Bob Dylan, Elvis, The Rolling Stones and more cover Jimmy Reed (born September 6, 1925)

Mathis James Reed (September 6, 1925 – August 29, 1976) was an American blues musician and songwriter. His particular style of electric blues was popular with blues as well as non-blues audiences. Reed’s songs such as “Honest I Do” (1957), “Baby What You Want Me to Do” (1960), “Big Boss Man” (1961), and “Bright Lights, Big City” (1961) appeared on both Billboard magazine’s rhythm and blues and Hot 100 singles charts.

Here some great cover versions of the 3 songs mentioned above.

Baby What You Want Me to Do

We’re goin’ up, we’re goin’ down
We’re goin’ up, down down up
Any way you want to let it roll
Yeah, yeah, yeah
You got me doin’ what you want me
Oh baby what you want me to do

Bob Dylan

Universal Studios, Los Angeles, California – September 19, 1985
Farm Aid Rehearsals


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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)


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August 26: Elvis Presley Released “Suspicious Minds” in 1969

elvis-presley-suspicious-minds-1969-6

We’re caught in a trap
I can’t walk out
Because I love you too much baby


Recorded between four and seven in the morning, during the landmark Memphis session that helped return the King to his throne, “Suspicious Minds” — the final Number One single of his lifetime — is Presley’s masterpiece: He sings so intensely through the fade-out that his band returns for another minute of the tear-stained chorus.
~rollingstone.com

Together with “Mystery Train” this is my favourite Elvis song.

Suspicious Minds:

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January 20: Elvis Presley recorded In The Ghetto in 1969

In the Ghetto” (originally titled “The Vicious Circle“) is a song written by Mac Davis and made famous by Elvis Presley, who had a major comeback hit with it in 1969. It was recorded January 20th 1969 and released in April the same year as a 45 rpm single with “Any Day Now” as the flip side.

It is a narrative of generational poverty: a boy is born to a mother who already has more children than she can feed in the ghetto of Chicago. The boy grows up hungry, steals and fights, purchases a gun and steals a car, attempts to run, but is shot and killed just as his own child is born. The song implies that the newborn will meet the same fate, continuing the cycle of poverty and violence. The feeling of an inescapable circle is created by the structure of the song, with its simple, stark phrasing; by the repetition of the phrase “in the ghetto” as the close of every fourth line; and finally by the repetition of the first verse’s “and his mama cries” just before the beginning and as the close of the last verse. Continue reading “January 20: Elvis Presley recorded In The Ghetto in 1969”

The Beatles Released “Something” 50 years ago today – Here are cover versions by Bob Dylan, Springsteen, Sinatra, Elvis and more

Something in the way she moves
Attracts me like no other lover
Something in the way she woos me
I don’t want to leave her now
You know I believe and how

At the time I wasn’t particularly thrilled that Frank Sinatra did “Something” … I was more interested when Smokey Robinson did it and when James Brown did it. But I’m very pleased now, whoever’s done it. I realise that the sign of a good song is when it has lots of cover versions.
– George Harrison, 2000

Something” is a song by the English rock band the Beatles from their 1969 album Abbey Road. It was written by George Harrison, the band’s lead guitarist. Soon after the album’s release, the song was issued as a single, coupled with “Come Together”, making it the first Harrison composition to become a Beatles A-side.

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BBC documentary: Elvis the Rebirth of the King (2017)

The widely accepted Elvis narrative is that the Vegas period was the nadir of his career, but this film argues that Elvis reached his peak both as a singer and performer in the first few years of his Vegas period. He became, in those short years, the greatest performer on earth. The film tracks this five-year renaissance with some of his key musical and artistic collaborators of the period, including the creator of his most memorable jumpsuits, to celebrate the greatest pop reinvention of all time. (BBC) Continue reading “BBC documentary: Elvis the Rebirth of the King (2017)”