Dylan cover a day: Like a Rolling Stone

By Tony Attwood

Aaron and I have looked at covers of Like a Rolling Stone in the past and included The Rolling Stones, Bob Marley, Mick Ronson with David Bowie, Jimi Hendrix and  Sebastian Cabot.

So I am not going back to them again, but instead raising the question, are there any others that tickle my fancy?  (Is that a totally last century English English expression or is it used elsewhere?  I really don’t know – it means are there any others that I rather like).

And I do quite like Vanguart because of the slight changes to the accompaniment (is that a viola in the backing?), melody and the harmonies that are added.  It’s a bit like an old friend wearing, not a new coat, but maybe just a new hat.  Mostly it is a faithful copy, but just those slight variations make it feel like a worthy re-visit.

And then by way of total contrast….

And if you are skipping through this little piece just to see what oddities I’ve come up, please do pause to play this right through.   It is not so much that it is a superb version (although I do think it is very good), it is just such a brilliant total reimagination of the possibilities of the song.  Maybe others have reworked the song in such a radically different way – but this is done so elegantly.  It is a song for the conclusion of a rather sad day… and the end is just exquisite if even more utterly sad than expected.

Taking rock songs and turning them into superb acoustic pieces are what the Mayries do… if you don’t know the duo, do go exploring.

It takes nerve and determination to take a song as well known as this and completely rework it, and to make it work takes a lot of talent too.   Which is why so many people who have tried to rework the song have done so with something that is not much more than “let’s do it as Bob did” version.

I don’t always feel that a total re-working is something I want to hear over and over but quite often such re-workings do give me new insights.   And certainly, new insights by the bucklet load is what I get from Caecilie Norby.    If you are still with me, and have another three minutes  to spare, do try this.   I do hope you find it worthwhile.

Here’s a list of most of the articles from this series…

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