Welcome back, my friends, to the "Battle" that never ends.
We're so glad you could attend. Come inside! Come inside!
This is 'BATTLE OF THE BANDS' ('BOTB') where you listen to different recordings of the same song and vote for the one you like best. A new Battle gets posted on the 1st and 15th of each month and six days later, on the 7th and 21st, I place my own vote, tally 'em all up and announce the winner.
Friend? Foe? Stranger? No matter, ALL are welcome. So pull up a chair, pour yourself 24 oz. of DOG BITE High Gravity Lager (or the poison of your choice) and turn it up to Eleven!
[NOTE: Links to the first year of 'BOTB' (#1 - #24) can be found at the very bottom of this page.]

Friday, April 1, 2016


Republican Vs. Democrat, Male Vs. Female, War Vs. Peace, Light Vs. Dark, Good Vs. Evil, Man Vs. Machine, Love Vs. Hate, Dog Vs. Cat, Sun Vs. Moon, Brain Vs. Brawn, Oscar Vs. Grammy, Angel Vs. Demon, Laurel Vs. Hardy, Beer Vs. Wine, TV Vs. Radio, Pitcher Vs. Batter, Paper Vs. Plastic, Reality Vs. Fantasy, Yeshua Vs. Beelzebub, Conservative Vs. Liberal, You Vs. Me, House Vs. Senate, Offense Vs. Defense, Kramer Vs. Kramer, Spy Vs. Spy, Fischer Vs. Spassky, W.C. Fields Vs. Sobriety, Harold Gimpy, Jr. Vs. Sheldon J. Pismire, Rock Vs. Paper Vs. Scissors, Islam Vs. Everything, Singer Vs. Singer, Band Vs. Band...


Shoop-Shooby –
Shooby-duh-Dooby-Doop-Dooby-Dooby-Doo-Wah –

Yes, it’s time once again for ‘Battle Of The Bands’ (‘BOTB’)

Alright, let’s get on it...


In 1975, ZZ TOP released their album 'FANDANGO!' which included the song 'BLUE JEAN BLUES'. The song was not a hit but it did become a staple of ZZ Top's live repertoire. Incidentally, Fun Fact: The name ZZ Top was the band's way of honoring their musical hero B.B. King. "B.B." became "ZZ" and "King" became "the Top".

Let's hear the original recording... 


'Blue Jean Blues' by ZZ Top


HANK WILLIAMS, JR. (nicknamed "BOCEPHUS" by his famous father after a ventriloquist's dummy) is not only one of the very, Very, VERY most successful musicians in Country music history (destroying his legendary dad in record sales and awards), but he has been known to frequently step way outside of mainstream Country and play Blues and even Hard Rock!

As Hank Junior himself sang in one of the most ass-kicking songs of all time (HERE)... 

Not everybody loves me 
but those that do will fight...
right to the end.

I got some guitar friends from legendary Saturday nights.
I learned some from Lynyrd Skynyrd, sugar

from Daddy, and Ernest Tubb, too.
This is the platinum boy that does the Rock and Roll Country Blues!
Now I'm looking for a lover, and I'm going to have some fun.
Oh, my daddy called me Bocephus - hell, I'm a son of a gun.

Yep, he knows Lynyrd Skynyrd. He knows ZZ Top, too. Bocephus proved that on his album 'STRONG STUFF' where he covered ZZ's 'Blue Jean Blues'.

Your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to listen to both versions and - putting familiarity and brand name aside - tell us which one you HONESTLY like better. Vote for your personal preference. 

'Blue Jean Blues' by Hank "Bocephus" Williams, Jr.

Alright now, “you know the gig”... I welcome you (whoever you are) to vote for your favorite of these songs in the comment section below. And feel free to tell us WHY you chose one song over the other. 

After voting here, I suggest - actually I insist - you pop over to the blogs of the other 'BATTLE OF THE BANDS' participants to see which songs they have chosen and vote there also. (If their ‘BOTB’ blog bits aren’t posted yet, pour yourself two shots of ‘Grand Marnier’ over ice – do it twice – and then return to their blogs to vice your voice ...vote your vice ...voice your vote.)

Voice Your Vote @ ‘FAR AWAY SERIES’ by clicking HERE.
@ ‘TOSSING IT OUT’ by clicking HERE.
@ ‘YOUR DAILY DOSE’ by clicking HERE.
@ 'MIKE'S RAMBLINGS' by clicking HERE.
@ 'CURIOUS AS A CATHY' by clicking HERE.
@ 'THE DOGLADY'S DEN' by clicking HERE.
@ 'ANGELS BARK' by clicking HERE.
@ 'J.A. SCOTT' by clicking HERE.
@ 'QUIET LAUGHTER' by clicking HERE
@ 'REINVINTAGED' by clicking HERE.
@ 'HOLLI'S HOOTS & HOLLERS' by clicking HERE.
@ 'EVIL POP TART' by clicking HERE. 

As I've done in the past, I will continue to return to my 'BOTB' blog bits on the 7th and 21st of each month to post my own votes and announce the winners in the comment sections.

~ Stephen T. McCarthy


  1. Fandango is such a great album. I love ZZ Top. Blue Jean Blues is one of my favorites. This is a great battle pitting these two against each other. I just voted for Bochephus over at Far Away Eyes but on this one, I'm going with ZZ Top. Although Hank's version does it justice too, with that great sax solo. Yum! I'm almost torn between the two. The sax is seducing me... but...
    Give my vote to those boys from Texas...
    Great battle Stephen!

    Michele at Angels Bark

  2. This was closer than I thought, but in the end my vote goes to ZZ Top it is more in their wheel house

  3. Wow. Another tough battle here, Stephen.

    When you made the comment about familiarity and brand name, I thought, "He must be talking about ZZ Top. This is going to sound like typical ZZ Top."

    Turns out, there is no familiarity in this battle. ZZ Top departs SO FAR FROM THEIR "SOUND" that I'd never know it was them. And Bocephus still sounds like Bocephus (because his voice is THAT recognizable), but the style is crazy different. Crazy good. But crazy different.

    There is NO brand recognition in either of these artists as they've both departed from the brand and left the building. Left the state. Left the country.

    I've listened to them both twice (and that means I've spent nearly a half hour on this) and I'm still scratching my head. I really like them both.

    Some days I really hate you. Today would be one of those days. I'm giving this a rest and coming back to try it again later.

  4. Great song choice, Stephen! I've never heard Hank Williams Jr.'s version before and actually like it better than the original. Please give my vote to "Bocephus". I had no idea he dabbled in blues and hard rock. Good to know!

  5. Good morning, sir, and what a morning it is. My high priced fiber optics are giving me grief. Curse you, technology, this is the day that I have to force my body back into blogging overdrive! I must! I'm Cherdo and I have a Flipside!

    But enough about my own issues...

    My brudder-from-anudder-mudder, this is a mighty powerful pairing. Almost equal, so I defer to the one factor that throws it to BOCEPHUS - I never did like those sharp dressed men all that much. They were a "meh" in an ocean of "hey, look at those guys."

    Battle on, brudder, battle on! You're the host-ess with the most-ess. Sorry if it looked like I was altering your gender for a minute there. My bad.


  6. This was a hard one! Both ZZ Top and Hank Williams Jr. make a definite statement; but Hank comes across as more authentic. Hank gets my vote, sans doute!

  7. Okay. I'm back.

    I listened to a bit of each to clarify everything a bit for myself.

    I'm giving this one to ZZ Top. I really like their blues sound. It's not what I expect from them (at all).

    I think it goes without saying that I like Hank's version of this song really well, too. He easily took my vote on FAE's battle.

  8. You and Fae have blown my mind today. ZZ Top has always been my fave, but here, again is another song where Hank Williams takes all. The organ drew me in like a bee to a flower... I'm indulging in the sweet sound. Than suddenly a saxophone kicks in and I'm lying in a field of clover wondering... why have I never seen Hank Williams Jr. in concert?

    Great battle. I have to go with Hank on this song. In fact, I'm gonna go listen a third time.

  9. I like the sound of ZZ Top on this one. Very bluesy and a great sound.

  10. Stephen,

    WOW, this is a tuffy! I'm a huge fan of ZZ Top and I have certain amount of respect for HW, Jr since he use to do theme song for Sunday Night Football. But, I love the jazzy, bluesy sound of ZZ Top, so please give this southern rock band my vote who like old boys who live some place out of nowhere and don't know what hair clippers or shaver are. lol

    Curious as a Cathy
    All Things Vintage: Artists #AprilA2Z #BoTB

  11. Well well well... Mr Boss Man, Mr Leader O. DaPack... you certainly have yourself a mighty fine battle here. I thought for sure I was going to be giving my vote for ZZ Top as I have always been fond of their music. But, after much wrastling in my head, I find that I will be giving my vote to Mr Hank Williams Jr. Great battle!

    Twitter: @KnottyMarie
    Literary Gold
    Jingle Jangle Jungle

  12. I really love the ZZ Top version. Their vocals and styling I prefer over Hank Jnr even though he is also great

  13. I don't ever recall having heard this song before. It's a good one. The Bocephus version adds a very different dimension with the addition of the organ and sax. Still I prefer the straight forward approach that ZZ Top gives the song--it's a great tribute to the King.

    Give my vote to ZZ Top.

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

  14. ZZ Top gets my vote. Not too crazy about Hank Jr. I'd never heard this song before, and I'm glad you featured it here. Very nice.

  15. I like ZZ Top for the most part. Their hits were much more "mainstream" than this number, and frankly: I like this one even more than most of what I remember.

    I never paid any attention whatsoever to HWJR until you started yakking about him in these blog bits. I now like him, too.

    SO, I like all the players and I like the music. How to vote?

    It seems to me that the main difference is that the ZZ Top version features blues guitar, while the Bocephus version features sax. When I stop and think back about each version, the guitars bring a fonder memory than the also nice sax. I will vote for the hot rod lovin' Billy Gibbons.

  16. Sorry I'm so late replying here, y'all. Been lotsa stuffs goin' on.

    -------- MICHELE --------
    Somehow fighting off the temptation of Hank's "sax appeal", I've got your vote locked in for The Beards.

    -------- MIKE --------
    I'm glad to hear that you thought it was a tough Battle.

    -------- GIRL WONDER --------
    I liked ZZ Top's earlier music better than their later, far more commercially successful music.

    And they kind of started out as a Blues-Rock Boogie kind of band, so this song isn't really atypical of their sound. It's just that most people came to know them through those much slicker hits like 'Sharp-Dressed Man', 'Cheap Sunglasses', 'Legs', etc.

    But those later hits were really quite different in style from their early, more raw and Bluesy stuffs... like 'Blue Jean Blues'.

    -------- DEBBIE --------
    Glad I could pleasantly surprise you with this one!

    -------- DOC CHERDO --------
    Thanks for yer vote. ...AND for leaving my gender the way God said it otter be. :o)

    -------- EVIL POP TART --------
    Thanks for the vote and for keeping Bocephus in the fight!

    -------- DIXIE POLKA --------
    Thanks! Glad you liked it. And I enjoyed your poetic comment / vote! I did get to see Bocephus live once - at the... oh, sheesh, where was that?...

    ...Oh, YES! 'THE GREEK THEATRE' in L.A. I knew it was in the Griffith Park area but couldn't remember the name of the venue.

    I always like to say that Bocephus was the only person at that concert drunker'n I was. Ha! I was "attitude adjusted" by some El Coyote margaritas. They'll certainly do that to yer attitude!

    ~ D-FensDogG
    'Loyal American Underground'

    1. >>..."El Coyote margaritas"

      STOP! You're making me thirsty!

    2. And the best I ever had. They came with the Warren Zevon seal of approval.

      ~ D-FensDogG

  17. Okay...am I allowed to say I don't like either one of them?? I like some ZZ Top stuff, and some Hank, Jr. stuff....BUT, these were just too slow and depressing...and I'm kinda embarrassed to say, I've never heard this song before...ever! My vote, which of course, won't count...is two thumbs down :o

    1. Well...uh, yeah. Aren't I allowed to have my opinion, too?

    2. Of course you are. But, then...so am I.

  18. -------- JEFFREY --------
    Got it!

    -------- CATHY --------
    Yeah, The Beard Boys never met a hair clipper they liked. Ha!

    -------- MARY --------
    Thanks! At any point did Andy Kaufman get involved in the wrastlin' match in yer head? :o)

    -------- BIRGIT --------
    Thanks for checking in with your stylish vote for Zee Beards.

    -------- LEE --------
    OK, a straightforward vote for the Top of the ZZ.

    -------- D.G. --------
    Thanks for stopping by and continuing your support of BOTB. It's much appreciated!

    -------- SHEBOYGANBROTHER SIX --------
    Yep, it's guitar versus a heavy organ and sax sound. Gotcher vote for the geetar! Thanks for getting out da vote.

    -------- BECKY-O! --------
    I think I'm-a convert your two thumbs down votes into one vote for ZZ and one vote for Bocephus. In other words, nuttin's changed in the standings.

    ~ D-FensDogG

    1. Thanks, Stephen T. I kind of thought of that, too :)

    2. All in a day's work for a superman like me, BROWN-EYED BECKY-O! (Oh, kill me before someone thinks I'm Cam Newton! Ha!)

      ~ D-FensDogG

    3. I would NEVER mistake you for Cam Newton ;)

  19. Al Bondigas here. Sorry I'm a little late, but, I was gettin roun to it. Well, I guess I'm makin a rulin' fer Junior. I think the sax had a little influence. There was a sax, right? Anyway, interesting about how ZZ Top came up with their name. I never liked the name ZZ Top and always wondered where it came from. Now that I know, I think I will have that beer. Rulin fer H.W. Jr. That's it!! That's my rulin'.

    1. :o) I know you wuz gettin' 'roun' to it. You gettin' 'roun' to havin' that beer, too, huh? (Don't worry, I'll have it for ya!)

      Ha! Yeah, some pretty hot sax in this. And some sweaty, pumping organ, too. Of course, I mean all this in a strictly "John Wayne" way. It has nuttin' to do with you an' all. It's a very manly, heterosexual sound that Junior's got goin' on there.

      I thank you and Bocephus thanks you, JUDGE AL.

      ~ D-FensDogG

  20. So that's a very fun fact, and like the great Mr. Bondigas, I never understood nor really liked the name ZZ Top. Now that I know its background, I dislike it much less.

    I have to echo Robin's sentiments and say that the ZZ Top version was NOT what I was expecting. At all. Are you sure that's them and not the Blues Brothers dressed up in really long beards?

    So, it turns out your intuitions were right. I absolutely loved the ZZ Top version. The Bocephus version was great, don't get me wrong, but the double Zs easily earned my vote. My cohort says the same. Two out of two beer brothers agree - those two beardoes sure put the ZZ Top in BB King.


    1. 6-B ~
      I thank you and your Beer Brother, Brandon, for the botes.

      Yeah, early ZZ Top had a much more stripped down and Blues-based sound. Although they had a well known FM hit in their early years with 'TUSH', it wasn't until they developed that signature sound that they began scoring real big AM radio hits.

      I've never been a huge ZZ Top fan. I think I only ever owned one of their albums (the first 'Best Of'), which included 'Tush', 'La Grange', 'Beer Drinkers And Hellraisers', and 'Blue Jean Blues'.

      Their later stuffs had that sort of buzzsaw double-guitar sound that seemed almost like it was being run through a synthesizer or sumpin'. It was certainly identifiable, but too slick for my tastes. I preferred the raw, Bluesy approach best... while everyone else it seems disagreed with me.

      OK, two botes for ZZ KING or BB TOP.

      ~ D-FensDogG

  21. You seriously whacked or something? Pitting Bocephus against ZZ? Dang, how's a gal to choose. Loved that smooth vocals and sax combo of Jr, but really diggin' on that ZZ sound. And, they are the originals. Hmmm, what to do.

    I'm gonna slip a final vote to ZZ. If I come back tomorrow it may be Hank - such a fav!! Can I give a vote to them all, lol.

    I missed you on my last trip thru Reno. I flew by so fast even the PoPo didn't know I was speeding through. Gads do I need a Boomtown break :)

  22. Thanks for the vote, OH, DONNA!
    The popo couldn't have dealt with you anyway. They were too busy dealing with me!

    BOOMTOWN is gone now. I hit the Ultra-Mega-Jackpot and put that casino out of business. (I got yer boyfriend's poster now. Where shall I ship it to ya?)

    Speaking of yer boyfriend... He tells me to tell you that he's very disappointed you didn't vote for his "Rowdy Friend" Bocephus. I think the Red-Headed Stranger is sad.

    ~ D-FensDogG

  23. I guess it's time I should cast a vote over here. As you know I'm a pretty big fan of ZZ Top, and Junior, not so much. I will admit that on these covers of the Top's hits, Bocephus does a mighty fine job and this is a tough one to choose.

    But, I'm goin' with the originals. ZZ Top in this here BATTLE. This is what they do best, even though they strayed in their later years. But, then a lot of bands tried their hand at something different to line their pockets.

  24. Man you know how to make it tough. ZZ's stripped down version is definitely bluesy but I like Hank Jr's better. It sounds like something that you would have heard at the Signature Club or Jolly Jacks on a dark night in a dark bar when you want to drink alone. Hank Jr.'s got my vote.

  25. Stephen, Sorry I'm so late to the party. I have to go with Hank Jr.'s more soulful version. I hope you don't have to start counting your fingers and toes all over again, because of my late vote.


  26. Very cool battle, Stephen—I'm glad I made it in under the wire! (A2Z is kicking my butt.) After a couple of listens (why do you enjoy torturing us so?), I'm going to go with ZZ Top... and you're not going to like the reason. We've touched on the subject of organ music before, you and I—and we've disagreed. And the Bocephus is rife with it. I'll say no more. Just... cast my vote for the unkempt beards of ZZ :)

    I'm beyond pleased you liked my guitar-vs-cellos battle, Stephen. Your comment made my week.
    Guilie @ Quiet Laughter

  27. STMcC’s Vote On '2016, April 1st: Battle Of The Bands' (Or, 'ZZ Top Vs. Hank "Bocephus" Williams,Jr.') And The Final Tally:


    Well, another day and another 'Battle Of The Bands' contest in the books. This one turned out about the way I thought it would. Both versions of the song are very good so both competitors got votes.

    And since this ZZ Top original was not a hit and not very well known, it did not give ZZT the huge "familiarity" advantage that they had in my friend FAE's Battle. This contest was on a more level playing field.

    And this being a "Blues" number, I figured the guitar-centric recording by ZZ Top would likely win. Even though not all Blues songs are guitar driven, we tend to think of Urban Blues as traditionally a guitar medium.

    My vote goes like this: I think Hank Williams Junior is definitely the better vocalist here. And I'm automatically drawn to just about anything with an electric organ in it. Also I love the sax solo here, that was quite smokin'. And those deep, heavy chords that were the foundation for this recording. They sounded ominous - sort of like that "heavy chording" that Pink Floyd used to do. As an artist, I like "Bocephus" about 1,000 times better'n I like ZZ Top.

    So, why then am I voting for ZZ Top in this Battle? Well, first, it's a tough, close call for me. But... I do love that Bluesy, raw guitar sound in the ZZ Top original.

    The funny thing is that the guitar playing is really kind of unoriginal. It's almost like it came from the Central Casting of Blues guitar solos; almost like it's just a "template" for a "typical Blues guitar solo". Solos just like this one had been recorded for decades before ZZT put this on wax. B.B. King and Albert King had been doing this kind of thing for, like, forever, before ZZT did it.

    Nevertheless, I like it. I like a "typical" Blues guitar sound. Also, although this did NOT play into my reason for voting ZZ, I actually credit this song for turning me onto the Blues when I was still a teenager.

    I had already heard Blues songs prior to hearing 'Blue Jean Blues' in about 1977 or '78. My Ma owned the B.B. King album 'COMPLETELY WELL', which included the classic 'THE THRILL IS GONE' (one of the greatest Blues guitar solos ever, in my opinion).

    So, I grew up with Blues in the house; I was already familiar with that "Blues" sound. But something about 'Blue Jean Blues' made me want to explore it further. I guess it took a "typical" Blues guitar solo to pull me into that particular musical genre.

    Anyway, here's how the voting ended:

    ZZ Top = 15 votes
    Hank "Bocephus" Williams, Jr. = 8 votes

    Thanks again, y'all. I hope to see you next time on April 15th. Haven't decided what song I'll use yet, but I'll have sumpin' when the time comes. Too many to choose from, really.

    ~ D-FensDogG
    'Loyal American Underground'

  28. It was an excellent match up, but I'm not at all surprised about the outcome. Your reasoning was about the same as mine.

    See you at the next battle if not before. I've got another Manhattan song in store and I think you might approve.

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

    1. Thanks, LEE. I look forward to that next Manhattan song. 'NEW YORK CITY SERENADE' by Bruce Springsteen? Nah. I can't imagine anyone has covered that. It is, however, my all-time favorite B.S. song. (If ever anyone had the right initials, Bruce did.)

      I hate to admit it, but Springsteen really was one of the best lyricists, once upon a time ago.

      ~ D-FensDogG
      'Loyal American Underground'

  29. This time I'm surprised by YOUR vote. I really thought you'd vote for Hank on this one. Just goes to show... I never know. I think this was a really great battle even if the margins don't say so.

    1. Thank you, GIRL WONDER!

      BOTB is nuttin' if not surprising.

      This one was a truly tough call for me, and I really wasn't sure how I would vote until a couple days ago.

      In many respects, the Bocephus version is genuinely superior. But for me it just came down to that "typical", "unoriginal" Blues guitar playing... which really appeals to me despite its "been there, done that" "template" sound.

      I figured ZZ Top would win this, but I thought the vote margin would be closer, even though 8 votes (for Bocephus) is definitely substantial.

      I thought FAE's Battle was a friggin' travesty though. I was SURE Hank would win that one, and he damn sure SHOULD HAVE! He blew ZZ Top's ass right outta da water on 'LA GRANGE', but people couldn't listen with "clean" ears. Too much familiarity and reputation corrupted that Battle.

      That Battle of FAE's has changed how I will do BOTB in the future. It's obvious to me now that a hit song by the original artist will always beat a cover by someone else, even if the cover is a shitload better'n the original in every respect.

      That outcome at FAE's was sheer bullshittery!

      ~ D-FensDogG
      'Loyal American Underground'

  30. Such a crazy, busy month. But your battles are always enjoyable. Looking forward to the 15th.

  31. I read the other comments on you 'vote comment'. I guess you won't need to leave a comment on my results post, or I suppose you could simply cut and paste.

    Every time you think you have BOTB figured out the voters will teach you something. Of course, even after saying that, I have to agree that pitting a cover against the original is probably asking for a blow out, or at least a predictable outcome. This BATTLE wasn't exactly a blow-out, but ZZ did pretty much trounce Hank. Course, I voted for the Top here, but agree that Bocephus has the superior version at my space.

  32. Stephen, I'm sorry to be late responding to your result post.
    In a way I'm not surprised at the outcome here. When I voted for Bo, I seemed to be in the minority then.

    Still I wouldn't have changed my vote, if I could. My addiction to 'sax' keeps me healthy. Ha!

    1. Yeah, sax is good for the heart... if it don't kill ya.

      ~ DFensDogG

  33. McDogg-

    I was across the pond for a couple weeks visiting my friends Arthur (Guinness) and John (Jameson).

    Had minimal access to the internet and was on the go the whole time anyway.

    Suffice it to say I know it is too late for my vote to count, but I'd have voted for the Texas boys, so it would not have mattered.

    I never knew that about their name and the BB King homage.


    1. Yeah, I figured you were off on one of your Rock 'N' Roll cruises or something.

      I hope you said hello to John for me. (Arthur and I never got along.)

      ~ D-FensDogG

    2. Took the Jameson Distillery tour in Cork-the guide also tended bar and gave me a taste of a special reserve ($230 euros a bottle, does not seem to be available stateside)-best shot of whiskey I ever tasted. A shot would have been $25-he gave me half a shot for free.

      The Guinness tour was a waste of time-when I was there 25 years ago I think there was just a gift shop. That was better.

      The whole country has exploded-similar change to Phoenix over the same period. Sadly, now there are McDonalds and Starbucks and Papa Johns all over.

      Maybe Ireland should have stayed out of the European Union-I liked it better back then.

    3. LC ~
      I wouldn't have wanted to do the Guinness tour under any circumstances. I've never liked that beer. But then I've never liked any stout I've tried. Just the wrong style for my taste buds.

      Yeah, who wants to travel all that way and see a bunch of crappy American fast food joints? Sheesh!

      All of the countries should have stayed out of the European Union. That just pushed us one step closer to the New World Order global government.

      ~ D-FensDogG


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