Bob Dylan Reveals His Favorite Bob Dylan Cover
Bob Dylan - Pawn Stars / Youtube
If we take into consideration the most covered artist of all time, Bob Dylan would perhaps top the list. Dylan’s impact on the music industry is unparalleled. He has inspired numerous musicians to follow a more authentic creative path with the cultural credibility, exquisite poetry, and songwriting strength he has provided during his nearly six-decade-long career. Undoubtedly, Dylan is now universally acknowledged as a legendary figure in the history of popular music.
With that, an extensive range of musicians often pays tribute to the freewheelin’ troubadour, either making a song about him or making their version of Dylan’s songs. Over the years, some of these versions earned Dylan’s approval, but there’s a certain rendition that he singled out and gave praise with all gratitude.
The folk legend stops to laud the praises of an unheralded cover of his work in his autobiography, Chronicles One. It was Johnny Rivers’ rendition of “Positively 4th Street” is the one that won him over, explaining: “Of all the versions of my recorded songs, the Johnny Rivers one was my favorite. It was obvious that we were from the same side of town, had been read the same citations, came from the same musical family, and were cut from the same cloth.”
He added: “Most of the cover versions of my songs seemed to take them out into left field somewhere, but Rivers’s version had the mandate down – the attitude, the melodic sense to complete and surpass even the feeling that I had put into it.”
Dylan’s “Positively 4th Street” was one of the best songs in his extensive canon, yet it was only released as a B-side. We may all be thankful about this, as “Positively 4th Street” is one of Dylan’s finest compositions and was originally meant to be the A-side before being bumped by “Can You Please Crawl Out Your Window?”
Listen to Johnny Rivers’ sleek version of the song below.