Monday, August 1, 2016

Somebody's Baby (#BoTB)

I'm so sorry, gang... I've been missing too many battles lately. Yes, it's fast times here in Curaçao, but that's really no excuse—I'm sure you all have oodles of stuff to do, too, and yet you manage to post promptly, on time and regularly. So I apologize, and I hope you still love me.

Speaking of fast times, do you remember the movie Fast Times at Ridgemont High?




Man, I loved that movie. Not really a classic, more like a cult film, but I can honestly say it changed my life—for many reasons, but one of the big ones is its music. I mean, Don Henley—Jimmy Buffet—Donna Summer—Oingo Boingo (that was the first I ever heard of them, but it wasn't the last)—The Go-Go's—The Cars—Stevie Nicks—Sammy Hagar—Led freakin' Zeppelin!!!

Admittedly, not all of the fabulous music was included in the 'official' soundtrack, but it's in the movie: take, for instance, the opening theme by The Go-Go's, We Got The Beat. That's about as iconically Fast Times as it gets, right? But... nope, it's not on the soundtrack list.

The Fast Times soundtrack list, courtesy of Wikipedia.
Sadly, Spotify doesn't feature any except "Somebody's Baby", but you can find a compilation playlist on YouTube
—which has the advantage of including the tracks left out of the official soundtrack.

And it wasn't just the quality of the artists featured; whoever compiled this was a genius, because the whole thing embodies the spirit of the 80's. Few movies achieve this capturing of an era as well as this one, in my opinion. (But I'd love it if you shared any you think do, whether it's 80's or anything else.)

So... The Battle. Although several of the film's songs (in the official soundtrack or not) became—or already were—undisputed hits, I think there's no argument that Somebody's Baby was the landmark success. It reached #7 on Billboard singles chart. To me, perhaps more than any other song (even We Got The Beat), this is the one that takes me right back to that era. And that's the one I picked for this battle.

The original, as included in the Fast Times soundtrack, is by Jackson Browne (and you can listen to it here, if you like), but today's battle is between two covers. The first is by Jessica Manning, and it's actually the one that inspired this Battle. I came across it on Spotify a few weeks ago and loved the sound. Take a listen:





Contestant #2 is Phantom Planet, a 90's millennial band from LA (whom I really think need to forget about their hiatus and come back!):




There it is, y'all. And now it's up to you: whose version do you like best? Were Jessica's switched-genre lyrics refreshing or did they put you off? Did Phantom Planet's cover sound like an ode to the original or just an imitation? Which of these would you be most likely to want to hear again? Were you of the Fast Times generation, or did it pass you by? If you are of that generation, what other 80's movies feel like 'home' to you?

And when you're done listening and voting here, click over to the other BoTB players for more awesome music match-ups:


Thank you so much for coming by. I promise to do better... not just with BoTB posts, but with blogging in general. I miss it. I miss you.

Happy August!

24 comments :

  1. Fast Times was one of those shows that my parents wouldnt allow me to see. So, of course, I saw it!!! (just don't tell my mother!) I do remember this song. I'm giving my vote to Phantom Planet.

    Mary
    Jingle Jangle Jungle

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    1. There was a Fast Times TV show? I didn't know that, haha... I'm only familiar with the movie. Thanks for the visit, Mary; got your vote down for Phantom Planet.

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  2. Phantom Planet gets my vote here. Jessica Manning's version dragged too much.

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  3. Love that song, and Jackson Brown. Phantom Planet doesn't do it for me. I vote for Jessica Manning because her sound is better for the meaning of the song.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. First vote for Jessica! Thanks, Janie :)

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  4. I enjoyed Jessica Manning much better because she had the right voice for this song and he styling was more in keeping. I didn't care much for the 2nd version because they see,Ed to try too hard to put their own edge on it when it didn't need it.

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    1. And another vote for Jessica! Thanks for that, Birgit, and the input. I agree her voice seems uniquely suited to the song, even in spite of the difference in tempo — and gender — with the original. Glad you came by!

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  5. Hmm, well, while I liked the female version of this song, I did not like Jessica. She was kinda flat to me, didn't seem to put any energy into it. So I'm voting for Phantom Planet.

    I've been hearing this song on the radio a lot lately, and I think a country singer has revitalized it. Probably why both these sound a little lifeless to me.

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    1. Interesting, Donna... Wish I had found that country singer's version to use for this battle. Sadly, I couldn't find more than these two covers. But I'll keep looking :) Got your vote for Phantom Planet.

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  6. I remember the movie and the song, but vaguely. The 80s were my "corporate workaholic" days, so I didn't pay close attention. Please give my vote to Jessica. She has a pleasant voice. The "Phantom Planet" version was too high-strung for my taste.

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    1. Gotcha, Debbie... And thanks for the vote! Yours brings this battle to a tie ;)

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  7. Guilie, I have not seen this movie believe it or not. You listed an incredible list of awesome artists from the movie, though. Whenever this flick makes it to Netflix then I'll be sure to catch it. Both versions are, but I think I like Jessica's cover the best. So, give my vote to Miss Manning! I hope you'll decide to join me for Boston cover song Peace of Mind #BoTB showdown!

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    1. Another vote for Jessica! Thanks to you, Cathy, she's now pulled ahead of Phantom Planet... Let's see if that lasts ;)

      Thanks for coming by, Cathy. And really loved your Peace of Mind battle!

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  8. Such a great song and such an iconic movie! The music is indeed fantastic.
    I like Jessica Manning's version but I really dig Phantom Planet's. Love the beat and I would definitely love to hear that version more often so please give my vote to Phantom Planet. Such a cool name :)

    Hope you're well and staying out of trouble. Hope you have time to come by for a visit...

    Michele at Angels Bark

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    1. Ooops... Had to delete my reply to you, Michele; my count was off. Your vote puts Phantom Planet ONE ahead of Jessica ;) But yes, I'm so glad to hear you like Fast Times; I was beginning to think I'm an oddball :D

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  9. I don't recall ever having seen Fast Times, but I barely remember most of the 80's. It was a great decade for me and so filled with everything including a lot of great music. This Browne song is a good one. I think Phantom Planet does a fine version, but I'd pick Jessica's version as the one I'd go back to for relistening pleasure. It's nice and smooth.

    Good to have you back with BOTB.

    Lee
    Tossing It Out

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    1. I find Jessica's version smooth, too, Lee... Glad you liked it :) Thanks for the visit!

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  10. GUILIE ~
    I did some Background ("Extra") work on the movie 'Fast Times At Ridgemont High'. I think I worked on it for about 3 days. Sean Penn was a total jackass, and hell, he wasn't even a star yet.

    Much to my surprise, I'm voting for PHANTOM PLANET. I preferred their higher energy approach and that insistent drumming front and center in the mix.

    Guilie, I hope you're not going to miss the hot but refreshing Summer sex over at my place. (If you've got any cute girlfriends, bring 'em along, too!)

    ~ D-FensDogG
    'Loyal American Underground'

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  11. Jackson Brown gets my vote with his classic

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  12. You know I hate to admit this, but I don't remember if I saw Fast Times or not. As to the musical choice today, I'm going with Jackson Brown.

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  13. The Breakfast Club was my favorite 80's movie. I probably saw Fast Times, but I can't remember it so well.

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  14. I absolutely love this song.
    Hey, how are you doing? I notice there were not results posted. Hope everything is okay. Sorry I didn't notice earlier, but I was away on my own hiatus, dealing with some stuff.
    Hope to see you around soon.

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  15. Howdy, GUILIE ~

    Naturally, I can't help wondering if you've decided to discontinue your involvement in 'BATTLE OF THE BANDS'. Apparently you've had a pretty full plate lately and when that happens, something has to give. Unfortunately though, by keeping a link to your blog active on my blog, I've been sending BOTBers to your site when there's nothing there to vote on.

    Currently there are, I believe, 5 links on my page to blogs that seem to be no longer participating in BOTB and I don't want to continue wasting people's time, sending them to places where no Battles exist. So, I'd appreciate it if you'd please get back to me and inform me whether or not you intend to continue with this blogfest.

    In fact, beginning with the October 15th round of Battles I am planning to adopt the same policy that Alex Cavanaugh employs for his blogfest 'Insecure Writer's Support Group'. And that is that in the future, whenever a blog fails to provide a 'Battle Of The Bands' contest for two consecutive rounds (the 1st & 15th, or the 15th & the 1st), the links to that blog will be removed from my site, assuming that the blogger has decided to drop out of the blogfest. However, of course, if that blogger later decides to rejoin, all they need to do is inform me and I will immediately replace the link to their site in my sidebar and on my individual BOTB page for the next round of Battles.

    I hope things are going well for you. And please let me know if you don't want the link to your blog removed from my next BOTB installment on October 15th.

    Bless And Be Blessed.

    ~ Stephen
    (D-FensDogG of the 'Loyal American Underground')

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