Thursday, October 1, 2015

#BoTB: The First Cut Is The Deepest

Welcome back to another session of Battle of The Bands!

The song is probably one of the most well-known tunes in the world: Cat Stevens' The First Cut Is The Deepest. Cat is, of course, NOT in the running, but I found two obscure versions (okay, obscure to me) that sound kinda worth putting up for a face-off. The first interpreters you might actually know, although I didn't — The McClymont girls.



Challenging them is a total unknown singer to me. Straight from The Voice of Germany, I present unto you: Judith van Hel.



Both versions are different from the original, certainly, and in that they're similar, but I thought they brought enough variation between each other to warrant competition. What do you think? Who cut you deepest, the McClymonts or Judith? If you had to put one of these versions on your iPod, which one would you choose? Let me know in the comments, and feel free to get into the ins and outs of why the version you'd choose is better — or less worse — than the other.

When you've done that, hop on over to the other Battles!

41 comments :

  1. My vote goes to Judith van Hel - excellent, just excellent!

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    1. Isn't she just? Wow! Thanks for the visit, Yolanda!

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  2. The fact that this is a Cat Stevens composition is a turn-off for me since I don't like him much at all. Never have cared for his music, though some of the covers over the years haven't been too bad.

    In this match-up I have to go with the harmonies of the McClymont's--they have a lovely sound.



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

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    1. Sorry to hear that, Lee... I love Cat :) You're right, though; the McClymont girls bring something special to this song. I liked their simplicity; no frills, just beautiful voices coming together. Thanks for stopping by to vote!

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  3. Awesome job finding super covers of this song. I enjoyed both of them. Like Arlee stated I loved the harmonies of the McClymonts. Judith's more husky voice does the song justice more like Rod Stewart. It is really tough but my voice goes with The McClymonts.

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    1. Glad you did, Mike — they both wowed me. You're so right, Judith's is more the Rod Stewart style, and the McClymonts do a great job with only their three voices, basically. Another vote for the Harmony Girls!

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  4. I liked Judith van Hel's version better, despite the fact it came from The Voice. The McClymonts' version was a little too 1960's coffeehouse for me.

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    1. "Despite the fact it came from The Voice" — I second that, John :D No one was more surprised than me to find such quality there. From the little I saw, exploring other Judith van Hel videos, she was pretty unique, at least in that year's grouping (but probably overall). Thanks so much for the visit and the vote!

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  5. Guilie, this is an all-time favorite of mine. I thought The McClymonts did a fabulous job with their cover. Great harmony! So, give them my vote, please!

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    1. I agree, Cathy; it's a fantastic song! Originally I wanted to feature the Cat Stevens original (love-love-love it), but... I couldn't find a worthy competitor :D Glad you enjoyed the harmonious McClymonts — I agree, they ace this. Another vote recorded for them, and thanks for the visit :)

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  6. Hey, I did this one with Sheryl Crow and Rod Stewart a month ago - cool! I love this song.

    I'm throwing my vote to Judith van Hel but I want her to take the ring outta her nose (it's a secretions thing...not a fashion prejudice...).

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    1. That's right, Cherdo! I do remember that battle, now that you mention it... No wonder I kept getting deja vu while prepping the songs, haha. I apologize for my Teflon memory :) Ah, another vote for ring-bearer (sorry, wearer) Judith van Hel — this is shaping up as a pretty close battle!

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  7. Wow, tough one! At first I was going to go with the McClymont Girls because I loved the harmonies but then Judith van Hel sang and I was like "Whoa. she's good!" So I'm going to give my vote to Judith. I enjoyed her voice. They're both good though. A toss up really.
    Good match-up!
    Michele at Angels Bark

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    1. Glad you enjoyed this, Michele — and glad it felt like a hard choice, too. I've learned that's the highest compliment one can pay in BoTB :) I had the same thing when I heard Judith... WHOA. Not sure I like the rest of her stuff, what little I found (and had time for listening), but this one she does really, really well. Another vote for her — and thank you!

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  8. I have to vote for the McClymont Girls. Those soulful voices and harmonies! Judith van Hel is good in her way, but she doesn't bring the depth and feeling that the song needs.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. Thanks, Janie! They're good, aren't they? Another vote for the McClymonts :)

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  9. Guilie,
    Nice match up, however I want a male voice singing this song, and not necessarily Cat Stevens. Rod Stewart took my heart a long time ago with this cover.

    The McClymont girls were nice but something about the harmony bothered me. (I can't put my finger on the problem; could be my ears.)

    That said, Judith van Hel was gutsy enough for my vote. Have a great battle day.

    Dixie

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    1. I'm with you, Dixie... This song seems right — righter, at least — in a male voice. Glad Judith met the bar for you :) Thanks for the visit!

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  10. Judith Van Hel. Her voice seems better for the mood of the song.

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    1. Cool, Mr. Elliptical! Your vote for Madam van Hel has been recorded, putting her two votes ahead of the harmonious McClymonts. Thanks for chipping in, and happy Friday :)

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  11. My favourite version of this song is Rod Stewart's and Judith van Hel has captured his essence so well, plus I LOVE her voice! Please put me down for Judith. Ausgezeignet!
    The McClymonts weren't bad, but their version had more of a country flavour and the harmonies were too saccharin for my taste.

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    1. So glad you liked Judith's, Debbie! Yep, she blew me away, too. Another vote for Judith!

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  12. What an amazing voice Judith has! Wow.

    However, I'm giving my vote to the McClymonts. Its hard to do well to just a string guitar, and she did excellent, and the harmony of the other girls just made up for the lack of a band. They sounded great together, without musical accompaniment.

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    1. I agree, Dolorah... Just a single acoustic guitar and three voices, and WOW. Kudos to the girls for that, for sure. Thanks for the visit!

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  13. Hi Guilie - interesting on seeing Judith I thought her voice would be rougher ... it had a gentle edge to it - I loved that version ... seems like you have a 50/50 choice here ... cheers Hilary

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    1. Too right, Hilary; I thought the same when I first saw her. And although her pitch comes in low, she has a certain sweetness that I loved. Thanks for the visit — and for another vote for the Great Unknown Judith :)

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  14. The McClymonts for me! I love acoustic harmonies.

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    1. They're good, aren't they? Like someone already mentioned above, the fact that they achieved such clarity of sound with just an acoustic guitar and their voices is huge. Thanks for the visit, Gwen!

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  15. I liked the harmonies from The McClymonts, so they get my vote.

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    1. Gotcha, Robin... Another vote for the harmony queens :)

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  16. I truly enjoyed Judith Van Hel's singing voice better. It was different for sure. The other band sounded too country or a girl band in a park somewhere. One thing though please get the cow ring out of your nose-it's just gross. Judith gets my vote.

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    1. Your comment on the nose ring made me laugh out loud, Birgit :D Yeah, Judith's voice was pretty amazing for me, too — and different, though (as several have pointed out) it kind of followed the Rod Stewart style. I enjoyed it, too :) Thanks for the visit, and have a lovely Sunday!

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  17. All those years, I thought this one was a Sheryl Crow original! I like the first one best...her voice is the type of voice I like to hear...and so much heart in the way she sings it!

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    1. You are not the only one Stephanie.

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    2. The McClymonts do a fantastic job, no question... Glad you enjoyed that version, Stephanie — and glad we've set the record straight re Cat Stevens ;) Thanks for stopping by!

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  18. Well, neither of these covers come anywhere near approaching the Rod Steward cover, but... between them, I'll vote for the McClymonts.

    I try NEVER to let a video or a performer's appearance affect my voting, but in this case, I'm not sure I was able to get over the image of Sinéad van Tattooedbull. "Toro! Toro!"

    ~ D-FensDogG
    'Loyal American Underground'

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    1. Hahahahahahaa... Stephen, I should've put a couple grand down on how you'd vote; I could really, really use the cash right now :D She does look like Sinéad, doesn't she? And that nose ring...

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  19. Nice harmonies and girls who were more pkleasant to look at on the first one. Give em my vote.

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    1. Another vote for the McClymonts! Thanks, FAE :)

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  20. The McClymonts for sure! Loved their rendition. It was a great performance by them. It flowed much better than the second song choice.
    Ironically enough, I was unfamiliar this was a Cat Stevens song and I like a lot of his music. I'm more familiar with Sheryl Crow. I absolutely love her music and went to listen to her perform the song first before I went on to listen to the two you supplied. To be fair, I also listened to the Cat Stevens version also.

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    1. A classic Cat tune, yes... But that was decades ago, and I love the fact Sheryl Crow brought it back for new generations (she does a great job with it, I think). Thanks for the vote for the McClymonts, Jeffrey!

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