Mr. Absolute Utmost
The series is back, this time with a little twist. The song is not a true garage band staple, and Dylan isn't a garage rocker by most standards. But let's break it down. Dylan started out as a folkie/protest singer (a pose that he has said was merely to break into the recording biz). Within a few, short years, he hooked up with the Hawks (later The Band), went electric, and became the first truly outrageous performer since Little Richard. His proto-punk persona influenced countless bands of all types.
As the Catalogue of Cool once put it, for a few years, he was Mr. Absolute Utmost.
Baby Blue was covered by three contemporary garage bands: Them, The 13th Floor
Elevators, and the Chocolate Watch Band. Van Morrison's vocals on Them's version are straightahead blues, while the other two venture into psychedelic terratory. It's notable that it was this song and not one of Dylan's more raucous numbers (Subterranian Homesick Blues, Highway 61) that the aforementioned bands chose to cover. Not surprising, since it contains some of Dylan's best writing.
In addition to the three versions above, here are the original from the man himself, and a nice treatment by Matthew Sweet and Suzanna Hoffs.
It's All Over Now, Baby Blue [ZIP file 43MB]
Have you ever heard the version of "It's All Over Now Baby Blue" that showed up as a bonus track on The Byrds' "Easy Rider" CD? It sounds like the Eagles heard it and patterned their early sound on it!
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