Cover Story: (4) Long Lankin - Steeleye Span or Wainwright Sisters
Treasures rediscovered: (8) Ronnie Drew and Eleanor Shanley perform Dylan's Boots of Spanish Leather

Cover Story: (70) Your favourite Dylan covers. Eric Alper asks, Salut! Live answers

Eric Alper -'freelance music publicist. SiriusXM host, shameless idealist, lifelong musicaholic', he says though with more upper case than I'd allow - is the Twitter master of the simple musical question that can reliably be expected to draw hundreds or even thousands of responses. 820.7K followers suggest he may be getting something right.

This is the latest of his 'tell me your favourite this or that' tweets:

Dylan owen 1 - 1
With thanks to Owen Lennox


* If You Gotta Go, Go Now ... Manfred Mann managed a perfectly competent, straight-pop version that made the charts. It took Fairport Convention and the incomparable Sandy Denny, reportedly aided and abetted by a French-speaking fan at a gig who produced an instant translation, to produce this understated masterpiece of English eccentricity  ...


  • Percy's Song A non-starter in this essentially whimsical exercise. I have always raved about Fairport Convention's treatment. But going back to Dylan, I rave still louder about his original ...



Bill Taylor

Agree on Julie Driscoll, Wheels on Fire; also Fairport's and Manfred Mann's versions of If You Gotta Go, Go Now. Marginally prefer Manfred Mann's if only for the jokey quality Paul Jones manages to give the lyrics. They did a terrific version of The Mighty Quinn, too.
Others: Cage the Elephant's Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll; The Leftover Cuties' Don't Think Twice, It's All Right; The Byrds' You Ain't Goin' Nowhere; Linda Ronstadt's I'll Be Your Baby Tonight; and George Harrison's If Not For You.

Brian Appleby

So I know this is a very controversial opinion, but I believe that Bob Dylan was a wonderful extraordinary songwriter and poet but an average musician and vocalist.

As a result almost any cover for me
was better than the original. Even ‘Don’t think twice it’s alright’ by the Wonder Who? (Four seasons).

So I value him as a composer / poet but not as an artist.

This may not be too bad, it worked for Mozart, Beethoven et al?

Colin Randall

My reply at Facebook to Brian

I’ve sometimes thought likewise but in more rational moments I go back to the early stuff, Blonde on Blonde and more. I was never One of his Judas/ traitor detractors but I simply stopped caring about his music from the 70s

Thomas Penny

I think this is pretty special.

Sharyn Dimmick

Unlike Brian Appleby, I value Dylan's singing -- I don't like his every performance, but I admire his phrasing and his ability to get words across. My nomination for a stellar Dylan cover is Cliff Eberhardt's version of "I Want You":

By slowing the tempo and lingering on the words, Eberhardt took what was, for me, a song I could bypass, and made me appreciate it enough to learn it. The slow version of this became a staple of my busking career. Give it a listen and see what you think. (The CD, A Nod to Bob, contains other notable covers as well, including a French version of "With God on Our Side" by Hart-Rouge).

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