Monday, June 15, 2015

BATTLE OF THE BANDS: MY WAY

Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

It's time for the June 15, 2015, smack down of the Battle of the Bands. Mr. Stephen T. McCarthy provides us with this information about the bloghop:

The whole thing is really quite simple: You select two different versions of the same song (versions you feel might give each other some competition in the voting) and you post them on the 1st and the 15th of each month.

On the 7th and 21st of each month, you add your own personal vote to the mix, total up all the votes and announce the winner on your blog.

Beyond that, just try to have fun with it and let your readers/voters have fun with it.





Paul Anka, a successful singer in his own right, wrote English lyrics to a French song and called it My Way. Anka angered his own recording company by offering the song to Frank Sinatra, who recorded it in 1968 and released it in 1969. 

Because Sinatra is so closely associated with My Way, we'll begin with his version:




Sinatra died in 1998, a legend in his own mind time. I was never a Sinatra fan. His voice just didn't do it for me. He seemed so full of himself. It must be tough to live with all that adulation and not develop a sense of grandiosity.


A bit of trivia: Sinatra's mother, known as "Dolly," was an abortionist. She did not charge women for her services. She was arrested several times and convicted twice.

And now for something completely different, even though it's sort of the same song. Here's Sid Vicious after leaving the punk rock band, the Sex Pistols:






Sid's (John Simon Ritchie's) recording of My Way was released in 1978––nine years after Sinatra's. 
The same year, Vicious awoke in The Chelsea Hotel in New York to find his girlfriend Nancy Spungen––his equal in the unconventional and repellent––dead from a stab wound. Spungen is credited with introducing Vicious to heroin, but his mother already supplied him with a variety of drugs.  

Police arrested Vicious for murdering Spungen, but he drew a Get Out of Jail Free card when Mick Jagger paid his bail. In 1979, after detoxing and spending time in notorious Rikers Island, Vicious partied with his new girlfriend and some friends, including his mum, and overdosed on heroin. He was twenty-one.

I don't know if I'll vote for Sinatra or Vicious. Sinatra sang and danced in movies and won the Best Supporting Actor Academy Award for From Here to Eternity. He sang the conventional ballads loved by millions and was considered a brilliant stylist. Yet, I never liked him, and I've read many accounts of his cruelty to "friends" and lovers. The man had a vicious temper.

But Sid Vicious? He wasn't a real singer. He was all attitude. The Sex Pistols' "songs" leaned toward the nastay. Vicious helped introduce a new crudeness to music. Punk gave outcasts and rejects a home of their own. 

The Ramones, Patti Smith, the Sex Pistols: They led the way toward bands such as Nirvana. 

Courtney Love, formerly of Hole, is practically Nancy Spungen's clone.

I don't think many people would say Sid Vicious was a nice guy, but he was part of something new and different. He had a Sinatra temper.

Please vote in your comments. Do you prefer Frank Sinatra or Sid Vicious on My Way?

I'll cast my own vote on June 21st and tell you the winner.


Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug







































50 comments:

  1. Can I vote 100 times for Sinatra? Regardless of the type of person he was, he COULD sing & act!!

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    1. Uh, I love you, and I hate to say no, but you can only have one vote.

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  2. Interesting battle! ☺ I read a biography of Frank that told of his mother and her abortion activities. He came across as a not very nice guy, which seems to be the consensus. Lauren Bacall's autobiography said the same thing. Personally, of the old time crooners, I much prefer Dino. Still, I'm going to have to vote for Frank on this one. Sid Vicious doesn't do it for me. Elvis recorded a great version of this song too. It was sad and spooky though, because it was shortly before he died.

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    1. Thank you. I think Dean Martin's voice was much smoother than Frank's.

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  3. This is an easy one for me.

    I'm an admirer of Sinatra's work from singing to acting. Sid Vicious has no admirable qualities that I'm aware of. I don't care for his singing (or stylizing or whatever it's called). This version is one I can listen to a few times as a novelty, but not for listening pleasure. Frank's version holds some bittersweet memories for me and holds up under repeated listening for me.

    So count my vote for Frank Sinatra.

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

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  4. JANIE ~
    What're ya tryin' to do here?

    I am considered one of the most controversial figures in our little corner of the Blogosphere, and it seems you're trying to one-up me (and doing a pretty good job of it, I'll add!)

    This is maybe the "hottest" BOTB installment ever, and it (Jane) Leeves me very conflicted.

    On one hand, I agree completely with you: FRANK SINATRA was vastly overrated! I'm not saying he was bad, not at all. As a singer, he was actually pretty good and I own two of his CDs that I listen to occasionally. But his talent nowhere near approached the acclaim he received. For one thing, people need to remember that in Frankie-Baby's day, there was not nearly so much recorded music competition. Today, there are probably more independently produced recordings than there were produced by the mainstream labels in Frankie-Baby's day.

    I'm not really a fan of that "crooning" style of music. And although Bobby Darin is often referred to as "the poor man's Sinatra", and although I'll admit that his crooning style was inspired by Sinatra, I think that IN EVERY WAY, Bobby Darin was superior to Frank Sinatra (and yes, I own some Darin CDs, too!)

    This match-up is kinda tough for me because, on one hand, I wanna say: "Yeah, Frank Sinatra did it his way... as long as the Mafia approved". (There is no question that The Mob played a big part in Frank's popularity, with their involvement in the jukebox industry, etc.)

    But on the other hand, no person is all bad or all good, and Frank definitely struck a blow for Black Americans the way he stood behind Sammy Davis, Jr., when some establishments were willing to let him perform there but didn't want him to stay there.

    So, although I generally feel negative about Sinatra (but not as negative as I feel about John Lennon), I acknowledge some positive traits. [Most people will probably be shocked to learn about his mother's role as an abortionist - abortion: the one thing I detest more than any other! - although I knew of it long ago. Nevertheless, that shouldn't reflect on Frank or his music.]

    I was a SEX PISTOLS fan back when they first emerged in the mid-1970s. I owned not one but TWO Sex Pistols LPs! I also had the double LP with outtakes such as 'Who Killed Bambi?'. But I eventually wised-up and realized that the Sex Pistols (being constructed by an English fashion designer) weren't much more than a hyper-version of The Monkees (and that Johnny and Sid would have gotten beaten to a pulp just about every single day if they attended the high school I did.)

    And yet, there's a part of me that agrees: Sid did it HIS way more than Frank did it his way. (Frank needed Mob approval.)

    However, in my estimation, BOTB is ultimately supposed to be about the "music", not any side issues or politics. So, in the end, I guess I have to vote for FRANKIE-BABY SINATRA (even though I don't really like him personally or professionally), just because musically he is unquestionably better than Sid Vicious.

    "Just so ya know...", even if this turns out to be a shutout (which it might), I like what you've done with it, and I WISH I could have voted for Sid Vicious. On ideological grounds, Sid wins a minor victory in my mind. But on purely musical grrounds, Frank wins (even though he was a second-rate Bobby Darin).

    ~ D-FensDogG
    'Loyal American Underground'

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    1. I appreciate your kind comments on my choices. It's difficult not to let personalities and behavior get in the way with these two "gentlemen." I enjoy including some trivia, but I don't want it to influence the voters. It's all about the bass . . . I mean the music, but I also like to consider the way the singers influenced future singers/bands. I like Bobby Darin, and I love the movie about him that stars Kevin Spacey. Bobby was a cool cat.

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  5. What a choice. I am also not a Sinatra fan--also not because he couldn't sing, but because I didn't care for him--but Vicious? Let's just say I couldn't even listen to half of his version it grated so on my last nerve that I am forced to vote for Frank.

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  6. WooHOO! This is a great article, interesting back story, and a daring and bold BOTB match-up, Janie Junebug. I agree with your observations about Sinatra. He is not one of my favorite artists. I vote for Sid Vicious because he dared to be different and do it his way - and f--k the world if they didn't get it or like it.

    Thank you, dear Janie, and have a nice day!

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    1. I like your comment, Sir Shady. You are quite astute. You understand what I wanted to convey--not that I was trying to get voters to choose one singer over the other.

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  7. Hey Janie!

    Can't stand Sinatra
    A singing disaster
    Sid Vicious I vote
    An anarchy note

    Gary

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  8. As a child entrenched in punk, I have to vote for Sid. Though, I would rather abstain. I vehemently hate this song. "Regrets, I've had a few," Oh, really? How very human of you, I think we all have regrets and it's refreshing to hear a..."too few to mention." Awww, you arrogant dick.
    This song is about a bratty adult bragging about how he conquered life. It's like an anthem for people who view Entourage (the show and movie) as aspirational. God I hate this song.
    On the plus side (not sure that's the right choice of words), apparently in the Philippines, if you sing My Way, you're taking your life into your own hands. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/My_Way_killings

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    1. Good thing I have no desire to visit the Philippines, and I have no interest in singing My Way anywhere in the world. It really is a creepy song.

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  9. Janie, I'll vote for Sinatra. Thanks for sharing all the info about these two men, although one was just a mere boy when he overdosed. I'm also an Elvis fan. It appears that so many people in the public eye have many issues, but I'm hanging with Sinatra on My Way.

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    1. Frank would have been pleased to hang with you. No doubt he would have sent his private jet to pick you up.

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  10. Janie, when I hear two styles this different than I tend to lean to the traditional cut every time and I'm doing it my way by casting another vote for ole blue eyes Frank Sinatra! Interesting BOTB!

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    1. Thank you for finding my choices interesting. Your vote goes to Frankie Goes to Hollywood.

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  11. AHHHHHHH!!!!!!!! This one is so hard for me.

    On one hand, I agree that there is no question that Ole' Blue Eyes sings better than Ole' Bloodshot Eyes. But, as I may have mentioned, I love biographies and Frank Sinatra has always come off as a jerk to me. If I just believe he was the characters he played, I might be able to overlook it...but unfortunately, that is not the case. For that reason, I really don't want to give him a pat on the back even when his back is in a tomb somewhere.

    Sid Vicious was a sorry character to me; kinda lost. Of course, I could also pit Gary Oldman's "Sid" (totally legendary) to the real Sid and pretend either one of those was real... Like STMcC, I can't even say I think he was an original. I think he had better PR than most punk rock bands. (I'm okay with The Monkees...). Anyhow, a big part of me wants desperately to vote for Sid.

    BUT I CAN'T....here is the most hesitant vote anyone ever got: Frank "I'm Full of Myself, Baby" Sinatra.

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    1. Okay. I considered using Gary Oldman playing Sid for the video, but I wanted photos of the real Sid. I also did not want to use the video as I found it offensive.

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  12. I couldn't even make it half way through the Sid Vicious version. Like McCarthy, I agree that Sinatra is overrated. But at least he can sing. Sid Vicious sounds like a cat in a garbage disposal. And as someone who does listen to some punk music, you can have a voice and still have attitude. I much prefer that to just plain attitude. A very easy vote for Sinatra.

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  13. Never been a fan of Sinatra, but Sid Vicious completely butchered the song in my opinion. A reluctant vote for Sinatra.

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    1. Thanks for voting, reluctantly or otherwise.

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  14. I actually like old Blue Eyes, but have to admit, I have never liked this song. And, in fact, I think the version of the song he performed here was not one of his best. So, I was not tempted to give my vote to him in the least. Certainly a more trendy, rock style version of the song would be done much better. Well, that's what I thought. I thought wrong. Did not like the Sid's version at all and couldn't wait for it to end. So, I guess I have to choose the song I dislike the least.

    Give my vote to Frank Sinatra.

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  15. Frank. Sid is out of tune. Causing me angst.

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    1. Sid is a lot more than out of tune. I love the word "angst."

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  16. Oh hands down this one goes to Sinatra, in my opinion. I do not like Sid Vicious at all and his rendition of the song was disgraceful! Boo Hiss on that one! I'll give my vote to ol' Blue Eyes... Was definitely an interesting match-up. I liked seeing the video images of Sid -- made me all the more cement my vote for Sinatra.
    Michele at Angels Bark

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    1. If you watch the video of Sid "singing" the song, I promise you that you will dislike him even more. I chose the version with photos because I found the video offensive.

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  17. Interesting stuff here, Janie. Lots of information about both parties I didn't know.

    My vote goes to Sinatra. He may be over-rated as people have said here, but he also could sing. Would he be as popular today as he was in his own day? That's a tough call. But he can sing. Sid did it his way, but I just didn't like it very much. ha!

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    1. It's possible that Sinatra would be successful today. We have some crooners who are much loved. I can't think of their names, but I know they're out there.

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  18. I don't consider myself a Sinatra fan, but I appreciate his stylizations more as I get older.

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    1. I think his style deteriorated as he aged. He retired too early, came back from retirement, retired again, and kept coming back until he couldn't remember the words to the songs, and he fell on stage. It's sad.

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  19. Yeah I with the others Sinatra was bloody great so I would vote for him

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    1. One bloody great vote for Mr. Sinatra. Thank you for joining us.

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  20. I dislike both men because neither were very nice. Sinatra was also a big 10 lb baby! I have to say that I will still vote for Sinatra. Despite his Omni-impotence he still could act and sing even though I would never buy his records. He is not a favourite of mine but far ahead of Viscious

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    1. I like "Omni-impotence." That's great.

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  21. Can I vote for Elvis Presley?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y_i9iSjY9jg

    Sid Viscious lived a sad life, and died so young. Terrible to be that messed up. But, I was never a fan of the punk rock, even though sometimes it mirrored heavy metal.

    I do like old blue eyes; and while this is not the best version of this song, I liked Frank, so he gets my vote.

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    1. I watched the Elvis video. He's soooo much better than Frank. His voice is sweet and subtle, and then he soars into drama.

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  22. Oh, Janie, this is one for the books! This gave me a good laugh. I thought Frank had as many wayward notes as Sid - though he tried hard not to let us hear them. In another place and time, this might be Dean Martin vs Jerry Lewis!

    That said, I'm going all serious and voting for Sid. Terrific battle :)

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    1. Frank's voice wasn't all that great as he aged. It's too bad he didn't remain retired.

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  23. Hi Janie and welcome to BATTLE OF THE BANDS. I'm not sure if this is your first or second BATTLE, because I didn't post on June 1 due to some health issues while I was traveling. So, this serves as your debut BATTLE for me and what a BATTLE it is.

    I really like it when people use very diverse versions. It seems to either make it harder or easier to choose (did that even make sense). In this case it made it very easy for me. While I've never been a big Sinatra fan, even though I'm a Nevadan and I think it's required, I'm much less of a Punk Rock, and Sid Vicious in particular fan. Sid certainly did it his way, and look where that got him.

    Give my wholehearted vote to Frankie Baby, Ole Blue Eye$s, The Chairman of the Board, Frank Sinatra.

    I read back through you newer posts to get here, and at least for me, you never need apologize for not voting right on the first day of a BOTB, you'll see I rarely make the rounds those first few days, especially when the posting day is on a Monday.

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    1. It's my second battle, other than my divorce. I'm sorry you had health issues, whether you were traveling or staying at home.

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  24. Vote is for Frank, Sid was a good challenger

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