Dylan Cover a Day: I want you (and a nod to Visions)

By Tony Attwood

A list of past episodes of this series is given at the end.

Sometimes with these covers I immediately know the cover version I want to offer as a highlight, sometimes I have to go through quite a few covers to find one that seems to me to offer further insights or additional entertainment or new emotions, or something else along those lines.

Today, with “I want you” I started looking / listening and immediately found a version that really intrigues me, interests me, and at times has me asking “Oh why on earth did they do that?”

This is Colton Ryan, Caitlin Houlahan from the stage show…

If you’ve seen the play you’ll know all about this version of course, and I do love what they have done but the extemporisation by the male voice really isn’t necessary in my view.  They are creating a beautiful re-interpretation of the song and no extra emotion is needed.   (I had this idea some years ago of a stage play which takes place in bar which has a notice up saying “No emotions” instead of “No smoking”, except I didn’t have any idea how to write it, once I had done the stage design).

Anway Bob hardly puts any emotion into the song when he sings it.  It is in fact just a statement.  The lyrics are enough.

There is incidentally a version from the original London cast of the show which I don’t think works nearly as well but you can find it on line.

And here’s another one I enjoy: Alice Jayne

Now we have song as a bouncy fun version with no hyper emotion.  It is not that I am against emotion – it is just that the song and the fun they have with the accompaniment is enough.  And indeed this version makes me listen to the lyrics, even though I guess I have known them for much of my life.  The harmonica incidentally is great fun too.

It is in fact quite interesting that such different versions are available of such a simple song.   Although with this one (Phosphorescent) I was waiting for something else to happen, but it didn’t.  But then I am listening to the songs one after the other, which of course one would not normally do.


The 50 years of Amnesty album has some wonderful recordings, and rarely lets us down, and this time they don’t either.  I’m not quite sure about the percussion effect, but the way the middle 8 is changed really works for me – and so is the bare and open follow-up verse.

But the one I especially went looking for was the Old Crowe Medicine Show version, and although it is fun, it delivers less than I expected.

And because this is my blog, and when I write I am both writer and publisher, no one can tell me off for bending the rules or ceaselessly repeating myself, so I am going to sneak in for the 90000th time (or something like that) a mention of Old Crow’s version of Visions of Johanna.

This of course is going to turn up again when we get to V, if we ever get there, and I’ve highlighted it before, but I still love it so much.  And to make it even worse there is no copy of the song on the internet from their album – just several live recordings which are nowhere near the same.   But if you have Spotify you can find it and play it.

And you really should.

But let me return to my theme with a nice bit of fun – a gorgeous instrumental version…

Oh that is fun.  What a nice way to finish before braving the traffic from the East Midlands to London in the snow.


Untold Dylan was created in 2008 and is currently published once or 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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