A couple of weeks ago I posted about the worst cover song of all time, America as recorded by Yes. Before anyone gets the idea that I think that a cover song has to be a note for note rendition to be good, I offer up today’s bonus edition of Two’Fer Tuesday which features three great cover versions of All Along The Watchtower each of which is unique. First up is Bob Dylan’s original version of the song.
The first, and probably most well known cover of the song, is from Jimi Hendrix. An amazing performance by an amazing artist. In my opinion this version is better than the original.
Next up is a great version by a very much under rated Dave Mason. While very much guitar driven like Jimi’s version, I think this one has a different feel to it.
My final version of the song is a 1o + minute version by Neil Young. Old Black was screaming on this rendition and I absolutely love it.
Send me a comment and let me know which version you prefer!
OK….this isn’t an exact cover but it is close enough for me. This is a great semi-cover making fun of Mitt Romney. I really think you will like it.
You’re So Vague – The Cover
The original is a great song by Carly Simon. From everything that I have read she wrote it about Warren Beaty. I can see that!
You’re So Vain – The Original
I had a major meltdown on Friday but now I’m back in the saddle so hang on tight…..the ride may be a little rough.
Here is my new theme song. (a couple of cover versions followed by a live performance by the songwriter with a great introductory speech)
Jackson Browne (acoustic)
Eddie Vedder (acoustic)
Steven Van Zant – the writer of the song
As I move forward with this blog there willl be no more “pussyfooting”. In case that is a uniquely American term, let me define it for you:
Pussyfooting: To act or proceed cautiously or timidly
From here on out I am going to say exactly what I feel and…..to use Steven Van Zandt’s words, I plan to:
………question every motherfucker every time!
Here are a couple of topics I plan to address head-on in the next couple of weeks, in addition to my usual music posts.
- The Ultimate Sellout
- Religion and Politics
- Racism and Politics
- Hypocrisy, Cowardice, and Politics
- Bain Capital Explained (Using American History As It Might Have Been)
As I said…..hang on tight!
America is easily my favorite Simon and Garfunkel song. Let’s listen…
This may be as close to perfect as you can get. I still get goosebumps listening to the lyrics:
“Kathy, I’m lost” I said, though I knew she was sleeping
“I’m empty and aching and I don’t know why…”
Counting the cars on the New Jersey turnpike
They’ve all gone to look for America
So….it should come as no surprise to anyone that Paul Simon was one of the recipients of the Polar Music Prize last month in Stockholm, Sweden. Here is what the award committee had to say about Paul:
“The Polar Music Prize 2012 is awarded to Paul Simon. Nobody else is more deserving of the epithet of “world-class songwriter.” For five decades, Paul Simon has built bridges not only over troubled waters but over entire oceans by (re)joining the world’s continents with his music. With consummate skill, innovative arrangements and provocative lyrics that never fail to capture the currents of his age, Paul Simon has compiled a library of songs which will remain open to future generations.”
As part of the ceremony, First Aid Kit performed America in honor of Paul. Let’s listen to their cover version of the song.
For those of you who don’t know, First Aid Kit is two Swedish sisters (I did another post about them back in January). I thought they did an excellent job with America and Paul seemed to really enjoy the performance.
As always, let me know what you think!
In 1987 Dan Fogelberg released, Exiles, his tenth album. He was in the process of going through a divorce (not one that he initiated) and coping with a seriously broken heart. The album is all about grief with songs that touch on all of its stages: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance. Today we are focused on Anger.
Dan wrote all of the songs on Exiles with the exception of It Doesn’t Matter which was written by Stephen Stills and Chris HIllman and originally released by Manassas. We featured the Manassas version our Southern California Sound #13 post but let’s listen again to refresh our memory of what the original sounded like…..
I love this song and, while the lyrics are sad, I never considered it to be angry. If I had to categorize the tone of the Manassas performance it was resigned…..definitely not angry.
Back to Dan and his cover version of the song. Believe it or not, his version is not on YouTube so I put it on my private channel just for you guys. Let’s listen and then we will talk.
Angry, Angry, Angry….the last 90 seconds of this song are amazing. Although I have huge respect for Dan’s guitar skills, I never imagined that he had that solo in him. I don’t know if Dan had screaming matches as part of his divorce but if he didn’t that guitar solo definitely got it out of his system. It was a musical, one sided, all out screaming match and I am willing to bet that he was emotionally spent after recording it. I am seldom surprised by musical performances but this one was an exception.
All I can say is well done Dan……..we miss you very much!
If you haven’t done it already, go back to yesterday’s post and sign the petition to get Dan into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame!
I am sure that everyone thought this was a good idea in 1968. Elton John clearly had an abundance of talent but had not proven himself yet as a songwriter (note: Elton had just recently teamed up with Bernie Taupin and their songwriting chops would be evident to the world in a couple of years) . Nick Drake was recording his first album and had some amazing new songs. Why not have Elton sing Nick….
So today I offer you Elton singing a cover of Nick’s Way To Blue. To be honest, I don’t care for Elton’s version. Maybe if would be different if I had never heard Nick’s original performance, I don’t know? Let me know what you think…
The Cover (Elton John)
The Original (Nick Drake)
I have an interesting one for you today. As I am sure you will remember, we discussed Elliott Murphy in an earlier post named Just A Story From America. If you read that post you know I am a huge Elliott fan but I have to say that his songs are not widely covered. Imagine my surprise when I discovered a John Mellencamp cover of Last of the Rock Stars from a 1984 concert in Cleveland, Ohio. I don’t think you will find this one anywhere else. Enjoy.
The Original (Elliott Murphy)
The Cover (John Mellencamp)