Monday, February 6, 2017

Dylan Cover #262 Mountain "Masters of War"

In this ongoing Monday Series we will be exploring various artists versions of Bob Dylan song's. Today's tune is a cover by Mountain playing "Masters of War":

This month we will focus on the band Mountain's fairly recent Dylan Cover album Masters of War

(This may seem awfully familiar to dedicated readers, we accidentally posted this last month. we are re-posting it as our focus on Mountains Masters of War album was supposed to be scheduled for February 2017, so forgive our blip on the radar, our Dylan Mondays are back on track now)
Thoughts on Original:
From the first time we tackled a cover of this tune:
Ranking as one of his most accusatory and cutting tracks Dylan condemns the whole "war machine" on this classic and vital song (the "hope that you die" line is so fucking cold, it is brutal). Often misrepresented as an attack on war itself (Dylan always said he wasn't a pacifist) this track calls out the government for using war-as-business (the Cold War in particular) and business-as-war models when lives are put on the line for meaningless reasons. As alive and burning now as it was in 1962 when he wrote it, a tremendous song.

Thoughts on Cover Artist:
January we are going to focus on Mountain. Here is some info on the group, we have never really known them or been a fan outside of classic rock radio. Regarding the bands decision to do a full album of Dylan covers here is the rationale:
After 5 to 6 years on a recent worldwide Mountain tour, we were asked to record a new CD. During the touring Leslie heard Neil Young's rendition of Blowin in the Wind and decided to perform it acoustically at our shows. The reaction was clearly overwhelming leaving Les and I to a serious look, again, at the musical and political significance of Bob Dylan's repertoire. I personally felt that Leslie's vocal power would match the power in Dylan's lyrics. The melodies simple and direct would match Leslie's lyrical guitar expressions. The drum feels were spontaneous and most of the basic tracks were first takes in the studio. Personally, I just tried to punctuate the hell out of the song. It took about 3 years to contemplate exactly what Dylan material we would decide to record Mountain style. The final result is Mountain CD MASTERS OF WAR
Thoughts on Cover:
A nice fit with the heaviness of the band and the heaviness of the topic, and a pretty easy choice to be the title track of the bands full Dylan cover album that we will be focusing on this month. The added Ozzy vocals are excellent as the crown prince of darkness gets to sing some of The Bards angriest lines and helps elevate this cover. 

With lead singer Leslie West, like lots of heavy metal singers he likes to show off and the vocal ticks aren't our favorite but it comes with this territory.   

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