Our song for today is Morrissey's cover (on the California Son album) of Bob Dylan's composition, written in 1963 and released in 1964 on his The Times They Are a-Changin' album.
What do we think?
I always wondered why Morrissey picked this particular song from Dylan’s impressive catalogue. You probably hit the nai, the link to James Baldwin.I've never heard the Dylan version before today, & because I'm not at all keen on CS per se, I've probably never heard, or would have skipped, Moz's version. But I made myself listen to this 3 times & concluded that out of the 2 versions, I actually do prefer the one by Moz; great vocals, as ever.
Couple of interesting points maybe; I didn't know of the subject matter of the song, which then provided links to James Baldwin (one of Moz's favourite authors). It also contains the line "Like a dog on a chain", so could have had some influence in naming that particular album.
It's heavily dominated by the military sounding drums, (what sounds like) accordion, and guitar splashes, & I get a Scottish or Irish feel from it
It’s not the best Dylan song, at least not when it comes to the vocal melody and Morrissey improved it.To me the original lyrics are a bit lengthy & become tedious but Moz makes a decent effort to breathe life into it.
If you're patient, it's actually a bit of a grower.