Monday, December 31, 2012

Dylan Cover #68 The Byrds "You Ain't Goin' Nowhere"

Continuing our Monday's Dylan Cover Series, each December we spice it up a little.  This year we are going to look at a band that gained it's fame by covering Dylan right out of the gate, The Byrds.  The last cover (for now) to be examined is "You Ain't Goin' Nowhere". 
Thoughts on Original:
A great tune from the amazing Basement Tapes and one of the most well known from those sessions the song has a down homespun country feel to it. Great lyrics from Dylan that span the globe, seeming worldly yet still remaining down home, familial and countryfied. A good tune that surprised us when we recently saw Dylan open his Brooklyn show with it.    

Thoughts on The Band:
We have been talking about the band a lot and as you can see in that video this is a band that changed considerably throughout their life-cycle.  Reading the comments the hardcore fans can't even seem to agree who is actually playing during this Playboy After Dark TV airing.  One member who we haven't talked about is Gram Parsons whose presence at this time helped spur the band into that country rock direction and moved rock and roll as a whole out of the psychedelic sixties and into the rootsie early seventies. What surprised me most about Parsons was in reading Life finding out just how close his friendship with Keith Richards was. That was an excellent time to be a musician....Granted it didn't last long as Parsons died when he was only 26.          
Thoughts on Cover:
Instrumental in the scope of popular music at the time, "You Ain't Goin' Nowhere" was the lead song on The Byrds monumental Sweetheart Of The Rodeo albumWith the loss of Crosby and Michael Clarke the band went full on country behind Parsons and crafted a gorgeous album.  The cover typifies this with it's steel guitar sound eclipsing the jangle of McGuinn's 12 string as the band moves from sunny California to the heart of country Nashville and use Dylan's tune as it's guide. This was the first offical release of the song, as is not many people had the original to judge it by.  In hindsight it sticks pretty close to the source adding that pedal steel lead as great addition.  A fantastic version, we end our look at the Byrds covering Dylan on a high note.   
Grade A+

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