By Tony Attwood
What can you do with a song that is not only incredibly famous in terms of its original but has had such a vast number of covers that it is pretty difficult to imagine anything else being possible?
One answer seems to be to produce a vast number of instrumental covers, many of which are, well, rather bizarre and odd. Take these two…
I am not going further down that road, but there are plenty more out there if you find that interesting.
Meanwhile, we’ve already done an article on how Lay Lady Lay can be used as the basis for something else, with Lay Lady Lay: The Sampler Sessions.
And Jochen has also chosen his selection of winning covers with versions by Magnet, Ministry, Cher and Isaac Hayes, and that selection is most certainly worth looking into.
So is there anything else? Indiana Nomma goes somewhere else again, and has the virtue of sounding like she really believes it and wants to be performing the song. It is perfectly arranged and performed, and nothing in the production shows any sign of someone saying, “we need to do something else here guys.” It just is, it sounds complete. I could almost believe that this is how the piece was initially imagined.
Of course, some have really tried to play around with the chords, the melody and rhythm to see what happens. And the answer usually is nothing very exciting. But here’s one that I would give 10 out of 10 to, for inventiveness and production. It does show that differences can be made even with songs we know 100%.
Moving on, the next track is a version that does nothing new, and treats the song as it is, without trying to go anywhere else. And yet contains far more than enough for me to want to keep listening, even though I know exactly where it is going.
How does that happen? I guess, by no one trying too hard, and just accepting the fact that the song as written is complete in itself. It needs an accompaniment, but that’s it… It is, and us listeners simply need to take it for what it is.
Here’s a list of most of the articles from this series…
- The song with numbers in the title.
- Ain’t Talkin
- All I really want to do
- Apple Suckling and Are you Ready.
- As I went out one morning
- Ballad for a Friend
- Ballad in Plain D
- Ballad of a thin man
- Frankie Lee and Judas Priest
- The ballad of Hollis Brown
- Beyond here lies nothing
- Blind Willie McTell
- Black Crow Blues (more fun than you might recall)
- An unexpected cover of “Black Diamond Bay”
- Blowin in the wind as never before
- Bob Dylan’s Dream
- You will not believe this… 115th Dream revisited
- Boots of Spanish leather
- Born in Time
- Buckets of Rain
- Can you please crawl out your window
- Can’t wait
- Changing of the Guard
- Chimes of Freedom
- Country Pie
- Crash on the Levee
- Dark Eyes
- Dear Landlord
- Desolation Row as never ever before (twice)
- Don’t fall apart on me tonight.
- Don’t think twice
- Down along the cove
- Drifter’s Escape
- Duquesne Whistle
- Farewell Angelina
- Foot of Pride and Forever Young
- Fourth Time Around
- From a Buick 6
- Gates of Eden
- Gotta Serve Somebody
- Hard Rain’s a-gonna Fall.
- 42 Heart of Mine
- 43: High Water
- 44: Highway 61.5
- 45: Hurricane
- 46: I am a lonesome hobo
- 47: I believe in you
- 48: I contain multitudes
- 49: I don’t believe you.
- 50: I love you too much
- 51: I pity the poor immigrent.
- 52: I shall be released
- 53: I threw it all away
- 54: I want you
- 55: I was young when I left home
- 56: I’ll remember you
- 57: Idiot Wind and More idiot wind
- 58: If not for you, and a rant against prosody
- 59: A Dylan cover a Day: If you Gotta Go, please go and do something different
- 60: If you see her say hello
- 61: Dylan cover a day: I’ll be your baby tonight
- 62: I’m not there.
- 63: In the Summertime, Is your love and an amazing Isis
- 64: It ain’t me babe
- 65: It takes a lot to laugh
- 66: It’s all over now Baby Blue
- 67: It’s all right ma
- 68: Just Like a Woman
- 69: Knocking on Heaven’s Door
- 70: Lay down your weary tune