Monday, June 22, 2015

Dylan Cover #191 Kris Kristofferson "Quinn The Eskimo"

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 Kris Kristofferson playing "The Mighty Quinn"
Thoughts on Original:
From the first time we tackled a cover of this tune:
Not officially released until 1970's audience and critic defying Self-Portrait "Quinn The Eskimo" first found life with Manfred Mann, before a lot of the world heard Dylan sing it himself. It had been on The Basement Tapes though and lots of bootleggers, underground fans and admiring fellow artists got to bask it its rollicking glory. A fun old ride that makes everyone from children to adults smile. A favorite purely because it is one of the plain funnest songs in Dylan's catalog one of my personal highlights regarding the song has nothing to do with the playing, it has to do with what Dylan himself wrote about it in Chronicles:  

"On the way back to the house I passed the local movie theater on Prytania Street, where The Mighty Quinn was showing. Years earlier, I had written a song called 'The Mighty Quinn' which was a hit in England, and I wondered what the movie was about. Eventually, I'd sneak off and go there to see it. It was a mystery, suspense, Jamaican thriller with Denzel Washington as the Mighty Xavier Quinn a detective who solves crimes. Funny, that's just the way I imagined him when I wrote the song 'The Mighty Quinn,' Denzel Washington."

Thoughts on Cover Artist:
How can you not love Kris Kristofferson? The man wrote amazing tunes like "Bobby McGee" and "Sunday Mornin' Coming Down" is a country music legend a good actor and looks as dashing as ever. The man is pretty much the essence of cool and he worked for it, getting into the game a bit later then most by hustling. Much respect. 
Thoughts on Cover:
I love, love, love that he says "He is gonna kill me when he hears this" at the beginning of this video. Dylan made a ramshackle silly song one of the great sing-a-longs that can make anyone from 4-400 years old happy when they hear it. Kristofferson adds a really unneeded sense of dread and foreboding to it. While far from my favorite cover in this series we do appreciate when artists take wildly different approaches to Bob's tunes...and this is one of the rare cases where a simple acoustic rendering is a 180 from the original.  

1 comment:

  1. I love this guy. You know you are the epitome of "cool" when the wack jobs claim he is one of the top guys in the illuminati. You ever see the football movie "Tough Enough" he did with Burt Reynolds?? Those two would have had to have been the most interesting men in the world in the 70's. Classic.