Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Classic Country Research Department

Please assist the STWOF Classic Country Research Department by taking a moment to rate these versions of Crazy Arms according to your order of preference:

Ray Price – Crazy Arms (buy album)
Jerry Lee Lewis – Crazy Arms (buy album)
Patsy Cline – Crazy Arms (buy album)
Linda Ronstadt – Crazy Arms (buy album)
BR5-49 – Crazy Arms (buy album)

You may express your votes (and views) in the comments section below.

Thank you for your anticipated cooperation. Your feedback will help this blog better serve your classic country listening needs.

UPDATE: The results are in. Jerry Lee was the run away winner. The others are in a statistical dead heat for second place. Of the runners up, Patsy Cline's version got the most first and last place votes. Love it or hate it, I guess. My own ranking would be: (1) Jerry Lee (I'm on a JLL kick lately), (2) Linda (I'm a sucker for that So. Cal. country-rock sound), (3) Ray (also a sucker for real honky tonk, but Ray isn't George Jones), (4) Patsy (I think the production fits her style, so it's a thumb's up, and (5) BR5-49 (a bit too derivative for a relatively modern act, but sounds good nevertheless).


Ramone666 said...

Patsy, Jerry Lee, Ray.
Good luck with your research, motor city cowboy!

Anonymous said...

Linda Ronstadt, BR5-49, Patsy Cline, Jerry Lee Lewis and then Ray Price for me but Johnny Paycheck makes mincemeat of all of them with his sublime rendition. The definitive one in my humble opinion.

Dave D. said...

Ray Price set the standard IMO, and gets my vote, although I like BR5-49's version a lot.

If write-ins are allowed (and props to the commenter above that suggested Johnny Paycheck), I'll go with this one for sentimental reasons:


Paul said...

Hey Dave,

Thanks for the Drivin' Sideways clip! When I lived in Ann Arbor (only a few blocks from the Blind Pig) I used to check them out a lot. Good times.

Dave D. said...

Yeah, 20-plus years of happy hours and probably more popular now than ever. Having Bill Kirchen sit in for this rendition of Crazy Arms didn't hurt, either.

Re-reading your original question, you were looking for an ordering instead of a favorite so I'll say:

Price > BR5-49 > Cline > Lewis > Rondstadt

Robby said...

1) Cline
2) BR5-49
3) Lewis
4) Price
5) Ronstadt

I'm surprised by my own ranking. I dig Jerry Lee the most out of these artists, but on his version he doesn't sound like he's trying real hard. Paul, maybe you should do a post about how Jerry Lee invented slacker rock.

Patsy's voice is terrific, but it's the arrangement that gets her version the top spot. I like the Latin-ish rhythm and the production isn't too busy, unllke Ronstadt's version, which is too syrupy for me. Interesting that the main complaint about countrypolitan was the overproduction, but Cline's producer has the strings well in the background here (unlike "Back in Baby's Arms," for example).

Ray Price's version (the original?) is OK, but it doesn't really jump out at me; BR5-49's is good all around--crisp modern production with an old-time roots feel. It reminds me somewhat of Dwight Yoakam's early work.

Anonymous said...

I have to respectfully disagree with Robby. To me Patsy's version IS overproduced (the strings, the unnecessary background vocals), and that's why I have to go with Ray Price, followed by BR5-49. Ironically, I have more Patsy in my iTunes than any of these other artists.

Keep up the good work Paul. This is my favorite music blog.

Your fellow former Ann Arborite, Marc

camillo said...

1) Cline
2) Ronstadt
3) Lewis
I didn't like the BR5-49's rendition (but I'm an old european, and need time to appreciate...)

Lynchie frae Aberdeen, Scotland said...

1. The Killer Jerry Lee Lewis!
2. BR5-49
3. Ray Price
4. Linda Ronstadt
5. Pasty Cline

LD said...

1. Jerry Lee - The gold standard. Love how he drives the song forward with his piano, but lays back on the vocal to create a, er, killer tension.

2. Ray Price - Love the harmonies, great fiddle sound, and the first country tune to feature the boot-scootin 4/4 shuffle. That has to count for something.

3. BR5-49 - Unspectacular, but solid. If nothing else, it holds down the dancefloor.

4. Ronstadt - Kinda the flip to BR5. Linda has a great voice, but instead of keeping it loose and danceable, she tries too hard to make it a country weeper. Meh.

5. Love Patsy, but this doesn't work at all. Too busy and unfocused, like she and the producer ... I assume Owen Bradley ... overthought what should've been a simple process.

Joel @ Postmodern Sounds said...

Jerry Lee Lewis - The piano really makes this one.

Linda Ronstadt - a nice Laurel Canyon version

Patsy Cline - the Latin feel is interesting, but I agree that it's over-produced

BR5-49 - good, but I really feel that this owes too much to Jerry Lee's version to be great

Ray Price - Is Ray Price always this boring and plodding? I like his other songs, I think.

Isn't there a Gram Parsons or Burrito Brothers version out there? I can't find it on my computer, but I've heard it and think it worthy of high rating.

Richard said...

Jerry Lee is definitely Numbah One Man ... he 'ruv you 'rong time ... 'sides that, he just plays Original Hard-Ass Country Rock that makes all the competition a pretender ... I don't care that he married his 13-year-old cousin ...

Linda takes home the Nr 2 crown if only for the tears ... and the pathos ... and the faux misery and angst ... She's still trying to find her way to Rosa's Cantina, but Marty Robbins left so long ago ...

Ray Price pulls into Parking Spot Number Three in that big fancy RV with the windows rolled down and the radio blarin' ...

Patsy Cline still has the voice down pat, but she shoulda knowed when to say 'No' to being overproduced ... now, if this din't have the word 'Arms' in its title, well, seemsayin' ...

BR5-49 ... ? Well, somebody's got to be bringin' up the rear now, don't they ... ?

Anonymous said...

1. BR5-49
2. Ronstadt
3. Jerry Lee
4. Ray Price
and, I'm with Marc on the overproduction, 5. Patsy

- Darius

mredge said...

Jerry Lee
Ray BR-549

Of course, Willie does it best.

12sharks said...

Yeah, there is a GP & Burrito Bros. version - it's off the Sleepless Nights album and it's AWESOME.

Anonymous said...

Ray Price
Jerry Lee
Patsy Cline
Linda Ronstadt