Raign for this battle. Fun!

    1. LOL It was bound to happen, sooner or later! 😀 Yes, there are many cover versions of this song, all different. It will definitely be interesting to see yours, Michele.
      At last – a vote for Raign! She does have a magnificent voice, but it was starting to look like a shutout for Warren. We’ll see if she can gain a little ground here.

  16. Debbie, I preferred Warren over Raign. His vocals felt purer to my ear given the lyrics. Maybe the intro you gave with his battle with cancer allowed me to hear this. I don’t know. The music arrangement was nicer, too. It was more soothing to listen to over the booming rock version by Raign which is also too rockish for the words. Just a side note, I would not have known that Raign is a woman had you not told me. Maybe she sounds more like a gal in other songs, but not this one or not to me anyhow. That really confused my brain. Maybe I need some coffee to wake it up? Anywho, I voted for Warren.

    Mr. Bojangles #BOTB showdown

    1. Hi Cathy; That’s one more vote for Warren. He’s taken a healthy lead, so far. 🙂 Raign has an amazing contralto voice, but I had a hunch the rock arrangement wouldn’t be to your liking. Warren’s emotions are definitely reflected in his vocals; so tragic! 🙁

  17. Warren Zevon for me! It’s probably because that version sounds like the song I know and love. The other one would take more getting used to.

    P.S. I’d vote for Eric Clapton if I could. 😉

    1. You have a point, Clowie. Thanks for your vote. Warren it is! 🙂 Eric Clapton gave it a bit of Reggae flavour. Here you go:

      1. Thank you. He looks so young there!
        I’m glad I came back and read the more recent comments. It’s fascinating to hear more thoughts on this song.

  18. I love the mood that Warren Zevon conveys. It’s more melancholic. Raign is more rock,…and then sometimes too church-like. I find the music accompanying her sometimes distracting. My vote goes to Warren.

    1. Yes, Warren’s version really echoes his circumstances at the time. Thanks for your vote. 🙂 Looks like he’s in the lead!

    1. Thanks for your vote; Warren it is! 🙂 I have a feeling more people will like his version. It has that tragic aspect as well.

  19. I was drawn to Warren Zevon’s version. Perhaps it was the male vs female voice, I’m not quite sure. I was going to say I felt his passion a little bit more, but Raign did give quite a bit of passion as well. At the end of the day, my vote goes to Warren Zevon. Great song selection!

    1. Thanks for voting, Mary. That’s one for Warren! 🙂 I picked Raign for her rich, contralto voice; thinking it would match well with a male singer’s. Plus, she put a lot of feeling into it as well. Time will tell what happens. Looking forward to your post.

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