Home > Dylan Covers, Mix CD-Rs, Songwriters > Any Major Bob Dylan Covers Vol. 3

Any Major Bob Dylan Covers Vol. 3

It has taken a while for Volume 3 of the Dylan covers to appear — longer than it took for Dylan to respond to the Nobel Literature committee. As it stands, there will be two more Dylan cover mixes after this.

The fun thing about compilations of Dylan covers is to play off the featured versions against the originals: which one is better than the other? In some cases it’s a difficult exercise because the respective versions have their own merits. How do you compare Dylan with Tina Turner?

But for me the surprise winner in this game is Mike Stanley, who turns one of my least favourite Dylan arrangements (and I know I’ll make many eternal enemies and absolutely no friends for thinking so), Subterranean Homesick Blues, into the great song it is. Stanley’s eponymous 1972 album featured the likes of Joe Walsh, Todd Rundgren, Joe Vitale and Patti Austin, but somehow he failed to make it really big in the mainstream. He is still recording, but is also a popular DJ in Ohio, and appeared as himself on The Drew Carey Show.

Of course, many Dylan songs are so quintessentially Dylan that they cannot be bettered, no matter how good the cover is. Like A Rolling Stone, covered here with imagination by Major Harris, is one such song. Check out the Song Swarm of it; there are many good attempts, but Dylan inhabits the song so much that everything else is just a copy. Frankie Valli doesn’t even try to give Queen Jane Approximately his own voice: he sings it like a Dylan parody.

Dylan recorded Queen Jane Approximately on the same day as Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues, which features here in Gordon Lightfoot’s version (a face-off Dylan wins handily). Lightfoot scored a #3 hit with it Canada in 1965, shortly after the song appeared on Highway 61 Revisited. Bob Dylan is a great Lightfoot fan, having once said that when he heard a Lightfoot song, he wished “it would last forever”.

As always, the mix is timed to fit on a standard CD-R and includes home-strummed covers. PW in comments.

1. Randy Crawford – Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door (1989)
2. Major Harris – Like A Rolling Stone (1969)
3. Freddie King – Meet Me In The Morning (1975)
4. Blood, Sweat & Tears – Down In The Flood (1972)
5. Michael Stanley – Subterranean Homesick Blues (1972)
6. Indigo Girls – Tangled Up In Blue (1995)
7. Townes Van Zandt – Man Gave Names To All The Animals (1992)
8. Chris Whitley – Spanish Harlem Incident (2000)
9. Mary Lou Lord – You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go (2002)
10. Cowboy Junkies – If You Gotta Go, Go Now (1992)
11. Moon Martin – Stuck Inside Of Mobile (With The Memphis Blues Again) (1993)
12. George Harrison – If Not For You (1970)
13. The Youngbloods – I Shall Be Released (1972)
14. Waylon Jennings – I Don’t Believe You (1970)
15. The Four Seasons – Queen Jane Approximately (1965)
16. Staple Singers – Masters Of War (1964)
17. Gordon Lightfoot – Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues (1965)
18. Tina Turner – Tonight I’ll Be Staying Here With You (1974)
19. The O’Jays – Emotionally Yours (Gospel Version) (1981)
20. The Angels Of Light – I Pity The Poor Immigrant (2005)

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  1. halfhearteddude
    March 9th, 2017 at 07:25 | #1

    PW = amdwhah

  2. rekkids
    March 9th, 2017 at 21:04 | #2

    Thank you

  3. March 10th, 2017 at 03:20 | #3

    I’m always drawn to Dylan covers like a moth to a bong. And I always, with rare exceptions, come away somewhat let down. I am familiar with some of these others not so much. I haven’t yet perused the previous editions but I sure hope you have Mae West’s version of “If You Gotta Go, Go Now”. It sounds like His Royal Bobness wrote the lyric for her.

  4. halfhearteddude
    March 10th, 2017 at 08:21 | #4

    I’ve never heard her version. I’ll have to look for it.

  5. RhodB
    March 10th, 2017 at 22:00 | #5

    Thanks for the Dylan Covers.

    The Townes Van Zandt version I have not heard before, he is a favourite so thanks again

    Regards

    Rhod

  6. J. Loslo
    March 11th, 2017 at 00:18 | #6

    Thanks for these. Love the Staple Singers & Tina Turner. The Angels of Light I’d not heard of, and I’ll have to check them out.

    I do have to respectfully disagree with you about Michael Stanley and Subterranean Homesick Blues. Respectfully.

  7. halfhearteddude
    March 11th, 2017 at 14:18 | #7

    I expect nobody to agree with me on Michael Stanley and Subterranean Homesick Blues. Respectful disagreement is all I can hope for.

  8. Brad
    March 15th, 2017 at 11:51 | #8

    I, on the other hand, respectfully agree with with your assessment of Michael Stanley’s cover. In fact on his follow-up album (Friends & Legends) he did a very nice, slowed down cover of “Help” which impressed the original songwriter.

    I took the liberty of removing a song from your Any Major Radio mix so I could add “Just Keep Playing Your Radio” from the F&L album. I thought it was a perfect fit.

    Thanks again for exposing me to things I’d either forgotten or never heard before. Love what you do here.

  9. halfhearteddude
    March 15th, 2017 at 17:07 | #9

    Thanks for the kind words, Brad. I’ve never heard the “Friends & Legends” album.

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