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Monday, July 15, 2013

Summer Psychosis 2: Results for the Elite Eight

Hey everyone,

This is it people...each matchup represents a bid to the final four, showing which song we absolutely love and which ones we love a little bit less. To recap, we've had many surprises thus far, and only half of the songs remaining are in the top three seeds. What's even better is that despite multiple songs from several artists, there are eight different artists: Bob Dylan, The Who, The Doors, Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Sam Cooke and Otis Redding. How can you go wrong with those classic groups going head to head? Without further ado (and I'll shut up, because the voters certainly cover it), the results of the elite eight!

Like a Rolling Stone 6, My Generation 3

"I think I’m going to have to say the same thing I've been saying for three rounds now. “Like a Rolling Stone” does some things better than nearly any song I've ever heard. The phrasing of Dylan’s verses is so captivating and off-beat. On this song, perhaps more than any other, Dylan showed that you can be a great singer without having a ‘good’ voice. The emotion and imagery that he is able to project while STILL being poetic is an incredible achievement. “My Generation” is great of course, but there are a lot of great rock songs out there. “Like a Rolling Stone” seems like it’s in a class of its own." - John

"As good as both of these songs are, it's hard to really see My Generation winning here. It’s a bit of a one trick pony when you get right down to it. Sure there is the attitude and the energy, My Generation is the result of four men bringing the angst of twenty into the recording studio with them, but none of those men were Bob Dylan and that makes all of the difference. Like A Rolling Stone is just so dynamic. Is it the drunken ramblings of a lonely kid, the prophetic musings of some cynic, or a guy in a studio singing into a microphone? I'm not sure, but I am sure that its good, and that’s all that matters here." - Steve

"Both of these songs are awesome. No doubt, no question about it. But this matchup is not about which is a better song. This matchup is between music and art. Music, no matter how catchy, does not have that soul, that core that transcends time and place. “My Generation,” while enjoyable, remains right in the ‘60s. That is its appeal: a trip back to the days of counterculture. “Like a Rolling Stone” is art. It has something to say. Dylan beautifully conveys his message through lyrical poetry. Despite the song being almost 50 years old, it still conveys the message with the same intensity that it did during its release." - Alexis

Light My Fire 7, Whole Lotta Love 2

"Both of these songs are two great songs by two of the greatest bands ever, in other words, this is a really tough decision. I don't want to pick them based on which song I like better; the elite eight is too important for that. However, I don't want to pick them based on which band I like better. This is mainly because if I pick Zeppelin, the ghost of Jim Morrison will send the ghosts of ancient Native Americans to haunt me, and if I pick the Doors, either Satan, Jesus, or Odin will come after me (whichever one made Zeppelin into the Gods of rock). So I guess I have to go with whichever song was more important to making the bands who they were. Light My Fire was the song that catapulted the Doors to success. Whole Lotta Love was just another step on Led Zeppelins' stairway to heaven greatness. So I am gonna go with Light My Fire (besides, Led Zeppelin is more of a 70's band in my opinion)." - Elliott

"This is definitely one of the toughest matchups so far. I've liked both of these bands for as long as I've known about “classic rock”. They were both phenomenons. They have both impacted me. “Light My Fire” is The Doors at their best. I can’t say the same for Zeppelin and “Whole Lotta Love”. There may be a Zeppelin song or two that I’d place above “Light My Fire,” but this isn't it. I’m really hoping to see some Led Zeppelin go far in the 70’s bracket." - Bryce

"Jim Morrison is the man, and “Light My Fire” is the man’s song. Don’t get me wrong, there’s a whole lot to love with “Whole Lotta Love” (how has that joke not been made yet? Or am I just that lame?), but “Light My Fire” outshines it (once again, how has no one said that?). How can you not love a 2 minute organ solo? This song does things that no one else thought to do, or wanted to do out of fear of not being popular. And they succeeded by leaps and bounds." - Eric

A Day in the Life 6, All Along the Watchtower 3

"I would have to go with A Day In The Life for this one. I would say that it is a pure masterpiece. I love how both sides of the song blend so well despite Lennon and McCartney’s separate and unique inspiration. The melody and lyrics are so original and identifiable that it is no surprise A Day In The Life is one of the greatest rock songs ever written." - Dan

"The last song on their masterpiece album, 'Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,' 'A Day in The Life' is one of the most powerful pieces by The Beatles. It shows a great contrast between Lennon and McCartney. The first part of the song is very melancholic, sung by Lennon in a dazed voice with a equally dazed band pushing along with him. When Lennon tells you he wants to turn you on (and he didn't mean “get you randy”), the trip he insists begins. A full orchestra slowly creeps into the recording and grows like a wave about to engulf you. It builds more and more, the tension growing, you look for a chance to outrun it, and then it stops. Just a bass note pulsing to ensure you the song is still alive. Paul takes over in a running groove before he takes a half time trip himself, which leads perfectly back into Lennon’s dream-like section. Lennon takes it out and is followed by the orchestra once again, the monster back for seconds. Except when it strikes, the song no longer has a pulse. Just one shrilling orchestral hit before it’s final chord that ensures you that this trip these four blokes have taken you on is finally over. This song is one of the most powerful pieces ever written in music and deserves to stay on this list." - Jim

"I’m glad Jimi made it to the elite 8. Some of his songs are breathtaking and he was one of the most iconic electric guitar players of all time. That being said I think he sometimes fell short in the songwriting department. The only song he’s got left on the list is a cover. A Day in the Life on the other hand is a painstakingly rendered work of art. Almost every piece of it has a reason and a nuance to it. I don’t believe that is something that is required to make a song great, but it certainly seems impressive to me." - Mark

A Change is Gonna Come 5, (Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay 4

"I think this song really deserves to move up because of how it still speaks to generations even today, still giving hope. '(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay' is a great song, and should be remembered for Otis’ last recording, but unfortunately it has become dated with listeners of today. A Change is Gonna Come really has remained a timeless classic for the hope it gives its audience. No matter how down things may get, 'it’s been a long time coming, but I know a change gonna come. Oh yes it will.' –Sam Cooke" - Jim

"Though 'Dock of the Bay' is a pretty serious song, it is entirely possible to breeze over it, ignore the lyrics, and assume that you’re listening to a happy-go-lucky tune with not much weight. Now, I wouldn't say that’s a flaw of the song, but rather just a consequence of how it was constructed. 'A Change is Gonna Come', on the other hand, leaves no room for questions. You can feel the weight of Sam Cooke’s troubles. Few songs accomplish that. It’s golden, and it always will be." - Bryce

"I want to vote for Otis Redding. I really really do, but I can’t. 'A Change is Gonna Come' is so simple, yet incredibly powerful. Even through I won’t say it totally transcends, it has that intangible emotional quality that makes it so relatable and real. I can’t imagine the oppression that African Americans went through, especially during the volatile ‘60's, but this song gives me a narrow window into the emotion of the situation. Anyone from any race can appreciate that and sense that. Thus, Sam Cooke and his wonderful song get my vote." - Alexis

Wow...the elite eight just ended with a bang. "Dock of the Bay" was a strong #2 seed and, frankly, one of my favorites to win it all. But the emotional #8 seeded opus of Sam Cooke pulled off a huge upset in its Cinderella run to the final four! Half of these songs did not move on, but there were adamant testimonials from many voters explaining why they deserved to advance. It's worth it to listen to these songs who fell short one more time, then see what our voters had to say.

My Generation
Whole Lotta Love
All Along the Watchtower
(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay

Best Minority Opinions:

Bryce, on "My Generation"

"I believe I may have previously voted against 'My Generation', but there’s no way I can do that here. 'My Generation' gets me jacked. The Who gets you up on your feet, jumping around, and having a good time. Bob Dylan may do that for some, but not for me…that’s certain. That’s certainly not my only criterion here, but I will admit that it’s a big part of my decision. The Who just have that “wow factor”. Their energy and stage antics are unmatched. They’re in your face, they’re bold, and they rock hard. It’s the whole package."

Steve, on "Whole Lotta Love"

How conflicted the high school student inside of me must be right now. I haven’t really opted to write up opinions on any of the votes with 'Light My Fire' and that is simply because what makes that song good is self-evident. In contrast, 'Whole Lotta Love' is a weird song and while its positive qualities may not be as tangible as 'Light My Fire', it still is great song. Normally on a vote as close as this I may look to how well either song represented the age in which it was written, and the influence that the song has had on music. Both songs brilliantly fit into their ages of course, Morrison combining the crooning pop with psychedelia and jazz, and Zep bringing blues into the context of then modernity. So its tough is what I'm getting at, but I'm standing up for 'Whole Lotta Love'. I don’t think I have voted against it yet and it gets another vote here.

Eric, on "All Along the Watchtower"

"I've been riding 'All Along the Watchtower' for a while now, and I’m going to keep riding it. It’s weird to think that, assuming my side wins, there won’t be a single Beatles song in the Final Four, but I can live with that. Especially if it means that the best guitarist in the world, and his best song, make it on through to the other side. Oh wait, wrong band. Anyway, for everything that 'A Day in The Life' has going for it, 'All Along the Watchtower' does it better."

John, on "(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay"

"Ugh, why did I save this for last? Both of these songs absolutely deserve to move on. They sound pretty similar too, which makes it even tougher. And they are both final masterpieces of the artist before he left us much too soon. Not to mention that the respective vocal performances are some of the best I've ever heard. So how do I choose? The X-factors, baby. The licks of guitarist Steve Cropper and the steady horns of The Bar-Kays accentuate the easy, breezy tone that Otis Redding sets in his restrained yet pain-racked vocals. Though the orchestra of 'A Change is Gonna Come does a lot for the song and its emotional power, 'Dock of the Bay' is the whole package when all of those elements are playing off of each other. 'Dock' by the absolute slimmest of margins."

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