"Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please." (Mark Twain)
Friday, June 23, 2006
1. Mr. Tambourine Man (The Byrds): This live version is notable mostly for (a) some incredibly tight playing from the rhythm section, and (b) Dylan's own appearance (which can be identified by the crowd noise).
2. "All Along the Watchtower" (The Paperboys): Spanish/Celtic reinterpretation of Dylan's greatest Hendrix hit. Love those unison parts with banjo, pipe, and fiddle working out together!
3. "My Back Pages" (The Hollies): Some lovely harmonies on this otherwise pedestrian remake.
4. "I'll Keep It With Mine" (Rainy Day): Actually, I prefer the Fairport Convention version, but for whatever reason I chose this cover by a Paisley Underground supergroup featuring Susanna Hoffs on lead vocals.
5. "Absolutely Sweet Marie" (Jason and the Scorchers): This rockin' version features some "absolutely sweet" guitar work. Also features one of my favorite Dylan lyrics - "to live outside the law, you must be honest."
6. "It Ain't Me, Babe" (Johnny Cash and June Carter): A perfect pairing of song and artist.
7. "Desolation Row" (Grateful Dead): Worth the price of admission if only for Bob Weir's delivery of the line, "when you asked how I was doing, was that some kind of joke?" He does, however, screw up the line about "Ezra Pound and T.S. Elliot."
8. "It's All Over Now, Baby Blue" (Marianne Faithfull): Nice cover, but what's up with the heavy breathing in the beginning, before the vocals actually start? Had the engineer never heard of the "mute" button?
9. "One Too Many Mornings" (The Association): This is one of two songs I want played at my funeral ("Keep Me In Your Heart" by Warren Zevon is the other). Not this version, though.
10. "Love Minus Zero/No Limit" (Judy Collins): I've always had a crush on Judy Collins, so just shut up. I do wish she'd wake up, however.
11. "Masters of War" (The Long Ryders): Did you see Dylan do this song on Letterman's anniversary show 15 years or so ago? This version is even angrier, if you can believe that. I wish I could say it sounded dated.
12. "The Mighty Quinn (Quinn the Eskimo)" (1910 Fruitgum Company): A perfect pairing of song and artist, Part II.
13. "Shelter From the Storm" (Manfred Mann's Earth Band): Weird, weird, weird. Fretless bass, proggy keyboards, and vocal overdubs so over the top as to be beyond imagination. What, was Jon Anderson busy?
14. "Blowin' In the Wind" (Robert Hazard): Who knew that this song would work so well as an early-80's New Wave anthem?
What are your favorite Dylan covers? Let me know in the comments.