“Oh Mercy (1989) is a collection of 10 songs, best listened to at night, if you’re inclined to take that gypsy caravan down into a mythic Louisiana bayou, a world conjured up by Bob Dylan and producer Daniel Lanois. Virtually every song is a highlight, from “Political World” (which sounds just as immediate today) to the bittersweet “Shooting Star.” It’s quite an ethereal voyage from beginning to end and should withstand the test of time.”
– Josh Downham (user review, Amazon)
It is a great collection of songs and there are many artists that have tried their luck in singing them, none as good as Dylan’s original versions (as usual) but there are some good ones out there. I have tried to collect some of the best.
My favourites are Ron Sexsmith, Gordon Lightfoot, Tom Jones and Willie Nelson.
Check Out more Full Dylan albums covered:
Slow Train Coming
and now Oh Mercy:
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I like the “Bob Dylan period” of Modern Times a lot, I play it often. I love it, one of the great albums from the first ten years of the 2000s.
This is a post where I have “dug” out some cover versions of the songs on the record, I would say that none of them are as good as the originals, but they’re good and they are interesting. Many of the album’s songs have roots in well-known older compositions, though in all cases, Dylan has given the songs new lyrics. Some of the “cover versions” I have found are interpretations of the old traditional songs, it wasn’t easy to compile this cover selection…
“Modern Times is the thirty-second studio album by American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan, released on August 29, 2006 by Columbia Records. The album was Dylan’s third straight (following Time Out of Mind and Love and Theft) to be met with nearly universal praise from fans and critics. It continued its predecessors’ tendencies toward blues,rockabilly and pre-rock balladry, and was self-produced by Dylan under the pseudonym “Jack Frost”. Along with the acclaim, the album sparked some debate over its uncredited use of choruses and arrangements from older songs, as well as many lyrical lines taken from the work of 19th-century poet Henry Timrod.
Modern Times became the singer-songwriter’s first #1 album in the US since 1976’s Desire.”
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““What good am I if I’m like all the rest?” the 70-year-old singer nearly whispers to open the album. Is the question rhetorical? Is he talking to himself? The performance, a cover of a somewhat obscure Dylan tune where Jones is backed up by only a sparse rhythm section, is almost prayer-like in its gentle quietness and with its heartfelt vocals. Yet no answer is given to this or Jones’ other questions throughout the song, leaving the listener to ponder the answers and making it a quite haunting piece of music.”
– Adam Sheets (NoDepression)
Tom Jones – What Good Am I? – The best Dylan covers
Bob Dylan released What Good Am I? on his classic album, Oh Mercy in 1989.
Oh Mercy is notable for its sustained moodiness and resignation, often in relation to romantic dissolution. This is immediately apparent on the atmospheric Most of the Time, which features the richest production on the album. Described as “magisterial” by Allan Jones of Melody Maker, the narrator in Most of the Time sings of an estranged lover whom the narrator can’t quite shake from his memories. The song addresses an irreconcilable, personal relationship, and this theme would continue through What Good Am I?, a frank look at the narrator’s moral worth.
What good am I some like all the rest
If I just turn away when I see how you’re dressed
If I shut myself off so I can’t hear you cry
What good am I?
Continue reading “Tom Jones – What Good Am I? – The Best Dylan Covers”