On The Cover, Part 2: Antithesis

Graham goes on …. … literally.

In Part 2, Graham Undermines His Own Thesis …

He’s like that! … BTW - If you missed Part One - that is here.

Soul, lots of brass, and tight choreography – Pickett shows how it is done. As for Roxy – Yes, this Chap is well aware of his own eenthusiasm for backup dancers. But they do not make up for Manzanera’s boredom and Ferry’s accompanied-karaoke vocals, conspicuously lacking – yes, SOUL.

Lastly, a foursome with complex comparisons

… just to throw the entire thesis into disarray.




This Chap really did look for a better version of Mr Zimmerman doing it himself– to no avail. As here, he gets great bands with him and disses them – though the apparent attempt here to max out his $-per-minute-of-singing is more extreme than most. The Hendrix still is quoted as the best version – oddly, (or not, if you understand the politics of Woodstock), his live version is almost unobtanium personified. But even a studio session shines. The Young was a surprise – actually discovered by this Chap while researching here. Comments posted under the Neil Young video do bear quoting…

Dylan was by no stretch of the imagination is good vocalist, what he has is simply a few styles that somehow work for Bob Dylan and Bob Dylan alone… the genius of Bob Dylan is that he wrote music and lyrics that begged to be covered. Neil Young is carved almost out of the same cloth as Bob Dylan, in the way he drives his music. When he does a cover, he puts his heart and soul into it, it is a tribute to the man who wrote it, not to Jimi Hendrix. … Neil Young is rooted in raw performance, he is not part of the digital age, you do not see any digital synthesizers here, no looping devices, and what you see are seasoned professionals of lead, rhythm, bass guitars, full drum kit, and what appears to be a good ol’ Hammond stage organ, with Leslie speakers. …. On top of that, two seasoned back up singers. Neil Young does not do flash and flare. He does grit and jam, and those on stage must have that kind of stamina as well.

As to the Ferry-channels-Robert-Palmer version, well – looks great, less filling. Lacks soul, again. (But that kid on the guitar – at 19, here: He may have it.) And the conclusion? Tentaively, there are indeed cover versions that far exceed the source. Depends partly on the source. And needs more research, bringing in (say) Clapton versions. But that’s another thing altogether…

And the other chap’s repost?

… well despite all the best intentions here … there isn’t that much this chap can add - or contradict - which is this chap’s typical modus operandi …. because the conclusion seems to be ‘it depends’

  • on the ‘basis track’
  • who performed it, and
  • how much it is part of our personal soundtrack of life

No? Still - allow a little digression … Brian really did not get better as he got older, and in this chap’s mind, moved more and more to covers because they were better than what he was writing - unlike Neil who consistently delivers magic. Phil - yes - but wasn’t he always bored when delivering stuff that he is so much more capable of? Bob - just because you can write great songs - does not mean that you should perform them. For this chap, file with Neil D and Barry M.

Graham responds …

… that while he is not persuaded, here’s an interesting commentary on Dylan, writing and singing, that popped up from the Zeitgeist this very day.

John : He’s always got to have the last say … I’ve told him before - that’s my job!

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