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Rate-O-Rama: A Hazy Shade of Winter

Rate-O-Rama #21: Simon and Garfunkel / The Bangles / Gerard Way

By Rick Henry Christopher Published about a month ago 3 min read
Simon and Garfunkel / The Bangles / Gerard Way and Ray Toro

Welcome to Rate-O-Rama!

If you wish to receive a notice when the next Rate-O-Rama post is published please mention that you would like a notification in the comments section.

Rate-O-Rama is a reader participation game.

Every Thursday evening I will publish a Rate-O-Rama article which will feature three versions of a popular song.

The object is to listen to each of the music videos provided within the post.

After listening to each video you can rate each song in the comments section below.

(You must be a member to comment. If you are not a member you can join Vocal Media for FREE. You don’t ever have to pay for membership unless you choose to upgrade your membership)


The rating method is easy. Simply give each song a rating of 1 to 100.

(The more you like the song the higher the rating).

If possible, please provide a brief comment to let us now what you think of each song.

After a week (Thursday evening) I will tally the ratings and in the next Rate-O-Rama post, I will announce the average rating each song received.


Last time we featured the 70s Pop Music classic: “Could It Be Magic " as recorded by Barry Manilow (1975), Donna Summer (1976), and Take That (1992).

The following are the average ratings for each song as result of the votes:

🥇 Donna Summer: 97.2

🥈 Barry Manilow: 91.5

🥉 Take That: 81.1


The Twenty-First Edition of Rate-O-Rama features three renditions of the Folk Rock classic: “A Hazy Shade of Winter."


Simon and Garfunkel (1966)

Written by Paul Simon, the song was recorded in 1966 during the sessions for the album Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, and Thyme and was released as a stand-alone single in October 1966. In 1968 the song was included on the Bookends album.

In its initial single release, the song made it to #13 in the US, #11 in Canada, and #14 in New Zealand.


The Bangles (1987)

By the time “A Hazy Shade of Winter” was released the all-girl band The Bangles already had four Top 40 hits including their worldwide mega-hit “Walk Like An Egyptian.”

In 1987, The Bangles were approached to record a song for the soundtrack of the film Less than Zero. They recorded a cover of "A Hazy Shade of Winter", which they had been performing live as early as March 1983.

Steve Bartek, the lead guitarist of Oingo Boingo played acoustic guitar on the track.

The song was one of four singles from the soundtrack and the only one to reach the Top 10. The Bangles' cover surpassed the original in popularity having reached #2 in the U.S., #3 in Canada, #7 in Australia, #8 in Ireland, #11 in the UK, #12 in Belgium, and #14 in New Zealand.


Gerard Way featuring Ray Toro (2019)

Gerard Way, the lead singer of My Chemical Romance, released “A Hazy Shade of Winter” as a single. Their rendition was based on The Bangles' arrangement. It featured My Chemical Romance lead guitarist Ray Toro on guitar. The song was recorded for the superhero television series The Umbrella Academy.

The song met with minor success charting at #76 in Scotland.


My Thoughts


Simon and Garfunkel:

I am a huge fan of S&G. They produced some of the most consequential music of the 1960s and 70s. So, I am going to have a built-in bias. I like the upbeat tone of this song. It's a nice change from their classic melancholic ballads. Their vocals blend perfectly, with a sense of urgency that lends itself well to Paul Simon's evocative lyrics of hopelessness.

I love this song although it is not one of my favorite S&G songs. I give it a 98.


The Bangles:

The Bangles did a bang-up job on this and with the aggressive drums and lead guitar they brought it home. Even though it's hard to beat the sublime harmony vocals of Simon & Garfunkel, The Bangles did a more than impressive job with their joint lead vocal.

I really want to give Simon and Garfunkel the point advantage here, but with The Bangles' standout musical arrangement and exceptional vocals, I must give them a 100-point score.


Gerard Way featuring Ray Toro:

Okay, Gerard Way's rendition is top-notch. Nothing wrong with it whatsoever. However, it is a cookie-cutter copy of The Bangles' arrangement which for me lessens the effect of this version. Plus, The Bangles seem to have a stronger range of dynamics. I give this one an 89-point rating.


I will be back next week with the results of this Rate-O-Rama Edition.

Last Week's Rate-O-Rama:

With Love, RHC ❤️

rocksong reviewspop culturepophistoryfeaturebandsalt rockalternative80s music60s music

About the Creator

Rick Henry Christopher

Writing is a distraction to fulfill my need for intellectual stimulus, emotional release, and soothing the bruises of the day.

The shattered pieces of life will not discourage me.

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Comments (16)

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  • Susan Fourtané16 days ago

    Simon & Garfunkel: 90 - I love the classics. Their music calms me down and I enjoy it. But this is not one of S&G's best songs, or not one of the ones I like the most, at least. The Bangles: 30 - Not my cup of tea in any way. Too aggressive for my liking. Gerard Way: 15 - It sounds the same as the Bangles with different vocals. Just a copycat thing from something I don't really like.

  • Haven’t done one of these in a while. I really need to keep up better they are so great. Ok my choices The Bangles because I love the Bangles so 100 now here’s where it gets messy. I feel so wrong about this I mean Simon and Garfunkel are legends but I have to go with Gerard 95 and Garfunkel 94

  • Rachel Deeming25 days ago

    I love all of the versions but here are the results from the Deeming corner: Simon and Garfunkel: I like the bareness of this compared to the others so that then the chorus comes, it hits you harder. Always melodious - this is my fave. 95 - just because Garfunkel sounds a little shrill at times. The Bangles: Gives that riff some serious presence but I'm not overly keen on their voices. They don't have enough power for me. Perhaps if we could hear Hoff a little more it would be different as I do like her voice in other Bangles' songs but here, the vocal is indistinct for me. 87 Gerard Way feat.Toro: Same vibes as the Bangles although the vocal is more pronounced but I don't know. It just doesn't do it for me. It gets the same as the Bangles. 87 Thanks, Rick!

  • Kelsey Clarey26 days ago

    A great song for me this week. Where I live, we're currently digging out from a three day blizzard and "hazy shade of winter" very much describes the state of things. Simon and Garfunkel: 95. This one is very much my "vibe" Bangles: 89. Very close to Way, but I think I like the other one slightly more. Gerard Way ft. Ray Toro: 90. Slightly higher than the Bangles, not quite as high for me as S&G

  • Rachel Robbins26 days ago

    I love the S and G original. The blending of the vocals, the smoothness of Simon's songwriting and I'm giving it 80. (Because it's good but it's not the best example of Simon's songwriting or Art's vocals. I've always said if I'd written Bridge Over Troubled Water I would expect never to have work again). I love the building of tension in The Bangles version - it has a sense of menace, which is just ever so slightly undercut by some of the top notes being too 'pretty'. I give it 75. I loved the guitar on the final version. I was not familar with this version, but it has an edge. I give it 70. I think it would be hard to produce a bad cover of this classic. It offers itself up to both upbeat and slower versions.

  • Raymond G. Taylorabout a month ago

    This is my first rate on Rate-o-rama and good choice of numbers, Rick. Paul Simon stands as one of the great song-writers of all time in my book, and I wouldn't have thought of this number (out of his massive songbook). I listened to the songs once each, did not read any of the other comments or scores, or Rick's intro. I have rated the performance, not the song, as this was identical in each, only the interpretation and performance changed. Rating the music and not the videos. Bangles: 85 Gerard Way featuring Ray Toro: 45 Simon & Garfunkle: 35 Reasons: As I would have expected, Bangles is a top-notch Rock/pop cover that brings life and sex to an otherwise painful bland that is the 'original.' And I don't mean the video was sexy. The Bangles music had much better beat, tempo and rhythm. Sorry Paul and Arthur but it don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing! I would have rated Gerard Way higher had it not been so close to the Bangles version as to be almost a cover of a cover. And now for the Ray Taylor version! (I started music lessons 18 months ago: classical guitar) 🤣

  • Tiffany Gordon about a month ago

    WOW you brought back some great memories with this song! The bangles and this song were so lit in the 80s. I remember it from 6th or 7th grade! I might have to go watch Less Than Zero again! 😉 The Bangles get the 100 because of the upbeat vibe and nostalgia S & G gets 65 and Gerard gets 67 respectively...

  • Daphsamabout a month ago

    I love the The Bangles!! Wow, that's a blast form the past.

  • Novel Allenabout a month ago

    I love S&G but not my fave this one. 89. No clue who The Bangles are, but 90. I like the modern tone of Gerard Way, 95. Hope I am not too hard on them. Great job as usual Rick. I keep missing them so sign me up. Blessings.

  • Wow… this fun! The song title caught my eye because it’s a favourite of mine. Simon and Garfunkel (1966) I really like a lot of Simon and Garfunkel songs but this Is before my time… but like the Wright Brothers and planes… latter versions wouldn’t be here without it… pretty decent original song! 85/100. The Bangles (1987): I liked The Bangles “Walk Like an Egyptian” but I was only vaguely aware of this song being around as that year I lived without a TV & only heard the radio driving to and from work. Pretty solid effort but I prefer male vocals. 90/100. Gerard Way featuring Ray Toro (2019): I had never seen the film clip. I first heard this when my kids played their music loudly as they washed dishes! I love it ❤️!!! It never fails to energise me! 95/100! Thanks for this.

  • Naveed about a month ago

    Each version brings something unique to the table, and it's fascinating to see how the song has evolved over the years.

  • All three are excellent, & I can't believe I'm going to do this but... Simon & Garfunkel 97 (they're my boys, but don't quite sound their best) The Bangles 100 (they make it sound like a great cover of a great S&G tune) Gerard Way 90 (I do enjoy The Umbrella Academy & the do a great job with it, but it's basically an imitation)

  • Shirley Belkabout a month ago

    Simon & Garfunkel=100 The Bangles=75 Gerard Way featuring Ray Toro=60 Can't beat that's the words that count and told a story

  • Scott Christensonabout a month ago

    Simon and Garfunkel: 100. And i cant say the word Garfunkel without thinking of the character in the british tv show The Detectorists Bangles: 90 Gerard Way: 93. I enjoyed it in Umbrella Academy

  • Lamar Wigginsabout a month ago

    Great choice of song, Rick! I wasn't mad at any of these versions. The original had a slower tempo. The fact that the other two sped it up didn't detract from the overall feel. S&G- 95 Bangles- 94 Gerard- 94

  • Babs Iversonabout a month ago

    G & S 99 Bangles 96 Gerard 90

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