Monday, June 22, 2020

Dylan Cover #433 Marianne Faithful "Visions of Johanna"

In this ongoing Monday Series we will be exploring various artists versions of Bob Dylan song's. Today's artists, Marianne Faithful performing a cover of "Visions of Johanna" 

Thoughts on Original:
From the first time we tackled a cover of this tune:
One of the clear high points in Dylan's poetic songwriting, "Visions of Johanna" is a complete stunner, especially the first time you encounter it. Now (on a personal note) if that first encounter just happens to be a hot sweaty night, in the heart of the urban village which Dylan roamed about 30 years before and you happened to be doing the same god damn thing, then so be it. Even if your personal take is different it is hard to wrap your brain around the lyrics and the more you listen the more the mystery deepens. It is elusive, bright, cunning, dismissive, iconic, ironic and tossed off all at once. It is mega and it is nothing...and I can't be more vague than that. Musically he couldn't get it right until he went down to Nashville and it says something that he stuck with this song (unlike say..."She Belongs To Me") and got a version that is magical musically as well, just listen to that bass line throughout from Joe South...a crowning success all around.
The closest I ever got to the sound I hear in my mind was on individual bands in the Blonde on Blonde album. It's that thin, that wild mercury sound. It's metallic and bright gold, with whatever that conjures up.

Thoughts on Cover Artist:
RtBE is not a huge fan of Marianne Faithful, but she has been at the center of a lot of interesting rock and roll history.

Thoughts on Cover:
A solid straight ahead acoustic cover version that stays true to Marianne's strengths. Not much to it, just voice, guitar and amazing lyrics.

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