Thursday, September 1, 2011

Cover Thursdays - Poncey Dylan edition

Guest post.

My mate, Poncey notes my calls for help RE this whole blogging thing and a lack of sufficient posting time. I would also let the record state that the man has started up his own blog, which you'll no-doubt be wanting visit straight after reading this! Who can resist a "A Smörgåsbord of weighty opinions[...] An exotic blend of rants, sport, music and observations of the absurd in everyday life -- as well as some other kak."? Not I. Anyway, here the Ponceman making a fairly ballsy call - Ed.

Right, so you get really excited when you hear that one of your favourite bands is singing a cover of one of your favourite artists.  In this case it's the Decemberists* doing Leonard Cohen's 'Hey that's no way to say goodbye'.  You patiently wait for it to be released and for it to reach YouTube and when -- and I'm just finishing my first listen here as I type -- you hear it and you're thoroughly disappointed.

I was going to say something along the lines of you've got to have a huge set of stones to cover Leonard Cohen, but then I realised that an oke named Rufus Wainwright and Liv Tyler have done decent efforts -- so maybe he lends himself to the cover a bit better than Bobby D.

If you're reading Stickman's blog or know the man personally you're probably not averse to the odd thesis-length post or conversation (he remains the only person I've ever heard use annotations during a conversation), but I'm going to keep this relatively short.

Covering Dylan is an insane risk in my opinion.  Yes, Guns 'n Roses, Jimi Hendrix and no doubt some quite enjoy the wailing of Joan Baez or the unbearable naff-ness that is the Byrds.  Yes yes.  Making something that is already brilliant more popular ain't really the point.

HOWEVER, I do believe I have found the greatest Dylan cover ever.  Up until two months ago it wasn't on YouTube, but here it is now for your enjoyment.

Aim your stones at the body.  Go.



  1. Just got round to checking this out now...

    Phew. Massive call to describe this as "the greatest Dylan cover ever". My money's firmly on Hendrix's version of All Along the Watchtower if you're asking... Not only did he completely rearranged the song, but in doing so he created something utterly unforgettable and eminently powerful. (There's also the not-insignificant matter of building up to, arguably, the greatest guitar solo of all time...) Even Dylan started playing it Hendrix-style in the aftermath.

    Such philosophical quibbles aside, I like where you're going with this. Does it come across as harsh to say that I like the earnest, journeyman qualities Earle brings to party?

  2. A deliberately big call there my good stickfriend. I also rate Hendrix doing AATW despite not really enjoying Hendrix. You also raise some good points there.

    Personally I like the Earle version the best. He rearranges the song to make what to me sounds like a better song - and his journeyman qualities or his battered back pages, if you like, are heavily hinted at.

    The debates will rage - I'd like to know if there are any other covers that are worth looking at.

  3. "or his battered back pages, if you like"

    I DO like. Will definitely be using that phrase more regularly from now on...


No anonymous comments please. (Pseudonyms are fine.)