Alley GatorPoster topBLOGArticles and CommentsSongsTimelinePlaylistsAlbumsDatabaseAlbum ListsArtistsPantheonArtist ListsResourcesBits and PiecesTips & AdviceBooks & Websites

Playlists

Make List: blank template | copy this list
posted by: jere1911
10/19/12 12:34 pm
5 FAVORITE DYLAN COVERS
(10)
Dylan songs have been recorded in near definitive versions by other artists. Some of those "other artist" versions don't seem like covers. That emphasizes Dylan's fundamental role as a songwriter. These are my favorites. Welcome yours.
The Times They Are A-Changing-- Peter, Paul and Mary (Mary's voice rings out among the harmonies, introducing Dylan to a wide audience and saying a lot about the times.)

My Back Pages--The Byrds (Their versions of his songs always seemed to me to be "alternate official versions". This is no exception. Their uptempo drive makes this a great rock song and I love the guitar solo. But also check out the driving version on the Dylan 30th Anniversary Concert album with McGuinn, Young, Clapton, Petty, Harrison and Dylan himself. They take the Byrds driving version and go another step. Historic performance there.)

All Along the Watchtower--Hendrix (No comment needed.)

Dark Eyes--Judy Collins (Haunting interpretation, beautifully sung. Chilling and beautiful. I wonder how Dylan reacted to this one.)

You Ain't Goin' Nowhere--The Byrds (A great version of the song by a different version of The Byrds. They nailed it for me.)
Tags:
jere1911 says:
10/19/12 2:43 pm

Commenting on my own list, and having a quick second thought, I think I will replace "Times Are A-Changing" with the "big one"--Blowin' in the Wind. The former was more of a live song for PP&M (not sure there is a studio recording, is there?). Blowin' is the better and more historic choice.
Alley Gator says:
10/20/12 9:52 pm
Thanks for posting this list, jere1911. You are the Alley Cat master of using lists to start conversations.

To me your list's greatest omission is The Byrds' version of Mr. Tambourine Man, which in my Dylan covers pantheon ranks second only to Hendrix's Watchtower.

And yes, indeed, PP&M released a single of "Blowin' in the Wind" on June 18, 1963, which was an immediate hit. At the "Great March on Washington" on August 28, 1963, Dylan sang several of his own songs, but it was PP&M that sang "Blowin' in the Wind," which by then had been a top 10 pop record for nearly two months.

As I compiled the Alley Timeline I discovered that Dylan's Freewheelin' album - his breakthrough as a mainstream artist, which includes not only "Blowin' in the Wind" but also "Don't Think Twice" and "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall" - had been released on May 27, 1963 but did not appear on the pop album chart for the first time until the week of the March on Washington.

Dylan and PP&M were both managed by Albert Grossman, so it's no accident that PP&M's cover of "Blowin' in the Wind" was what first exposed him to a mainstream audience.
jere1911 says:
10/21/12 3:02 pm
Alley Gator said: Thanks for posting this list, jere1911. You are the Alley Cat master of using lists to start conversations. To me your list's greatest omission is The Byrds' version of Mr. Tambourine Man, which in my Dylan covers pantheon ranks second only to Hendrix's Watchtower. And yes, indeed, PP&M released a single of "Blowin' in the Wind" on June 18, 1963, which was an immediate hit. At the "Great March on Washington" on August 28, 1963, Dylan sang several of his own songs, but it was PP&M that sang "Blowin' in the Wind," which by then had been a top 10 pop record for nearly two months. As I compiled the Alley Timeline I discovered that Dylan's Freewheelin' album - his breakthrough as a mainstream artist, which includes not only "Blowin' in the Wind" but also "Don't Think Twice" and "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall" - had been released on May 27, 1963 but did not appear on the pop album chart for the first time until the week of the March on Washington. Dylan and PP&M were both managed by Albert Grossman, so it's no accident that PP&M's cover of "Blowin' in the Wind" was what first exposed him to a mainstream audience.
The Byrds' Mr. Tambourine Man really does belong there. I guess I was going for a little variety in laying out a mini-playslist. So I declare it a 6 favorite. Another tempting choice is The Band singing "I Shall Be Released:.
cornercat says:
10/26/12 1:14 am
The list is excellent, although Johnny Winter's "Highway 61" is in my top two or three for sure. It is such a great record and defining version of the song.

They might not be on the very short list, I like Manfred Mann's Quinn, and Ronstadt's I'll be Your Baby.
Murgatroyd says:
10/26/12 11:50 am
Dylan songs - and Dylan covers - have continued apace since 1970. One of my favorites is Gavin Friday's magisterial & world-weary take on Death Is Not The End. It's especially significant because in this case Dylan's own version, on the lamentable Under The Red Sky album, is so far from definitive.

Friday, a childhood friend of Bono and late of the Virgin Prunes, rescued the song and included it on his debut album, which was produced by the masterful Hal Willner. Check it out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ULtoqXLa30E

Just don't mention Adele singing Make You Feel My Love - which has become one of the most recorded songs in his latter day canon.
Magic Rat says:
10/26/12 1:53 pm
I love this topic, having seen Dylan last weekend and been blown away by his latest "Watchtower." A few suggestions for the group list: George Harrison's "If Not For You," Richie Havens' "Just Like a Woman," Emmylou's cover of "Every Grain of Sand" (mandatory Bruce reference: it comes up every time I search for Wrecking Ball), and The Band, "Stage Fright." Oh, and speaking of Bruce, "Chimes of Freedom"!
Linden Arden says:
10/26/12 11:56 pm
Great list, but who can limit it to just five.


All Along the Watchtower—Jimi Hendrix (Electric Ladyland. Not just the best Dylan cover ever, but also one of the best songs ever recorded.)

You Ain’t Goin Nowher--Byrds (Sweetheart of the Rodeo)

Only A Hobo—Rod Stewart (Gasoline Alley)

She Belongs to Me—Rick Nelson & the Stone Canyon Band (Released as a single but it must be available on some compilation.)

I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight—Linda Ronstadt (Hand Sown when she was more country than pop.)


With God On Our Side—Buddy Miller (Universal United House of Prayer. Buddy Miller can sing and play anything.)

A Hard Rain’s A Gonna Fall—Bill Frisell (Live At Millenaris Park, Budapest; East/West. Frisell recorded it twice, both live. I prefer the Budapest version which includes Greg Leisz on pedal steel and which is available only as a download on the website, http://www.billfrisell.com/downloads)

Stuck Inside of Mobile With the Memphis Blues Again—Grateful Dead (Crimson, White & Indigo; just for fun because the Dead very often included a Dylan song in their concerts.)
jere1911 says:
10/30/12 3:12 pm

To keep adding, what about The Band's classic version of I Shall Be Released? And another great Byrds cover--their (and my favorite) version of Chimes of Freedom.
Alley Gator says:
11/02/12 3:08 pm
Lots of great additions to the original list. I've listened to the ones I hadn't heard yet. My favorites remain

Jimi Hendrix's All Along the Watchtower (Agree with Linden Arden: one of the best songs ever recorded)

Then four by the Byrds - Mr. Tambourine Man, Chimes of Freedom, My Back Pages, and You Ain't Goin' Nowhere

And The Band's version of I Shall Be Released.
cornercat says:
11/09/12 4:58 pm
just a quick second for Linden's mention of She Belongs to Me. Great Record.