Dylan released and unreleased: the compilation albums

By Aaron Galbraith and Tony Attwood

Aaron: Let’s take another meander through some various artists compilation albums in search of more one-off Dylan performances!

First up from the Hank Williams tribute album Timeless (my pick for the all-time greatest tribute album!) it’s I Can’t Get You Off Of My Mind.

Tony:   Just what I want to get me moving this morning after a late night out in London (and 90 miles back home up the motorway in the early hours) – a really bouncy instrumentation and Bob singing in a relaxed way over the top of it.  I’m now awake.

And it reminds me that how we hear music is so much influenced by how our days are going.    For me, yesterday evening was spent watching my football (soccer) team winning in style.   Now this morning getting out my rarely worn respectable clothing to go to the Christmas Dinner of the walking group I’m a member of.   Two very different hobbies, but both greatly loved.  And this recording sets me up for the day.

Incidentally, is that Bob playing the lead guitar in the instrumental breaks?   Sounds like it to me.

Aaron: Next from The Art Of McCartney (the most star-filled tribute album of all time…seriously, everyone who is anyone is on this!) is Bob’s cover of Things We Said Today.

Tony:  Bob as his most growly!  It is interesting because it is Bob, but … well I don’t know.  There is something about that growl that doesn’t quite fit with a song about loving a young woman.  Maybe it is just that we are all so aware these days of the activities of predators (there was a long piece about it on the BBC news this morning) that just makes me edgy.  It just shows how times change.

Musically it is one of the few pop songs that goes from the minor key for the verses to a major key for the middle 8 (“me I’m just the lucky kind”).  But that’s McCartney for you.

But no, Bob singing like this is weirdly weird.  A bit too spooky for me.

Aaron: Interestingly the producer of the album matched each artist with a song, except in Dylan’s case, as he picked that track himself. “I was surprised he decided to take part,” says Sall. “That’s not the song I would have picked, but it sure fits him.” McCartney’s live band was also used as the musicians on the album.

Tony: Ah well if the producer thinks it fits, who am I to say?

Aaron: Lastly from Bob’s own tribute album “Gotta Serve Somebody: The Gospel Songs Of Bob Dylan” comes this excellent duet with Mavis Staples of Gonna Change My Way Of Thinking.

Tony:   So much better musically, but I never get the idea of having the rehearsed chit chat in the middle of a song.  I want to hear the music – and the music is great.  Love the harmonies.

The old 12 bar blues can become tedious sometimes, but not here, this is sensational,  the band really get it even when around 2.43 the rhythm guitar (is that Bob?) plays the wrong chord – except he does it in the next verse as well, so maybe not.  Not sure if it quite works but, well, it’s Bob.  And besides Mike Johnson has a go about Bob’s upsinging in the Never Ending Tour series, so I guess I can criticise his guitar work on this track.  (If it is Bob that is).

So there we are, great fun.  Another good collection Aaron.  Here are the series details…

Dylan released and unreleased


Untold Dylan was created in 2008 and is published daily – currently twice a day, sometimes more, sometimes less.  Details of some of our series are given at the top of the page and in the Recent Posts list, which appears both on the right side of the page and at the very foot of the page (helpful if you are reading on a phone).  Some of our past articles which form part of a series are also included on the home page.

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