Friday, September 14, 2012

"It Ain't Him, Babe": THE WEEKEND MIX

It wasn't my intention to have a Bob Dylan week on these pages, but I am not complaining. Jolly good show by all.

(Wait until you see Monday's query over at Burning Love?. I like it even better than "Your Ten Favorite Bob Dylan tunes.)

Until then, here is a collection of some of my favorite Bob Dylan covers. This was no easy task either. I just went with my gut. Like many of you did with your Top Ten, I went for what I play most often. I know I've forgotten many, but I'm counting on you to remind me, as this is NOT what Monday's discussion will be about.


I used to see The Roches live every time they'd play back in the late 70s and early 80s, and their live take on this "Basement Tapes" gem was always the best thing of the night. They finally recorded it for a Bob tribute CD, whose name escapes me at the moment.

Cyril Neville's soulful take on "I Want You" is not just one of my favorite Bob covers, but one of my fave covers period.

Unlike the title track from Bob's new record, which runs about 8 minutes too long, "Percy's Song" by Fairport Convention could have been three times longer. I could hear them sing the phrase "Turn, turn, turn again" again and again and again. To my ears, it's as beautiful as any music made.

When Daryl Hall pulled out this "Blood On The Tracks" masterpiece on his internet program, I decided to finally forgive him for "Maneater."

The audio quality of Allen Toussaint's take on "Mama You Been On My Mind" could be better. My apologies. It's all I have and I wanted it here.

Finally, The Roots' "Masters Of War."  Pure genius.


Like A Rolling Stone- Green Day
I'd Have You Anytime- George Harrison
It Takes A Lot To Laugh...- Leon Russell
I Want You- Cyril Neville
Blind Willie McTell-The Band
Clothesline Saga- The Roches
Simple Twist Of Fate- Jeff Tweedy
Tears Of Rage- Jimi Hendrix
Sweetheart Like You- World Party
You're A Big Girl, Now- Daryl Hall
Absolutely Sweet Marie- Jason & The Scorchers
My Back Pages- The Byrds
Percy's Song- Fairport Convention
You Ain't Going Nowhere- Rosanne Cash, Mary Chapin Carpenter, & Shawn Colvin
Mama You Been On My Mind- Allen Toussaint
Masters Of War The Rooots



dogbreath said...

Unlike the question you posed in the previous post, I'm one of those people who say they don't like Bob Dylan (how dare you!) but actually end up liking any of his songs I hear. Take your double posting of Mississippi on Burning Love as an example - playing them hit the spot(s) for me. What does that tell you? (Not a lot, get on with it). So thanks for the weekend mix, yet another sterling effort!

soundsource said...

why is there a picture of Julie Christie on the cover (just kidding I know it's really early David Bowie)
Great mix and totally agree re Percy's Song

Anonymous said...

Hello please, remain seated.

'morning, Sal. Great list. Will download tonight after work. Some Comments:

The Roches - Big love for the Roches (had a pretty big crush on Terri Roche back in the 70's but, I digress). Never heard this song before, so I'm looking forward to it. (Off topic, it’s criminal how underappreciated their song "Losing My Job" is off the Speak album. There. That's finally off my chest)

Jason & the Scorchers – This is a terrific cover. To my ears, Bad Religion’s version of It’s All Over Now Baby Blue on that recent Amnesty CD has the same energy and vibe as Jason’s cover.

Fairport Convention – In response to your comments about this song: yes, yes, and yes.

Blind Willie McTell – very curious to hear this one. Sounds like a great match. BTW…has anyone ever heard Mick Taylor’s version of this tune? The vocals are serviceable, but the guitar is just what you’d expect.


Troy said...

Love Allen Toussaint's take of Mama You've Been on my Mind. First time I heard it was when we had front row seats to see him at the Steppenwolf Theater in Chicago. Think I just about melted. Thanks, Sal.

davidwolfsonnc said...

You should (no, you really should), if you haven't already (no, you really should) get ahold of the 40 volume and counting series (available on Dime and via musicruinedmylife) (no, you really should), Nobody Sings Dylan Like Dylan, which contains nothing but live covers of Dylan by artists all over the map. One of my personal faves is Blind Willie McTell by Southside Johnny, though too many suddenly spring to mind.

As to those who don't "get" Dylan, sometimes it pays to think of him as channeling different strands of American music, this latest incarnation of his croaking-voice-old-man-with-the-blues one among many over his career. His project, it seems to me, is nothing less than the embodiment of American music. But that's me.

Anonymous said...

The Dylan Cover is like a genre unto itself. My iPod Dylan Covers playlist runs over nine hours. I'll just single out three:

Positively 4th Street- Shannon McNally. A hard song to cover, I'd think, but this is terrific.

To Ramona- Texas Tornados. With Freddy Fender singing one verse in Spanish.

Sweetheart Like You- Guy Davis. Just beautiful.

On the other hand, The Byrds (whom I love) do a version of Lay Lady Lay that will make you run screaming from the room.

J. Loslo

iggy said...

Thanks Sal. This is a great 43rd anniversary gift for my wife and me. Enjoy your weekend.


fishboy said...

Bryan Ferry's Hard Rain is the best Dylan cover ever!


Great mix Sal -- thanks!

As if the thoughtful lists on Burning Luv weren't enough ... three Dylan covers I find myself playing a lot:

* The John Doe version of Pressing On from the I'm Not There soundtrack

* Joe Cocker's take on Seven Days


* Steve Earle's cover of One More Cup Of Coffee.

And I haven't figured it out yet but your comment yesterday about people who claim to like Dylan because they know they should is banging around in my head. Sorta the opposite of the "I dig it even though I know I shouldn't" guilty pleasure, here we have the "I say I like him because I know I should but I don't really." If we should accept the former is it fair to attack the latter? My gut says yes but ... I'll have to think more ...

Have a great weekend!

LP Steve said...

Nice. Here's my list, from a CD I burned for my kids last Christmas:
On a Night Like This--Buckwheat Zydeco
Stuck Inside of Mobile--Cat Power
Leopard-Skin Pillbox Hat-- Beck
Buckets of Rain--Neko Case
Percy's Song--Fairport Convention
It's All Over Now, Baby Blue--Them
Absolutely Sweet Marie--Jason & The Scorchers
Everything Is Broken--R.L. Burnside
Just Like A Woman--Nina Simone
Gotta Serve Somebody--Aaron Neville
Tomorrow Is A Long Time--Rod Stewart
Hard Rain's Gonna Fall--Staple Singers
Oh, Sister--Andrew Bird
Gonna Make Me Lonesome--Madeleine Peyroux
When I Paint My Masterpiece--Elliott Smith

Anonymous said...

Lots of commenters have pointed out that ALL Dylan covers lack some indefinable 'something.' Which is why I endorse Fishboy's love for B. Ferry's 'Hard Rain...'.
It is a complete re-imagining of a great song. He loses the song's protest cred maybe, but makes a fantastic recording that should bring a smile to the face of any Dylan fan.
Pete Seeger wouldn't like it, but I would love to know what Bob thinks. Anyone know?

Sal Nunziato said...

I must get on the Bryan Ferry train. I absolutely hated "Dylanesque." Hated the title. Hated "Avalon." Hated the "Avalon" treatment he gave the Dylan tunes and I love Ferry and Roxy.

BUt...those early Ferry solo albums are fantastic, as is his "Hard Rain's Gonna Fall."

tinpot said...

Sal, agree with your Ferry analysis. Early stuff great. Avalon onwards, pretty dire, except for the occassional track. I've listened to his Dylan covers hoping for a repeat of his 'Hard Rain...' magic -- but, no luck. Seems the spark has gone out.

steve simels said...

The Jason and the Scorchers and Fairport tracks are among my favorite things ever, not just favorite Bob Covers.

Can't wait to hear some of the ones here I'm unfamiliar with...

steve simels said...

And may I just add that Ferry's "Hard Rain" is low camp at best?

Of course, I hate the album it's from pretty much more than any album I've ever heard, and that includes "Metal Machine Music."

Dripping with condescension in general, and in the case of "Hard Rain" and those sound effects, seriously stupid.

James A. Gardner said...

This looks wonderful, thanks. I've got some of these, not all, and not in one handy chunk like this.
I echo Anon. about the Jason & Scorchers. Like it was written for them.
But nothing from LO & BEHOLD, the McGuiness-Flint, all-Basement Tapes-songs l.p.?
You need to let me know if you need this essential.

steve simels said...

Sad to learn from the current issue of MOJO that Perry Baggs, the drummer for Jason and the Scorchers, just passed away.

Anonymous said...

Sal a great eclectic mix as usual



Anonymous said...

Nice-looking mix - looking forward to hearing. I am a nut for Dylan covers, so to share my list of faves I only had to copy one of my Dylan Covers playlists (#1) from iTunes... voila...

It's All Over Now, Baby Blue - Matthew Sweet & Susanna Hoffs
Girl From The North Country - The Waterboys
Property Of Jesus - Sinéad O'Connor
Desolation Row - My Chemical Romance
Bob Dylan's Dream - Judy Collins
Wallflower - Buddy & Julie Miller
Ballad of Hollis Brown [live 1966] - Nina Simone
I Am A Lonesome Hobo - Jef Lee Johnson
Farewell Angelina [4.5.92 Roulette Club NYC] - Jeff Buckley
Love Minus Zero/No Limit - Fleetwood Mac
Isis [live 6-30-02] - The White Stripes
Thunder On The Mountain - Wanda Jackson
Forever Young (Live Aid '85) - Patti Labelle
All Along The Watchtower - XTC
To Ramona [May 25, 2012] - Donald Fagan
Corrina, Corrina - Pete Townshend
What Good Am I? - Solomon Burke
Masters Of War - Mark Arm
I Wanna Be Your Lover- Yo La Tengo
Tomorrow Is A Long Time - Rod Stewart
You Ain't Goin' Nowhere - The Byrds
Emotionally Yours - The O'Jays
Oh, Sister - Andrew Bird & Nora O'Connor
Spanish Harlem Incident - James Mercer & Robert Mercer
Blind Willie McTell - Mick Taylor
He Was A Friend Of Mine - Cat Power
Tears Of Rage - Jimi Hendrix
Only a Hobo - Hazel Dickens
I Believe In You - Dottie Peoples
Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues - Bill Kirchen

- A Walk In The Woods

Chris Bell said...

Another great post, great tunes. A few more- all should be available via you tube.

Johnny Cash - don't think twice it's alright
Ann Peebles - Tonight I'll Be Staying Here With You
Nina Simone - I Shall Be Released
Lisa Hannigan - Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues
Joan Osborne - Man in the Long Black Coat
Tom Jones - What Good Am I (seriously, dude)

& for the big finish-- Mick Ronson & Bowie - Like A Rolling Stone


charlie c. said...

Your favorite Dylan covers are just that so it would be rude and superfluous to post "what about ___________!" or "I can't believe you didn't include ________________!?!"
But (laughable, right?) best recent ones for me are Bonnie Raitt's take on "Million Miles" and "Standing in the Doorway".
How in the name of all that right and holy on this planet did you leave out "Señor" - Jerry Garcia Band???Have you lost hold of of the last vestiges of your grip on geometry and theology?