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radiant jewel, mystical wife
September 5, 2011 4:21 AM   Subscribe

Divas do Dylan: Nina Simone's Ballad of Hollis Brown, Nico's I'll Keep It With Mine, PJ Harvey's Highway 61 Revisited, Tracy Chapman's The Times They Are A-Changin', Emmylou Harris' Every Grain of Sand.
posted by flapjax at midnite (67 comments total) 32 users marked this as a favorite

 
PJ Harvey, diva?

I guess I can see it.
posted by item at 4:24 AM on September 5, 2011


Heh. Yeah, I knew that'd get some comments, the "diva" thing. I'm just a sucker for alliteration, is what it is.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:39 AM on September 5, 2011


So you'd love the historical alleration Baez Bangs Bob.
posted by hippybear at 4:43 AM on September 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


So you'd love the historical alleration Baez Bangs Bob.

Nah. Just can't get with Joan's voice, hippybear. Never could. Which is why I didn't include her in this post.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:52 AM on September 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


People might also be interested in the BBC radio program "Dylan's Women".
posted by rongorongo at 4:53 AM on September 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


Lay ladies.
posted by pracowity at 4:55 AM on September 5, 2011


Just can't get with Joan's voice

You know that moment when your parents make some mistake that helps you realize that they're not gods? They're just people, bigger than you are for the moment, but human.

Anyway, I just want to say thank you, flapjax. I understand now; you're mortal like everyone else.
posted by Jpfed at 5:07 AM on September 5, 2011 [7 favorites]


I don't think I was referencing her singing with that alliteration.
posted by hippybear at 5:09 AM on September 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


I don't think I was referencing her singing with that alliteration.

Oh, it was quite obvious you weren't. But as this post was about women who've performed Dylan's music, and not about women who Bob Dylan had sexual relations with, I thought I'd keep things on that track. At least for my own contributions to the thread.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:12 AM on September 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Sirens (some sultry) seriously surpass singer-songwriter.
posted by BrotherCaine at 5:14 AM on September 5, 2011 [4 favorites]


Don't forget this one!
posted by thinkpiece at 5:23 AM on September 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Anyway, I think she's a diva in her own alt way.
posted by thinkpiece at 5:26 AM on September 5, 2011


I like Karen O's Highway 61 a little more than P.J. Harvey's.
posted by octothorpe at 5:33 AM on September 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Anyway, I think she's a diva in her own alt way.

Alt! Alt or I'll shoot!

But yeah, I'm pretty crazy about Chan, I think she's all kinds of great. Well, anyway, the two records I know really well, which are What Would the Community Think and Moonpix. I didn't include her Mobile/Memphis Blues Again cover here though, cause frankly I just thought she was aping Dylan too much: didn't really bring anything new to the table.

Don't take that personally, though, thinkpiece. I'm always glad when people add more links to one of my music threads.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:35 AM on September 5, 2011


Indigo Girls do an excellent Tangled Up In Blue
posted by hippybear at 5:41 AM on September 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


Ani Difranco on the banjo doing Most of the Time (with a bonus "Do Re Mi" tacked at the end) and Hurricane.

Sophie B. Hawkins doing I Want You.
posted by flarbuse at 5:51 AM on September 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


I knew I would do that. Here is the Sophie B. Hawkins link. Mods, feel free to fix...
posted by flarbuse at 5:54 AM on September 5, 2011


Chrissie Hynde doing I Shall Be Released, although I always think of that as a Richard Manuel song, not a Dylan song.
posted by octothorpe at 5:56 AM on September 5, 2011


I'm in two minds about Joan Baez. But she did put out a very listenable double album in 1968 composed solely of Dylan songs, Any Day Now. Still put it on from time to time; there are times when Dylan's Love is Just a Four-Letter Word needs an airing in this household. Baez also does a pretty good Restless Farewell.
posted by Mister Bijou at 6:03 AM on September 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Olivia Newton-John doing If Not For You.

Patti Smith doing Dark Eyes and Changing of the Guard.

Sheryl Crow doing Mississippi.

Okay, I'll stop now.
posted by flarbuse at 6:09 AM on September 5, 2011


Sinead O' Connor's using The Times they Are A Changin' to new ends.
posted by jeffen at 6:13 AM on September 5, 2011


Sarah Dugas with the Duhks doing a wonderful version of It's Alright Ma. The fact that anyone can remember all those lyrics is sort of amazing to me.
posted by octothorpe at 6:20 AM on September 5, 2011


Great post!
posted by KokuRyu at 6:32 AM on September 5, 2011


I like Nanci Griffith's version of Spanish Boots of Spanish Leather.
posted by rongorongo at 7:04 AM on September 5, 2011 [5 favorites]


Thea Gilmore covering "As I Went Out One Morning."

She has sort up upped the ante here by recording the entire John Wesley Harding album, start to finish. Very good stuff.
posted by Danf at 7:19 AM on September 5, 2011


Susan Tedeschi doing "Don't Think Twice, It's Alright"
posted by smirkette at 7:22 AM on September 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


Nina Simone's is spellbinding.
posted by Flunkie at 7:22 AM on September 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Nina Simone's is spellbinding.

Isn't it?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:32 AM on September 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


That is an awesome performance by Nina Simone. Thank you, flapjax at midnight. For anyone who is interested, Ballad of Hollis Brown: lyrics
posted by Mister Bijou at 7:43 AM on September 5, 2011


I can't find it on Youtube, but Eliza Gilkyson's version of Love Minus Zero/No Limit from the tribute album A Nod to Bob is one of my favorite Dylan covers ever, though I really wouldn't call Eliza a diva.
posted by Devils Rancher at 7:44 AM on September 5, 2011


I'm just a sucker for alliteration, is what it is.

Alert! Allusions to Alliteration Alienate Aesthetes!
posted by Devils Rancher at 7:45 AM on September 5, 2011


My other wife does a really good rendition of "Buckets of Rain"
posted by Maaik at 7:47 AM on September 5, 2011


Wow, that Nina Simone one is so compelling. Wonderful post, as ever.
posted by nickyskye at 8:03 AM on September 5, 2011


As always a great post.
posted by bjgeiger at 8:07 AM on September 5, 2011


Wow, Nina.
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 8:17 AM on September 5, 2011


Miriam Kakeba does I Shall Be Released.

Nina Simone also does a great Just like Tom Thumb's Blues and I Shall Be Released.

Also came across Josephene Baker doing The Times They Are A'changing.
posted by bonobothegreat at 8:21 AM on September 5, 2011


Adele
posted by Benny Andajetz at 8:30 AM on September 5, 2011


Don't know what's up with your links there, bonobothegreat... here's a direct link to the Josephine Baker. Which is really very odd, BTW! Curiously stilted phrasing, and the bombastic delivery and musical arrangement overall are just weirdly inappropriate. She screws up the lyrics here and there, too! Good on her for doing it, though, I guess.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:34 AM on September 5, 2011


It would be nice if youtube links posted from a mobile device resolved back to the standard browser view, or if the mobile version allowed you to copy/paste non mobile versions of the links. That one annoys me to no end.
posted by Devils Rancher at 8:47 AM on September 5, 2011


Esther Phillips - Too Many Roads
posted by box at 9:08 AM on September 5, 2011


Marianne Faithfull: It's All Over Now Baby Blue and Visions of Johanna
posted by marsha56 at 9:57 AM on September 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


I didn't include her Mobile/Memphis Blues Again cover here though, cause frankly I just thought she was aping Dylan too much: didn't really bring anything new to the table.
Don't take that personally, though, thinkpiece. I'm always glad when people add more links to one of my music threads.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:35 AM on September 5 [+] [!]


To be fair, she did cover it for the soundtrack for "I'm Not There," the very essence of which was aping Dylan.
posted by thinkpiece at 10:01 AM on September 5, 2011


Cher: "Masters of War". Siouxsie and the Banshees: "This Wheel's on Fire". Cat Power: "Hard Times in New York City". (Though even for Cher it's not a particular diva moment.)
posted by lisa g at 10:04 AM on September 5, 2011


Ugh....just woke up when I tried posting those (can't do youtube links with iPad browser).

Nina Simone:

Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues

I Shall Be Released
posted by bonobothegreat at 10:13 AM on September 5, 2011


Nina Simone:

the times they are a-changing ...

strangely reverent, a bit much for some.
posted by philip-random at 10:21 AM on September 5, 2011


"Curiously stilted phrasing, and the bombastic delivery and musical arrangement overall are just weirdly inappropriate."

Well, that's what you get from true, old-timey divas I suppose. Josephine Baker certainly had the authority to proclaim that the times were a' changing.
posted by bonobothegreat at 10:25 AM on September 5, 2011


I love Joan Baez, but her many covers of Bob Dylan songs run the gamut from nearly unlistenable to better than the originals.

Her cover of Lily, Rosemary and the Jack of Hearts is in the second category, in my opinion.
posted by Dismantled King at 10:30 AM on September 5, 2011


...and flapjax, I agree with you. Joan Baez has always sounded to me like some nice girl from the suburbs who, try as she may, never came to believe in her soul. Always so earnest, yet needy. There's a reason why the 60s left her version of the folk revolution behind. There just wasn't enough there.

Case in point, her version of It's All now Baby Blue (which I won't link to -- find it yourself if you must). It just feels like such a mis-read ... and all the weirder when you realize it might well have been written about her.

I mean, even Annie Haslam manages a fresher take.
posted by philip-random at 10:32 AM on September 5, 2011


Alert! Allusions to Alliteration Alienate Aesthetes!

Don't be an ass(onance)
posted by Chipmazing at 10:38 AM on September 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think metafilter must have conspired to please me. There are 4 posts I absolutely love, before noon. Thanks! This reminds me of the Stones blues covers, also awesome.
posted by Buckt at 10:52 AM on September 5, 2011


Let us not forget the mighty Odetta's take on 'Tomorrow Is A Long Time': http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KPyCJIPtJps
posted by DylanHours at 11:39 AM on September 5, 2011



posted by DylanHours at 11:56 AM on September 5, 2011


I've always been partial to Melanie Safka's version of Mr. Tambourine Man. It's a sad song, folks!
posted by Sys Rq at 12:09 PM on September 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Hardly a diva but here's Eddie Brickell with A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall.
posted by Sailormom at 12:41 PM on September 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Ooops - my link keeps getting lost. Let's try this again: Odetta's Tomorrow Is A Long Time
posted by DylanHours at 12:48 PM on September 5, 2011


Flat use, I am totally down with the covers by DiFranco, favorites them even, but I am not sure anything can really fix that Sophie B. Hawkins link. that was from the Dylan celebration, right? I think the tempo was just all wrong. Just me, though. (but was that Sheryl crow doing background vocals??? Cool!)

Great links, great thread!
posted by onlyconnect at 1:55 PM on September 5, 2011


Sandy Denny (of Fairport Convention) and Sinéad O'Connor.
posted by Androgenes at 2:50 PM on September 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


More Cat Power: Oh Sister / Knockin' on Heaven's Door and Paths of Victory. Bonus Dylan-associated pieces: He Was a Friend of Mine (also with sobbing) and Moonshiner.

Joan Osborne doing Man in the Long Black Coat.

And people can hate on Joan Baez all they want, her takes on Don't Think Twice, It's Alright are some of my favorite recordings by any person. And you don't have to like it, but her a capella Tears of Rage certainly commands attention.
posted by wreckingball at 3:50 PM on September 5, 2011


Sirens (some sultry) seriously surpass singer-songwriter.

Never. Though I do like Shirley Bassey's Gotta Serve Somebody the originals are almost always the best. Yes, even All Along The Watchtower.

'Sara' is one of His weakest songs though.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 3:56 PM on September 5, 2011


Jpfed writes: You know that moment when your parents make some mistake that helps you realize that they're not gods? They're just people, bigger than you are for the moment, but human.

Anyway, I just want to say thank you, flapjax. I understand now; you're mortal like everyone else.


Heh. Well, I'm flattered (I guess?) that you had seen me as some sort of god and/or parent-figure, but relieved that you are, in fact, aware that I am merely mortal. Me, I've never been one to claim immortality, no sirree bobaroony! But if you'll allow me, just one more time, to don my parent/god hat, I'd like to impart one more shiny little pearl of wisdom to you: there is no "mistake" when it comes to personal taste in music! Yes, it's true, my child! One cannot be mistaken in liking or disliking a particular singer's voice.

And now you know!

Now get off my lawn.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:15 PM on September 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


I'd like to impart one more shiny little pearl of wisdom to you: there is no "mistake" when it comes to personal taste in music! Yes, it's true, my child! One cannot be mistaken in liking or disliking a particular singer's voice.

except people are WRONG when they disagree with me.
posted by philip-random at 4:28 PM on September 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Goddamn, I love Nina Simone.... Totally fantastic. (my favourite nina simone is 'mood indigo;' not a dylan cover, i'm afraid, but totally fantastic.)
posted by kaibutsu at 4:46 PM on September 5, 2011


Joan Osborne doing Man in the Long Black Coat .

She owns that song so completely that I forget she didn't write it, sometimes. What a voice. I freaking love that whole album, even the dumb God song.
posted by Devils Rancher at 5:21 PM on September 5, 2011


Hardly a diva but here's Eddie Brickell with A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall .
posted by Sailormom at 3:41 PM on September 5



What I love most about the EB cover is the little glissando at

Then I'll stand on the ocean until I start sinkin'

followed by the pause after

But I'll know my song well before I start singin


That, and the elimination of the world "always" from the line

Where the executioner's face is always well hidden

...well, it just seems right.
posted by Robin Kestrel at 5:22 PM on September 5, 2011


Mike Patton with Jamie Saft Trio sings Ballad of a Thin Man
posted by frankbooth at 6:27 PM on September 5, 2011


A slight derail, but this is also an excellent album full of Dylan covers.
posted by eviemath at 6:43 AM on September 6, 2011


Nina Simone Just Like a Woman. (from eviemath's post)
posted by bonobothegreat at 10:53 AM on September 6, 2011


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