46 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.)

There’s been some negative feedback about Metallica. See previous BOTB.
All I’m asking is please give this a chance.

♫♫ This week’s battle is macho Metallica with a twist:


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

“Nothing Else Matters” was written by Metallica frontman James Hetfield, with a little help from drummer Lars Ulrich. It was released in 1991 as the third single from their self-titled fifth studio album, Metallica”. The song peaked at number 11 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks chart as well as top-ten positions on many European charts. Recognized as one of Metallica’s best known and most popular songs, it has become a staple in live performances. The song has been covered over forty times. This contest features two lesser-known versions.

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


Paula Fernandes de Souza is a Brazilian singer, songwriter and arranger. In a poll organized among readers of VIP magazine in 2011, she was named the 16th “sexiest woman in the world.” That same year, she was one of the most accessed on Google Brazil. She included this cover of “Nothing Else Matters” on her second studio album, “Dust in the Wind”, released in February, 2007.



Macy Gray (born Natalie Renée McIntyre) is an American R&B, jazz and soul singer, songwriter, musician, record producer, and actress, known for her distinctive raspy voice, and a singing style heavily influenced by Billie Holiday. She recorded “Nothing Else Matters” for her sixth studio album. “Covered”, released in 2012.


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

[socialpoll id=”2282907″ width=”375″]

Voting remains open until noon, EDT Aug. 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 / 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!



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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. I really enjoyed the instrumentation in Paula’s version, but compared to Macy her vocals seemed flat. Give my vote to the gravelly voiced female who infuses so much feeling in this one. Great Battle!

  2. I have always loved Macy Gray. I was certain I was going to vote for her, without a doubt. Her rendition of the song was great, and I loved the extra effort she put into it at the end. But then I listened to Paula Fernandez. Wow! What a voice. I just fell in love with it, and her. She can sing for me any time. I shall have to look for her CD. Please give my vote to Paula.

  3. Well, I’ve already stated that I don’t care for Metallica. That does not necessarily mean that I don’t care for their music. That being said, all music is subjective to each person’s personal style. I’ve noticed a trend the past few weeks in the battles where people are somewhat influenced by others comments. That’s why I’ve not approved any comments on my battle so far. They will be approved a little closer to results day, but I didnt want people being swayed by other’s votes. I like both Paula and Macy’s versions. I think they both bring something a little different to the table. But Paula’s sound seemed a little more haunting and spoke to me just a little bit more than Macy’s. Therefore, my vote goes to Paula

    1. Yes, I remember Metallica isn’t on your favourites’ list, but since they weren’t in contention, I figured you’d overlook that. 🙂 I suppose some people do get swayed by others’ opinions and videos are probably another influence.
      Thanks for your vote. Paula has a great voice and I’m leaning that way as well. It’s shaping up to be a close race!

  4. Two well done versions of the song. I enjoyed Paula’s version a perfect example of less is more. However, Macy’s version is solid as well. What pushes my vote is her band, Enjoyed the guitar solo near the end. My vote Macy!

  5. I’ve never heard this song as far as I can recall.This is a very tough choice as both versions are quite good. However in the end I’m going to go with Paula as I prefer her vocal and I like the peaceful background music.Give my vote to Paula Fernandes.

    Arlee Bird

    1. Macy has a lot of fans here. Thanks for adding your vote to her total, Yolanda. Metallica is full of surprises. 😉 So many people categorically dismiss this band because they’re not fans of the metal genre.
      It’s my pleasure to mention the upcoming WEP challenge and I wish you much success with it! Various things offline are hindering my progress for that post and I only hope it will be completed in time for the kickoff.

  6. Debbie, not being familiar with much of Metallica’s songs it comes as no surprise that I don’t know this one. The music arrangement is nicely done by Metallica. Paula has a lovely soft voice, but I think Macy’s vocals are just a bit more interesting for this cover. I think both are winners, but Macy gets my vote. Thanks for the sharing another interesting Metallica track and new (to me) artists covering it.

    1. This is shaping up to be a close race! 🙂 I’m happy you enjoyed this piece by Metallica since you’re not a fan of the genre. That’s another vote for Macy.

  7. Paula Fernandez gets my vote. I love her strong voice, well-controlled along with the guitar it was different and pleasing. Macy Gray has an interesting voice but I didn’t take to it the way I did with Paula’s plus I am not one for the heavy metal feel so Paula, for me, it is.

  8. I’m not a huge fan of Macy Gray’s singing, but I’ll give it that she did well in this cover. The beat was pretty cool. I’m giving my vote to Paula Fernades though. Seriously, I love her voice!

  9. Always liked Macy Gray and had never even heard of Paula, but for this song I’m going with Paula for the haunting, sensual tone and enticing tempo.

  10. Wow, I love Metallica doing that song! This is a really good battle Debbie. I LOVE Paula Fernandes’ voice! She does this song justice. My vote goes to her. I liked Macy Gray just fine but I loved Paula’s version.

  11. DEBBIE ~
    This was a pretty easy choice for me. I much preferred the PAULA FERNANDES version. I liked the more delicate musical arrangement and the choice of instruments.

    Very often the famous saying “less is more” is absolutely true, and I felt the Macy Gray recording was overly dense and heavy-handed. I can understand why some folks might think Macy is similar to Billie Holiday, but I’d disagree. I love Billie’s singing. She had that rough-edged, voice-cracking, authentic grittiness to her singing. To me, Macy sounds more like it’s an act she’s putting on for effect. It doesn’t sound soul-deep genuine to me, the way it does with Billie, and it doesn’t pull me in and make me love it, the way Billie’s voice did.

    Anyway, my vote helps keep Paula in the race.

    ~ D-FensDogG
    ‘Loyal American Underground’

    1. Another vote for Paula. Thanks, Stephen. 🙂 Some great guitar and violin riffs there. For the record, I don’t think Macy Gray measures up to Billie Holiday either. Have a good week.

  12. So, I’d never even heard the original, let alone the covers. I’m going to knock you over again–but I really liked the original. I’m going to have to get a good listen to other Metallica stuff. Anyway, I’m sure Russ’ ashes are trembling…
    I have to say that I wasn’t particularly impressed with either of the covers (again, I’d never heard of either of the singers; such a deprived life I lived in Italy, even with a teenage daughter at the time). Anyway, I’m going to have to vote for Paula as the better of two I consider a bit mediocre. Perhaps it was her accompaniment, but her version had a slightly haunting Celtic effect to it, and I tend to like that kind of music. I was a bit surprised when she started singing–she doesn’t look like she’d have such a strong contralto. Macy’s was better by the end, but by then, it was too late. Not enough emotion, and in this particular song, nothing else matters. (Forgive me–Russ must be watching over my shoulder! :3 )

    1. Hi Mary; That’s my lament about Metallica (one of my favourite bands). Most people who don’t know their catalogue of work dismiss them because they don’t like the heavy metal genre, in general. I imagine that would apply to Russ, as well. I remember, he used to get annoyed with too many rock posts on the forum. 🙂 I’m surprised you thought the covers were mediocre, but of course, nothing beats the original. Yes, it’s definitely an emotional song. Good play on words at the end of your comment; so Russ-inspired! 🙂 Another vote for Paula. Thanks for playing and have a good weekend.

  13. I LOOOOOOVE your battle picks every time, Debbie… Nothing Else Matters has got to be one of my all-time favorite songs ever. (Good you didn’t pit Metallica against anyone; not sure how many votes that anyone might’ve gotten, outside of one or two pity votes 😀 )

    Difficult choices, Debbie. I love Macy Gray (I try to say goodbye and I choke / Try to walk away and I stumble… worst break-up ever, but extraordinary memories), had never heard of Paula Fernandez — and was very pleased to make her acquaintance. Beautiful voice! (Yeah, fine, she’s sexy too.) I will look up more of her music; she sounds worth getting to know. But for this battle… I’m afraid Macy Gray wins it for me. The musical arrangement of Paula’s version is excellent, and well achieved (violins, acoustic guitar), but — and maybe here it’s her voice — it just sounds too close to the original. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but I like character in my covers. And Macy just can’t help giving anything she sings a straight-out personality of its own. So… Another vote for Ms. Gray here 🙂

    Cool battle, Debbie! Thanks!

    1. Hi Guilie; We truly are kindred spirits here, as this is one of my all-time favourite songs as well. 🙂 We seem to have similar musical tastes, in general. It must be difficult to listen to Macy’s signature song when it reminds you of a bad break up. Hopefully, the extraordinary memories outweigh the sad ones. Getting back to the contest, your point that Paula’s version (yeah, she definitely is sexy and talented) sounded too much like the original is duly noted. Honestly, I hadn’t thought of that aspect, but you’re right. So, that’s another one for Macy, who has a strong lead, so far. Thanks for voting and have a good weekend.

  14. Hi, Debbie the Doglady! After the heavy metal backlash you encountered two weeks ago I admire your courage for coming right back with another Metallica song. 🙂 I have been a fan of Macy Gray for more than ten years, ever since she sang “Love Is Gonna Get You,” the theme song of Alicia Silverstone’s TV series Miss Match. I never heard of Paula Fernandes before and, after seeing her face, I am not about to challenge her rank as the 16th “sexiest woman in the world” unless it’s to argue that she might belong in the top 10.

    Both of these recordings go from good to great starting at the halfway point of the song. Both finish strong and it was very hard for me to choose one over the other. The wailin’ electric guitar flourish featured on the Macy Gray version was great but, ultimately, I was won over by the combination of Paula’s pretty voice and the superb, evocative, acoustic guitar and violin arrangement. Paula Fernandes get my vote and thank you very much, dear Debbie, for presenting two excellent contenders yet again!

    1. Haha! I’m a stubborn bitch, Shady. 😀 Glad you enjoyed both cover versions. Paula is definitely a beautiful woman with a beautiful voice and Macy’s talents are indisputable as well. It’s nice to see you can appreciate the musical nuances of each recording. I always enjoy your prolific comments! Thanks for your vote. That’s another one for Paula. Have a good weekend.

  15. It seems I’m going against trend here – Pauline Fernandez. I think it makes great background music. As for Macy, I normally like her music, just felt the song didn’t suit her style!

  16. Thumbs up for Macy Gray! What soul! And the rhythm got me grooving! I would def. go to her concert. …Debbie! this is so much fun… and what a wonderful way to discover, for me, unknown artists. Thanks you!

    1. So, that’s one more for Macy. I’m surprised you found the other one so unlikeable, Carol, but everyone has different tastes. Yes, this is my favourite recurring feature and it always gets plenty of interaction. 😀 Thanks for dropping by.