Monday, April 22, 2013

Dylan Cover #84 Billy Joel "To Make You Feel My Love"

In this ongoing Monday Series we will be exploring various artists versions of Bob Dylan song's. This month we have a special focus on Artists who will be playing this years Jazzfest in New Orleans.  Today's artist: Billy Joel covering "To Make You Feel My Love"  
(Joel plays on Saturday 4/27 closing out the day on the Acura Stage)

Thoughts on Original:
From our first take on this tune: There is something about this tune that always felt off to me, it doesn't strike me as a Dylan song (which makes it an excellent candidate for covers).  Perhaps it is just too Broadway or schmaltzy but the tune never really felt like his to me.  Simple and direct in it's lyrics and sparse with a piano for the tune, it should be a simple pleasure, but it always felt forced to me coming out of the bard's mouth.  The fact that he has never played it live perhaps gives some indication to his feelings on the song as well.  Or maybe he just hasn't found a way to re-work it yet.... 

Thoughts on Cover Artist:
One of the first artists I heard at a very young age, in fact I think it is written law that everyone who lives on Long Island owns Billy Joel's Greatest Hits. I was seriously under the impression growing up that everyone from LI loved and defended Joel while hating on Springsteen...boy was I mistaken.  Anyway, Joel is an immensely popular artist whose early career had some really catchy piano rocking tunes. While he will never be a favorite of mine, I will have fond memories of driving around in Pa'Dukes huge Oldsmobile with "Captain Jack" playing or heading to visit Grand Pa and go fishing in Bayport while the cheese of "It's Still Rock & Roll To Me" blared.     
Thoughts on Cover:
For all the reasons I think this doesn't sound like a Bob Dylan song, it makes a perfect cover for Billy Joel.  Grandiose, over blown, theatrical, fine lines behind each of those phrases and Billy Joel has crossed them all a few times.  He does things over the top here with his huge singing marching rhythm and swelling sound. This track isn't necessarily for me and I wouldn't listen to it all that much, but I also can't deny it works pretty well for Joel here.   
Grade: B+

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