Sunday, July 4, 2010

Nobody Sings Dylan Like The Boss


"Hey, I hear you're the new me."


Bob Dylan upon being introduced to Bruce Springsteen.

Much ink has been spilled over Bruce Springsteen's debt to Bob Dylan, which is sizable, but over-stated. Springsteen seems to want to be a struttin', singin' textbook of rock n' roll with as big sections on Elvis, Sam Cooke or Van Morrison as on Dylan. However, like Dylan, Springsteen changes a lot between albums, so much so that when people say "This sounds like Springsteen" you almost want to say "Which one?".


Whatever their similarities and differences, Springsteen has always been vocal about his debt to Dylan, covering songs by his Bobness numerous times throughout his nigh-on forty year career. The covers presented here, all taken from non-commercial sources*, are simply meant to show the power of the Dylan-Springsteen dynamism. This collection's title (I personally avoid use of the term "The Boss" for reasons of hokiness) comes from the from the bootleg pictured above but the final product has been significantly altered and expanded by the obsessive labour of yours truly.

* If my research has failed to uncover an official release herein, I would ask the vigilant Springteen-ians out there to please let me know about that or any other errors in this post.


(hyperlinks are to YouTube versions)


1. Chimes of Freedom (a "live" version was released as a single in 1988, but this one's from '78.)
2. Blowin' in the Wind (Solo acoustic)
3. I Want You (Very find-sounding seventies version from an FM Broadcast)
4. A Satisfied Mind (An old country standard that made it onto the original version of this boot likely due to Dylan's partial cover of it on Saved)
5. Highway 61 (Acoustic version with Jackson Browne and Bonnie Raitt)
6. It's All Over Now Baby Blue (A version by The Bruce Springsteen Band from the very early seventies)
7. One of Must Know (A sound-check version that made it onto the original bootleg despite its limitations)
8. Like A Rolling Stone (not the Hall of Fame version from '88 on which Springsteen is barely audible but a more recent band version)
9. The Times They-Are-A-Changin' (A solo acoustic tribute from 1997.)
10. Knockin on Heaven's Door (1995 duet with Wolfganf Niedecken)
11. All Along the Watchtower (full-band version with Bob himself as a guest.)
12. Forever Young (Duet with Dylan)
13. Springsteen's Hall of Fame induction speech for Bob Dylan

Suggestions, corrections and clarification by those in the know will be added if a "re-issue" is warranted.

(Photo property of Kevin Mazur)

No One Sings Dylan Like The Boss Link is in the comments

Speaking of comments, support your local blogger and tell us what you think of the connection between Dylan and Springsteen - this one is at risk of getting pulled for indifference.

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Happy 4th of July, to all readers, American or otherwise.

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34 comments:

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    HEY SPRINGSTEEN & DYLAN FANS, SOME COMMENTS ON ONE OR BOTH OF THESE TWO GREAT ARTISTS WOULD BE GREATLY APPRECIATED!





    http://www.mediafire.com/download.php?vmxvyzawlky

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  2. Love both artists, and I've not seen this one before. Fantastic. Thanks!

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  3. Looks great, J-man! Thanks and happy 4th to you.

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  4. Happy 4th to you as well.
    Yes, Dylan was probably the greaest songwriter of our times (Neil Young said so, so it must be true).
    But he never put on the show that Springsteen did and still does. What amazes me about Springsteen is that, like Young, he keeps reinventing himself.
    Regards, Dave.

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  6. I'd have to say my favorite Dylan covers are probably by Springsteen and The Byrds. Neil is fine with them too. See clips.

    http://stupidd.blogspot.com/2008/06/bob-dylan-and-neil-young-do-each-other.html

    Van Morrison made It's All Over Now Baby Blue his own while he was with Them.

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  7. nice selection - look forward to this one

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  8. Thanks
    Two of my favourites in one package.
    I don't know who said it, but in responce to the comment about the "new" Dylan, the reply was "what happened to the old one?" There is plenty of room in this world for both of them.

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  9. Thank you so much!

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  10. Yeah man thanks a lot for this one.

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  11. Like every legitimate artist in its own right Springsteen should record album with Dylan covers. His soulful vocals fits every good song and lifts it above the ground (check out thundering version of Jimmy Cliff "Many Rivers To Cross").

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  12. Thanks very much. Sure Springsteen owes a lot to Dylan, but so does pretty much everybody.

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  13. Goodness me: I've only just discovered your blog (via The Midnight Cafe) and I can tell we're going to be very happy together. I haven't time to listen to anything at the moment but I note that you like comments, so here's one.

    Would it be possible to do an index? (But if not, I'm still going to look at everything anyway.)

    XXX

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  15. @ tattered and Tender: try the StuffIt Expander.

    It generally unpacks all the file extensions. RAR and ZIP especially.

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  16. Looking forward to this one!
    (I have a friend who will be sooooo grateful!)
    Cheers!
    Larry

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  17. thank you for this!
    the springsteen i like best is when he is directly ripping off dylan, but this is mostly because i like dylan so much. this compilation is totally inspired - looking forward to it.
    thanks

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  18. from jersey with love.

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  19. from jersey with love

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  20. Awesome mix. Thanks for your hard work on this!

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  21. Followed a link for an old Billy Childish post and this gem is waiting on the homepage... nicely done. Thanks for making all things about this day better.

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  22. Can't wait to listen to this. Thanks. That looks like John Prine in the photo, but who is the woman?

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  23. Once again, thank you so much !

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  24. To all commenters: thanks for leaving some words behind, this one was a lot of work and all your feedback was very much appreciated.

    Here's a smattering of responses to the more specific comments:

    Dave
    Yup Bruce belongs up there with Neil and Bob in the 'exalted song-writer' category.

    vilstef
    Some great footage over at S & C - thanks.

    lemonflag
    The search for the new Dylan is always futile (if occasionally fun).

    robspierre
    Yeah, i'd really love to hear Bruce dig into some less-obvious Dylan covers.

    Matt
    "Sure Springsteen owes a lot to Dylan, but so does pretty much everybody."
    Amen

    tattered
    (I hear in New Jersey if you don't like Springsteen they raie your taxes!)
    Hope Biopunk's advice worked out for you.

    treefrogdemon
    Glad to have you aboard, I will index some time soon. I'm kicking myself for not having done so since the beginning.

    brian
    Glad you enjoyed, it took a long time to pull together all those songs.

    Christopher Zane
    It was all worth it if people enjoy it!

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  25. schnitzelversteckerFebruary 6, 2011 at 7:57 PM

    Thanks for posting! Great selection!

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  26. Ola,
    Thanks for the link, sounds exciting !! cheers

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  27. Bruce & Bob together--I'm very glad to have this one. I'm also glad Bruce wasn't the new Bob, as 1) a new Bob wasn't needed, and 2) Bruce does so great at being Bruce. I mix up alot of things, but have never mixed up these two.

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  28. I'm sorry I missed this one!!!! Could you please relink it? Please...

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