Dylan cover a Day: Love Sick (Updated)

By Tony Attwood

For a complete resume of “Lovesick” there is an article on this site by Jochen and of course he’s picked out some of the best covers there are.  But I had a couple of others to drop in, so I thought I’d give the song another feature.

And yes, I will admit it, there is a second reason.  For I am rather chuffed that for this song, an unknown (to me at least) Wikipedia editor, decided to give me lead billing (well, at least first mention) in the Wiki analysis.  It begins…

Dylan scholar Tony Attwood characterizes “Love Sick” as the “ultimate, absolute, total, complete lost love song” and “the strangest way ever to start an album – starting with what appears to be the end”

OK, I’ll stop there, since if you are really interested you can read the rest on wiki but I do think that is the first time I’ve seen myself referred to as a “Dylan scholar”.  It’s rather flattering, and actually I think I might mention it in passing at the dance tonight to one or two of my regular dance partners.  And a few friends.  And my daughters.  And the couple next door.  And the others in my company.  And…

Enough.  You know the song, you’ll remember how it starts desolate and gets ever lower.  So this might surprise you…

I really like that.  For a start it is so unexpected, and so imaginative, and  just shows that no matter how a piece is originally written, it can go anywhere, if the musicians and arrangers have enough imagination and talent.

Jochen particularly noted what I think is a live version of Lovesick by Trigger finger, and contrary to what I wrote before I have now got a copy – thanks Jochen.  It starts at 10 minutes 50 seconds, and then mutates into Ballad of a Thin Man.

Now when I couldn’t find that, and before Jochen (not for the first time by any means) put me back on the right track and I inserted instead the Mariachi El Bronx

Mariachi (I am told) is music from rural western Mexico that goes back to the 18th century of earlier and this track comes from Música Muerta Vol. 1 & Vol. 2.  It is available on Spotify, and if you want to explore the rest of their music I would suggest typing in Música Muerta in the search box.  You’ll then have this song and the rest of the album if you would like to hear that.  Although I do think Love Sick stands out above the rest.

But then I am a Dylan fan.

Jochen in this article gave us this wonderful rendition which most certainly bears repetition.

Jochen also reviewed a version by the Flemish band Triggerfinger but search as I might on Spotify and the internet at large, it avoids me.  If you know of a recording on line or can find it on Spotify please do write in with a link.

However another version found by Jochen is still available and that is by Duke Robillard.

And yes indeed this does give us a new insight, both because of the way the vocalist approaches the lyrics, and the use of the saxophones behind.   It would have been so easy to overuse them and yet they are restrained, and so much more poignant.  A superb version.

Interestingly there are so many songs called “Lovesick” (as I discovered when trying  to find the Triggerfinger version,) it is extraordinary that Bob could take such a well-worn word from songs of the past and find something completely new to do with it.

But that’s genius for you.

Anyway, because I can’t find any more versions that I can refer you to, here is the last live version of the song by Bob.



And the Dylan Cover a Day series

One comment

  1. “chuffed!” must be a British idiom …..

    And Tony, be sure you also tell the mailman, taxi and bus drivers, people who call up the wrong phone number, who pass you on the street, the plumber, policeman, the palace guards…(lol)

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