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#1141374 - 06/04/18 12:52 PM How To Cover A Dylan Song  
Joined: Oct 2017
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Fdemetrio Offline
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There are too many Dylan Covers to count, the guy has made even more money off royalties of covers than his own releases.

But I have listened to Pete Townshends album "All The Best Cowboys Have Chinese Eyes" probably a thousand times since it first came out.

One of my favorites was a smaller song amongst the two hits, Face Dances and Slit Skirts, which I love. Love the whole album.

But this song "North Country Girl" I always thought was just a Pete Townshend solo song, never realizing that it was a re-structuring of Dylan's Girl from North Country
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lR2FyMVTNvs

I plead ignorance, never knew it.

But to me, Pete takes this song to a way different and better place. Adding a pop chorus and hook, a bridge, and just making it more melodic and entertaining. But covering songs is not about doing the same exact thing the original did. Use some creativty would ya?

The song just makes me feel good. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WavnVVDlBak

Last edited by Fdemetrio; 06/04/18 12:52 PM.
#1141379 - 06/04/18 02:18 PM Re: How To Cover A Dylan Song [Re: Fdemetrio]  
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Fdemetrio Offline
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But Willie Nile did a whole album of Dylan covers...

Killer version of rainy day woman
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=IaTpH5YPwcY

#1141384 - 06/04/18 02:42 PM Re: How To Cover A Dylan Song [Re: Fdemetrio]  
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Barry David Butler (D) Offline
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Barry David Butler (D)  Offline
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I did Blowin In The Wind...

#1141592 - 06/08/18 10:32 AM Re: How To Cover A Dylan Song [Re: Fdemetrio]  
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Dylans recordings are so unique that you'll often get good results covering his works, if you have a good angle on one.


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#1141734 - 06/11/18 09:54 PM Re: How To Cover A Dylan Song [Re: Fdemetrio]  
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Rearrange it to fit you. I cover a couple of Dylan tunes and they don't sound a lot like Dylan. Only real aficionados know.

#1141764 - 06/12/18 04:58 PM Re: How To Cover A Dylan Song [Re: Fdemetrio]  
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Michael LeBlanc Offline
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just choose a song you like and sing it without mimicking him,it'll work.

#1141767 - 06/12/18 06:34 PM Re: How To Cover A Dylan Song [Re: Fdemetrio]  
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I was actually just trying share Petes "north country girl" with you guys, in other other words, this is how do it!

I'm not really interested in covering Dylan's songs.

But I think anyone who covers any song should make a completely different version of it. If it's too great or legendary of a song, don't cover it at all

Last edited by Fdemetrio; 06/12/18 06:35 PM.
#1141768 - 06/12/18 06:44 PM Re: How To Cover A Dylan Song [Re: Fdemetrio]  
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Barry David Butler (D) Offline
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RH3Akw8XDDE

Here is my version with a new part and is really different.

#1142819 - 07/13/18 12:42 PM Re: How To Cover A Dylan Song [Re: Barry David Butler (D)]  
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Joe Wrabek Offline
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The fun part about covering Dylan songs is almost anybody can make it sound better than Dylan. Like one reporter said, "If sandpaper could sing, it would sound like Bob Dylan."

One that our Gospel band does is "Absolutely Sweet Marie." And we don't do it like Dylan. Rather, we emulate (sort of) the version done by Jason and the Scorchers, a punk-rock band.

You can always put your own spin on these things and get away with it. Most times, it will sound better than when it was done by Dylan.

Joe

#1142820 - 07/13/18 01:17 PM Re: How To Cover A Dylan Song [Re: Fdemetrio]  
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Dylans a better singer than people give him credit for. He's on pitch all the time. He doesn't have much variation, it's one sound fits all, but he is distinctive, you turn on the radio and hear his voice you know who it is, even if you hadn't heard the song before. But he won't win American Idol.

I guess stuff sounds better when covered because its reaching a different audience. taking a folkie and making it pop, rock, country, blues etc.

Maybe to hardcore folkies, his versions are best.

#1142870 - 07/15/18 06:51 AM Re: How To Cover A Dylan Song [Re: Fdemetrio]  
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If you've never watched the the Dylan 30th Anniversary show, you definitely should. It is packed with great musicians covering Bob songs plus Bob himself. Tom Petty, Roger McGuinn, Eric Clapton, Roseanne Cash....and the list goes on.


Colin

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#1143003 - 07/20/18 12:06 PM Re: How To Cover A Dylan Song [Re: Fdemetrio]  
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I was rehearsing out on the AC boardwalk in front of my condo when this old scroungy looking guy comes up and sits on the next bench over from me - I was doing like a rolling stone … I finished and the guy comes over and in his best bob Dylan said - ya done good - yep it were da man himself...…. Just a funny story




#1143247 - 07/27/18 06:58 PM Re: How To Cover A Dylan Song [Re: Fdemetrio]  
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I did a go between attempting a original between Knocking On Heaven's Door and Buffalo Springfield's For What It's Worth. I wanted real instruments for a song attempt over a synth.
It sounded pretty dumb.

But it seeems to be how musicians unpretentiously carry these most original influences. Not try to imitate them.

Last edited by R&M; 07/27/18 07:00 PM.
#1143410 - 07/31/18 07:25 AM Re: How To Cover A Dylan Song [Re: R&M]  
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Martin Lide Offline
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Here is one method that I have seen used to cover Dylan song's on several occasions.


Become old.
Grow your gray hair out until it is unkempt and scroungy.
Wear a "legalize cannabis" T-shirt.
Hang a harmonica around your neck and play it poorly and sloppily but act like it's an ordained religious experience. A person does not just cover Dylan songs, they are a disciple.
Sing off key. In the case of Dylan's songs, that is correct.
Before and after you sing make esoteric references to obscure aspects of Dylan's life. Make it clear that you are an informed student of a god.
Don't know anything that has happened in music since 1974. (It's all trash anyway)

Hope that helps. wink

If anyone is interested, I also have some tips on how to cover "Folsum Prison Blues" and "Ring of Fire." For starters never refer to Johnny Cash as Johnny Cash. Refer to him as "Cash" and say his name with a "nuf said" arrogance in your vocal tone.
Act a little sullen and "on a mission."
No harmonicas. smile





#1143416 - 07/31/18 11:20 AM Re: How To Cover A Dylan Song [Re: Fdemetrio]  
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Fdemetrio Offline
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Marty gonna have to disagree with Dylans pitch, he is on pitch all the time. Its just that his sound is messed up

And I also must disagree with your assesment of Johnny Cash. In my opinion he is one of the top 5 singers in popular music. Only a 5 note range, but he had what
autotune and technology and vocal lessons cant buy, he had authenticity. Nobody was more believable than Johnny Cash.

But covering songs is not about doing the same exact thing, not unless you are a cover band

#1143418 - 07/31/18 11:47 AM Re: How To Cover A Dylan Song [Re: Fdemetrio]  
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Martin Lide Offline
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Originally Posted by Fdemetrio
Marty gonna have to disagree with Dylans pitch, he is on pitch all the time. Its just that his sound is messed up

And I also must disagree with your assesment of Johnny Cash. In my opinion he is one of the top 5 singers in popular music. Only a 5 note range, but he had what
autotune and technology and vocal lessons cant buy, he had authenticity. Nobody was more believable than Johnny Cash.

But covering songs is not about doing the same exact thing, not unless you are a cover band



I never put a Dylan song into Melodyne, but I suspect your conclusion is arguable. I'm not going to argue it, but I don't think my ears are that off. The only question that I might ask...If Dylan was always on pitch, how then could his sound be messed up?

Please explain. wink

As for Cash, my post is nothing about Cash. It's about the people who cover Cash.

#1143420 - 07/31/18 12:08 PM Re: How To Cover A Dylan Song [Re: Fdemetrio]  
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Fdemetrio Offline
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tone is different than pitch

#1143421 - 07/31/18 12:39 PM Re: How To Cover A Dylan Song [Re: Fdemetrio]  
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Martin Lide Offline
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Originally Posted by Fdemetrio
tone is different than pitch


I read that somewhere. wink

#1143435 - 08/01/18 12:36 AM Re: How To Cover A Dylan Song [Re: Fdemetrio]  
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Magnet/gemma hayes.

Win.

#1145672 - 10/26/18 08:38 AM Re: How To Cover A Dylan Song [Re: Fdemetrio]  
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"If Dylan was always on pitch, how then could his sound be messed up?"

when I put exactly the right amount of orange peels, banana peels, and coffee grounds into my garbage disposal, it will be the perfect pitch of E.

But seriously, I enjoy both Dylan songs and their covers. I still occasionally discover that a song I thought was written by the singer was actually the singer doing a cover of a Dylan song. Incredibly talented writer.


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