We know what it is going to be straight away because of the melody – but what really puzzles me is the use of the organ after the vocals in the opening lines. What is that doing there? What does it add? (To really appreciate this point, and if you don’t fancy listening to four versions of this song, skip through to the last example and you’ll hear the contrast I am trying to make in my normal laboured way.)
If it is to wake us up, fine we are now awake, so why have it in the second verse as well? Take out that answering organ chord, and it is a perfectly fine rendition – but with it… well, no. It sounds like someone trying too hard to do something different.
Moving on, the Peter Viskinde Band want to do something different – and the held chords of the organ do that – but this time it fits perfectly. It is a straight rendition but the vocalist makes me feel he means it – he is not just going through the motions. It’s restrained, gentle, and when the second vocalist joins in later on, in a way that one can only just make out, that is a lovely additional touch.
Everyone knows his place, no one gets carried away, and even the late guitar solo fits perfectly (and I say “even” because so often in songs like this the guitarist just uses the occasion to show off – but not here.) Beautiful.
Jimmy LaFave, in the next example, takes us into a very gentle version, although with maybe a temptation to fill in every moment without the vocals. But it doesn’t do as much for me as the Viskinde version, because I feel the vocalist is trying to put too much emotion into the song. The emotion is there anyway, and he has a fine voice, so nothing needs to be pushed. It just feels a touch overdone to me, and doesn’t quite add the gentle nuances that the previous version offers.
And finally to what is for me the best version of all.
Jacqui Dankworth MBE has all the heritage to have a beautiful voice and an ability to recognise an exquisite arrangement for a beautiful song when she finds one, and she shows that here. This tears my heartstrings about as far as I am willing to let them be torn on a Saturday morning before I venture into the task of driving the 85 miles to London.
And I think that because Ms Dankworth was born in the county town (Northampton) of the English county I live in (Northamptonshire). I do love to find trivial connections! And if you are English and an aficionado of jazz you will know she is the daughter of Cleo Laine and John Dankworth.
This is just gorgeous. I love it.
I doubt anything could improve on this version, so this is the moment I stop.
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- Dylan cover of the day: Number 1. The song with numbers in the title.
- Dylan cover of the day. No 2: Ain’t Talkin
- Bob Dylan cover of the day No3: All I really want to do
- Dylan cover of the day No4: Angelina
- Dylan covers of the day No 5. Apple Suckling and Are you Ready.
- Cover version of the day No 6: As I went out one morning
- Dylan cover of the day No 7: Ballad for a Friend
- Dylan Cover of the Day No 8: Ballad in Plain D
- Dylan Cover of the Day No 9: Ballad of a thin man
- Dylan cover No. 10: The stunning reworking of Frankie Lee and Judas Priest
- Dylan cover of the day No 11: The ballad of Hollis Brown
- A Dylan cover a day No 12: Beyond here lies nothing
- Dylan cover of the day No 13: Blind Willie McTell
- Dylan Cover of the Day 14: Black Crow Blues (more fun than you might recall)
- Dylan Cover of the Day 15: An unexpected cover of “Black Diamond Bay”
- Dylan Cover of the Day 16: Blowin in the wind as never before
- Dylan Cover of the Day 17: Bob Dylan’s Dream
- Dylan Cover of the Day 18: You will not believe this… 115th Dream revisited
- Dylan cover of the day 19: Boots of Spanish leather
- Dylan cover of the day 20: Born in Time
- Dylan cover of the day 21: Buckets of Rain
- Dylan cover of the day: 22 Can you please crawl out your window
- Dylan cover of the day 23: Can’t wait
- Dylan Cover of the Day 24: Changing of the Guard
- Dylan Cover of the Day 25: Chimes of Freedom
- Dylan cover a day 34: Country Pie
- Dylan Cover of the Day 33: Crash on the Levee
- Dylan cover a day 35: Dark Eyes
- Dylan Cover of the Day 26: Dear Landlord
- Dylan cover of the Day 27: Desolation Row as never ever before (twice)
- Dylan cover of the Day 28: Dignity.
- Dylan Cover of the Day 29: Dirge
- Dylan Cover of the Day 30: Don’t fall apart on me tonight.
- Dylan cover a Day 31: Don’t think twice
- Dylan cover a day 32: Down along the cove
- Dylan cover – recovered 33: Drifter’s Escape
- Dylan cover a day 34: Duquesne Whistle
- Dylan cover a day 35: Farewell Angelina
- Dylan cover a day 36: Foot of Pride and Forever Young
- Dylan cover a day 37: Fourth Time Around
- Dylan cover a Day 38: From a Buick 6
- Dylan cover a Day: 39 “Gates of Eden” as never before
- Dylan cover a Day: 40 “Gotta Serve Somebody”
- Dylan Cover a Day: 41 Hard Rain’s a-gonna Fall.
- Dylan cover a day: 42 Heart of Mine
- A Dylan Cover a Day 43: High Water
- Dylan cover a day 44: Highway 61.5
- Dylan Cover a Day 45: Hurricane
- Dylan Cover a Day 46: I am a lonesome hobo
- Dylan Cover a Day 47: I believe in you
- Dylan Cover a Day 48: I contain multitudes
- Dylan Cover a Day 49: I don’t believe you.
- A Dylan Cover a Day 50: I love you too much
- A Dylan Cover a Day 51: I pity the poor immigrent.
- A Dylan Cover a Day 52: I shall be released