Monday, December 31, 2018

Dylan Cover #357 Joe Cocker "Dignity" Live

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 playing "Dignity"

Thoughts on Original:
"Dignity" is a straight ahead song which Dylan battled with during the recording of Oh Mercy with Daniel Lanois. In lesser hands it might not mean much, but these are Dylan's words and things seem weightier, but it also isn't mind blowing or particularly tied to Dylan which makes it a good candidate for covering.

Here is what Dylan talked about the tune in Chronicles Vol 1. (taken from
It was originally recorded with Dylan accompanied by Brian Stoltz and Willie Green. Though they managed to complete a polished performance, producer Daniel Lanois suggested something more ambitious with a Cajun band. Curious to see what Lanois had in mind, Dylan agreed to recut the song. The next evening, a session was held with Rockin' Dopsie and His Cajun Band, but the results were disastrous. The group experimented with different keys and tempos, but according to Dylan, everyone was frustrated with the results.
Dylan still preferred the original version recorded the previous day, but neither he nor Lanois considered it finished. As the session continued into the early morning hours, the group gave up and began playing old standards like "Jambalaya", "Your Cheatin' Heart", and "There Stands the Glass". The next day, they listened to every take of "Dignity" recorded with Dopsie and his band, and all of them were rejected. "Whatever promise Dan had seen in the song was beaten into a bloody mess", Dylan recalled. "Where we had started from, we'd never gotten back to, a fishing expedition gone nowhere. In no take did we ever turn back the clock. We just kept winding it. Every take another ball of confusion." "Dignity" was set aside, never to be revisited for the remainder of the sessions.

Thoughts on Cover Artist:
This is our second time using Cocker in this series and the first time was an even deeper cut from Dylan.

Thoughts on Cover:
A quick "shuffle" and fairly straight ahead cover of what was still a fairly new song from Dylan. Joe Cocker def loved covering everyone and Dylan was a treasure trove for him. This is a version from later in his career, but we wanted to use it because of the murder on New Years Eve. Some said Dignity was the first to leave...Have a Happy and Murder Free New Years Eve.

For December RTBE dipped into some Dylan songs which we have not featured in this series yet and we are over 350 at this point, thanks for spending it with us and as always thanks for reading. 

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