Monday, December 19, 2011

Dylan Cover #35 The Ramones "My Back Pages"

In this ongoing Monday Series we will be exploring various artists versions of Bob Dylan song's. Today's tune is a cover by The Ramones,"My Back Pages"
This is RtBE's 4th part of a "Best Of" for Dylan Covers, so strap on in.
Thoughts on Dylan Original:
Odd that we have made it this far and haven't touched on any covers of this all-time classic gem of a Dylan song.  The original has taken upon itself a cultural importance, and the chorus has simply become iconic.  I doubt Dylan intended such, but it toes the line of out and out protest and illustrative questions.  He puts down everyone from evangelists to girls, but the language snakes and flows so magically that it doesn't seem as harsh as "Positively 4th St" or "Ballad in Plain D".  

The sense of exhaling desperation or at least the realization that age confuses things even more seems to be what I take from this tune, but lets see how those cretins from Queens play it?   
(not sure why there is an extra 2 minutes of silence on this track...The Ramones couldn't play a 4:34 song if you paid them double..)
Thoughts on Cover Artist:
An American institution, and obviously in the conversation of Best American Band of All-time as they defined what it meant to be a punk for multiple generations at this point...  I can go on and on about them but like their tunes direct and to the point is best; they are punk rock royalty and RtBE favorites.  Their no nonsense approach to music was just like their lifestyle of van touring and saving every penny. As they aged they wanted to capitalize on their success, so the album Acid Eaters was a late career highpoint on the back of multiple covers.      

Thoughts on Cover:
This cover was the best off of that album which CJ Ramone mentioned in an interview was only suppose to be an EP, but greed lead to a full length.  There is certainly filler there, but the groups take on Dylan isn't one as CJ takes over the lead vocals and does a dynamite job.  I am not sure why Joey doesn't sing lead but the song doesn't suffer at all.  Of course the punks cut out verses, but it doesn't diminish the song in fact it adds power to the ones kept in, especially the closer. Also is that actually a solo from Johnny?  Nah couldn't be...could it?!?  

Punk covers and Dylan songs fit like a glove when done correctly, giving the speed and drive to the powerful lyrics and adding a dimension that the Bard himself would never do, so put on your leather jacket and rock out with The Ramones for a couple of minutes. 
Grade: A+

Wilson's Take:
Janasie's Take:


  1. What is the name of the Ramones album that this song is on? It is a compilation of all cover songs made better by the Ramones-I used to have it briefly and can't remember what the name of the album is-google didn't help either-Anyone know?

    1. It is on Acid Eaters, the bands cover album from 1993:

      Thanks for reading