The song idea is strong here, I suppose this is pop rock. I like the way you took a straightforward chord prog and then slapped those bluesy electric rock lines on top to close out the verses. Altogether this was a smart arrangement, quirky catchy 70s type sound for sure. I can understand why you resurrected it, giving it a little more justice it is due.
I hear how the first version is a little too heavy on the low end, especially the vocals. Boxy? Hmmm, maybe that is true.
It isn’t a bad sound though. You sang it very well, not The Voice level, but your deep register has such a likable tone. When I first heard version 2 it was almost too much taken off the bottom. I have a similar problem (not that I’m a good singer) trying to alleviate sounding too naturally muffled but hoping to not lose that tone, that vibration, that zone. I imagine your live version has a lot more bite and probably less polish, more adlib, more angst, but that’s the studio version in general, isn’t it?
Otherwise the second version is better for the rest of the sounds. I thought the bass and drums was great to begin with, but the update does seem to have more presence.
It is hard to fake that youthful angst when you’re no longer youthful. The lyrics seem too naive, the inclination to be wiser and more mature want to take over, to impart something or warn of the hazards or just be more cynical and real, but they are a means to remember how it really was.