Battle of the Bands

Heart of Glass cover #BOTB showdown

Good-day, kittens & dawgs! It’s mid-month, as we face another round of Battle of the Bands. Today’s battle cover song goes back more than three decades.

Debbie Harry wrote “Heart of Glass” (reference only – not included in BOTB) in 1975 named “Once I Had A Love”. It had a slower, funkier sound with a basic disco beat that the band called “The Disco Song“(just for fun). It wasn’t until the group was working on their album Parallel Lines that they decided to dust this song off to make over becoming the album’s third single to chart number one in several countries in 1979.

I’m featuring two new-to-me bands covering Blondie’s classic hit at a bit of a slower pace. First up is a group outta Charlottesville, Virginia who combine bluegrass, jazz, Latin, and Celtic sounds to create their own music. Meet….Old School Freight Train!

Next up is a French cover band lead by musicians Marc Collin and Oliver Libaux. Their music style falls in the genres: lounge, new wave, and bossa nova. The only one I understand is lounge. lol Anywho, the group has performed with a long list of revolving female singers who have successful solo careers, some of which are Camille, Phoebe Killdeer, Mélanie Pain, and Nadéah Miranda.  Allow me to introduce to you, Nouvelle Vague (In French this means “new wave”)!


Do you know which band you like the best? Are you going with Old School Freight Train or Nouvelle Vague? Please cast your vote in comments and if you want, tell me why you picked your artist.

I’ll share my pick next week along with the results, so be sure to come back to see who wins this round of BoTB. Meanwhile, the fun continues with more epic battles underway below.

I invite you to visit, Stephen (at the top of the list), if you’d like to know how this works and/or ask how to join all this madness fun.

Thanks for joining in on the fun. I am not doing a link up on my site this go around, instead I am joining the Monday’s Music Moves Me party and invite you to come along. This is Curious as a Cathy signing off with have a bandtastic day and please boogie over for my mid-week fun with not-so Wordless Wednesday!

Alibris: Books, Music, & Movies

I born and raised in the Appalachian mountains of southern WV. I was a child bride when I married my high school sweetheart in 1979. We moved to Knoxville, TN to begin our life. Determined to prove nay-Sayers from our community wrong, I completed my education and went on to earn an A.S. in computer programming. From 1983-1987, I worked as a computer system’s manager. That’s a glorified title for someone who trouble shoots and maintains system back-ups. After the birth of our first child in 1988, I took early retirement. What have I been doing for the last 25+ years? I am proud to say, I am a SAHM and for most of those years I home-schooled our three children from K-12. Now, the nest is empty.


    • Cathy Kennedy

      Mike, Oh yay, another vote for Old School Freight Train! They surely didn’t get the steam like like I had hoped for in this round. Totally interesting to see how things went, though. I’m with you I like their mellow version. It’s not depressing like many have said, in my opinion. Oh well, it just goes to show how the brain interrupts the song, huh? Check back tomorrow to see who wins!

  • D-FensDogG

    CATHY ~
    To be honest, I always disliked Blondie, and I hated ‘Heart Of Glass’ with an almost stomach-churning revulsion. But thankfully, you did not use the original.

    I gotta say, I absolutely love the band name ‘Old School Freight Train’. I only wish they had lived up to their name in some way. By the three-minute mark of their recording, they had completely worn out my patience with them. I kept waiting for them to “do” something with the song — or at the very least, find a melody in it somewhere. But nope, it was just continuous slow-motion droning until it was all I could takes and I couldn’t takes no mo’!

    Nouvelle Vague, on the other hand, I actually liked and was shocked that they could arrange a song I hate and turn it into something I liked well enough to play a second time just for the fun of it. Good job, Nouvelle Vague! They sure as hell are better’n Blondie, in my opinion.

    ~ D-FensDogG
    ‘Loyal American Underground’

    • Cathy Kennedy

      Stephen, at first I thought, “How could I pick not only a group, but a song that Stephen didn’t like?” But, then I was flattered you liked the contenders a bit and I even found out that you liked NV better than Blondie and their cover is your preferred choice. You put a smile on my face. I didn’t completely fail you in this BoTB. I have your vote recorded for the French band, Nouvelle Vague and thanks for making time to stop by. I know you aren’t feeling well and you are working a lot of OT. Take it easy and be well, my friend!

  • Robin

    I think I might’ve liked the version by Old School Freight Train more had they picked up speed as they went along. I really liked it at first, but then I realized it was five minutes at this pace and that was way too long. I also realized I wouldn’t like it nearly so much without the video to entertain me. It was SLOW. Funny that Cherdo mentioned Cold Mountain because I was thinking the exact same thing! That song would be absolutely perfect as soundtrack material. It is slow and haunting and voices could actually be heard over it if placed well. I wouldn’t be at all surprised it I didn’t hear it in a movie or TV show in the future. But what makes good background music in a movie or TV show isn’t necessarily awesome for five minutes.

    And that leads us to your second choice. It was also very different from the Blondie original. It was more similar in that both songs are upbeat, but that’s where the similarities end. I actually could understand the words in version number two (nice!) and it made me smile. Now given the content/lyrics of the song that may not be the best thing, but I really enjoyed it… so I’m saying YES and giving it the nod.

    Two very interesting covers. Thanks for bringing them to light. My choice is for the second one, Nouvelle Vague.

    • Cathy Kennedy

      Robin, you and Cherdo have a good ear for music. This cover would’ve been good for the movie Cold Mountain. Who knows maybe it’ll get used somewhere down the road. The haunting, surreal quality of this cover is what I like the most. It has a good shot at getting my vote, but I’m not committing to that just yet. I’m glad you enjoyed both covers. I have you down for Nouvelle Vague.

  • Stacy Uncorked

    Honestly not a fan of either cover, as I’m not a fan of them slowing the song/beat down…that being said, I’ll have to go with Nouvelle Vague, since they didn’t slow it down quite as much as Old School did. 🙂

    • Cathy Kennedy

      Stacy, the slow tempo is something I think you have to be in the mood for because it really struck me just right and I actually like both the more I listen to them. Thanks for voting for the least offender of the two. lol

  • DiscConnected

    Both versions dragged a little, but Old School’s a little too much. I liked that both bands radically departed from the original but was able to stay awake for Nouvelle Vague’s version.

    Put me down for Nouvelle Vague.


    • Cathy Kennedy

      Larry, outrageous! You cracked me up with, “I liked that both bands radically departed from the original but was able to stay awake for Nouvelle Vague’s version.” I’m glad you were able to stay awake and were able to vote for NV. lol Rock on, my friend!

  • Debbie D.

    Both of those are so different from the original. Great contest, Cathy! Please give my vote to Nouvelle Vague. They put an interesting spin on it. Old School’s version was too draggy and sad.

    • Cathy Kennedy

      Chris, The Old School Freight Train cover is so slow it can’t gain steam to pull out of the depot. Nouvelle Vague chugged way, way ahead of ’em in this competition. Thanks for popping in to vote in this round of BoTB, my friend!

    • Cathy Kennedy

      Birgit, these groups are just so different from the original. It took me a bit to warm up to these, but the more I listen to them the more I like them. Thanks for casting your vote for the one you disliked the least. lol

  • Cherdo

    Both of these covers are great – what a difference! Pretty impressive research there, Cathy.

    I’m going to go with Old School Freight Train…can’t you just see that as one of the “Cold Mountain” songs. I lean Celtic often, lol.

    Take care, neighbor! (What about that lightning tonight? Shiver!)

    • Cathy Kennedy

      Cherdo, Another vote for Old School Freight Train! We were finishing things up in the yard for the evening when the lightning started. Thankfully we got indoors before the rain hit. I told DH the grass will be 2 feet tall tomorrow. lol I’m all achy after that workout; lifting this, digging up that, pulling this, I’m exhausted! I’m off to have dinner then it’s bedtime. Thanks for stopping by, dearie. I have your vote recorded! 😉

  • XmasDolly

    Actually, I love the one Blonde did! ~hehehe~, but if you make me choose I’ll have to say the second one. I like a more upbeat tune today… see it depends on my mood! HUGS and I’m in an up-beat mode today! woo hoo Thanks for rockin’ with us dear friend. Have a rocktastic week!

  • Mary B

    I kind of feel bad for old School Freight Train. They sounded like they have choo-choo’d along the track just a little too long, and their cover was mind numbingly slow. Nouvelle Vague showed some promise as they started out with a much faster pace, but by the end of the song. they too seemed to slow down to a draggin ass pace. So now I have a dilemma about who to cast my vote for. I listened to both songs again. and I believe I will be giving my vote to Old School Freight Train. At least they were consistently slow. 🙂

    Jingle Jangle Jungle

    • Cathy Kennedy

      Mary, I’m actually glad to see another tally for OSFT. Everyone says their cover is depressing. It’s definitely moody feeling and I sorta like it. I guess its the contrasting factor that appeals to me. I have your vote recorded, my friend. Thanks for stopping by!

    • Cathy Kennedy

      John, Another vote for NV. I really didn’t see this one going the way it’s been going today, but…there’s always time for Old School Freight Train to catch up. That is, if everyone makes it by to vote then they have a chance. Thank you for voting and visiting today!

  • greyzoned/angelsbark

    Wow, two very different takes on this song! Really interesting, both of them. I like Nouvelle Vague best so they get my vote. These are new-to-me bands too. Thanks for that!

    Nice battle!

    Michele at Angels Bark

    • Cathy Kennedy

      Michele, I’m glad you enjoyed the two new-to-you groups. I wasn’t familiar with either of these bands until now and I was surprised how much I liked their covers of Blondie’s song. I gotcha down for Nouvelle Vague. As it stands, they are getting nearly all of the votes, except one. This may change, though.

  • Thomas Anderson

    Hi, Cathy!

    Leave it to you to dig deep and find interesting and obscure covers for your battles. Old School Freight Train slows the Blondie hit down to a deathly crawl and the band delivers the most unusual rendering of the song I could ever imagine. In combination with the video showing a Civil War reenactment, their version is surreal. Is that the official music video or the uploader’s composition?

    I’m a sucker for a French accent and I liked Nouvelle Vague a bit more. They retained just enough characteristics of the original to please me. I like the bossa nova arrangement, the production acoustics, the capable backing band and the vocal harmony. Old School Freight Train left me feeling sad and depressed while Nouvelle Vague set a tone that seemed more playful and fun. Therefore, I need to give my vote to the French band Nouvelle Vague.

    Thank you very much, dear friend Cathy!

    • Cathy Kennedy

      Tom, both bands are quite different from Blondie’s version. I rather liked what both groups did with the song, not that I like either more than the original, though. Of course, they are equally interesting and I’m not sure who will get my vote. I have you down for Nouvelle Vague.

    • Cathy Kennedy

      Lee, I appreciate the link suggestion for NV. All I can say the one I used originally worked at the time I plugged it in. 🙁 Oh well, thankfully I such awesome friends like you watching out for me. 😀 So, am I understanding that you want your vote to go to OSFT? I’ll be by your place soon. Have a songtastic day!

  • Janie Junebug

    I hoped I would understand the lyrics at a slower pace. No such luck. Both covers are performed by mumblers. I vote for Nouvelle Vague because I prefer their sound. No particular reason. Sorry I’m not specific about it. The video on your blog doesn’t work, but I looked up Nouvelle Vague on YouTube. You made an interesting choice.


    • Cathy Kennedy

      Janie, It seems you have to be mumbler to be a singer. lol It’s frustrating when you can’t understand the lyrics, but I thank you for being such a good sport in playing along despite the group you picked were not clear singing vocalists. I’m sorry that the vid didn’t work. It was working, but I guess they pulled it. The one Lee found is newly added YouTube vid; I used it in place of the broken one. I have your vote recorded for NV! I’m hopping your way soon!

💕I love comments! Have a purrfect day & thanks for stopping by!💕