Musical palate cleanser, cover battle, epic showdown edition

There’s only one way to end this week’s theme, I think:  “All Along The Watchtower”.

Dylan:

Hendrix:

Hendrix’ version is considered by many to be the greatest cover of all time, and you can hear why.  Dylan himself said he came to incorporate some of Hendrix’ interpretation into how he played the song.  But in terms of which of the two is better, that’s a much harder debate to have.

My feeling is that both are exploring the same apocalyptic theme, only from different points in time.  Dylan’s perspective is at the calm just before the storm; Hendrix is right in the middle of it.  Or, if you prefer, here’s how Gang of Four guitarist Andy Gill describes the difference:

“In Dylan’s version of the song, it’s the barrenness of the scenario which grips, the high haunting harmonica and simple forward motion of the riff carrying understated implications of cataclysm; as subsequently recorded by Jimi Hendrix… that cataclysm is rendered scarily palpable through the dervish whirls of guitar.”

Okay, enough from me.  Bloviate away in the comments.

Hope y’all enjoyed this week’s MPC set.

51 Comments

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51 responses to “Musical palate cleanser, cover battle, epic showdown edition

  1. akascuba

    I love both and they are so different its almost not a cover which of course it is so for me it`s easy Jimi Hendrix for the win.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. atticus34

    Two legends. Here’s two more. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=26GAP7FAMXU

    Like

  3. Texas Dawg

    Hendrix by a mile

    Liked by 2 people

    • Russ

      Yes, Hendrix absolutely made that song his own. It was hauntingly great when it came out and it still is. Just amazing.

      The only cover that comes close in my mind is Joe Cocker covering the Beatles.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Scotty King

    Jimi

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  5. Corch Irvin Meyers, Former Jags Corch (2024)

    Hendrix’s version isn’t just the greatest cover of all time, it’s the greatest rock song of all time.

    And Dylan doesn’t just incorporate what Jimi did, he’s gone on record to say that Jimi’s is the best version, period.

    It also helps Jimi’s case that while Dylan is one of the greatest songwriters in rock and roll history, he is also one of the worst singers. Jimi’s voice in this song is amazing and haunting.

    Liked by 2 people

    • That’s always been my problem with Dylan, he just can’t sing. Off the top of my head, I can’t think of a Dylan cover I don’t like better than the Dylan original.

      Like

      • Corch Irvin Meyers, Former Jags Corch (2024)

        I appreciate the songwriter whose peers are few (maybe just Lennon/McCartney), but yeah… I can’t stand the sound of his voice. It’s worse than nails on a chalkboard.

        Like

        • Derek

          No peers, Corch. None.

          In fact I would argue that neither guy we’re discussing today has a peer.

          No one else belongs in a discussion with these two.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Corch Irvin Meyers, Former Jags Corch (2024)

            You could argue, but it’s arguable.

            Not just on the side of Dylan as a songwriter, and again, Lennon/McCartney have a claim.

            But Hendrix himself said that Terry Kath was a better guitar player than him. Terry Kath, who was criminally not even ranked by Rolling Stones Top-100 guitar players. Then there’s Duane. Clapton.

            Jimi is great, and I’d probably rank him No. 1 on a Top-5 list, but it isn’t a slam dunk. Jimi himself said so.

            For proof of Terry Kath’s greatness, listen to this. His amazing solo comes in at the 3 minute mark.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Russ

              Terry Kath was a monster. Sadly, like his peers, drugs destroyed him and Chicago devolved from a complex rock and roll band into a MOR Muzak band.

              Liked by 1 person

              • Corch Irvin Meyers, Former Jags Corch (2024)

                Yeah, when Terry Kath died, for all intents and purposes Chicago died. That had a couple of power ballad pop songs in the 1980’s even after Peter Cetera left, but yeah, when he put that handgun he thought was unloaded (one in the chamber) to his temple and pulled the trigger, Kath tragically killed himself and the greatest jazz-rock fusion band ever.

                Like

            • Derek

              Jimi was humble. Good for him. So is Bob.

              But you really can’t match them up with anyone else and declare either second. You can think about it, but you can’t do it.

              As far as Lennon/McCartney had it not been for Bob they’d have been stuck on Love Me Do. And then there’s this:

              https://culturacolectiva.com/music/bob-dylan-fourth-time-around

              And the difference between Dylan and Lennon is, in my mind, captured most clearly in John’s harsh reaction to Gotta Serve Somebody. John didn’t get the universal, profound, wisdom in that song. Lennon reduced it to simple minded religiosity. Its not that. At all. Dylan was always miles ahead of Lennon, smarter, wiser, more mature and it was Lennon who was following Bob around looking for clues.

              I think G. E. Smith summed it up:

              “The whole sixties and seventies thing (Bob) invented that.”

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              • Corch Irvin Meyers, Former Jags Corch (2024)

                That’s why it’s arguable. You haven’t provided facts, but opinions. It’s impossible to decide from a purely objective point of view. You can try to be as objective as you possible can be, but the subjective always enters into the realm of art. It’s not that I’m saying that my preference is for Terry Kath or Lennon/McCartney, I’m simply saying they have an arguable claim on No. 1 of those particular lists, as does other great guitarist like Duane Allman or Eric Clapton and other great songwriters like Brian Wilson or Paul Simon.

                Like

          • sirjackshea1980

            “Talking about music is like dancing about architecture.” Just turn the damn volume up so I cant hear any of you.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Corch Irvin Meyers, Former Jags Corch (2024)

              That entire Chicago Tanglewood concert from 1970 is definitely one of those, “Turn it up,” sit back with a glass of something brown and alcoholic, and enjoy the next 90 minutes of of your life.

              Like

  6. Dawg in Austin

    I think Hendrix dances inside and outside the storm and when he dives in he does it with turns of power, color and verve. I may have liked Dylan’s song better if I had heard it first years ago, but it is so overwhelmed by Hendrix’s version it feels like wet paper to me.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Derek

    If its about the musicianship, its clearly Hendrix. Hands down.

    If its about the lyrics, song meaning and evoking those from the delivery of the song, Dylan’s version is the one that makes you look into wtf is being said and why.

    Because Hendrix’s version was the only one you’d ever hear on the radio I didn’t listen to Bob’s until much later in life. Never really spent anytime thinking about those verses until I heard the original.

    I think its pretty amazing to see an artist go from long, wordy songs like Desolation Row or Stuck in Mobile and a few years later say so much more with so much less.

    So if you want existentialism, Dylan. If you want to rock out, Hendrix.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. SoCalDawg

    Loved the MPC battles this week!

    My better half would disagree, bc Dylan is her favorite artist, but I side with the Hendrix version here. Hard to beat.

    Classics.

    Like

  9. RangerRuss

    Hendrix no question. Let’s be honest here. If you were a record exec totally ignorant of Dylan and Hendrix you’d laugh Bob out your office and tell him to take his demo with him. You’d sign Jimi on the spot and assign him a drug coach/bodyguard.
    Bear McCreary’s version of AATWt is interesting.

    Liked by 3 people

    • mddawg

      I just looked up that version and I’m like, “Oh yeah, the one from Battlestar Galactica.” Nice.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Corch Irvin Meyers, Former Jags Corch (2024)

      Dude, I didn’t think I could like you more but the fact that you also know of and like RDM’s Battlestar Galactica has vaulted you on my list of esteem!

      So say we all!

      Liked by 2 people

      • RangerRuss

        That’s much appreciated, sir. My interest in Sci Fi is similar to my interest in music and film. More than casual but not geek level. Enough knowledge that I can appreciate the little references BSG extends occasionally to Star Trek such as four of the final five meeting at weapons locker 1701d. Not so much that I can recite that episode by name.
        There are some excellent actors and outstanding performances on the reimagined BSG. I’m not the type to own a series on DVD and such. I do enjoy watching BSG at 0200 on the obscure Comet channel when I’m on watch for Comanches.

        Nerds R us.

        Like

        • Corch Irvin Meyers, Former Jags Corch (2024)

          The episode is Crossroads, Part 2.

          Just after Baltar’s no guilty verdict and right before Lee sees Kara alive inside the nebula as the Cylons are attacking.

          Yeah… I’m at he geek level when it comes to film and TV I enjoy… I’m getting there with music. Music is more a lifetime pursuit, though.

          Liked by 1 person

    • RR, BSG is my #1 show of all time. I own the entire series on blu ray and Razor, from a time when that was a thing.

      “My name is Saul Tigh …I am an officer in the Colonial Fleet..whatever else I am..whatever. else it means..that’s. the man I want to be..and if I die. today ..that’s the man ill be. .”

      I actually have BSG poster on a wish list to put on the wall of my work shop. lol. My dream costume for Halloween or Con’s is a cylon. Ive bought one playboy mag in my life – it was the one with Tricia Helfer. At the time – BSG on Sci Fi (renamed SyFy) was the biggest production in TV history – brought on a cable channel, not a 3 letter name. I have no doubt my desire to be a pilot was brought on from 1979 BSG. I used to argue with T Kyle on Dawgsports endlessly that Starbuck’s gender change was one of the best decisions made (he refused to watch the greatest Sci Fi show of all time merely over that). My favorite scene in BSG was Apollo and Starbuck sitting back to back in the locker room with a chain link fence between them – thats some shakespereaon stuff right there.

      I remember the moment I heard the discordant AATWT version on the show. Just a feeling that high art in sci fi was happening right before my eyes.

      All the politics and woke bs going on now – BSG put a woman, a teacher, I think 13th in line, to be leader of humanity.

      So say we all.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Corch Irvin Meyers, Former Jags Corch (2024)

        Laura Roslin was 43rd in line of success to the Presidency of the Colonies.

        That Illustrates well just how total the Cylon annihilation of the human race was.

        Liked by 1 person

      • RangerRuss

        That soliloquy by Michael Hogan as Col Tigh in his old nautical accent is a chest sweller and a prime example of the fine acting and writing on BSG. A comparable but comical comparison is Colm Meany in DS9 speaking after the Jem’hadar First gladiator speech, “I am Chief Miles Edward O’Brien. I’m very much alive and intend to stay that way.”

        Recognizing and understanding the significance of healthy adult obsessions to TV, films, music, guns and yes, college football, I’m reminded of Shatner’s words to the Trekkies on SNL,
        “Get a life will you people. For crying out loud, it, it’s just a TV show”.

        Now I’m going to set some minnow traps, pay my people, get some cold beer and go fishing.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Careful fellas! People may start mistaking this for Sting Talk..lol.

        Just kidding. I lived for that show in Sunday nights as a kid. I remember looking forward to it coming on every week, but then being so sad when it ended because it meant I had to go to bed and the school week was staring the next morning.

        I started my boys on it a few years ago and they liked it a lot, but now that they have become teenagers they feel they are too cool for that stuff…lol.

        Like

        • I really dislike this whole Georgia idea that playing games and watching sci fi is “nerds” and “tech” . I threw more dice at UGA than anywhere else in my life. And dragon con is freaking awesome. These things require positive social interaction, the 1600 SAT engineers at tech dont do these things

          Like

          • RangerRuss

            Chuck, my partner in outdoor activities, the Horndog, is at his retreat home for the weekend. Here in a bit he’s going to his other property and do some plot planting while I gather up bait and get everything ready for fishing today. 25-30 years ago Friday nights were spent raising hell. Now I blacken snapper or crappie with grits and asparagus and nap in prep for night ops. The Horndog is always invited and patrolled with me once. He wasn’t comfortable even wearing my PVS-14s.
            His comfort zone is Friday night game night. He connects with his geek gang online and they game it up. I’ve no idea what they’re playing. Don’t GAS. There is no one I trust more with a gun during day hunting and shooting. We’ve fished on small docks, cuts in the woods and canoes and john boats without ever crossing lines or getting tangled. The man was raised right and is simply competent.
            He’s also an unrepentant NEEEEEERD! with a UGA degree. I’m alright with that.
            Fuckn nerd.
            SMH.

            Liked by 1 person

            • RangerRuss

              Hans also participates in Dragon Con. He has some seminar he presents there. His disappointment at last year’s cancellation was almost palpable.

              Liked by 1 person

        • Corch Irvin Meyers, Former Jags Corch (2024)

          Are you talking about the original show, or the RDM reimagining?

          If you haven’t seen the show that debuted with a miniseries in 2003 and than ran from 2004-2009, you should.

          It takes the excellent premise of the original show (genocide, terrorism, sleeper agents, etc.) and takes it very seriously. It’s one of the best shows ever.

          Liked by 1 person

      • Got Cowdog

        Comanche Watch, I like that. On the deck or at the farm, 2AM in the dark and listening to the night. Not sleepy, though I will be after lunch the next day. I don’t know about RR, but I get a lot of decisions made on “Comanche Watch”.
        Still not a Sci-fi fan, but if y’all are knock yourselves out.
        But Chuck, you and Corch please tell me you draw the line at costumes. Unless you top the one in RR’s avatar. WTF is that anyway?

        Liked by 2 people

        • Corch Irvin Meyers, Former Jags Corch (2024)

          I do not understand the need for cosplay. Never played dungeon and dragons or magic or anything like that, and that’s kinda where people tend to start with that kind of thing.

          I come by my science fiction fandom from watching Star Trek reruns as a kid (it was my dad’s favorite show when he was a kid), then TNG, and DS9. I loved movies like The Last Starfighter and Explorers as a kid. I collected comics as a kid (mostly DC), and the space-based Green Lantern was always my favorite and still is (the shitty movie hurt me to the bottom of my soul). When I got into high school I loved reading Asimov and Dick, and watching old episodes of Twilight Zone (the new show was woke garbage) and The Outer Limits.

          I love how science fiction allows you to take issues affecting contemporary times and put it into context. That’s what Battlestar Galactica does so well. It was the perfect post-9/11 salve, holding up a mirror to the horror of the world after that day.

          Oh, and I’m also a HUGE LOTR nerd, love collecting films and classic vinyl, mostly rock from the 60s, 70s, and 80s.

          Liked by 1 person

        • RangerRuss

          Before the caffeine buzz gets too intense and the phone starts ringing my mind is clear. Early in the morning I make better decisions. Often write ’em down to avoid being influenced later in the day. I usually regret overriding the “Comanche Watch” plan. The more folks talk the stupider I get.

          Liked by 1 person

        • RangerRuss

          It’s not all business up that late/early. I’m comfortable with the night. I have good night vision and quality NVGs for dark nights like tonight and suppressed weapons with low flash Hornady ammo. I plan on taking out the armadillo that moved into the hole of of the late owner. Maybe a careless ‘yote or that possum that’s been licking the grease out of the drip pan in my grill.
          Earlier this week I did research on that rifle we shot on Sunday. This morning I made a decision to purchase one. It’s in the safe now. Nice rifle at a great price. It’s actually about a 20 year old system. Similar to M40 A3 with the old Leupold VX3.
          That trigger. Just damn Uncle Got.

          Like

  10. otto1980

    Memory Dean played many a frat party and bar in the mid to late 90s and did a great version of All Along the Watchtower.

    Like

  11. Russ

    Senator, if you continue this series (please do), consider Faces vs Motown. Or maybe a three way?

    Like

  12. TripleB

    Best one of the week. I’m in the middle of a Dylan binge on Spotify and he is my all-time favorite, so I’ll go with the Dylan version.

    I have a book (a very big book) that gives the history and trivial information of every Dylan song. I just read the part about this song. It says that Dylan has played this song more than 2,100 times and that is more than any other song ever wrote. The book also says Hendrix’ version has Brian Jones on piano. Dylan was crazy about the Hendrix version and changed his play of it later in concert, and he is quoted as saying: “Strange though how when I sing it I always feel like it’s a tribute to him in some kind of way.”

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Dylan Dreyer's Booty

    I like the way that Playing for Change does it. Best of the Dylan version with something that approaches Hendrix energy.

    Like

  14. poetdawg

    I vote for Hendrix with the caveat that I’m not sure that it is even his best cover of a Dylan song. I love his version of Like a Rolling Stone; his matches the irony of Dylan and it has a lot more passion.
    I love the cover comparisons and I would like to see another round sometime; maybe include Buddy Holly, Little Richard and Chuck Berry this time.

    Like

  15. Texas Dawg

    This is a GREAT long term topic to debate. There are countless covers to compare to each other.

    Like