Tag Archives: Cover Version

Bob Dylan Pressing On: 2 great originals and 7 fine cover versions

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Bob Dylan Pressing On: Cover versions audio and video

When I heard Alicia Keys’s cover of Bob Dylan’s Pressing On I felt compelled to search out some of the other great versions of this overlooked gem.
Saved was the second album of Dylan’s “Christian trilogy”, following his conversion. It expanded on themes explored on its predecessor Slow Train Coming, with gospel arrangements and lyrics extolling the importance of a strong personal faith.

Let us start with a couple of Dylan’s own takes on the song, the album version and a great live interpretation from a classic concert in Toronto in 1980:

Bob Dylan – Pressing On, from the album, Saved:

The fantastic Toronto 1980 version of Pressing On:

And now the cover versions.

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6 good cover versions of Bob Dylan’s Señor (Tales Of Yankee Power)

Senor, senor, can you tell me where we’re headin’?
Lincoln County Road or Armageddon?
Seems like I been down this way before.
Is there any truth in that, senor?
– Bob Dylan

“One of the most interesting Street Legal songs is “Senor.” Dylan sings it magnificently, with real purpose, and the song’s melody is highly original and infectious. …  “Senor” could have been one of Dylan’s finest songs of the 1970s. As it stands, however, it is an ambitious song which doesn’t quite come off.”
– Thomas Ward (allmusic)

I agree it is an interesting song, however I do not agree that it doesn’t “come off”, I love the song!
It has proven rather difficult to cover but there are some good ones out there. I have dug up six of the best.

Jeffrey Foucault – Señor (live, may 14, 2009, Spijkerboor):

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The Flaming Lips plays The Beatles

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The Flaming Lips are very respectful of their psychedelic roots. They have covered Pink Floyd’s classic album ‘The Dark Side Of The Moon’ in its entirety (also releasing it in a limited edition). They have also covered whole albums of King Crimson and The Stone Roses (!).

Our favorite modern-day psychedelic surrealists,  has also covered another of the late Sixties’ most popular psychedelic band, The Beatles on several occasions. It fits them, they’re good at it and we have “dug up” several examples. There has long been a rumor (or maybe more than a rumor) that the Flaming Lips will cover the entire Sgt. Pepper album.

They have a very strong leaning towards John Lennon, he is after all seen as the more “psychedelic” songwriter in The Beatles.

I could not find Tomorrow Never Knows, even though I know they have played it…

Enjoy!

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The Flaming Lips and Sean Lennon – Lucy in the sky with diamonds (Letterman):

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Leon Russell covers Bob Dylan – Happy Birthday Leon Russell!

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Leon Russell (born Claude Russell Bridges April 2, 1942) is an American musician and songwriter, who has recorded as a session musician, sideman, and maintained a solo career in music.

Born in Lawton, Oklahoma, he began playing piano at the age of four. Russell attended Will Rogers High School in Tulsa, Oklahoma. At this time he was already performing at Tulsa nightclubs. After moving to Los Angeles, he became a session musician, working as a pianist on the recordings of many notable musical artists from the 1960s. By the late 1960s, Russell diversified, becoming successful as an arranger and wrote and co-wrote songs. As a musician, he worked his way up from gigs as a sideman to well known performers. By 1970 he had graduated to solo recording artist, although he never ended all his previous roles within the music industry.

Russell was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame on Monday, March 14, 2011

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Leon Russell – A Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall:

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David Bowie sings Bob Dylan – Rest in Peace David Bowie

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David Bowie sings Bob Dylan

“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 have always talked about Dylan with great respect. Bob Dylan has maybe not been the biggest influence on his music, but he has sung 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.

He has 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

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