Dylan cover a day: from the sublime to the missing harmonies.

By Tony Attwood

Next on our list should be Floater, but there is only one interesting and/or exciting cover of this, and Jochen got there before me.  You’ll find the video in his article, and I do recommend it.

The same is true with the next song on the alphabetical list: Foot of Pride.  But since in the original article I didn’t include the actual video (just the sound track) here it is again:

For me this version just captures the lyrics totally (even if Lou didn’t know the lyrics, and was reading them from a screen).

Next is Forever Young – which of course is a complete contrast.   It is one of those songs that has over one hundred cover versions by recognised performers, so what we choose is a matter of personal opinion.  And as ever I am looking for something different and yet artistically valid.  By which I mean the emphasis is on artistic integrity rather than a producer saying, “I don’t know guys, it’s not working, can we put a bit of echo in?” or words to that effect.

Cathal Gavin almost gets there, until suddenly someone adds a bizarre percussive sound with echo on the off beats.   It is a great shame because otherwise it is a brilliant rendition of the song.

There are some decent instrumental versions around too showing a huge range of imagination in the way the music is handled.

Lisa Viggiano does a funny pause at one place which I don’t think works, but overall the interpretation is very interesting, varying each element of the music that can be changed without destroying the integrity of the song.  Interesting ending too.  I had to double check that I’d not cut the piece off

But in the end I reach the conclusion that the song is, no matter how hard one tries, always just out of reach.  I’ve listened to a couple of dozen versions in writing this piece and yet I still can’t find what I am looking for.

Gentle, soft, with vocal harmonies.  And try shutting the percussion up, just for a change. Is that too much to ask?  Seemingly yes – unless I just happened to miss it among all the covers out there.


  1. A cover that nails it for me is by Audra Mae & The Forest Rangers plus the video that goes with it. From “Sons Of Anarchy”.

  2. Wasn’t sure the comment made about a Dylan song stripped of its vocals was valid.

    Then, I imagened a football game played witout a ball …..

    Indeed it could be said that the integrity of the football game wasn’t destroyed
    in the least.

  3. Audra sings the song a cappella as well as with accompanying musicians…,both of her renditions of Forever Young are rather enjoyable!

    (I remember listening to Dylan on the CBC Quest TV show with Michael Zenon of “The Forest Rangers” – lol)

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