In an age when austerity might increasingly be the new normal, one thing is not in short supply. Dylan covers. I was recently given the new 4-cd compilation of Dylan covers benefitting the work of Amnesty International. 73 covers. 73 different artists. 73 different songs. Everyone from Adele to Ziggy Marley. It’s overwhelming really.
Many people like Dylan songs better when someone else sings them. I remember the shock on my students’ faces, mostly the young men, when they learned that Guns and Roses didn’t write Knocking on Heaven’s Door. Greater shock, disgust really, among the young women when I played Dylan’s version of Make You Feel My Love. This, of course, is Dylan’s genius. His songs transcend artist and category and voice. They are uniquely their own which ironically makes them universal in possibility.
This relationship between particularity and universality is precisely what makes the gospel significant. It is the fact that Jesus appeared in a particular time and space, a completely unique event, that allows it to be universal–that is, appear again in every particular time and space. But I digress.
Today I am culling from the list of 73 a few for a long run playlist. I only need 40 minutes or so and I’m going with more up-tempo stuff. Here’s what I’ve got for today. We’ll see if any of them are keepers for October.
Seal and Jeff Beck–Like a Rolling Stone
Jackson Browne–Love Minus Zero/No Limits
Jack’s Mannequin–Mr. Tambourine Man
My Chemical Romance–Desolation Row
Pete Townshend–Corrina, Corrina
Ziggy Marley–Blowin’ in the Wind
Silversun Pickups–Not Dark Yet
Queens of the Stone Age–Outlaw Blues
Lenny Kravitz–Rainy Day Women #12, 35
Michael Franti–Subterranean Homesick Blues
Queens of the Stone Age are the early favorites to make the marathon cut.