Sampaguita, Mahal Amanda, The Amandas - Babalik Sa 'Yo renditions
“Babalik Sa ‘Yo” - The Original, The Development, The Favorite & The Settled.
Back in 2008 I was in a band called The Amandas. During that time, we were honored to be asked to be part of an album compilation along with other bands for the female rock icon of the Philippines, Sampaguita. The title of this album is called “Bagong Banda: Awit ni Sampaguita”. Here you will find how our rendition of the song “Babalik Sa Iyo” transformed and came to be.
On the track file above there are four parts separated by a wobble tape sound effect. I compiled only the last half of the song of each version to let you hear the variations on that same section. The first is Sampaguita’s original version. A very 70’s rock and roll vibe.
The second is my home sample recording. This is where the development stage starts to come in. You see, my belief in covering a song is very much different from what a lot of artists do. I would rather transform the music into how I would feel it to sound and yet not jeopardizing the original. Coming up with your own version with that belief is hard but once achieved it feels really good. It’s like discovering your own kind of cheeseburger but you cook or prepare it differently, but it’s still a cheeseburger.
What I managed to do is find a different lead vocal key that could merge with Sampaguita’s original as if in harmony if sung at the same time. I still included her original melody as the second voice. The chords and the arrangement stayed the same. Since the lyrics of the song means “Whatever you do will come back to you”, I thought of how to achieve a rendition that could reflect the lyrics in a more dramatic sense which would still fit just as the original had in an upbeat way. And thus the third rendition came to be.
Without really talking it over beforehand, the band and I were at the studio to basically come up with the new arrangements. They all had the same belief as I did and I was quite thrilled with the fact that they too wanted to do a whole different version and not just make it sound as a cover song. In one day (and I do not like to brag) we did it. You can hear the third segment of the audio file our dramatic version that, whenever I listen to it, makes me feel as if I’m flying. This was our favorite. We were sure it would become a favorite to many listeners and hopefully Sampaguita herself as well. But we were wrong. It was rejected.
In all respect to Sampaguita and the producers of the album, I understood why. Because the song had totally transformed into a different one that the only thing that obviously remained were the lyrics, even if the second voice was her original melody; even if the chords progressions hardly really changed; even if this and that— the main point was it sounded too different. I guess we went overboard on that one. We were asked to re-record it again, and as much as our hearts sank, we went and did it.
The fourth version in the audio file is the one that you will hear in the album itself. It sounds exactly the same as the original. The keyboards has a slightly evident difference though. It was injected with the ghost of our favorite version. Yes, we had frowns on our faces but at least it got accepted.
That was the journey of our infamous rendition of “Babalik Sa Iyo”, and I found out that another band is currently using our favorite version as their own where the only changes done were the lyrics. Melody and arrangements are the same. Can you spell originality or ethics? Is there such a thing as royalty payments for the vocal lead melody I had created? How about being credited? Hmmm…
Oh well. I guess that whatever was done did come back to us.