Category Archives: Bob Dylan Cover Albums

Bob Dylan cover albums: There’s a lot of them out there, most on CD these days, which puts them out of my jurisdiction. Amazingly, there’s very little information on the internet about many of the pre-CD era releases. Even the usually reliable All Music Guide seems lacking in this department; they might have the album listed, but no review, for example. Scroll down to see what’s been reviewed or go HERE to see the full list at a glance.

My personal favourites from the whole list would be (1) The superb 2010 Subterranean Homesick Blues cover album by various artists, (2) Coulsen, Dean, McGuinness & Flint’s amazing Lo & Behold, (3) The sprawling soundtrack to Todd Haynes I’m Not There, (4) The Brothers & Sisters’s wonderful Dylan’s Gospel, and (5) Hugo Montenegro’s entertaining Dawn Of Dylan. Favourite instrumental collection would be the Gotham String Quartet’s Immortal Songs of Bob Dylan. Best ‘foreign artist’ cover album? By a country mile, Mikael Wiehe’s De Ensligas Alle – it kicks post-punk proto-industrial Swedish ass. There’s lots of other good stuff in here but the good wouldn’t be good without the mediocre and the just plain awful – unfortunately there’s plenty of that here too.

May Your Song Always Be Sung: The Songs of Bob Dylan Vol. 3, Various Artists, 2003

I’ve just made my biggest jump forward on this Dylan covers-on-vinyl project. Ten whole years on from 1993’s 30th Anniversary Concert, to 2003, and what a huge difference in sound quality. Okay, so it’s a German produced recording, practically audiophile … Continue reading

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Bob Dylan: The 30th Anniversary Concert Celebration, Various Artists, 1993

This concert took place in New York’s Madison Square Garden in October 1992, thirty years after the release of Dylan’s debut album Bob Dylan. The concert was three hours long. It’s hard to know what to say about these songs—they’re … Continue reading

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Outlaw Blues Volume Two, Various Artists, 1993

Outlaw Blues 2 is a somewhat tamer affair than its predecessor, Outlaw Blues. The only artist to appear on both compilations is Lee Ranaldo, but where his earlier effort illustrated a  desire to mess Dylan up, here he sounds relatively … Continue reading

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Outlaw Blues, Various Artists, 1992

Here’s yet another Dylan covers album you’ll find scant report on in cyberspace, unless you’ve stumbled on this blog, that is (or dug deeper than my quick rummage through Google). Outlaw Blues, named after a number on Bringing It All … Continue reading

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The Songs Of Bob Dylan, Various Artists, 1989

I can’t say for certain if this is the first “various artists” compilation of Dylan songs, but I do know fans/record companies are still compiling them and putting them out in 2012, for Amnesty, with the tagline, “This Album Saves … Continue reading

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Mikael Wiehe, Nyberg, Franck & Fjellis, De Ensligas Alle, 1982

If you’re looking for the weirdest Dylan covers album, this is it. It’s not just weird because it transforms Dylan into doomy eighties industrial agit-electro-pop, but it’s also in Swedish, and just plain different. None of the original tunes have … Continue reading

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Dan Tillberg, Karlek Minus Noll, 1982

Strange how coincidences come together, though I wonder how much of a coincidence it is that the only two Dylan cover albums released in 1982 were both out of Sweden. I met a Swedish woman last year and I told … Continue reading

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The Byrds, The Byrds Play Dylan, 1979

Here it is, surely the biggest selling album of Dylan covers ever. Despite the 1979 release date, this compilation gathered Dylan songs recorded and released by The Byrds in the years 1965-1970. In fact, an earlier version of this album … Continue reading

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Wolfgang Ambros, Wie im Schlaf – Lieder von Bob Dylan, 1978

It seems to me that any male pop artist singing in German always sounds exactly like Falco. The problem for me is that I owned Falco’s 3 in 1985 (with the hit single “Rock Me Amadeus”) and played it to … Continue reading

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Strings For Pleasure, Play The Best Of Bob Dylan, 1974

Take one look at that cover and you know you’re in for thirty odd minutes of the putridest rottenest easy listening bilge you’ve heard this side of Zamfir’s King Of The Panflutes. It’s like a Dylan-program button on one of … Continue reading

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Didier, Judy Nash, Winny & Amy, Tribute To Bob Dylan, 1974

This is a relatively obscure collection of French folk musicians paying homage to Bob Dylan in English. There are substantial liner notes on the back sleeve, although all in French, but from what I can gather Henri Heymans doesn’t really … Continue reading

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Coulson, Dean, McGuiness, Flint, Lo & Behold, 1972

If I was to construct one of those music-journo referential polygons, I’d pull together The Band, CSNY, Cream and most anything off Classic Hits FM to hint at the sound of this hairy British outfit calling themselves Coulsen, Dean, McGuinness, … Continue reading

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The Mike Batt Orchestra, Portrait Of Bob Dylan, 1971

The instrumental orchestral Dylan cover album – it’s a complete genre on its own. The Mike Batt take on Dylan is most similar to The Sound Symposium or The Golden Gate Strings – orchestral rock. Batt is a British singer/songwriter … Continue reading

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Serge Kerval, Kerval Chante Bob Dylan, 1971

Kerval is the second non-English artist I’ve reviewed for this Dylan covers project, and also the second French one after the quite good Aufray Chante Dylan from 1965. Where Aufray’s effort was very much based in a skiffle beat sound, … Continue reading

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Dave Travis, Tribute To Bob Dylan, 1971

Just when you’d finally love to hear a solo(ish) male artist cover Dylan in English, you get Dave Travis, a rather bland country musician who plays Dylan as though it was a selection of hymns on Sunday. Tis worth noting … Continue reading

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John Schroeder Productions, Dylan Vibrations, 1971

This is called Dylan Vibrations because it’s part of a series – the ‘Vibrations’ series, put out by a British collective called John Schroeder Productions. Schroeder is only the man who fronts up the money though. There’s something like sixteen … Continue reading

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Hugo Montenegro, Dawn Of Dylan, 1970

Of all the Dylan cover albums I’ve reviewed so far, few have been definite keepers. This is one that I will keep. This album makes me laugh. But more than that it makes me sing along and jump about. It’s … Continue reading

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Rob van Dyke Trio, Rob van Dyke Plays Bob Dylan, 1970

At last, we’ve reached the seventies. I’ve rarely commented on album sleeves but take a good gawk at our Rob – the brooding eyes, the manicured facial hair, the blow wave and part, the sideburns. Nice. In 1970, Rob was … Continue reading

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The Sound Symposium, Bob Dylan Interpreted, 1969

These cruddy Dylan orchestral cover albums just never end. Here’s the last one of the sixties, and strangely, it seems to take a little bit of all of the others and mix them in the blender. This shoves rock, piano … Continue reading

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The Hollies, Words And Music By Bob Dylan, 1969

Pure rock’n’roll in the original teeny style which takes some of the best rock lyrics of all time and turns them into meaningless doo-wop pop. No wonder it sold so well in the year it came out. The critics panned … Continue reading

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The Brothers And Sisters, Dylan’s Gospel, 1969

Talk about run the gamut of styles. Dylan cover albums of the sixties – we’ve had folk, jazz, instrumental, spoken word, classical, surf guitar, 12 string guitar, string quartet, pop, Euro, and now gospel. And of all of those, I’m … Continue reading

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Fontana Concert Orchestra, Portrait Of Bob Dylan, 1968

This is the fourth orchestral/symphonic/classical Dylan covers album in only three years. A quick recap then: The Golden Gate Strings (1965) mixed rock and orchestral elements together resulting in an interesting sound but the whole thing was way too kitschy … Continue reading

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Joan Baez, Any Day Now, 1968

At last we arrive at the most famous and most popular of all the sixties covers albums, and apart from the Byrds Play Dylan, possibly the most well known Dylan cover album of all time. It’s certainly one of the … Continue reading

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Sebastian Cabot, Actor / Bob Dylan, Poet, A Dramatic Reading With Music, 1967

Here’s the supposed antidote to all those instrumental albums of 1966—a spoken word album of Dylan songs. There is music here, arranged by Irving Spice, the same dude who conducted the Gotham String Quartet’s collection of Dylan covers. It might … Continue reading

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Glen Campbell, Mr. Twelve String Guitar, 1966

Glen Campbell is a name I remember from my parents’ record collection. Therefore the idea of a Glen Campbell collection of Dylan covers is automatically fighting an uphill battle to gain any kind of credibility in my mind. Furthermore, this … Continue reading

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The Metropolitan Pops Orchestra, Plays Instrumental Versions of Bob Dylan Favorites, 1966

So, if 1965 was the year of the folk rock boom, 1966 was the year of instrumental Dylan cover albums, with no less than four being released that year. The Metropolitan Pops Orchestra produce by far the poppiest collection of … Continue reading

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The Gene Norman Group, Dylan Jazz, 1966

I was quite excited when I discovered this album. Arriving in 1966, hot on the heels of free jazz and such avant-garde luminaries as Coltrane, Dolphy, Ayler and Sanders I thought it might really mess with the Dylan catalogue in … Continue reading

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Gotham String Quartet, The Immortal Songs of Bob Dylan, 1966

I read somewhere that this was one of the strangest Dylan cover albums you’d ever hear, and so I braced myself for weirdness. Instead this delivered what I thought the Golden Gates Strings were all about—Dylan done as classical music. … Continue reading

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The Silkie, Sing The Songs Of Bob Dylan, 1965

My first impressions of this were off-putting. The sound seemed soupy, the harmonized singing seemed awfully mid-60s grey sky English countryside dreary. The first reference point is Peter, Paul & Mary. It’s inevitable that they’ll be compared to their far … Continue reading

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Dorinda Duncan, The Songs Of Bob Dylan Through The Heart Of A Girl, 1965

Dorinda Duncan was 20 when she recorded these songs—a ‘southern belle’ according to the liner notes. She covers, somewhat tiresomely, the same Dylan songs as everyone else, although her focus is entirely on the love songs. What was it with … Continue reading

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Duane Eddy, Duane Does Dylan, 1965

It’s going to be hard to find a few discrete words to say about each of these tracks because they’re all pretty much of a muchness. The cover to the side is the one I have – the UK version … Continue reading

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Golden Gate Strings, The Bob Dylan Songbook, 1965

Let’s start with a quotation from the back sleeve: “At first, it may seem startling to hear a full orchestra play the songs of Bob Dylan, whose own singing tends toward the rough, blisteringly authentic style of the honest folk … Continue reading

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Hugues Aufray, Aufray Chante Dylan, 1965

A quick listen to this revealed some credible Dylan covers, played nicely, good sound and all sung in French. I do wonder how some of the Dylanesque wordplay and rhyming translates into French, but Aufray’s choice to cover some of … Continue reading

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Odetta, Odetta Sings Dylan, 1965

Apparently the second ever Dylan covers album after Linda Mason’s effort. It’s somewhat more credible than that one from 1964, but still, I was disappointed on playing this for the first time to hear that Odetta has what sounds like … Continue reading

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Linda Mason, How Many Seas Must A White Dove Sail, 1964

From what I can gather, this seems to be the very first Dylan covers album. Given that it was released in 1964 when Bob Dylan only had three albums out there’s probably not much disputing that claim. In my mind … Continue reading

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