Tournament of Rock: The 5280 – Tommy Bolin vs. Rose Hill Drive

TOR5280_bannerAnd away we go. First, the ground rules. There are 24 bands in ToR5280, with the top 8 (in the editor’s estimation) receiving a first-round bye. They were selected along a range of criteria, including artistic merit, critical acclaim and influence. (If they achieved some popular success that doesn’t hurt anything.) Instead of trying to seed, as I have in the past, we’re going to use the FA Cup method: blind random draw at every stage, with no brackets involved at all.

I’ll post some information, including whatever links I can pointing you to their music. You listen and vote. Winner advances. Simple enough?

Let the games begin. Up first: Continue reading

CATEGORY: ToR4bracket

Tournament of Rock IV: And the winner is….

The the final round matchup between #10 seed Meat Loaf and unseeded upstart Duran Duran saw more than 12,500 votes cast, a new Tournament of Rock record. Thanks to everyone who showed up to voice their support.

Along the way we’ve had some laughs, traded some barbs, shaken our heads in disbelief at some of the results, watched some videos, and a few of us have reveled in the irony and spectacle of it all. It has indeed been fun.

The final was a see-saw affair. It started slow, then DD surged to what looked like an insurmountable lead. But the Meat Loaf fan club struck back, pulling even and nudging ahead for a few minutes. But the Duranies rallied and pulled away, in the end tallying 58.15% of the vote.

Ladies and gentlemen, please congratulate your choice for the greatest corporate band in the world, DURAN DURAN! Let’s celebrate with Simon doing is David Bowie impression.

Here’s how the final bracket looked. See you next time. And by the way, if you’re looking for more music content, have a look at our Best CDs of 2012 series.

Image Credit: KikiLime Designs

CATEGORY: ToR4bracket

Tournament of Rock IV FINALS: Duran Duran vs. Meat Loaf

In our second semi-final we have…no surprise whatsoever, as the Duranies just keep on coming. This time around they scored 85% of the vote to absolutely crush REO Speedwagon. We’ll see if they can now muster one final assault on Corporate Rock Mountain.

And don’t tell me you had unseeded Duran Duran and #10 seed Meat Loaf making the finals in your office pool, either. Nobody could have predicted this.

So, on with the show. Introducing first, at a combined weight of 587 pounds, hailing from Birmingham, England, DURAN DURAN!

Their opponent (you’re just waiting on a “combined weight” crack here, aren’t you? Stop it.), hailing from Big D, little a, double L A.S., MEAT LOAF!

Click to vote.

Here’s the up-to-date bracket.

CATEGORY: ToR4bracket

Tournament of Rock IV: REO Speedwagon vs. Duran Duran

And the Meat Loaf Express just keeps on rolling. We could look at the string of results and wonder whether he’s been so successful due to the enthusiasm of his fans or the indifference of those of his opponents. In any case, AC/DC is his latest victim and we’ll see Meat Loaf in the finals, where he’ll face off with the winner of this match.

Up first, let’s hear from REO Speedwagon:

And now, the band that. thanks to the insane loyalty of its fans, has established itself as the prohibitive favorite to win it all.

Click to vote.

Here’s the up-to-date bracket.

CATEGORY: ToR4bracket

Tournament of Rock IV: AC/DC vs. Meat Loaf

Rick Springfield tallied the fourth-highest vote total in the the tournament so far, which was good for…40% of the vote. Wow, the Duranies were out in force. If they keep showing up like this Duran Duran is going to be our champion. Still, three matches remain and anything can happen. Onto the semi-finals.

I won’t lie to you – I’m a little surprised that Meat Loaf has made it this far. There’s no questioning his corporate rock credentials, of course, but he’s beaten some artists that I thought for sure would draw more voter love. Shows you what I know. In any case, he’s up against it now.

In the red corner, hailing from the magical land of Oz, please welcome AC/DC!

Their opponent in the blue corner, hailing from the magical land of Dallas, Texas, give it up for Meat Loaf!

Click to vote.

Here’s the up-to-date bracket.

CATEGORY: ToR4bracket

Tournament of Rock IV: Rick Springfield vs. Duran Duran

We have another nailbiter to report: by a scant three votes, our third quarter-final winner is…AC/DC! Congrats to Eric Clapton, who goes home with our thanks and a copy of the Tournament of Rock home edition.

One more semi-final slot remains to be filled, and both of our contestants have enjoyed strong fan support so far in the tournament. Gentlemen: start your engines!

Up first, here’s Duran Duran with “Save a Prayer,” which I have always felt is one of the greatest videos from the ’80s.

Rick Springfield counters with one of the greatest songs in power pop history.

Click to vote.

Here’s the up-to-date bracket.

CATEGORY: ToR4bracket

Tournament of Rock IV: Eric Clapton vs. AC/DC

In our second quarter-final match up we had the makings of a blowout, as Aerosmith surged to a huge early lead. Then Meat Loaf’s fans weighed in, as it were, and the biggest solo artist in all of Hard Rock blew past the boys from Boston like, well, a bat out of hell, I guess, logging nearly 60% of the vote. Aerosmith, the tribe has spoken.

We turn now to a couple of acts that have both made their livings slinging an axe, although in doing so they have proven that great tools can often be used in very different ways.

We begin with Slowhand, singing about meeting the devil at the crossroads

And here’s AC/DC. They’re on the highway to meet the devil. Because the world moves a lot faster these days.

Click to vote.

Here’s the up-to-date bracket.

CATEGORY: ToR4bracket

Tournament of Rock IV: Meat Loaf vs. Aerosmith

Wow. #4 seed REO Speedwagon vs. #5 Bon Jovi turned out to the be the nailbiter we’ve been waiting for. Each band held significant leads at one point or another, and in the end it came down to a photo-finish: by a mere two votes, your winner is…REO Speedwagon. Congratulations to both bands on a great showing, and we’ll see REO in the semi-finals.

Up next, another match of top seeds: #2 Aerosmith and #10 Meat Loaf. Frankly, here are two artists we’d kill to see collaborating. Maybe they could do a medley of “I Would Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That)” and “Big Ten Inch Record.” I smell a hit, yo.

Let’s see here. How about we start with my favorite Embaerosmith tune in the last 20 years.

Since we’re focusing on high spots, let’s now see the greatest moment of Meat Loaf’s career.

Click to vote.

Here’s the up-to-date bracket.

CATEGORY: ToR4bracket

Tournament of Rock IV: Bon Jovi vs. REO Speedwagon

The last match in the Sweet 16 goes off without a great deal of drama, despite the fact that it was technically an upset: AC/DC, purveyor of ballsy hard rock and affordable Shiraz, handles Phil Collins easily and takes another step down the highway to CorpRock hell.

And now we arrive in the quarterfinals. Eight bands left, and only one crown. We’ll tell you who they are, show you a video, and the rest is up to you. Without further ado, then, our first matchup – an inter-regional affair pitting New Jersey against the Heartland. In the spirit of the season, here’s Bruce Springsteen Bon Jovi.

I can’t find any video of REO Speedwagon doing Christmas songs. So the next best thing is this, featuring them channeling The Shirelles.

Click to vote.

Here’s the up-to-date bracket.

CATEGORY: ToR4bracket

Tournament of Rock IV: AC/DC vs. Phil Collins

Finally, we have a result that we sort of expected: #16 Rick Springfield takes out unseeded Foreigner. The 87%-13% margin is more than we might have anticipated, but Rick’s fans tend to be enthusiastic. We’ll see him in the Great 8, where he will take on Duran Duran.

And now, the final match of the Sweet 16 round: #11 Phil Collins vs. AC/DC, which defeated #6 seed Bryan Adams in the prelims.

Me: Phil Collins is like your accountant got famous. AC/DC is like the burners in shop class got famous. What a choice. I will offer this up as…something. I’m not sure what.

That is the AC/DC wine display at a local liquor store. Let me repeat that: AC/DC wine Pictured here: Back in Black Shiraz and Highway to Hell Cabernet. You couldn’t get more corporate than this if Bill Gates and Carly Fiorina formed a band. It’s a long way to the top if you want to mainstream rock and roll, I guess.

[sigh] Nonetheless, this is still one of the greatest songs in rock history. Rip it up, boys. And I need more bagpipe.

I have no idea how Phil is going to compete with that, but let’s give it our best shot, shall we (with an assist from Philip Bailey).

Click to vote.

Here’s the up-to-date bracket.

CATEGORY: ToR4bracket

Tournament of Rock IV: Foreigner vs. Rick Springfield

The upsets just keep on coming, as #10 Meat Loaf takes out #7 KISS in a sideshow special. Congratulations to the hottest band in the world for making it to the Sweet 16, and we’ll see Loaf in the Great 8, where he’ll face #2 Aerosmith.

Onto our next match, which ought to be a lively one: #16 Rick Springfield vs. the band that took out our top seed in the prelims, Foreigner.

fikshun: Rick Springfield used to be in a soap opera. The same can probably still be said for the members of Foreigner.

Me: When Foreigner sang “I Want to Know What Love Is,” it turns out that Frankie Goes to Hollywood’s hot-blooded video for “Relax” was not the answer they were looking for. I loved their first record, but it’s hard to forgive the homophobia. I mean, what are they, a Christian band? As for Rick, it was hard to forgive the decision to cast Janet Eilber as the love interest in Hard to Hold. But I’ll get over that one. Some day.

First, something old:

And something new. Ish.

Click to vote.

Here’s the up-to-date bracket.

CATEGORY: ToR4bracket

Tournament of Rock IV: KISS vs. Meat Loaf

Wow. I predicted Stevie Nicks in a landslide, and I was half right (Duran Duran scoring 59% of the vote constitutes a landslide, right?) Still, that seems unfair to the literally thousands of Stevie fans who showed up to vote and comment. This was the largest turnout in our four ToRs to date, in fact, so congrats to both acts. We’ll see DD again in the quarterfinals, when they take on the winner of the Rick Springfield/Foreigner match.

And now, onward. March Madness fans will tell you that the 7/10 match-up is always a dangerous one, and maybe it will be here, as #7 seed KISS squares off with #10 Meat Loaf.

fikshun: Both are kings of hype and self-promotion. Gene Simmons rocked the small screen in The Avengers prequel.. er…Kiss Meets the Phantom of the Park. Meat was in Fight Club. Meat was in Rocky Horror Picture Show. Even though the latter came out the same year as Kiss Alive!, I’m still not sure if Paul Stanley gave birth to Dr. Frankenfurter’s persona or vice versa. Wow, this is a better match-up than the Dr. Phil/Josef Mengele tilt I’m hoping to see in the afterlife.

Bonesparkle: I always thought Meat Loaf was Bonnie Tyler before the sex change. It is so hard to keep up with you Americans and your pop stars.

Me: This is going to come down to the female vote. Gene Simmons can lick his eyebrows. Meat Loaf can…ummm…is sweat sexy?

Up first, an age-old existential question: why are we here? Well, I was made for loving you, baby. It’s like reading Sartre, isn’t it?

And now, I’d do anything for love, but ewww.

Click to vote.

Here’s the up-to-date bracket.