By Tony Attwood
At first I wasn’t at all sure about this 100 miles an hour version of the song, but it really has grown on me. It contains the accent on the last word of each line as Bob has done in some performances.
But there is a problem with a performance at this speed; it is very hard to put in any nuances. Yes there is a nice bit of harmony at the end of the verse and the harmonica gets a nice solo in the instrumental but otherwise the slight relaxation of the vocals in the post-instrumental verse is pretty much all we have by way of innovation once the tempo has been set.
Terrance Simien & The Zydeco Experience however do manage to rework the song a little and gain a much more relaxed feel. I am not sure this version tell us anything new – until we get to the two chorus lines, but I would just like to have something more to appreciate. The “Time will tell” line however does bring an element of freshness
In all there are two problem with this song: the instrumental concept at the start of the piece is so clearly identified with the song, we know where we are before we start. And then there is the opening chord (the supertonic to be precice) which is very, very unusal for a rock song as an opening. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have a clue what I am talking about there, you’ll know the feeling – hear that opening and you know what the song is going to be.
So even the Yardbirds, who most certainly knew a thing or two about how to play this type of music really struggled to make any sort of difference
Patti LaBelle and her arrangers really did try with a long introduction, and keeps on innovating all the way through. It is certainly refreshing, but after the first verse I felt, well, ok, yep, I get it, and how much more of this is there. Which is the old problem – I know the song too well. I think I’m just getting old.
But not for the first time Jochen’s superior knowledge comes to the rescue with a really delightful recording of the song. And I was tempted to wipe out my references to all the other versions of the song that are included above, but then I thought I would leave them in, because they show us all how hard it can be to escape Bob’s original thoughts. But in the end it is always possible, given enough talent.
Now it is the old song, and it is a new song. And believe me, being both, well, that ain’t easy.
Interestingly that wasn’t Jochen’s prime choice for a cover of this song – and curiously he made a reference to the getting copyright clearance. Perhaps that is why the video he found is no longer available. But click on this link and you might well be able to get to it.
For me it doesn’t match Gerry van der Laan but it is worth a listen – if for nothing other than the instrumental break.
And these final two recordings do show us once again: with talent and a real insight of what there is within the song beyond that which we immediately hear, something interesting can be achieved.
The Dylan Cover a Day 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 immigrant.
- 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
- 71: Lay Lady Lay
- 72: Dylan Cover a Day 72: Lenny Bruce
- 73: That brand new leopard skin pill box hat
- 74: Lily, Rosemary and the Jack of Hearts
- 75: Dylan Cover a Day: License to kill
- 76: Like a Rolling Stone
- 77: Love is just a four letter word
- 78: Love Sick
- 79: Maggies Farm!
- 80: Make you feel my love; a performance that made me cry.
- 81: Mama you’ve been on my mind
- 82: Man in a long black coat.
- 83: Masters of War
- 84: Meet me in the morning
- 85: Million Miles. Listen, and marvel.
- 86: Mississippi. Listen, and marvel (again)