Saturday, November 1, 2014


After last nights dampening of the Halloween fun (at least in my neighborhood), I thought it'd be appropriate to share the power ballad song NOVEMBER RAIN for today's Battle of the Bands post. Battle of the Bands is hosted by Stephen T McCarthy and Faraway Series; a bi-monthly competition pitting two (or more) bands doing the same song cover against each other. Visit Mr McCarthy's BotB site for a list of participants and rules (seriously, there's one or two) for participation.

In my opinion, nothing compares with the sweeping orchestra as composed by singer/songwriter/musician Axl Rose of Guns 'N Roses, originally released on the USE YOUR ILLUSION I album in June 1992. So, there's no point in even posting any number of G'N R covers. Click here to hear/watch my favorite video for NOVEMBER RAIN if interested.

That said, it was difficult to find decent covers for the song due to poor video or sound quality, and perhaps none of the top metal bands want to compete with the masters. But I was determined that this song would be my Nov 1 show case, so after hours of searching, I did find two bands that I was willing to pit against each other. Neither of the videos seem to be professionally recorded, so the quality isn't what is normally expected.

First up is Amos Lee, performing live at the Academy of Music in Philadelphia on Nov 6, 2011. This got some very positive comments by viewers, including one that stated "best cover of GNR ever."

Next is a group called THE ART OF NOISE, and they are performing live at Base Rock Cafe in Karachi, Pakistan.

You be the judges. Cast your vote in the comments; and no, GNR votes do not count. This is a battle between two lesser known groups! I'll post my results with IWSG on Nov 5.


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Amos Lee's version is closer to the original, and it's also cleaner. I like his voice better. Gets my vote.

DEZMOND said...

I think I like the first version better, since Axel's voice creeps me out, methinks he is Satan's spokesperson :)

Pat Hatt said...

1 gets my vote too

L.G. Smith said...

That's not the Art of Noise I remember from the '80's. :P

But, yeah, I'll agree with the others. The first one is better.

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

Hey, DONNA, first of all I want to say: WELCOME BACK TO BOTB!

I'm also voting for the Amos Lee version. That guy actually has a bit of "Country" sound in his voice.

The second version is kind of hurt by the fact that the singer can't sing.

Glad to see ya joining us again, ........dh.

~ D-FensDogg
'Loyal American Underground'

Meradeth Houston said...

That's a tough pick! But I'm going to have to go with The Art of Noise :)

Chrys Fey said...

My vote goes to Amos. :)

DiscConnected said...

Was the GNR version this long?

If the original were a choice, it would get my vote since Lee does not really do much with the song.

It felt like the Art Of Noise was trying too much to sound like the original-the singer was certainly channeling Axl Rose.

So since Amos Lee's version is shorter and recoded in my hometown, it gets my vote.

dolorah said...

Alex: I didn't like him much with this song, but I listened to other songs and decided he could sing.

Dezzy: you must be thinking of Slash, lol.

Thanks Pat.

LG: I was wondering if anyone would recognize them.

Stephen: what a coincidence; he is a country singer :)

Meredeth: they are closely matched.

Thanks Chris.

Disc: longer, lol. Its nearly nine minutes long. I take it you're not into power ballads or rock opera?

Cathy Kennedy said...

Amos Lee for sure gets my vote. The lead singer of TAoN sounds really creepy. Great song. GNR would definitely be the run away winner, if you used them.

Cathy Kennedy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Denise Covey said...

No one comes close to Axl Rose's rendition of November Rain. One of my all-time faves!

Christine Rains said...

It's tough, but I'm going to vote for GNR. Just something about Axl's voice.

D Biswas said...

Amos lee version.

Robin said...

I am voting for the first one. It was very good. I can see why one person wrote "best cover of this song" or whatever they said.

The second one... I think it failed because the lead singer was trying to hard to imitate AR's voice. This is an excellent example of why when you do a cover--make it your own. Don't try to copy their voice... because you can't... not really. And I think it made him a bit flat sometimes... just under the note. I bet this would have been much better if he'd just been himself and gone for it. Oh well. It's an excellent reminder to just be ourselves. We really aren't good at being someone else.

I didn't put together that you were Donna until I read StMc's comment. I think I have been wearing a blonde wig for a couple weeks now... maybe longer. Welcome back!!!

farawayeyes said...

Woo Hoo! So glad to see you back at BOTB. I hope you can stick with it as a regular.

Without a doubt Amos Lee gets my vote. A friend turned me onto his 'Arms of a Woman' a little while back and I've been a fan ever since. I own his 'Mission Bell' CD and really like his stuff. Too bad the quality on this video isn't better, because I bet it is awesome.

The second version... well what everybody else said. It just was... weird creepy.

I'm gonna send you an email to give you my email address. I would love to meet up sometime. I've been back in the States for about seventeen months now. Live on the NV side of Lake Tahoe. Not sure where you are, but let's talk.

Cate Masters said...

I love Amos Lee :)

Gossip_Grl said...

Although I loved the strings for the intro of the Amos Lee version and I am not even a fan of Guns and Roses of both versions Axl's voice owned the song.