… but he isn’t mine.
I don’t have any Dylan albums in my archives, although I do have a couple by The Band who were his … erm … band for a gig or several, plus a few recordings. Yes, I’m vague on the details, but I haven’t liked his voice since he was a folkie, a breed of musician I haven’t taken seriously since one of my student days,
One evening, I went to a folk club in the back room of a pub aptly named Hole In The Wall. The singer stood at the mike, hand cupped over one ear, eyes shut as the interminable and incomprehensible lyrics wormed their way into our ears. Then he wandered among the sparse audience expecting us to sing the next verse. This, of course made it worse because being a city lad I didn’t know any songs about jilted country lasses.
I’ve nought against live music in pubs, but being placed in a spotlight of embarrassment by a puritanical performer and denied the opportunity to refill my glass meant that I haven’t liked many folk singers since.
We Shall Overcome …. oh yeah? Where Have All The Flowers Gone? To the florists, every one.
Ok, so I’m being flippant and admit that I have enough cover versions of His Bobness’ songs to fill several compilations. In the mid to late sixties I couldn’t escape them, nor did I want to. They cropped up on several of my (still) favourite albums and with different arrangements I found light in the dark corners of his lyrics.
And some musicians demonstrated that, as it ever was, the times, they are a-changing.
You may know a couple of these songs because they were hits in the UK. All bar two are by British musicians, and are in the rough chronological order of release. And, yes, the first track is sung by the then folkie John Martyn who is forgiven because as The Times described him, he was “an electrifying guitarist and singer whose music blurred the boundaries between folk, jazz, rock and blues.”
01. John Martyn – Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right
02. Alan Price – To Ramona
03. Manfred Mann – Mighty Quinn
04. Brian Auger & The Trinity w. Julie Driscoll – This Wheel’s On Fire
05. (Graham) Bell & Arc – She Belongs To Me
06. Dave Edmunds – Outlaw Blues
07. Taj Mahal – It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry
08. Ben Weaver – Ballad Of A Thin Man
09. Coulson, Dean, McGuinness, Flint – Don’t You Tell Henry
10. Fairport Convention – Si Tu Dois Partir
11. Joe Cocker & Leon Russell – Girl from the North Country