Thursday, May 31, 2012

Cover Me, Day Three : Baby I'm In The Mood For You - Odetta

There are hundreds of Bob Dylan covers to choose from. They range from seminal (The Byrds' Mr. Tambourine Man) to best-avoided  (a quick Google just revealed My Chemical Romance had a go at Desolation Row - has anyone braved a listen?)

I've opted for Odetta's take on Baby I'm In The Mood For You. Odetta was a folk-singer with a background, so I've heard, in opera singing. I could go and check that up, but the past isn't important right now because when the play button is hit on this track, Odetta's in the room - alive and very much present.

I'd seen Odetta Sings Dylan in Mulligan's music shop in Galway (a treasure trove, that place) in the late nineties, but I only really became aware of Odetta when I saw Scorsese's Dylan documentary. It featured this clip and made me go and pilfer a copy of the album from a friend.

It opened with Baby In The Mood For You, and it instantly became one of my favourite Dylan covers. In fact, I'm not sure if it's even a cover anymore - if you asked me to sing it, I'd be attempting the Odetta version. Though it might end up sounding like this.

This is just so much fun to listen to, and it sounds like the singer had a hoot recording it. It kind of makes you wish you were the person Odetta is in the mood for. Her repetition of 'then again, then again' seems to nullify the verses that come before it. Leaving her lonesome home, hitting the highway road, laughing until she cries - all these things are cast aside with glee. The way her voice goes high towards the end of the songs is always a surprise, no matter how may times I listen to it.

Which is a number that keeps increasing. Listen and enjoy.

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