Almanac Music: Top 10 songs that Bob has “butchered”

Ventured past the sports pages.

Scary experience.
On accessing the site – it was like undertaking a concussion test.
Subliminally – felt someone was asking:

– What was Paul wearing on his feet in the Abbey Road album cover
– How good is Neil Young’s album “Time fades away”
– What would you do with tickets to the David Bowie concert in March

Managed to utter:

– Nothing
– Should be binned, no “Yonder stands a sinner” is great, &
– Sell on eBay

Once orientated – immediately apologised to those who actually know about music for my Neil Young answer.

Then formulated a music question.

Firstly must set the scene.

Was listening to “Off the Record” on 3RRR – great music program. Indeed the best other than a few programs on Southern FM and on par with PBS FM.
This week Glen Morrow was filling in for Brian Wise who presumably took a week off due to the Court of Arbitration’s decision on his beloved Essendon Football club.
But the point is that there was the obligatory Bob Dylan song
This week went with “Baby please don’t go” .
Not a song am particularly fond of, but on hearing Bob’s version – it occurred – is this the worst version of the song ever?
Which in turn, led to the thought.
What are the “best songs of all time” songs that Bob has “butchered.”
As there are lots of them.
Understand “real” music aficionados would be turning in their grave – but for 97.5% of the community – this is the current thinking.

Interested in the thoughts of the Almanac Music fans.

So repeat the question: What are the best 10 songs that Bob has “butchered”
(Awaiting thoughts with a degree of trepidation).

Regards (and half apologies) DA.

About da mcdonell

Established "dam Sports Crisis Managment" to salvage & reinvigorate flagging careers of elite athletes. In practice mentoring rather than coaching or managing in the traditional sense. In the Almanac, we focus on the AFL players of the "dam AFL sports team"


  1. Richard Smith says

    There was a radio comedy on BBC that said something similar:
    This is the BBC publicity:
    “07 Sept 15: Mitch Benn Specials – Bob Dylan
    Comedy of the Week
    Everybody knows that Elvis changed everything. Everybody knows that the Beatles changed everything. Not as many people realise that Bob Dylan actually DID change everything.
    Mitch Benn looks at how Bob Dylanchanged what it is to be a songwriter, changed what it is to be a rock star and, more than anyone, changed what it is to be a singer. …”
    In short he made Rock accessible for all bad singers (Leonard Cohen, etc) by being such a bad singer.
    The program might be on itunes

  2. John Butler says

    Bob’s certainly butchered plenty of his own songs over the journey. When a certain mood takes him, all things are possible.

    cf: Wiggle Wiggle, anything with the Grateful Dead.

  3. Dylan is, indeed, a wonder. Enigmatic, brilliant, baffling. His Christmas-covers album of a few years back is not exactly sing-along-stuff. But that’s a small price to pay for Red River Shore and Most Of The Time and Just Like A Woman and Idiot Wind and dozens of others.

  4. Bit harsh Mr Dam, Dylan has done a terrific job over the decades opening up and interpreting the Great American Song Book as well as the history of blues, country, folk and hillbilly music. He released an album of Sinatra songs in 2015 and it is damn good.

    I will accept that a few songs on Self Portrait were, shall we say, idiosyncratic to say the least.

    However his recorded work and the influence he has had on music, as Vin has noted, easily trumps some dodgy efforts.

    I would also add that other artists interpretations of Dylan’s songs show just how expressive his songs are. Here’s a great example:


  5. Thanks Rick… wow

  6. Forty three says

    “Dylan made rock accessible for all bad singers (Leonard Cohen, etc) by being such a bad singer.”

    I think it was more a case of Dylan playing a part in paving the way for singers with character by showing how much more brilliant singers with character are. People who say Dylan can’t sing are usually people who vote for Anthony Callea to win the ‘The Voice’.

  7. I Can’t Help Falling in Love With You. Almost made Sunderland change their theme song, it was so bad.

    His version of PJ Harvey’s Highway 61 Revisited is pretty toilet, too.

  8. Peter Fuller says

    This is an oblique rather than a direct response to Dam’s question. I expect that I’m not the only Almanacker who recalls Eric Bogle’s “Do you sing any Dylan?” It’s a witty piece of doggerel, although “The Band Played Waltzing Matilda” it ain’t.

  9. Mr Dam,
    I do not accept the premise of your question. Your own taste it appears, has robbed you of the chance to enjoy and appreciate of one of the great performers of our time.
    Bob Dylan’s voice is a worderful expressive instrument. Even today, in his twilight years he croaks the lines like an old Bluesman. It matters not, we all know the words anyhow.

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