Elvis sings Bob Dylan songs

Elvis Bob Cowboy

When I first heard Elvis’ voice I just knew that I wasn’t going to work for anybody; and nobody was going to be my boss. He is the deity supreme of rock & roll religion as it exists in today’s form. Hearing him for the first time was like busting out of jail.
I think for a long time that freedom to me was Elvis singing “Blue Moon of Kentucky”. I thank God for Elvis.
– Bob Dylan (24 August 1987 – US magazine feature on Elvis’ death anniversary)

‘I really thought I’d be seeing Elvis soon.’
– Bob Dylan (1997)

Elvis Aaron Presley (January 8, 1935 – August 16, 1977). Regarded as one of the most significant cultural icons of the 20th century, he is often referred to as “the King of Rock and Roll”, or simply, “the King”.

Bob Dylan and Elvis clearly love/loved the same kind of music, blues, rock’n roll, country and gospel.

Elvis has done a few Bob Dylan songs.

Tomorrow Is A Long Time

RCA’s Studio B, Nashville – May 25, 1966

Yeah, Elvis Presley. I liked Elvis Presley… Elvis Presley recorded a song of mine. That’s the one recording I treasure the most… It was called Tomorrow Is A Long Time. I wrote it but never recorded it.
-Bob Dylan (Rolling Stone Magazine interview – November 1969)




After a full night’s work the Imperials went home, leaving Elvis and the musicians to probe a little deeper into Elvis’s constantly surprising musical interests. In the months before the session Charlie had been playing the Odetta Sings Dylan album, and Elvis had become taken with “Tomorrow Is A Long Time,” a Bob Dylan original that had been recorded by several other artists, though Dylan himself had never released a version. Charlie McCoy had been among the Nashville players on Dylan’s Blonde On Blonde sessions; now, nine months later, here he was watching Elvis give Dylan a try. True to the song’s folk origins this was a guitar piece, so Scotty, Chip, and Charlie McCoy grabbed their acoustics while Bob Moore shifted to the electric bass. With only a tambourine added to the arrangement, they delved into another world, a place where Elvis had never ventured before. By take three they had completed a gorgeous—and, for Elvis, extraordinarily long—five-minute master.
–Ernst Jørgensen (Elvis Presley: A Life In Music)

Nashville – May 28, 1966

Don’t Think Twice It’s Alright

RCA Studio B, Nashville – May 16, 1971

The complete recording of “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right” runs 11 minutes, 25 seconds; it was edited to 2:45 for its initial release. An 8:35 version was released in 1979 on Our Memories of Elvis—Vol. 2 (AQL1 3448), and Walk A Mile In My Shoes: The Essential 70’s Masters included a 4:00 edit.
–Ernst Jørgensen (Elvis Presley: A Life In Music)


2:45 version

4 minute version

Long version

…it took only one guitar lick from James Burton to start Elvis off on an impromptu version of Bob Dylan’s “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right.” Al Pachucki was busy cutting the master take of the last Christmas song from the tape reel when Felton shouted, “Get the tape on.” The group jammed for eleven minutes, doing the same verses over and over, adding new licks and phrasings. This was one more from the collection of folk material Elvis had brought along on March 15, and evidently it had stayed on his mind. The song wasn’t meant to be taken at such a fast tempo, but no one gave too much thought to that because the feeling was there. After listening to a playback of Dylan’s song Elvis had no interest in returning to work on the Christmas material, so the band recorded tracks for the three remaining songs, and Elvis overdubbed his vocals a few nights later.
–Ernst Jørgensen (Elvis Presley: A Life In Music)

Blowin’ In The Wind

Home recording 1966/67

Elvis – RCA’s Studio B, Nashville – May 20, 1971

I Shall Be Released

RCA’s Studio B, Nashville – May 20, 1971

..While Elvis struggled to remember the melody to “It’s Only Love,” he threw in a verse from Bob Dylan’s “I Shall Be Released,” and sang it with the kind of feeling that indicated that this song should have been the record.
–Ernst Jørgensen (Elvis Presley: A Life In Music)


“Dylan!”
– Elvis Presley

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-Hallgeir & Egil

2 thoughts on “Elvis sings Bob Dylan songs

  1. It must have been thrill for Bob when he found out about Elvis doing his songs. Is there any thing written about Dylan’s reaction?

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