Just in time for the holidays, Robyn Hitchcock has posted a 12-song “album” of cover versions on his website. The material ranges from Willie Dixon to Nick Drake, with four songs included from this year’s Medécins Sans Frontières benefit, where Hitchcock performed David Bowie’s Hunky Dory album in its entirety. Bob Dylan fans will not only be interested in Hitchcock’s cover of Bowie’s “Song For Bob Dylan”, but also his take of the traditional song “Copper Kettle”, which Dylan famously covered on his 1970 album, Self Portrait, where Hitchcock most likely learned it. Interestingly, Hitchcock sounds more like Dylan on the Bowie song.
Hitchcock has covered numerous Dylan songs over the years, and has even released an entire album of Dylan covers, called Robyn Sings.
Hitchcock is also a big fan of the late Captain Beefheart. Included here is a cover of Willie Dixon’s “Wang Dang Doodle”, which Beefheart interpolated in his song, “Tarotplane”.
From Robyn Hitchcock’s official website:
Robyn has a set of 12 recently recorded, unreleased covers available for you to take a listen to. The new tracks are streaming ONLY (no downloads at this time) from the AudioBus . . . Below is a track listing. Hope you enjoy!
1 Be Here Now 3:40 (George Harrison; studio outtake)
2 Blue Moon Of Kentucky 5:02 (Bill Monroe via Elvis Presley; Propellor Time session, lead vocal Nick Lowe)
3 Candyman 7:16 (Grateful Dead; Belcourt Theatre, Nashville TN – 3/18/07, with the Tennessee Crawdads – with Peter Buck / Gillian Welch / David Rawlings / John Paul Jones / Sean Nelson)
4 Changes 3:42 (The first of four songs from David Bowie’s Hunky Dory, Halloween MSF benefit at 3 Kings)
5 Copper Kettle 4:44 (Traditional, loosely based on Bob Dylan’s 1970 version, Propellor Time session )
6 I Still Miss Someone 3:48 (Johnny Cash, Propellor Time session, lead vocal Scott McCaughey)
7 Life On Mars (plus coda: strings only) 4:49 (David Bowie’s Hunky Dory, Halloween MSF benefit at 3 Kings #2)
8 Pink Moon in C 3:40 (Nick Drake, studio outtake)
9 Quicksand 5:50 (David Bowie’s Hunky Dory, Halloween MSF benefit at 3 Kings #3)
10 Song For Bob Dylan 4:29 (David Bowie’s Hunky Dory, Halloween MSF benefit at 3 Kings #4)
11 Very Cellular Song 12:38 (Incredible String Band, vocal by ISB’s Mike Heron, Pestival 2010)
12 Wang Dang Doodle (spelt “Doooodle” on “Trolley Bus Player” listing) 7:07 (Willie Dixon/ Howlin’ Wolf/ Captain Beefheart, Propellor Time session)
Note: Propellor Time is the most recent release by Robyn Hitchcock & The Venus 3, with special guest Nick Lowe (among others).
SIDE NOTE: U2 performed “Love Rescue Me”, co-written with Dylan, for the first time in a decade the other day while in Australia. According to Rolling Stone, Bono said:
Bono wrote the song in the late Eighties while staying in the Beverly Hills mansion where, strangely, the Menendez brothers would later kill their parents. The song apparently came to him in a dream, with Bob Dylan singing it. When Bono met Dylan shortly afterward, he asked Dylan if it was one of his songs. “No,” Dylan said. “But maybe it could be.” They wound up finishing the track together, and Dylan even sang background vocals.
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