October 20, 2007

Exclusive! Eddie Vedder & The Million Dollar Bashers, “All Along The Watchtower”

The new Dylan biopic I’m Not There takes the interesting, surrealistic angle of illustrating Bob at different stages of his life through the rubric of six distinctively different actors (including a black man and a woman): Cate Blanchett, Heath Ledger, Marcus Carl Franklin, Richard Gere, Ben Whishaw, and Christian Bale. I am very curious to see how this works itself out in the film – at least it’s a fresh angle (I mean, how many Dylan movies can you make?).

In addition to this creative lens used in the film to examine the man himself, the soundtrack is a double disc jamboree of some pretty cool Dylan covers, including disc 1, track 1 with Eddie Vedder & The Million Dollar Bashers covering “All Along The Watchtower.” Fuel/Friends is pleased as punch to get an exclusive stream for you guys to take your first listen of this!

“All Along The Watchtower”

Stream FLASH

And who are said Million Dollar Bashers? It’s Wilco’s god-like guitarist Nels Cline, Lee Ranaldo and Steve Shelley (from Sonic Youth), bass player Tony Garnier, keyboardist John Medeski (from Martin, Medeski and Wood), and guitarist Smokey Hormel (onetime Beck guitarist, Smokey & Miho). I never thought I’d hear musicians from those bands all jam together. The guitar solo (assumedly from Nels?) is pretty blazing, and Vedder’s got the seething caged scream goin’ on.

Historical tie-in from last summer: there was an absolutely scorching live version of this song that full-band Pearl Jam did in San Francisco (when Sonic Youth opened), climaxing in a very rock n roll moment of Mike McCready giving his guitar the Townshend treatment and then surfing on it across the stage. PJ has played Watchtower 4 times live before, but that was my favorite. If you’d like to hear that one as well, the link over on that old post still surprisingly works.

You can also stream four other full songs from the biopic over on the soundtrack’s MySpace (the ones by Sufjan Stevens, Cat Power, Jeff Tweedy, and Jim James with Calexico). Among others, I’m also looking forward to hearing Mason Jennings’ two contributions, The Black Keys cover of Wicked Messenger, and The Hold Steady enticing me to climb out my window. The soundtrack is out October 30, and the film opens Thanksgiving weekend.

Would you like to win one of two copies I have to giveaway of this lovely double disc? Of course you would. Leave me a comment to enter, make sure I have a way to contact you (might wanna spell out that email addy), and if you feel so inclined, please let’s talk about your favorite Dylan cover. So I can wrap this up before I head to NYC, this contest ends Wednesday at midnight.

Disc 1
1. Eddie Vedder & the Million Dollar Bashers: “All Along the Watchtower”
2. Sonic Youth: “I’m Not There”
3. Jim James and Calexico: “Goin’ to Acapulco”
4. Richie Havens: “Tombstone Blues”
5. Stephen Malkmus & the Million Dollar Bashers: “Ballad of a Thin Man”
6. Cat Power: “Stuck Inside of Mobile With the Memphis Blues Again”
7. John Doe: “Pressing On”
8. Yo La Tengo: “Fourth Time Around”
9. Iron and Wine and Calexico: “Dark Eyes”
10. Karen O and the Million Dollar Bashers: “Highway 61 Revisited”
11. Roger McGuinn and Calexico: “One More Cup of Coffee”
12. Mason Jennings: “The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll”
13. Los Lobos: “Billy”
14. Jeff Tweedy: “Simple Twist of Fate”
15. Mark Lanegan: “The Man in the Long Black Coat”
16. Willie Nelson and Calexico: “Señor (Tales of Yankee Power)”

Disc 2
1. Mira Billotte: “As I Went Out One Morning”
2. Stephen Malkmus and Lee Ranaldo: “Can’t Leave Her Behind”
3. Sufjan Stevens: “Ring Them Bells”
4. Charlotte Gainsbourg and Calexico: “Just Like a Woman”
5. Jack Johnson: “Mama You’ve Been on My Mind”
6. Yo La Tengo: “I Wanna Be Your Lover”
7. Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova: “You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere”
8. The Hold Steady: “Can You Please Crawl Out Your Window”
9. Ramblin’ Jack Elliott: “Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues”
10. The Black Keys: “Wicked Messenger”
11. Tom Verlaine and the Million Dollar Bashers: “Cold Irons Bound”
12. Mason Jennings: “The Times They Are a-Changin’”
13. Stephen Malkmus and the Million Dollar Bashers: “Maggie’s Farm”
14. Marcus Carl Franklin: “When the Ship Comes In”
15. Bob Forrest: “Moonshiner”
16. John Doe: “I Dreamed I Saw St. Augustine”
17. Antony and the Johnsons: “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door”
18. Bob Dylan: “I’m Not There”

[Vedder photo credit Kerensa Wight, header image credit Playlist]


  • holy toledo – look at that track list!

    Heather — October 22, 2007 @ 2:22 pm

  • Yo, yo … give up the rock.

    ray (at) kslq (dot) com

    Ray — October 22, 2007 @ 2:42 pm

  • A few years ago I saw Greg Brown, folk troubadour of the Midwest, play a late-summer outdoor show on a sticky Sunday evening just outside Philadelphia. The crowd was spread out on a giant field covered in picnic blankets, with Greg playing under a gazebo. He opened the show with a cover of “Not Dark Yet,” from Dylan’s Time Out of Mind. A surprising latter-period cover, but perfect for Greg’s warm, rumbling baritone, which always sounds like it’s carrying the weight of the world. Even though it’s now almost November, as I sit here remembering him sing “Sometimes my burden seems more than I can bear/ It’s not dark yet, but it’s getting there,” with the sun setting off to our left, damn if I don’t feel mosquitoes start to swarm.

    jeffreybarg at gmaildotcom

    Uncle Jeff — October 22, 2007 @ 3:52 pm

  • Ah Heather! You’ve done it again. One of my personal faves is Johnny Cash’s chug-a-lug rendition of “Mama, You’ve Been On My Mind” offa “Orange Blossom Special”!! Have you heard? Enjoy yer trip to NYC…let me know if you need any recs!


    Doctor Mooney — October 22, 2007 @ 4:26 pm

  • A bit trite, but I’ll have to go with the Byrds version of “My Back Pages.” There is also a Neil Young live version of “Blowin’ In the Wind” that I’m fond of, which you can find on youtube.

    Azor — October 22, 2007 @ 5:02 pm

  • Oops, forgot my e-mail above: azor_99@hotmail.com

    Azor — October 22, 2007 @ 5:04 pm

  • Since Tweedy is on the soundtrack, how about a funny Dylan moment via Jeff Tweedy? I have a copy of a Tweedy solo show from when his oldest son was about three or four years old. Jeff is putting on his harmonica, blows into it and says, Ya know, my son had something to say about this the other day. We were in the living room and he was looking at albums and he said, Daddy plays the harmonica and Bob Dylan plays that harmonica…… but Daddy’s NOT Bob Dylan. Someone in the audience yells, But he’s close! Jeff laughs and says, I wish.


    Ruralgurl — October 22, 2007 @ 8:21 pm

  • I’ve always considered my favorite Dylan cover to be Masters of War (as many others do I’m sure) but Tweedy singing “Simple Twist of Fate” just gave me chills. Amazing voice for what is absolutely one of my favorite songs off the best Dylan album in my humble opinion.

    slaskaris — October 22, 2007 @ 8:31 pm

  • Pick me pick me!

    A favorite Dylan cover is almost impossible–there are so many–but the best has to be Jimi Hendrix’s All Along the Watchtower.

    Ekko — October 23, 2007 @ 3:37 am

  • I’m always intrigued to hear anybody’s take on Highway 61 Revisited – definitely my favorite Dylan tune.

    awhosmon [at] yahoo [dot] com

    A Hostyle Takeover — October 23, 2007 @ 11:21 am

  • I’ll vote for PJ Harvey’s “Shot Of Love” as my favorite Dylan cover – though I don’t think it was an official release… I found mine back in the salad days of Napster :-)
    Thanks for my chance to win!

    Anonymous — October 23, 2007 @ 11:50 am

  • i hate to say it, but bob dylan’s greatest hits vol 2. i think it captures a lot of who bob dylan is, spanning his career. not young, not old… you get his crazy fro, but its not totally out of control.. guitar strap, and harmonic… placid look.

    i also just love the blue hue through the picture.. grainy like bob’s voice, and blue, cool, like bob’s character.


    Steve — October 23, 2007 @ 11:53 am

  • First time poster here and I gotta say your blog blows me away! The Mats/Westerberg caserole is FANTASTIC! My 2 cents: Eddie/Pearl Jam….”Masters of War,” I vividly remember the first time I heard that and the chills it sent up my spine(w/that tingly feeling running through my head). Dylan had a way with words and singing; he sent the message but the Pearl Jam cover….delivers it! I also grew up with and still love Manfred Mann’s cover of “Quinn the Eskimo” ahhhh I can remember playing my mom’s 45′s on my show n’tell(which I still have!)


    Chris — October 23, 2007 @ 2:17 pm

  • Can’t wait to see the flick.

    My favourite Dylan cover…Old Crow Medicine Show doing “Wagon Wheel” off their self-titled 2004 disc.

    It’s more than just a cover. Dylan never completed this tune, which was to be included in the “Pat Garrett & Billy The Kid” soundtrack. OCMS took the chorus and then added some new verses. It’s a fine tune.

    mimo70 — October 23, 2007 @ 3:03 pm

  • This one is really hard!! Let me think, let my think…. Probably the kind of low fi version of “Mama You’ve been on my mind” by Jeff Bucley in the extra tracks of “Grace”. Simple and beautiful.
    Heather, you are doing a great job!!! Saludos desde Argentina. Julián
    juliancostoya hotmail dot com

    Anonymous — October 23, 2007 @ 3:44 pm

  • Hard to pick a favorite, so I’ll go with two. Susan Tedeschi belting out “Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright” with that bluesy voice of hers, and of course, Jimi Hendrix’s “All Along The Watchtower”.

    And to anonymous who mentioned Edie Brickell’s “Hard Rain”: Right on!! I love that one too.

    email is lunashawn at msn.com

    Shawn — October 23, 2007 @ 7:39 pm

  • Although I’d love to pick Jerry Lewis’s version of “Blowin’ in the Wind”, I personally like Robyn Hitchcock’s “Visions of Johanna”

    eganias at nyc dot rr dot com

    Eli — October 23, 2007 @ 8:13 pm

  • Daer ‘I am fuel, you are friends”, you make with this contest friends indeed.
    The best Dylan covers for me are Andrew Birds Oh Ssiter, it a shame its not on the disc, but from this one I choose Sufjan Stevens’ Ring them bells, its a brave choice and nice jazzed up, but Dylan’s take is much better of this haunting song. Keep up the good work! Greetings from the Netherlands, Niek (niekvanlopik at gmail dot com)

    Anonymous — October 24, 2007 @ 1:58 pm

  • Favorite Dylan covers:

    Seven Days by Ronnie Wood

    Wicked Messenger by Patti Smith

    Million Dollar Bash by Richard Thompson

    I Threw It All Away by Elvis Costello

    Brociner at a o l dot com

    David — October 24, 2007 @ 3:33 pm

  • I have to go with Them’s It’s all over now Baby Blue. I love Van Morrison and this cover has the same vibe but a more rocky enjoyable flavor.

    Andie East — October 24, 2007 @ 4:13 pm

  • WOW,, all these great responses and not one of them mentioned any covers sung by George Harrison….Maybe it’s time to RE-educate the masses????

    Love your page…..

    paul — October 25, 2007 @ 12:42 am

  • If the argument is that a song is only as great as it is influential, then I’ll have to go with the Byrds’ version of “You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere”, which leads off “Sweetheart of the Rodeo”. The inheritors of the sound created on that album are far too numerous to mention here.

    On the other hand, if the argument is that a song is only as great as it is different-from/breathes-new-life-into the original, then again, I’ve got to go with “You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere” by the Byrds. Roger McGuinn screws up the lyrics so badly, that Dylan has to call him out for it in a later version of the song. And yeah, I do see that as a way of renewing the song, much in the same way that playing a game of “telephone” gives the original message new meanings. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think anyone has ever needed to make one of Dylan’s songs better, but here the Byrds do Bob one better by trying their damndest to make his tunes sound just a little worse. And by extension, a little more human.


    JoeyC — October 25, 2007 @ 5:09 pm

  • The best Dylan cover is “Maggie’s Farm” by Rage Against the Machine. They definitely showed just how angry Dylan was when he wrote it

    M.F, theqmaster at hotmail dot com

    Anonymous — October 28, 2007 @ 10:37 am

  • Containing 31 previously unreleased tracks, this two–CD set highlights the past two decades of LaFave’s growth both as a songwriter and as a prime interpreter of Dylan material. Here he tackles no less than a dozen of Dylan’s classics, ranging from the opening “Positively 4th Street” to “Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues” to the quiet stillness of “If Not for You.” Equally as satisfying are LaFave’s own originals, with “Red Dirt Roads at Night,” “Burden to Bear,” “How It Must Remain,” “Ellie’s Song,” “Loved You Like Rainbows” and “The Open Road” all being particularly compelling statements. The sound, taken from live performances and radio broadcasts from Texas and around the world, is rough and right, giving this an official bootleg kind of feel that fits the music nicely.” 4 1/2 stars, All Music Guide

    You really have to listen to Jimmy LaFave.I heard him a few years ago at the Experience Music Project performing in a Woody Guthrie tribute.

    classof75 — October 30, 2007 @ 12:30 am

  • Johnny Winter’s “Highway 61 Revisited”,

    Jimi’s “Watchtower,”

    Los Lobos “On a Night Like This,”

    Will Deuel — November 9, 2007 @ 3:13 pm

  • Hey joker. Tom Verlaine was one of the Million Dollar Bashers as well – not just a guest.

    jrr — June 13, 2012 @ 7:52 pm

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Bio Pic Name: Heather Browne
Location: Colorado, originally by way of California
Giving context to the torrent since 2005.

"I love the relationship that anyone has with music: because there's something in us that is beyond the reach of words, something that eludes and defies our best attempts to spit it out. It's the best part of us, probably, the richest and strangest part..."
—Nick Hornby, Songbook
"Music has always been a matter of energy to me, a question of Fuel. Sentimental people call it Inspiration, but what they really mean is Fuel."
—Hunter S. Thompson

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