“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
Like A Rolling Stone is a 1965 song by Bob Dylan. Its confrontational lyrics originated in an extended piece of verse Dylan wrote in June 1965, when he returned exhausted from a grueling tour of England. Dylan distilled this draft into four verses and a chorus. Like a Rolling Stone was recorded a few weeks later as part of the sessions for the forthcoming album Highway 61 Revisited.
Michael “Mick” Ronson (26 May 1946 – 29 April 1993)was an English guitarist, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, arranger and producer. He is best known for his work with David Bowie, as one of the Spiders from Mars. Ronson was a busy session musician who recorded with artists as diverse as Bowie and Morrissey, as well as appearing as a sideman in touring bands with performers such as Van Morrison and Bob Dylan.
Mick Ronson covered the song, Like A Rolling Stone, on Heaven and Hull his final solo album, released in 1994, following Ronson’s death the previous year. With collaborations by longtime friends of Ronson including: David Bowie, Joe Elliott, and Ian Hunter. Other artists include: Peter Noone,Martin Chambers and Chrissie Hynde, Phil Collen and John Mellencamp.
“Steve Martin here, backstage at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium. It’s a cool night in Los Angeles, and as you may know or not know, the Santa Monica Civic is about a hundred yards from the beach so we have a cool breeze blowing off the ocean through the stage at our backs. The auditorium is packed, as a matter of fact, for the first David Bowie concert in the Los Angeles area. There will be one more tomorrow night, this is the concert tonight which will be recorded by RCA for the next David Bowie album and we expect to hear some new material by this British superstar. David and his group, the Spiders From Mars will enter from the other side of the stage. The auditorium is completely blacked out except for flashing strobe lights. Now the entrance music will be the Ode, or should I say the Ode To Joy which is featured in the movie Clockwork Orange and the house lights are starting to dim… here’s David Bowie.”
Intro & Hang On To Yourself:
Ziggy played guitar, jamming good with weird and gilly
And the spiders from mars. he played it left hand
But made it too far
Became the special man, then we were ziggy’s band
Once upon a time you dressed so fine
Threw the bums a dime in your prime, didn’t you?
People call say ‘beware doll, you’re bound to fall’
You thought they were all kidding you
You used to laugh about
Everybody that was hanging out
Now you don’t talk so loud
Now you don’t seem so proud
About having to be scrounging your next meal
Here are 7 great cover versions of “Like A Rolling Stone”