A Dylan Cover a Day: Seven Days

By Tony Attwood

Coming to “Seven Days” in the Dylan Cover a Day series, I had high hopes, as it seemed to me a song that Dylan had never really taken to its limit (it only got 18 performances across a 20 year period ending in 1996), and which had some real hidden potential.

Indeed several musicians of note have had a go at the song and yet somehow they don’t seem to get anything new out of it.   Although please don’t make that comment of mine encourage you to move on elsewhere immediately because there is a bonus at the end – although it might cost you.

But yes, these opening songs are disappointing, and in listening to them I wondered if the fact that there was something else there in the song, was simply all in my imagination.   Ron Wood’s version for example never really takes that dramatic leap which I feel lurks within…

Joe Cocker, another man of great eminence of course, has a spikier go which I prefer, although I still find something missing.  And I find the shouting out of the first line of each verse a little obvious.

Mountain take the view that there must be something important in the song and again feel it needs to be shouted out, and that gives me the thought that maybe the opposite approach is needed.   (Unless there really never was anything there at all – and by this stage I was starting to think that was the case).

But if that is the approach that is required, then Jimmy Barnes seems to be able to do it more naturally and hence with more conviction.  When he sings “every inch of the way” followed by some really good vocal harmonies, yes I start believing in the song’s possibilities again.  Maybe there is a really good cover version out there, if only I could track it down…

I even went touring the foreign language versions but really couldn’t find the innovation that I thought must be there somewhere.  This is Niedecken – I am presuming Wolfgang Niedecken, the singer with BAP.   Interesting, but still…

And so, in disappointment, and as a last resort, I turned to Spotify – which of course then means I can’t put a recording here.   But if you have a Spotify subscription or can find it somewhere else, do try Born 53’s version of the song, if for nothing else, then for the fact that they’ve changed the beat and so changed the meaning of the entire song.  Suddenly it’s bouncy and a fun celebration of what is going to happen.  It really does work.

Then if you want to go any further there is Bitter Sweet’s version.   Once again the artist has used his creativity and insight to build on Bob’s work but not slavishly copy the original style and intent.  As a result we get Bob’s song with and lot of extras and thoughts of new directions that music can be taken.

I’m not here to convince you to buy a Spotify subscription, but if maybe if you don’t have one you could get a free trial or something like that, so you could use it to listen to these two recordings.   They really do give a completely new set of insights into a song that does have all the possibilities that I felt must be hiding in there somewhere.   I’m just sorry the other more eminent musicians didn’t quite find them.

The Dylan Cover a Day series

  1. The song with numbers in the title.
  2. Ain’t Talkin
  3. All I really want to do
  4.  Angelina
  5.  Apple Suckling and Are you Ready.
  6. As I went out one morning
  7.  Ballad for a Friend
  8. Ballad in Plain D
  9. Ballad of a thin man
  10.  Frankie Lee and Judas Priest
  11. The ballad of Hollis Brown
  12. Beyond here lies nothing
  13. Blind Willie McTell
  14.  Black Crow Blues (more fun than you might recall)
  15. An unexpected cover of “Black Diamond Bay”
  16. Blowin in the wind as never before
  17. Bob Dylan’s Dream
  18. BoB Dylan’s 115th Dream revisited
  19. Boots of Spanish leather
  20. Born in Time
  21. Buckets of Rain
  22. Can you please crawl out your window
  23. Can’t wait
  24. Changing of the Guard
  25. Chimes of Freedom
  26. Country Pie
  27.  Crash on the Levee
  28. Dark Eyes
  29. Dear Landlord
  30. Desolation Row as never ever before (twice)
  31. Dignity.
  32. Dirge
  33. Don’t fall apart on me tonight.
  34. Don’t think twice
  35.  Down along the cove
  36. Drifter’s Escape
  37. Duquesne Whistle
  38. Farewell Angelina
  39. Foot of Pride and Forever Young
  40. Fourth Time Around
  41. From a Buick 6
  42. Gates of Eden
  43. Gotta Serve Somebody
  44. Hard Rain’s a-gonna Fall.
  45. Heart of Mine
  46. High Water
  47. Highway 61
  48. Hurricane
  49. I am a lonesome hobo
  50. I believe in you
  51. I contain multitudes
  52. I don’t believe you.
  53. I love you too much
  54. I pity the poor immigrant. 
  55. I shall be released
  56. I threw it all away
  57. I want you
  58. I was young when I left home
  59. I’ll remember you
  60. Idiot Wind and  More idiot wind
  61. If not for you, and a rant against prosody
  62. If you Gotta Go, please go and do something different
  63. If you see her say hello
  64. Dylan cover a day: I’ll be your baby tonight
  65. I’m not there.
  66. In the Summertime, Is your love and an amazing Isis
  67. It ain’t me babe
  68. It takes a lot to laugh
  69. It’s all over now Baby Blue
  70. It’s all right ma
  71. Just Like a Woman
  72. Knocking on Heaven’s Door
  73. Lay down your weary tune
  74. Lay Lady Lay
  75. Lenny Bruce
  76. That brand new leopard skin pill box hat
  77. Lily, Rosemary and the Jack of Hearts
  78. License to kill
  79. Like a Rolling Stone
  80. Love is just a four letter word
  81. Love Sick
  82. Maggies Farm!
  83. Make you feel my love; a performance that made me cry.
  84. Mama you’ve been on my mind
  85. Man in a long black coat.
  86. Masters of War
  87. Meet me in the morning
  88. Million Miles. Listen, and marvel.
  89. Mississippi. Listen, and marvel (again)
  90. Most likely you go your way
  91. Most of the time and a rhythmic thing
  92. Motorpsycho Nitemare
  93. Mozambique
  94. Mr Tambourine Man
  95. My back pages, with a real treat at the end
  96. New Morning
  97. New Pony. Listen where and when appropriate
  98. Nobody Cept You
  99. North Country Blues
  100. No time to think
  101. Obviously Five Believers
  102. Oh Sister
  103. On the road again
  104. One more cup of coffee
  105. (Sooner or later) one of us must know
  106. One too many mornings
  107. Only a hobo
  108. Only a pawn in their game
  109. Outlaw Blues – prepare to be amazed
  110. Oxford Town
  111. Peggy Day and Pledging my time
  112. Please Mrs Henry
  113. Political world
  114. Positively 4th Street
  115. Precious Angel
  116. Property of Jesus
  117. Queen Jane Approximately
  118. Quinn the Eskimo as it should be performed.
  119. Quit your lowdown ways
  120. Rainy Day Women as never before
  121. Restless Farewell. Exquisite arrangements, unbelievable power
  122. Ring them bells in many different ways
  123. Romance in Durango, covered and re-written
  124. Sad Eyed Lady of Lowlands, like you won’t believe
  125. Sara
  126. Senor
  127. A series of Dreams; no one gets it (except Dylan)

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