By Tony Attwood
I get a fair number of emails these days suggesting I might listen to various Bob Dylan songs sung by other performers.
Indeed in the dim and distant past we put together a collection of readers’ favourite cover versions. That is, of course, still on the site with links to the songs and recordings that have been nominated.
Now my normal response is to say to those who write in, “Why don’t you do a review?” and mostly readers don’t – which is fair enough. But I’ve been sent one that I particularly like by Richard, and I have taken up the opportunity to bring it the wider audience…
We all know Baby Blue and know what it represents and says and that makes it very hard, in my view, for anyone to get something out of the song that has not been got before, and yet for me this recording does just that.
The point is, the words don’t really make much impact now, we’ve heard them a million times, and likewise the chord sequence and melody are all there trapped in our heads forever more.
But this song works for two reasons I think.
One is that the opening is so gentle and charming, and I don’t mean “charming” in a pejorative way. It really is beautiful. Which makes what happens all the more interesting and indeed surprising.
The performance is excellent as is the second change after the instrumental break. The interpretations are not tearing the song apart, they are adding to it, in my view. “Strike another match” suddenly, for me becomes a new line, a line that regains its meaning having lost is 5000 plays ago.
If you like the performance leave the video running and you’ll be in for a surprise. I don’t actually want to tell you what the next track is – it really should be something for you to find.
The band is Vargen (The Wolf) and here are some links…
The album is “Love/Leave – 11 Songs of Bob Dylan”
Vargen is the stage and recording name of singer-songwriter Reine Johansson. In the wake of the international recognition of his and fellow singer Mia Rosengren’s translations on Tänk inte efter (Don’t Think Twice – Bob Dylan in Swedish), Vargen’s recorded new vocals in English to all nine tracks from that album. The band also recorded two new songs, singles “One Too Many Mornings” and “Abandoned Love”. “Love / Leave – 11 Songs of Bob Dylan” is released worldwide on vinyl and CD on Friday 29 May.
Release date: Vinyl/CD Worldwide: Friday 29 May 2020
01 It's All Over Now, Baby Blue -music video / single Feb 21 02 I Threw It All Away 03 I'll Be Your Baby Tonight 04 Don't Think Twice, It's All Right 05 One More Cup of Coffee (Valley Below) 06 Abandoned Love -single March 13 07 It Ain't Me, Babe 08 Tomorrow Is a Long Time 09 One Too Many Mornings -single March 13 10 Knockin' on Heaven's Door 11 Love Minus Zero / No Limit
Reine Johansson Vocals, harmonica
Mia Rosengren Vocals
Dan Kristensen Lead & rhythm guitars, lap steel
Andreas Alm Rhythm guitar, keyboards, percussion, sounds
Zacharias Sjöberg Piano
Jan Lundin Bass
Måns Broman Drums
Daddy Musesa Congas, bongos
Anna Vild Harmonica (Love Minus Zero), backing vocals
Johann Laux Drums (Abandoned Love)
Untold Dylan: who we are what we do
Untold Dylan is written by people who want to write for Untold Dylan. It is simply a forum for those interested in the work of the most famous, influential and recognised popular musician and poet of our era, to read about, listen to and express their thoughts on, his lyrics and music.
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But what is complete is our index to all the 604 Dylan compositions and co-compositions that we have found, on the A to Z page. I’m proud of that; no one else has found that many songs with that much information. Elsewhere the songs are indexed by theme and by the date of composition. See for example Bob Dylan year by year.