The Flaming Lips are very respectful of their psychedelic roots. They have covered Pink Floyd’s classic album ‘The Dark Side Of The Moon’ in its entirety (also releasing it in a limited edition). They have also covered whole albums of King Crimson and The Stone Roses (!).
Our favorite modern-day psychedelic surrealists, has also covered another of the late Sixties’ most popular psychedelic band, The Beatles on several occasions. It fits them, they’re good at it and we have “dug up” several examples. There has long been a rumor (or maybe more than a rumor) that the Flaming Lips will cover the entire Sgt. Pepper album.
They have a very strong leaning towards John Lennon, he is after all seen as the more “psychedelic” songwriter in The Beatles.
I could not find Tomorrow Never Knows, even though I know they have played it…
The Flaming Lips and Sean Lennon – Lucy in the sky with diamonds (Letterman):
Leon Russell (born Claude Russell Bridges April 2, 1942) is an American musician and songwriter, who has recorded as a session musician, sideman, and maintained a solo career in music.
Born in Lawton, Oklahoma, he began playing piano at the age of four. Russell attended Will Rogers High School in Tulsa, Oklahoma. At this time he was already performing at Tulsa nightclubs. After moving to Los Angeles, he became a session musician, working as a pianist on the recordings of many notable musical artists from the 1960s. By the late 1960s, Russell diversified, becoming successful as an arranger and wrote and co-wrote songs. As a musician, he worked his way up from gigs as a sideman to well known performers. By 1970 he had graduated to solo recording artist, although he never ended all his previous roles within the music industry.
Russell was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame on Monday, March 14, 2011
“His albums have a great class to them, even those albums where he is actually playing songs of long-dead blues singers. His writing, his song texts, leave me speechless. “
– David Bowie (about Bob Dylan, 1997)
David Bowie have always talked about Dylan with great respect. Bob Dylan has maybe not been the biggest influence on his music, but he has sung some of his songs both live and in studio. I found some fine versions of, Like a Rolling Stone, Maggie’s Farm and Trying to get to heaven. Mick Ronson a long-time Bowie friend and collaborator was also a part of Dylan’s Rolling Thunder tour.
He has also played Don’t think twice it’s all right and She belongs to me (I’ve read somewhere) but I could not find an upload of them anywhere.
Trying to get to heaven Recorded during the mixing sessions for Earthling in 1998.
Bowie’s version of “Tryin’ to Get to Heaven” (which, at least in its circulating edit, cuts Dylan’s second verse and squeezes the fourth and fifth into one incoherent lump) is, essentially, a first draft of what would become Hours. The take begins somber and ashen enough. Yet the circularity of Dylan’s singing on “Tryin’”, conveying a journey undertaken but never in danger of ending, seemed to frustrate Bowie: he needed a narrative.
So in the “people on platforms” verse, Bowie builds to a manic desperation, as if he has to make an eleventh-hour sale or he’ll be sacked by his proprietor. We get a rattled “cha-hay-hay-hain,” a squeaked-out “looose,” the creaking onomatopoeia of “cloowwoose the door,” and a gargle. Having made a hash of Dylan’s last verses, Bowie latches onto a line as if he’d drawn it by lot to torture: “I’ve beeen! to Sugar Town-I shook! the su!gar down!” Dylan sang those words with an earned swagger, like a spendthrift man recalling a spent-out life. Bowie sang them as if he was just passingly familiar with the English language. – Pushing ahead of the Dame
“Tomorrow Is a Long Time” is a song written and recorded by Bob Dylan. Dylan’s version first appeared on the album Bob Dylan’s Greatest Hits Vol. IIcompilation, released in 1971.
Dylan’s officially released version of the song is a live recording from his April 12, 1963, concert at New York’s Town Hall. Dylan had recorded the song in December 1962 as a demo for M. Witmark & Sons, his publishing company. This particular recording, long available as a bootleg, was released by Columbia in 2010 on The Bootleg Series Vol. 9: The Witmark Demos: 1962-1964. A studio version of the song, an outtake from the June 1970 sessions for New Morning, has also been bootlegged.
It is one of Bob Dylan’s most covered songs.
This is my favorite cover, Thåström – Bara Om Min Älskade Väntar (audio in Swedish):
And 10 more very good versions:
According to Ernst Jorgensen’s’ book Elvis Presley: A Life In Music – The Complete Recording Sessions, Presley first heard the song via Charlie McCoy, who had previously participated in the Highway 61 Revisited and Blonde on Blonde sessions. McCoy played the 1965 Odetta album Odetta Sings Dylan before an Elvis session and Presley “had become taken with ‘Tomorrow Is A Long Time.'”
Dylan has said that this was his favorite cover of any of his songs. He once said that Presley’s cover of the song was “the one recording I treasure the most.”
A writer, or any artist, can’t expect to be embraced by the people [but] you just keep doing your work — because you have to, because it’s your calling. ~Patti Smith
Punk rock’s poet laureate Patti Smith ranks among the most influential female rock & rollers of all time. Ambitious, unconventional, and challenging, Smith’s music was hailed as the most exciting fusion of rock and poetry since Bob Dylan’s heyday. ~Steve Huey (allmusic.com)
Patti Smith was born in Chicago in 1946, grew up mainly in New Jersey, then moved to New York, where she is an important exponent of the New York punk rock and poetry scene. Her big idols were The Rolling Stones, and she once said that she kept alive just to see what Stones would do next. Another important influence is Bob Dylan, whose ‘Blonde on Blonde’ was a decisive experience for her, the admiration was mutual and they have performed together on several occasions. She started as a poet but drifted into Rock’n Roll.
Patti Smith is one of our favorite artists and she has also covered Dylan on several occasions. She is one hell of a Dylan interpreter!
Let us kick-off with the anthem, Like a Rolling Stone from Montreux 2005: