A lot of complex, challenging music has featured on this blog recently so I’m going to choose a nice simple song as my track of the week: Bob Dylan’s Lay Lady Lay. (There should be commas in there really but it’s usually written without the punctuation and I’ll stick with that convention.)
The first time I heard Lay Lady Lay on the radio the astonished D.J. exclaimed, “What has happened to his voice?”. The usual high, nasal tones had been replaced by the deep resonance you get sometimes with a throat infection. It didn’t sound like Dylan at all. The instrumental accompaniment was very different, too. This was no off-beat folk singer with a guitar and a harmonica. There was a country feel from a pedal guitar, a background wash of keyboards and an infectious beat supplied by bongos and cowbell.
For a while I doubted that this was Bob Dylan at all. Then, putting the doubts aside, I began to enjoy the song. Many others have enjoyed it, too. It has been covered by lots of different artists – even Kevin Ayers did a cover! There’s nothing better for a laid-back Sunday afternoon.
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