Speaking Of Great Covers …

A little … context, courtesy of you-know-who.

The Elvis Costello & the Attractions version was first issued as the B-side of Lowe’s 1978 single “American Squirm”, credited to “Nick Lowe and His Sound”. At the time, Lowe was Costello’s producer, and he produced this track as well. When the song became a hit, it was quickly appended as the last track to the US edition of Costello’s album Armed Forces. It has appeared on most of Costello’s “Best of…” compilations over the years, as well as on the soundtrack to the film 200 Cigarettes. Live versions appeared on Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Volume 7: 2002–2003, and 2012’s The Return of the Spectacular Spinning Songbook, both by Elvis Costello and the Attractions. In 2004 Rolling Stone magazine ranked this version of the song as the 284th best song of all time.

Modern Drummer said of drummer Pete Thomas’ performance, “A beautiful thing happens on this song, common to many early Attractions songs. It’s that feeling that the track could derail, when in reality Thomas has everything locked down. He does a lot of playing here without overplaying. Like most Attractions songs from that era, this was cut live, full-band and lead vocal. That’s probably why so many years later, it still sounds so energized and inspired.”

The video for the song was directed by Chuck Statler.

Norm and Bob

When Norm Macdonald was a young comedian, Bob Dylan invited him over to hang out. Norm tweeted the story, but later deleted it. Available here.

When Bob Dylan speaks, his words seem chosen long ago, his sentences are spare, and he looks right at you, and his countenance is stone. He spoke to me for many hours over two days. There was no alcohol or drugs consumed. He was interested only in writing. I remember wishing I had secretly recorded him, and I remember trying as hard as I could to remember every word he said. I remember he talked over and over about verbs and about ‘verbifying’, how anything could be ‘verbified’. He asked me my favorite book of the Bible and I said Job, and he said his favorite was Ecclesiastes. He then told me that the book of Job I was familiar with was not the original, and then he told me the original.