Any fan of classic rock needs no introduction to Mick Taylor. The legendary guitarist first made his mark in the 1960′s playing with John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers as the successor to Eric Clapton. As if this wasn’t enough, Mick Taylor would eventually go on to replace the late Brian Jones in The Rolling Stones. He would leave the Stones in 1974, but he was a big part on some of their most seminal albums, such as Let it Bleed, Sticky Fingers, and Exile on Main Street. Over the years, Taylor would carve out his own solo career, but would continue to maintain contact with the Stones, eventually being present for the band’s induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989.
In 1983, Taylor joined Mark Knopfler and played on Dylan’s Infidels album. He also appeared on Dylan’s live album Real Live, as well as the follow-up studio album Empire Burlesque. In 1984, Dylan asked Mick Taylor to assemble an experienced rock and roll band for a European tour he signed with Bill Graham. Ian McLagan was hired to play piano and hammond organ, Greg Sutton to play bass and Colin Allen, a long-time friend of Taylor, on drums. The tour lasted for four weeks at venues such as Munich’s Olympic Stadium Arena and Milan’s San Siro Stadium, sharing the bill with Carlos Santana and Joan Baez, who appeared on the same bill for a couple of shows.
His take on Bob Dylan’s Blind Willie McTell is faithful but playful, for instance he incorporates snippets from All along the Watchtower in the middle of the song. But it is his fantastic guitar playing that is the reason I chose this as todays video. There are not many guitarists in his league. Fantastic!
Roderick David “Rod” Stewart, CBE (born 10 January 1945) is born and raised in London, he is of English and Scottish ancestry. Stewart is one of the best-selling music artists of all time, having sold over 100 million records worldwide.
With his distinctive raspy singing voice, Stewart came to prominence in the late 1960s and early 1970s with The Jeff Beck Group and then with Faces, though his music career had begun in 1962 when he took up busking with a harmonica. In October 1963 he joined the Dimensions as a harmonica player and part-time vocalist, then in 1964 he joined Long John Baldry and the All Stars. Later, in August 1964, he also signed a solo contract, releasing his first solo single, “Good Morning Little Schoolgirl”, in October of the same year. He maintained a solo career alongside a group career, releasing his debut solo album An Old Raincoat Won’t Ever Let You Down (US: The Rod Stewart Album), in 1969. His early albums were a fusion of rock, folk music, soul music and R&B. His aggressive blues work with The Jeff Beck Group and the Faces influenced heavy metal genres. From the late 1970s through the 1990s, Stewart’s music often took on a new wave or soft rock/middle-of-the-road quality, and in the early 2000s he released a series of successful albums interpreting the Great American Songbook.
We have written many posts on the subject of other artists covering Bob Dylan’s songs. Today we present Rod Stewart’s takes on Dylan songs. We must remember that Mr. Stewart is a very good vocalist, yes, he has done some “strange” projects lately, but he can still muster a great rock’n roll vocal when he choose to.
Joan Baez has recorded many Dylan songs. Her unique and beautiful voice carries some of them to different places. For many Dylan enthusiasts, Joan Baez’s interpretations are the only tolerable ones, besides Dylan’s own 🙂
Baez first met Dylan in 1961 at Gerde’s Folk City in New York City’s Greenwich Village.
“His albums have a great class to them, even those albums where he is actually playing songs of long-dead blues singers. His writing, his song texts, leave me speechless. “
– David Bowie (about Bob Dylan, 1997)
David Bowie always talked about Dylan with great respect. Bob Dylan was maybe not the biggest influence on his music, but he did sing some of his songs both live and in studio. I found some fine versions of, Like a Rolling Stone, Maggie’s Farm and Trying to get to heaven. Mick Ronson a long-time Bowie friend and collaborator was also a part of Dylan’s Rolling Thunder tour.
Bowie also played Don’t think twice it’s all right and She belongs to me (I’ve read somewhere) but I could not find an upload of them anywhere.
Trying to get to heaven Recorded during the mixing sessions for Earthling in 1998.
Bowie’s version of “Tryin’ to Get to Heaven” (which, at least in its circulating edit, cuts Dylan’s second verse and squeezes the fourth and fifth into one incoherent lump) is, essentially, a first draft of what would become Hours. The take begins somber and ashen enough. Yet the circularity of Dylan’s singing on “Tryin’”, conveying a journey undertaken but never in danger of ending, seemed to frustrate Bowie: he needed a narrative.
So in the “people on platforms” verse, Bowie builds to a manic desperation, as if he has to make an eleventh-hour sale or he’ll be sacked by his proprietor. We get a rattled “cha-hay-hay-hain,” a squeaked-out “looose,” the creaking onomatopoeia of “cloowwoose the door,” and a gargle. Having made a hash of Dylan’s last verses, Bowie latches onto a line as if he’d drawn it by lot to torture: “I’ve beeen! to Sugar Town-I shook! the su!gar down!” Dylan sang those words with an earned swagger, like a spendthrift man recalling a spent-out life. Bowie sang them as if he was just passingly familiar with the English language. – Pushing ahead of the Dame
‘I really thought I’d be seeing Elvis soon.’
– Bob Dylan (1997)
Elvis Aaron Presley (January 8, 1935 – August 16, 1977). Regarded as one of the most significant cultural icons of the 20th century, he is often referred to as “the King of Rock and Roll”, or simply, “the King”. Elvis Presley would have been 81 years old today.
Presley was born in Tupelo, Mississippi, and when he was 13 years old, he and his family relocated to Memphis, Tennessee.
Bob Dylan and Elvis clearly love/loved the same kind of music, blues, rock’n roll, country and gospel.
Elvis has done a few Bob Dylan songs.
Tomorrow Is A Long Time:
“the one recording I treasure the most.”
– Bob Dylan