The covers Bob has not played (or at least not played for a while)

by mr tambourine

This list will be about covers Bob either never did or hasn’t done for at least 10 years from now (studio or live).

  1. Neil Young – Old Man (Again)

Bob Dylan covered this song more than 30 times live in 2002, but with a much clearer voice nowadays compared to 2002, I’m pretty sure he would crush this one.

  1. Frank Sinatra – My Way

Dylan has never covered this song, and he has covered all possible Sinatra songs. Although not written by Sinatra, this song was made popular by old blue-eyed Frankie boy.

This song might be vocally challenging for Bob but who’s to say that he wouldn’t find just the right arrangement for it? And if someone should be considered a true original and would perfectly describe the lyrics of this song with his singing and phrasing, and if there’s someone who truly did it and keeps doing it HIS WAY, it’s absolutely Bob Dylan. Thus, I have no doubt he would own it.

  1. John Lennon – Imagine

It’s rumoured that Bob covered this song in 1986, but a good audio tape of it doesn’t seem to exist. With his grand piano phase still a part of his live shows last year and him mastering tender arrangements of songs for his age, I could see him doing this song justice. Especially since it has a universal message, which Bob always knows how to deliver and phrase.

  1. Neil Young – Heart Of Gold

Bob still hasn’t covered this song to my knowledge, which is very weird, as it sounds exactly like a song he would write.

  1. People Get Ready

This song, written Curtis Mayfield, has been covered by Bob on multiple occasions, at least 4. The Basement Tapes, The Rolling Thunder rehearsals (or Desire sessions, not sure), the movie Flashback from 1989 and a 1991 live performance in Argentina.

Still, I think Bob would absolutely top each of those performances right now if he only did it.

  1. Leonard Cohen – In My Secret Life

Bob has shown the last few years that he can deliver some RnB type beats. If he gave this one the same approach to the Not Dark Yet performance of last year, it would’ve been very interesting.

  1. Billy Joel – Piano Man

To my knowledge, Dylan never covered this song even though it absolutely sounds like something he would write. I also think he would deliver it if he played it now.

  1. The Beatles – Let It Be

Wouldn’t it be great to hear Bob cover this?

  1. Chuck Berry – Johnny B Goode
  2. Ray Charles – Hit The Road Jack
  3. George Harrison – My Sweet Lord

I’m surprised Dylan never covered this during his gospel phase.

  1. Clash – London Calling

Dylan played this twice in 2005, both times in London, as a fragment, and he sang it too. Still, with a much clearer voice now, he could own it now.

  1. Beatles – Something

Bob covered this song twice, in 2002 and 2009. Third time would be the charm.

  1. Tom Waits – Ol’ 55

A song also covered by the Eagles, making it a very likely candidate for Dylan to cover it too.

  1. Eagles – Pretty Maids All In A Row

Speaking of Eagles, Bob said recently that this could be one of the best songs of all time. Why not cover it then Bob and try to top it?

  1. Elvis Presley – Always On My Mind

Bob covered this song in 1984 during the rehearsals but it doesn’t come close to how he might have done it if he performed it now.

  1. Willie Nelson – Angel Flying Too Close To The Ground

Bob covered this on the 1983 Infidels sessions. Still, I think he would’ve topped it with his current band backing him.

  1. Eagles – Hotel California

If Bob can advertise Key West, why not Hotel California too?

  1. Frank Sinatra – This Was My Love

Bob covered this song twice, during the Infidels sessions 1983 and also Tom Petty 1985 Tour rehearsals. Still, he probably would’ve outdone it now with his current band.

  1. Spanish is The Loving Tongue

This one would’ve been the best one out of the ones mentioned. Bob always delivered this song soulfully. Yet, we’ve never witnessed a Never-Ending Tour performance of it. Now would be the best time to do it.

12 years of Untold Dylan

Although no one gets paid for writing, publishing or editing Untold Dylan, it does cost us money to keep the site afloat, safe from hackers, n’er-do-wells etc.  We never ask for donations, and we try to survive on the income from our advertisers, so if you enjoy Untold Dylan, and you’ve got an ad blocker, could I beg you to turn it off while here. I’m not asking you to click on ads for the sake of it, but at least allow us to add one more to the number of people who see the full page including the adverts.   Thanks.

As for the writing, Untold Dylan is written by people who want to write for Untold Dylan.  We welcome articles, contributions and ideas from all our readers.  Although no one gets paid, if you are published here, your work will be read by a fairly large number of people across the world, ranging from fans to academics.  If you have an idea, or a finished piece send it as a Word file to with a note saying that it is for publication on Untold Dylan.

We also have a very lively discussion group “Untold Dylan” on Facebook with around 8500 active members. Just type the phrase “Untold Dylan” in, on your Facebook page or follow this link    And because we don’t do political debates on our Facebook group there is a separate group for debating Bob Dylan’s politics – Icicles Hanging Down

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *