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Welcome back, my friends, to the "Battle" that never ends.
We're so glad you could attend. Come inside! Come inside!
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This is 'BATTLE OF THE BANDS' ('BOTB') where you listen to different recordings and vote for the one you like best. A new Battle gets posted on the 1st of each month and on the 7th, I place my own vote, tally 'em all up and announce the winner.
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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!
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[NOTE: Links to the first year of 'BOTB' (#1 - #24) can be found at the very bottom of this page.]

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

2020, JULY 1: BOTB RESULTS (Or, THIS AIN'T THE SUMMER OF LOVE)

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STMcC’s Vote On '2020, July 1st: Battle Of The Bands' (BOTB) - Or, The 5th Dimension Versus Oliver - And The Final Tally:
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The Battle took place [link> HERE
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First and foremost, as always, I want to thank you, You, and YOU (yes, every single one of you) who took the time to listen to my BOTB songs and then took enough interest to also write a comment and post a vote (aka "bote"). Without you, You, and YOU, BOTB would not exist at all! So... thanks, all y'all!
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Secondly, I apologize for being late with this BOTB Results post. This should have posted yesterday, but I've been real busy (and not in a good way).
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Mang, this was a really great (i.e., "doggone close") Battle! The lead actually changed hands during the voting, and the outcome was decided by a single "bote". (My very, Very, VERY favorite kind of BOTB installment!)
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BOTH of these songs are very special in my (now packed) memory. I dig both songs (even though I detest the stoopid Hippie era and the nonsense that these songs symbolize). In 1970 or '71, I was part of an elementary school's choir (or was it junior high school?), and we actually sang 'Aquarius' in a public performance. To this day, I LOVE 'The 5th Dimension' - they are still one of the most frequently played artists on my CD player! 
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Musically backing The 5th Dimension on 'Aquarius / Let The Sunshine In' was the legendary L.A. studio musicians known as "The Wrecking Crew". And on bass, was Wrecking Crew member Joe Osborn, who was actually best known for having impeccable timing and keeping everything tight, without getting real fancy. [Link> CLASSIC TRACKS: Fifth Dimension 'Aquarius / Let The Sunshine In'
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But, for whatever reason, on 'Let The Sunshine In', Osborn switched to "BEAST MODE" and just cranked that stuffs "Up To Eleven!!" I've played "Air Guitar" countless times in my life, but I can honestly say that the ONLY time I have ever played "Air Bass" is while listening to Joe Osborn playing bass like he was Larry Csonka running through everything in front of him!
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Meet The ORIGINAL "BEAST MODE"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=azvRQ0QKUMk


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Mang, if you can't feel Joe's bass thumping your soul like an 8.88 earthquake in 'Let The Sunshine In', you better check yourself into the nearest Soul Hospital in a Saint Hurry!
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But... having sincerely said all that, my own vote still goes to OLIVER's song 'GOOD MORNING, STARSHINE'. There is no song that, for me, personally, more epitomizes the late 1960s; and few songs make my soul feel more serene, more happy, more carefree. As I responded to my Brother's bote in the comment section:
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"There's just this kind of joyful innocent feeling that washes over me when I hear Oliver's 'Good Morning, Starshine'. It ain't got nuttin' to do with drugs, anti-Vietnam War protests, or The Sexual Revolution. It's a feeling that rises above all that stuffs, and it's a feeling that's intensely personal."
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I truly, sincerely, genuinely feel bad for anyone who can listen to Oliver's 'Good Morning, Starshine' and NOT feel what it makes me feel!! (If words could put that feeling in your heart & soul, I would surely write them here: ________ .)
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Anyone who might be mildly interested in how I acquired Oliver's song 'Good Morning, Starshine' on compact disc can click [link> SET THE "WAYBAC MACHINE" TO SEPTEMBER, 1969.
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Muddy 'n' Me trippin' out on the Chocolate "Waybac Machine" in Reno, 2018.
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I actually had to count and re-count, and re-re-count the votes in this Battle to be sure I had the winner correctly recorded. THAT is how close this contest was. The lead changed hands two or three times as the votes came in.
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In the final analysis, I voted for Oliver, but Billboard's Top 40 records chart proved to be still correct in 2020, as The 5th Dimension beat Oliver by a single vote:
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The 5th Dimension ('Aquarius / Let The Sunshine In') = 9 votes
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Oliver ('Good Morning, Starshine') = 8 votes
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I thank & love you all (NOT in a dippy, drippy, hippie [commie] way!), and I hope to see all y'all here again on AUGUST 1st for my next 'Battle Of The Bands' contest.
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~ Stephen T. McHippienot
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Wednesday, July 1, 2020

BATTLE OF THE BANDS: 2020, JULY 1 (Or, THIS AIN'T THE SUMMER OF LOVE!)

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BATTLE OF THE BANDS (BOTB)
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It's July, 2020, and I think most of us can agree that, as Blue Oyster Cult said: [link> "THIS AIN'T THE SUMMER OF LOVE"(That's a good song, but "it needs more cowbell".)
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(For them what're too young to know: [link> "Summer Of Love")
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Oh, no! Not only is this damn-sure NOT "The Summer Of Love", but this is actually the beginning of the end for "this world" as we know it. You think things have been bad so far in 2020? Well, YOU AIN'T SEEN NUTTIN' YET! 
The Bible tells me so: "Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time.” 
(~ Revelation 12)
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If you haven't surrendered to God yet, you are very seriously running out of time. Before long, we are going to reach that point of no return, where Christ Jesus, speaking on behalf of God, our Father, will say to you in your desperate, last-gasp appeal to reconcile with Him: "I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!" 
(~ Matthew 7)
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If you can't sense "this world" changing for the worst and at a supernaturally rapid rate of speed, then your Spiritual I.Q. is in Negative territory! Better quickly fix that, while you still have a little time to do so.
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But, climbing down from my xtremely-informed Spiritual Soapbox now... 
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Alright, let's get on it. Let's get ON this thing!
[link>  Let's "turn on, tune in, and drop out".
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'Easy To Be Hard', 'Good Morning, Starshine', 'Aquarius' 
-- three times in the life of BOTB I have used famous songs from the musical 'Hair', putting the Broadway recordings up against the Hollywood movie recordings. (Hollywood beat Broadway 2-1.)
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Rather than use recordings from the Broadway play and Hollywood movie, this time I am using the actual Billboard big radio hit songs against each other. It's The Fifth Dimension's 'AQUARIUS / LET THE SUNSHINE IN' (#1 in 1969) versus Oliver's 'GOOD MORNING, STARSHINE' (#3 in 1969). Based on Billboard's 1969 chart figures, Oliver would seem to be a slight underdog in this Battle, but let's see if the BOTB audience hears it the same way in 2020 as the record-buying public did in 1969.
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This most DEFINITELY AIN'T "The Summer Of Love" but, for the next seven minutes and twenty-eight seconds, let's pretend that it is:
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AQUARIUS / LET THE SUNSHINE IN - The 5th Dimension
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VlrQ-bOzpkQ

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GOOD MORNING, STARSHINE - Oliver
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3E-ZkyNWzrM

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Alright now, “you know the gig”... I welcome you (whether I know "you" or not) 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.
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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 alsoVote your vice...   Vice your voice... 
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Voice Your Vote...
TOSSING IT OUT by clicking HERE
MIKE'S RAMBLINGS by clicking HERE
THE SOUND OF ONE HAND TYPING by clicking HERE
@ JINGLE JANGLE JUNGLE by clicking HERE
@ CHERDO ON THE FLIPSIDE by clicking HERE
@ CURIOUS AS A CATHY by clicking HERE
@ AI LOVE MUSIC by clicking HERE
@ STORMS & STARDUST by clicking HERE
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As I've done in the past, I will continue to return to my 'BOTB' blog bits on the 7th of each month to post my own votes and announce the winner.
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~ Stephen T. McCarthy
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Sunday, June 7, 2020

BOTB RESULTS: 2020, JUNE 1 (Or, HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATION - 1977)

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STMcC’s Vote On '2020, June 1st: Battle Of The Bands' (BOTB) - Or, Starbuck Versus Vicki Sue Robinson Versus The Tavares Brothers - And The Final Tally:
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First and foremost, my sincere thanks to everyone of you who voted on my Battle [link> HERE
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When I made the decision to treat Starbuck like a red-headed stepchild by removing their big hit 'Moonlight Feels Right' from this 3-way BOTB competition, I pretty well figured it meant that I was giving the victory to Vicki.
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And that's exactly how it played out:
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Starbuck = 3 votes
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Vicki Sue Robinson = 9 votes
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The Tavares Brothers = 4 votes
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Because I done Starbuck wrong, for fear of facing a BOTB shutout, I feels bad. And to rectify the situation, I'm seriously thinking that on June 1, 2021 (if the Internet and BOTB is still a "thing"), I may give Starbuck a rematch against Vicki and see if she can still wallop Starbuck on an even playing field. (My Magic 8-Ball sez: Outlook not so good.)
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I had a lot of fun in the comment section. (Thanks again all Y'all!) And I got a kick out of it when G Dogg referred to Starbuck's 'Rock 'N' Roll Rocket' as "The Plan 9 From Outer Space of Songs!"
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Ha!-Ha! That still makes me COL! (Chuckle-Out-Loud!)
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And now for the rest of the story...
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As much as I love Vicki Sue Robinson's 'Turn The Beat Around' (and, yes, I really do LOVE it!), my vote went to Starbuck because... there's just so much history there for me.
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I told y'all (here) how I happened to see Starbuck play their final song of the night ('Rock 'N' Roll Rocket') at Disneyland during "Grad Nite '77". The very next day I drove to a record store and bought ALL of Starbuck's LPs. ...(They only had two albums out at that time.) Over the next two or three years, I played those albums to death - damn-near wore the grooves smooth.
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If you listen to [link> ROCK 'N' ROLL ROCKET' / LITTLE BIRD (Reprise) once more, you'll notice that in the segue to 'Little Bird (Reprise)' there's this weird Framptonesque "Talk Box" segment in which Starbuck's singer, Bruce Blackman, asks the question "Is it fun to be serious? Ha!-Ha!-Ha!-Ha!-Ha!"
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Believe it or not, hearing that so many times over the next few years, it actually had a pretty huge impact on me. As some of you even mentioned in the BOTB comment section, my senior portrait showed a very intense and serious 17-year-old. Indeed, that was me. 
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But within a few years of that picture having been taken, I had lightened up to a tremendous degree and had actually developed a pretty quick 'n' sharp sense o' humor. And although there are certainly plenty of reasons for the change - or more well-rounded development - I have always given credit first to Bruce Blackman for asking me a godzillion and two times, "Stephen, Is it fun to be serious? Ha!-Ha!-Ha!-Ha!-Ha!"
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Thanks, Bruce! You done helped me come outta my shell quite a bit!! 
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Well, that's all for this one. But I hope all Y'all will join me again for my next Battle Of The Bands installment on July 1st.
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~ Stephen T. McCarthy
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