Monday, June 21, 2010

The New Dylan, The Old Springsteen

Looking on-line for an appropriate sound track to CHRONICLES,
Bob Dylan's memoirs, I came across this cover by Bruce Springsteen
of one of Dylan's greatest songs:

I Want You.

It's an amazing version, both awkward and heart-breakingly beautiful.
It's from Before Born to Run, a period of his career where Springsteen was
known as the New Bob Dylan, but this version is not the version of younger
man.  The younger singer stole a back page from older and aged the song.

While the great original version expresses the frustration of the young
and self-assured at being unable to extend his feeling of power as far
as the object of his desire, in Springsteen's version the vocal is
secondary to a haunting high-pitched drone which feels like nothing
less than the accumulation of loss that we are forced to carry around
as we grow older.

The cover goes off the rail a bit - also sounding quite like
I Came For You, itself a song of young potency  - when he sings
about fathers and true love and not thinking about it, because otherwise 
he's singing from that period of life when you hold onto the most painful
love the hardest, fearing that when the pain is gone, it'll be all over
for you and love.  And in your numbness you'll feel yourself
living that much closer to death.

No comments: