January 31, 2017

"Bob Dylan unveiled a classic country cover of Frank Sinatra's 'I Could Have Told You'..."



"... set to appear on his new triple album of American standards, Triplicate, out March 31st via Columbia."


"Triplicate" will include "Stormy Weather," "That Old Feeling," "As Time Goes By," "Imagination," "How Deep Is the Ocean," "P.S. I Love You," "The Best Is Yet to Come," "Sentimental Journey," "These Foolish Things, "You Go to My Head," "Stardust," and "Why Was I Born" — to name the 12 of the 30 songs that I know.

Maybe I know some of the others and I'd recognize them if I started to listen. For example, do I know "September of My Years"? Here's Andy Williams singing it. In 1970. No, I don't know that, and that's about the furthest thing from what I'd have paid attention to in 1970s. That's from his network TV show. That was soothing somebody. Presumably people who were maybe 20 years younger than I am right now. People got old so quickly back then. Or so it looked from my point of view at the time compared to my point of view right now.

In 1970 was the year Bob Dylan put out rock's "shittiest album ever," and then the great "New Morning," which we listened to every day, when we were sophomores in college.

My parents would have maintained at the time that Frank Sinatra was the greatest, and now I'm older than my parents were then, and Bob Dylan is singing Frank Sinatra songs.

25 comments:

Deb said...

"That was soothing somebody. Presumably people who were maybe 20 years younger than I am right now. People got old so quickly back then." That would have been my mother. She loved Andy Williams.

Chuck said...

"Is it rolling, Bob?"

johns said...

I listened long enough to be able to tell that Dylan can still sing words that are intelligible to others. Last year I saw him at the Hollywood Bowl and he was completely, I mean 100%, unintelligible. Can anyone explain this to me?

Fernandinande said...

johns said...
I mean 100%, unintelligible. Can anyone explain this to me?


No. Because you listened longer than I did, however -
Bob Dylan interviewed by Chloe Talbot.

And then there's All Along The Watchtower - Bob Dylan (cover) Jess Greenberg, who has bosoms.

Curious George said...

"johns said...
I listened long enough to be able to tell that Dylan can still sing words that are intelligible to others. Last year I saw him at the Hollywood Bowl and he was completely, I mean 100%, unintelligible. Can anyone explain this to me?"

Drugs. Lots of drugs. Lots of years.

readering said...

I go to my local library to check out popular cds. It's amazing how many rock stars have done standards albums. Great American Songbook lives on.

readering said...

Should have written "popular music" cds.

traditionalguy said...

Frank had his Ava Gardner and Bob had his Joan Baez, but neither one could keep them.

bwebster said...

Sooner or later, they always come back to the Great American Songbook. :-)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_American_Songbook#Contemporary_singers

I'll probably buy this album.

BN said...

"People got old so quickly back then."

Nahhh... People just used to grow up. It was expected back then.

Plus, they hadn't been trained to believe--or to pretend to believe--that ugly is beautiful. Taste in music/art didn't become a signal of one's age (or "coolness") until beat-nicks read a few pages of Fartre.

Post-modernism ruins everything but it's funny, which was its point. Like Dylan singing "standards".

BN said...

To be clear, I don't think Dylan is joking or being ironic., I think he's earnest. And he's always had great taste, and knows every American classic song ever written. I just don't think he's well suited to sing every song ever written.

madAsHell said...

In the pantheon of crooners, I don't see Dylan displacing Mel Torme anytime soon.

Mike Sylwester said...

Ann, less than a year from now you will be embarrassed that you did not write one post critical of Bob Dylan while he was being awarded the Nobel Prize in 2016.

William said...

Why are successful rock songs called classics and successful Tin Pan Alley numbers called standards?......I've been listening to the Amy Winehouse album, Back to Black. She had a terrific voice that was just meant to sing Gershwin. Too bad she died before recording anything from the standard repertoire........ Some voices are just meant to sing certain songs. Every singer on earth has had a crack st Stardust. No one has ever done it better than Nat King Cole, not even Sinatra. Why would anyone listen to the Dylan version except out of morbid curiousity?.....Which is more unappealing: Dylan singing Sinatra or Sinatra singing Dylan? Sinatra knew how to vocalize poignant regret, but his voice could never capture the loss involved when the vandals stole the handle.

rhhardin said...

Johnny Cash singing Danny Boy was perhaps similar in motive.

eddie willers said...

To be clear, I don't think Dylan is joking or being ironic., I think he's earnest.

I remember reading his autobiography where he said he wanted to be another Elvis. I believed him (and in a way...he is).

As for a "contemporary" recording the Great American Songbook, go with Linda Ronstadt's 'Round Midnight which is a two disc box set of the three albums she recorded with Nelson Riddle and His Orchestra.

Frank Sinatra will be played forever due to his voice and phrasing. Not necessarily the songs, but his actual recordings.

Last point: Dylan has better taste in music than Althouse.

ballyfager said...

Bob Dylan sings the Great American Songbook. If you live long enough you're liable to see anything

tim in vermont said...

Happened to have my phone connected to the nice stereo, so I listened. It's good, I think. But I like the vocal style and listen to a lot of similar music.

De gustibus...

tim in vermont said...

Plus I never thought Bob Dylan owed me anything.

AReasonableMan said...

eddie willers said...
for a "contemporary" recording the Great American Songbook, go with Linda Ronstadt's 'Round Midnight


Second this, one gem after another. Ronstadt was a musician's singer.

harkin said...

A Vanity Fair writer not liking Sandinista! just made it even better.

SukieTawdry said...

Omigod, Dylan is putting out an American songbook. I can't stand it. I've always considered that these songs require, you know, a real voice.

September of My Years was the title cut in a Sinatra album (which I still have in vinyl). The whole album is about growing older and is bitter-sweet and a little melancholy. Great work, though.

John Salmon said...

God, I hate the word "cover". It implies that a performer is doing a song just because somebody else had a hit with it, and that "real artists" must write their own material. Particularly inappropriate here, since Sinatra, didn't write this song, and he was a greater artist than any "singer-songwriter".

John Salmon said...

BTW, somebody mentioned Linda Ronstadt's Songbook albums. Nelson Riddle, who wrote the arrangements, wasn't much impressed with Ronstadt, who can belt but had no idea how to approach these songs. Go with Ella Fitzgerald or Rosemary Clooney or Tony Bennett or Mel Torme' or Michael Feinstein. Avoid souless Streisand (!!!!).

retired said...

It's ageing boomers that keep Dylan around. He'd be thrown out of the rest home choir if he had to make on curren talent.