55 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’s battle features duelling male vocalists. May the best man win!♫♫

(Starry, Starry Night)

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

Vincent” is a song by Don McLean written as a tribute to Vincent van Gogh. It is also known by its opening line, “Starry, Starry Night“, a reference to Van Gogh’s painting The Starry Night. The song describes other paintings done by the artist as well. McLean wrote the lyrics in 1971 after reading a Van Gogh biography. The following year, “Vincent” became a number one hit in the UK, reached No. 12 in the U.S. (singles charts) and peaked at number two on the U.S. Easy Listening chart.

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


Justin Hayward is an English musician, best known as as a singer/songwriter and lead singer and guitarist in the rock band The Moody Blues. His cover of “Vincent” is the 4th track from his solo album Classic Blue, featuring the London Philharmonic Orchestra. It was first released in 1989 and re-issued in 1994.



Joshua Winslow “Josh” Groban is an American singer, songwriter, actor, and record producer. His first four solo albums have been certified multi-platinum, and he was charted in 2007 as the number-one best selling artist in the United States, with over 22.3 million records. “Vincent” is the 9th track on his self-titled debut album, released in November, 2001.


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

[socialpoll id=”2295571″ width=”375″]

Voting remains open until 10 am ET, Oct. 7,
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 love this song, and I have been a Van Gogh fan since I was in my late teens / very, very early 20s. I really connected with his intensity because I had that too.

    JUSTIN’s version is fabulous. I think I like it even better than the McLean original (which I’ve always loved and used to own on LP).

    Josh has a great voice, for sure, but he’s faking it here. I don’t believe he’s sincere in what he’s singing. He just found a beautiful song and decided to record it. He’s a great singer but a bad actor.

    ~ D-FensDogG
    ‘Loyal American Underground’

  2. Hi Debbie,

    How fun. I love these music challenges. I’m a huge Groben fan. Love his music. I’m so glad I am feeling well enough tonight to stop by. Sorry it’s been so long. Stay fabulous Debbie.


  3. Great Battle! I really like this song – always have. I acknowledge that Groban is an amazing talent with a terrific voice, but for some reason I really don’t like much that he does (there are a few Christmas songs that I like, but that’s about it). On the other hand Hayward’s version was very soothing. Give him my vote.

  4. I love both singers but I am a huge Moody Blues fan and Justin seems to give the calmness the song deserves plus I love the orchestra behind it so Justin Hayward for me

  5. I have been trying to pinpoint what I do not like about the Groban version. Janie called it overproduced and too dramatic. I think we are objecting to the same thing about it… but maybe not. I think it has to do with how he articulates the words. I suspect that is a result of a formal musical education. And it\’s great for stuff like opera, but it does not sound natural to the ear. In fact, it is so pronounced that it completely takes me out of the song just so that I can try and decipher this audio vocal styling.This was an easy vote for Justin Hayward. He sang the song beautifully. Very enjoyable!

    1. This is a very close battle, but it looks like your vote for Justin is giving him a bit of a lead, at this point. Glad you enjoyed the song. Thanks for coming by. Have a good weekend. 🙂

  6. I was all prepared to like Josh better, I’m a huge fan. But after listening to both twice, I do like Justin’s softer tone, or something. Justin gets my vote. I had not heard this before, and I love the song. Thanks for sharing something new to me Debbie.

    1. Josh is a mega star, so it’s understandable you would think of him first. Justin brings that “Moody Blues” flavour, doesn’t he? 🙂 Thanks for your vote. Justin, it is!

  7. Yo, Debbie! Another well-put-together battle. Though I’m not a fan of this song, either the original or any cover I’ve heard so far, you have a great pair-up here. I’m voting Hayward, but it was close. Very, very close. Looking forward to the final tally on this one!

  8. Debbie,

    This was tough for me too, as I enjoyed both versions. Terrific match up!
    In the end, I’m a huge Justin Hayward fan; have been since Moody Blues days. I cannot get the sound of his voice out of my head. I was so happy to see them in concert… I guess it’s been about ten years ago.

    My vote is for Justin. Happy battle.


    1. Hi, Dixie; The Moody Blues are fantastic live, aren’t they? 😀 We’ve seen them three times, most recently last summer. They’re as good as ever. ♥ I’m glad you enjoyed the battle; definitely another close one. That’s one more for Justin.

  9. This was so hard for me Debbie! I love Don McLean’s version, hands down the best forever n’ ever, and I love Josh Groban.. BUT, I went with Justin Hayward over Josh because he was the closest to Don’s version of the song. How’s that for deductive reasoning?? Lol…

    1. Cool! Whatever works, yes? 🙂 That’s yet another vote for Justin. This contest is going back and forth and there’s no clear winner, yet. Thanks for coming by and have a good weekend.

  10. I like all three singers, and all three versions, although Josh Groban’s not quite as much as the other two. And since Don Maclean’s version isn’t in the running, I will have to go for Justin. You KNOW how I feel about Justin… 😉 I like Josh’s voice–it’s very suave, but I think his version was a bit too exaggerated and the song just didn’t sound quite as natural in his version as it did in Justin’s. I’m not sure I’m saying what I mean, but let it be said that I like Justin’s (with all its feeling–that’s it!!!!! feeling–Josh’s version seemed mechanical to me) version even better than the original and I’ve always liked it. So there you have it, Justin’s naturalezza over Josh’s mechanicalism. Or something like that.

    1. You and I feel the same way about Justin, Mary. 🙂 I get what you’re saying about Josh’s version and will put you down for Justin. Thanks for voting and have a good weekend!

  11. I love this song so much. Starry Night is my favorite painting even though I’ve never seen it in person. I vote for Justin Hayward’s sweet, soft version. Josh seems over-produced and too dramatic.


  12. Easy choice for me… Josh Groban… and, you know, I loves me some Justin Hayward, but this time, not so much.

    Funny thing is, I am a huge Don McLean fan, even to the point of having several of his vinyl records, but in all honesty, I despise this song. Maybe it has something to do with having the American Pie album on 8 Track, so I had to listen to the song, in a loop, when I would much rather have heard Crossroads or Til Tomorrow… Have you ever listened to his Homeless Brother album. There is a song, Winter Has Me in Its Grip… Love that track!

    1. Okay, another one for Josh. This sure is a close contest! 🙂 Sorry you don’t like the song choice, though. I’m not so familiar with Don Maclean’s other works except American Pie, but I’ll be sure to check them out.
      Winter will certainly have us in its grip here, soon enough. Oh yes, this is nice…..


    I’m trying to be as enthusiastic as possible. 🙂

  14. Wow, great pairing! Tough choice! But I’m giving my vote to Justin Hayward. His version just flows better for me and is more pleasing to my ears. Plus you can’t go wrong with anyone related to the Moody Blues. 🙂
    Nice match-up Debbie.
    I didn’t know this song was about Van Gogh. Thanks for the background.
    Michele at Angels Bark

  15. Debbie, beautiful song! I like both renditions quite a bit, but in the end I went with Josh Groban because his vocals and music arrangement seemed to fit the lyrics the best. I won’t be disappointed with who ever wins because both artists did a fantastic job covering McLean’s original. Have a bandtastic day!

  16. Justin Hayward. Must be the time I was listening to the three versions. Groban is second. I do like Don Mclean but not this particular song.

    🙂 What a treat the song is, though! Thank you Debbie – I loved the quick mini-vacation!

  17. Did you just change the videos, Debbie? I came here 10 mins ago and found them on Spotify which is not available in India yet. So off I went to find them on YouTube. When I came back I found them here! 🙂

    I love Don McLean, so it was hard to listen to different artists! However, I’m going with Josh Groban. I found Justin Hayward’s version a bit too draggy (is that a word?).

    1. Hi, Corinne; Yes, it was pointed out to me that the Spotify widgets weren’t ideal for everyone, so I edited the post, going back to the Youtube videos. Sorry for the inconvenience! I didn’t think it through. 😛

      Draggy is a real word and I shall put you down for Josh Grobin. This is sure to be another close one! Thanks for voting.

  18. Good morning, Debbie the Doglady! I’m pulling an all-niter. Are you with me? 🙂

    You asked about the Spotify idea. I would need to vote against it because I was unable to play the songs using those widgets. It required me to fill in forms and open an account and I was not willing to do that. I needed to look up both competing versions on YouTube, so the experience was not user friendly for someone like me who is not on Facebook and other social media. Besides, I got into the habit of looking away and simply listening to the tracks in all of these band battles, so distraction is not a problem as far as I am concerned.

    I need to agree with Lee on this one. Both versions are good but I like the spacey, atmospheric Moody Blues sound of the Justin Hayward cover more than the formal sound of the Josh Groban recording.

    Thank you very much, dear Debbie the Doglady, and happy Thursday and happy October to you!

    1. Hi, Shady; I always stay up fairly late but need to get some sleep, so no all-nighters for me. 🙂 I have a client meeting later today and don’t want to look like a zombie.

      I didn’t realize that about the Spotify widgets. It seemed like a cool idea at the time, but I will edit the post and go back to videos. Sorry for the inconvenience! 🙁 You’re the first blogger I’ve met who doesn’t use social media. Makes online life much simpler, I’m sure.

      Your vote for Justin is duly noted. I have a feeling this will be another close battle. Happy October to you, too. 🙂

  19. I’ve always liked this song a great deal. Both of these versions are quite good and very similar.

    I’m a Moody Blues fan and since Hayward’s version retains that sound and because I like the orchestral backing better in his version I’m going to choose Justin Hayward’s version.

    Nice to listen to both of these.

    Arlee Bird
    A to Z Challenge Co-host
    Tossing It Out

    1. It’s one of my favourites, as well. 🙂 I have a feeling this will be another close battle. And…the first vote goes to Justin Hayward! Thanks, Lee.