The Best Dylan Covers: Them It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue
“I think I heard The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan in a record shop in Smith Street. And I just thought it was just incredible that this guy’s not singing about ‘moon in June’ and he’s getting away with it… The subject matter wasn’t pop songs, ya know, and I thought this kind of opens the whole thing up.”
– Van Morrison (Heylin, C. (2003). Can You Feel the Silence?: Van Morrison: A New Biography. pp. 134–135.)
“It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue” is a song written and performed by Bob Dylan and featured on his Bringing It All Back Home album, released on March 22, 1965.
Morrison’s record producer at the time, Bert Berns, encouraged him to find models for his songs, so he bought Dylan’s Bringing It All Back Home album in March 1965. One of the songs on the album held a unique fascination for Morrison and he soon started performing “It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue” in small clubs and pubs as a solo artist (without Them).
Them (featuring Van Morrison) recorded a cover of “It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue” that was first released on their album, Them Again, in January 1966 in the UK and April 1966 in the U.S. The song was subsequently issued as a single (b/w “I’m Gonna Dress in Black”) in the Netherlands during October 1966 but failed to reach the Dutch Singles Chart. It was later re-released in Germany in December 1973 with “Bad or Good” on the B-side, following its appearance in the 1972 German television movie, Die Rocker (aka Rocker). The single became a hit in Germany, first entering the charts in February 1974 and peaking at #13, during a chart stay of 14 weeks.
“Only on Dylan’s ‘It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue‘ does Van truly shatter all the limits on his special powers…Each note stands out as a special creation – ‘the centuries of emotion that go into a musician’s choice from one note to the next’ is a phrase that describes the startling depth of this recording. Played very fast, Van’s voice virtually fighting for control over the band, ‘Baby Blue’ emerges as music that is both dramatic and terrifying.”
– Greil Marcus (Album review, Them Again, for Rolling Stone Magazine)
Them – I’s all over now, Baby Blue (audio):
“…that genuine rarity, a Dylan cover to match the original.”
– Clinton Heylin
Spotify: Them – It’s all over now, Baby Blue:
In 1984, Morrison made a guest appearance at one of Bob Dylan’s concerts in London and the two musicians performed a duet of “It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue”.Morrison and Dylan also sang a duet of “It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue” at the final concert of Dylan’s 1984 tour on July 8, 1984 at Slane Castle, Ireland. I am not sure which of these this audio clip is from.
Van Morrison and Bob Dylan – It’s all over now, Baby Blue (live, audio, 1984):