The Best Dylan Covers: Johnny Rivers – Positively 4th Street
Positively 4th Street is a song written and performed by Bob Dylan, first recorded by Dylan in New York City on July 29, 1965. It was released as a single by Columbia Records on September 7, 1965.
Johnny Rivers was probably the first to cover this song, using it as the closing track on his Realization album in 1968. Dylan said in his best selling book Chronicles: Volume Onethat he preferred Johnny Rivers’ version of “Positively 4th Street” to his own recording of the song.
I stumbled to my feet I rode past destruction in the ditches With the stitches still mending beneath a heart-shaped tattoo Renegade priests and treacherous young witches Were handing out the flowers that I’d given to you.
The Best Dylan Covers: Patti Smith – Changing Of The Guards
“…I had finished Gone Again in memory of Fred [‘Sonic’ Smith, her late husband], and I really didn’t think about touring at all, since my children were in school, but I heard from Dylan in 1995, and he asked whether I wanted to do a series of East coast dates with him. … Bob and I spoke privately and I thanked him for giving me the opportunity, and he really encouraged me to come back into the fold. He said the people would be happy to see me. I truthfully wasn’t certain how I would be received, or what I should do, and being encouraged by him was very important to me. I mean, Bob – the man I know – is a man of few words, but the words are always meaningful. And so that was very important. He was very encouraging to me about my place in the community of rock’n’roll.”
– Patti Smith (Kirk Elder, interview 2009, AlternativesToValium)
Changing of the Guards is a song written by Bob Dylan, released in 1978 as a single and as the first track on his album Street-Legal.
Lyrically, this song has provoked much critical insight, both positive and negative. According to Oliver Trager author of Keys to the Rain: The Definitive Bob Dylan Encyclopedia, “Changing of the Guards” has been criticized as a “song in which Dylan unsuccessfully and cynically parodies his anthemic self in haunting fashion…
The Best Dylan Covers: Bruce Springsteen – All Along The Watchtower
“All Along the Watchtower” is a song written and recorded by the American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan. The song initially appeared on his 1967 album John Wesley Harding, and it has been included on most of Dylan’s subsequent greatest hits compilations. Since the late 1970s, he has performed it in concert more than any of his other songs. Different versions appear on four of Dylan’s live albums.
The Best Dylan Covers: Jerry Garcia Band – Simple Twist of Fate
“Simple Twist of Fate” is a song by Bob Dylan, released on his 15th studio album Blood on the Tracks in 1975.
A live performance recorded on February 28, 1978 was included on At Budokan.
The song was first covered by Joan Baez on Diamonds & Rust (1975), and has been reinterpreted by several artists since: by the Jerry Garcia Band on their 2-disc live album Jerry Garcia Band (1991) and Run for the Roses (1982), by Concrete Blonde on their Still in Hollywood (1994) collection, by Sean Costello on his self-titled album (2005), by The Format on Listen to Bob Dylan: A Tribute (2005), by Bryan Ferry on Dylanesque (2007), by Jeff Tweedy (with altered lyrics taken from a live Dylan performance) on the soundtrack for the film I’m Not There (2007), by Stephen Fretwell on Man On the Roof (2007) as a bonus track, and by Sarah Jarosz on Build Me Up From Bones (2013). Diana Krall covered it on the 2012 charity tribute to Dylan, Chimes of Freedom: Songs of Bob Dylan Honoring 50 Years of Amnesty International.
Today we present the wonderful version by the Jerry Garcia Band.
The Best Dylan Covers: Joan Baez – Farewell Angelina
“Farewell Angelina” is a song written by Bob Dylan in the mid-1960s, and recorded by Joan Baez.
Dylan attempted to record “Farewell Angelina” only once, during the first session for his 1965 album Bringing it All Back Home, and he abandoned all attempts to record the song again. Dylan’s one recording of the song was eventually issued in 1991 on The Bootleg Series Volumes 1–3 (Rare & Unreleased) 1961–1991.
Joan Baez included this song on her 1965 album Farewell Angelina. In the UK the song was issued at the same time as a single. Baez’s version, though only about half as long as Dylan’s recording, was very similar in structure and showed her moving away from pure folk music with the use of string bass accompaniment.
I love the “Appalachian feel” that Baez evokes in her interpretation.