In this ongoing Monday Series we will be exploring various artists versions of Bob Dylan song's. Today's tune is a live cover by Joe Cocker of "Seven Days"
Thoughts on Original:
A mysterious mid seventies rocker that Dylan apparently gave away to Ron Wood or Eric Clapton, I can never remember and don't have my linear notes handy, but it seemed to be a song that he recorded live during some Rolling Thunder shows, then just kinda forgot about. Must be nice to be able to do that with a great song...The live version on The Bootleg Series 1-3 is the first place I heard this track and it is one that while amazing, doesn't always stick with you, which lends itself perfectly for a cover. Now I need to go back and listen to Bob's version.
Thoughts on Cover Artist:
Perhaps the most famous "cover artist" there is thanks to Mr. Cocker's electric renditions of The Beatles which made him famous. Here he decides to tackle a lesser known Dylan tune with a very game band (and gamey smelling by the looks of them). I have always enjoyed Cocker's takes on tunes, but never really loved anything he has done, Mr. Janasie actually gave me the only album I own by Cocker, the famous Mad Dogs and Englishmen, which pretty much covers all the bases with him for me.
Thoughts on Cover:
The band really seems to be loving a chance to spread out for this one. The bass and drums start the motor and keep it humming for the full 5 minutes as things start sparking all around. The organ solo is sweet as is the piano call and answer piece. This is a very musical cover, and it is surprising to see someone as recognizable as Cocker to be more of a side player then the focal point. He has his patented spazz out moments (while looking like shit all around) but does an admirable job with the lyrics. This time however it is the band who shine brightest.
"Seven Days" was written in Dylan's Rolling Thunder days, maybe my favorite Bob Dylan era for live performances. It is a good, though perhaps unremarkable tune, but I like the way it rolls along. Mr. Cocker, in his turn, is truly hot stuff! As videos of Joe Cocker tend to go, this one is pretty amusing. But the band is jumpin' and Joe is as smokey and soulful as ever. Mad Dogs and Englishmen features this Brit at his peak and is one of the finest live recordings out there, so give that a listen as well. For you Dylan-philes, it has a great cover of "Girl from the North Country" featuring Joe and Leon Russell on vocals. And Bobby was even in the audience to hear it.