Tag Archives: Townes Van Zandt

Man gave name to all the animals by Bob Dylan – 3 nice covers and 1 great original

adam-naming-animals
Man Gave Names to All the Animals is a song written by Bob Dylan that appeared on Dylan’s 1979 album Slow Train Coming and was also released as a single in some European countries. It was also released as a promo single in US. The single became a chart hit in France and Belgium.

Bob Dylan slow train

However, the song also has detractors who consider it the worst song Dylan ever wrote. A 2013 reader’s poll conducted by Rolling Stone Magazine ranked “Man Gave Names to All the Animals” the 4th worst Bob Dylan song, although the hit single from Slow Train Coming, “Gotta Serve Somebody” placed second. I love’em both.

Man Gave Names to All the Animals has been covered by multiple artists, I’ve picked three of my favourites.

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Bob Dylan: Pancho and Lefty (Townes Van Zandt) (Videos & Audio)

bob dylan townes van zandt

 

Bob Dylan: Pancho and Lefty (Townes Van Zandt)

 Living on the road, my friend,
Is gonna keep you free and clean,
Now you wear your skin like iron,
Your breath as hard as kerosene.
You weren’t your mama’s only boy,
But her favorite one it seems —
She began to cry when you said goodbye,
And sank into your dreams.

“Townes van Zandt is the best songwriter in the whole world and I’ll stand on Bob Dylan’s coffee table in my cowboy boots and say that.”
~Steve Earle

Wikipedia:

Released 1972
Genre Country
Length 3:40
Label Tomato
Writer Townes Van Zandt
Producer Kevin Eggers, Jack Clement

Pancho and Lefty” is a song written by country singer and songwriter Townes Van Zandt. Often considered his “most enduring and well-known song,” Van Zandt first recorded it for his 1972 album, The Late Great Townes Van Zandt. Emmylou Harris then covered the song for her 1977 album, Luxury Liner and the song became a number one country hit in 1983 when Merle Haggard and Willie Nelson adopted it as the title track of their duet album Pancho & Lefty. Steve Earle performs “Pancho and Lefty” on his 2009 album Townes, which is composed of songs written by Townes Van Zandt, Earle’s friend and mentor. Canadian country artist George Canyon recorded a version of the song with Blue Rodeo’s Jim Cuddy on Canyon’s album Classics II, released in November 2012.

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September: Townes Van Zandt released Townes Van Zandt (album) in 1969

townes-van-zandt-self-titled-3rd-lp

Townes Van Zandt is the third release by Townes Van Zandt, released in 1969. It includes re-recordings of four songs from his 1968 debut album, including the first serious song he ever wrote, “Waitin’ Around To Die”.

The cover photograph was taken by Sol Mednick in the kitchen of Poppy Records artwork designer Milton Glaser and features Van Zandt sitting at a table with his eyes closed. Comparing the album cover to the one that adorned Van Zandt’s previous album, Our Mother The Mountain, biographer John Kruth observes, “Where his black eyes once glared so hard you might’ve wondered if he shattered the photographer’s lens, Van Zandt now appears withdrawn…Here he sits resigned, head in hand, in a perfectly painted kitchen where everything is neatly arranged, as in a doll’s house.” Some fans refer to Townes Van Zandt as The Kitchen Album.

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Covers of Racing in the streets by Bruce Springsteen

Springsteen-in-Chevy

Racing in the Street is my favorite Bruce Springsteen song.

It is a ballad written by Bruce Springsteen and was originally released on his album Darkness on the Edge of Town (1978). The song has been called Springsteen’s best song by a number of commentators.

“…And “Racing in the Streets” is still perhaps the best Springsteen song ever.”

– Rolling Stone magazine

Here are 5 covers, all very expressive, all good.

Emmylou Harris:

Emmylou has covered several Springsteen songs and she always do them justice.

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The Saddest Songs in History: Townes Van Zandt’s Marie


marie

Townes Van Zandt’s Marie from his album, No Deeper Blue

Marie is one of the most harrowing but touching songs ever written; if you’re not affected in some way by this tune upon hearing it, then you have no soul!  I’m kind of joking (but not much…)
No other songwriter brings out emotions the way Townes do, and that’s why his songs stand the test of time.

Willie Nelson recorded several of his songs, including this one. His version is on the album, Poet, a tribute album. He was nominated for a Grammy for it. Of course, he lost, but Townes’s music has often been like that–it is underappreciated  and mainly unknown by the  masses. Willie Nelson’s version is incredible, but it pales in comparison to Townes’s original.

Townes Van Zandt – Marie (Solo Sessions, January 17, 1995):

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