In a humble tribute to the 70th birthday Tuesday to Bob Dylan, here’s a list of the best Dylan song covers. We tried to really pick the best of the best, but there are a couple of favorites here:
1) “Mr. Tambourine Man” – The Byrds – This was one of the very first interpretations of a Bob Dylan song ever released commercially. And it’s also one of the best. Roger McGuinn’s jingle jangle guitar and Gene Clark’s voice mesh well. The harmonies are perfect, as the Byrds always were. The Byrds released an album of their Dylan covers. They were the best in interpreting his songs.
2) “All Along the Watchtower” – Jimi Hendrix Experience – Hendrix took this song and made it his own with the great use of electric guitar and echo. No surprise, really, but his interpretation here was magnificent.
3) “Love Is Just a Four-Letter Word” – Joan Baez – This appeared in Baez’s full album of Dylan covers, “Any Day Now,” and also received lots of airplay on the radio. It’s probably not Baez at her best, but it was one that got a lot of attention. Note the electric sitar on the track.
4) “Only a Hobo” – Rod Stewart – This came from Stewart’s “Gasoline Alley” album. Stewart could do no wrong at this time and it showed. His version delivered a great show of emotion.
5) “Tears of Rage” – Besides backing Dylan on tour, The Band did a few Dylan covers on their own. This one, from “Music From Big Pink,” opened the album and jumped out at you.
6) “This Wheel’s on Fire” – Brian Auger & Julie Driscoll – Auger & Driscoll were pretty much a one-hit wonder, but this version was fantastic, thanks to Driscoll’s vocals and Auger’s keyboards.
7) “Dear Landlord” – Joe Cocker – This one’s a personal favorite. The backup band is led by the great Leon Russell, but also featured Chris Stainton and Henry McCullough.
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