At ten o’clock yesterday evening, had you felt you could not stand one more news programme devoted almost entirely to the Scottish Referendum, you could have tuned instead to Radio 2 and listened to Suzi Quatro’s favourite Bob Dylan covers
. Suzi Quatro is a woman after my own heart. She’s ‘a Dylan addict’; she plays Dylan ‘really loud’; ‘He never ceases to surprise’. She does a mean Dylan impression, although Joan Baez is better at it. At one point, apropos nothing at all, she suddenly said, ‘Oh God, I love Bob Dylan.’ Me too, Suze!
She said she had ‘fifty four’ covers to choose from. What? There must be hundreds! Almost certainly there is a site somewhere on the net, compiled by Dylanolgists, listing every cover ever made and probably telling you what Bobby had for breakfast the day he wrote the song. Right from the start of his career, other people had more chart success with some of Dylan’s songs than he did. When he was young and I was even younger, I knew a lot of his songs without realising that he had written them
. That’s true of, for instance, It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue
(Joan Baez) and If You Gotta Go, Go Now
(Manfred Mann). Bruce Springsteen has said that his introduction to Dylan was hearing the Byrds’ version of Mr. Tambourine Man
, which made No.1 in the charts on both sides of the Atlantic.
I can’t believe (oh, actually I can, because the BBC website is so notoriously useless) that I CAN’T FIND A PLAYLIST for this programme. Suzi Q went for some unusual covers and eschewed the obvious, like Bryan Ferry or Adèle. Some of these choices were eccentric. Much as I like Bob Marley, I didn’t feel that he added anything to Like A Rolling Stone
, nor did I much like The Turtles’ It Ain’t Me Babe
. For my views on cover versions, see here
, back in 2008. My favourite left-out cover is probably Johnny Cash singing Don’t Think Twice It’s All Right
and my fave included one, Rod Stewart’s Just Like A Woman
. ‘Mr Stewart’, Suzie called him.
Bob Dylan makes Suzie Q very emotional. She cries every time she hears Blowin’ In The Wind
. Hearing To Make You Feel My Love
in the car, she had to pull over to have a weep. ‘I can’t believe that Bob, in his later years, could write a song like this.’ She chose Garth Brooks singing the song and called it ‘the best romantic song in the world.’ I can’t disagree. Dylan’s back catalogue must be unmatched and the poor man, being a towering genius, has been a legend for most of his lifetime. How he copes, I can’t imagine.
LJ friends, this is what you’re getting for Snaptember 12.