It’s music meme time, boys and girls! This one comes from Scalzi’s The Whatever. The basic idea is that you take a song that’s been covered frequently and do a quick review of five of the covers. Always a fan of covers, this one strikes me as a lot of fun.
My Selection: “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right” by Bob Dylan
JC Lodge (Tribute to Bob Dylan): A reggae cover, Lodge’s version makes for a pretty amusing diversion. Despite the genre shift, the soul of the original is intact. Rating: B
Joan Baez (The First 10 Years): Not surprisingly, this is pretty close to the original in terms of its sound. It’s slightly slower and more melodic, and in a way Baez’s voice rings more true than Dylan’s. Rating: A
Waylon Jennings (Phase One: The Early Years): A very faithful country rendition. Rating: B-
Arlo Guthrie & Pete Seeger (Pete Seeger & Arlo Guthrie Together in Concert): It’s only fitting that Arlo cover Dylan; Dylan got his start covering Woody Guthrie. Aside from historical significance, however, there’s little special about this performance. Rating: C
Johnny Cash (Orange Blossom Special): Easily the most talented vocalist to tackle the track, Cash takes a very simplistic path with the song, and it works. He totally makes the song his own, which in my mind is the mark of a truly good cover. Rating: A
Mike Ness (Cheating at Solitaire): Ness takes a somber, thoughtful song and turns it in to a running, defiant anthem. This is easily as good as Hendrix’ cover of “All Along The Watchtower.” Rating: A+