JASON & THE SCORCHERS "Absolutely Sweet Marie" (1983)

“Absolutely Sweet Marie” (1983)
The Second Best Bob Cover?

Most of the civilized world agrees that Jimi Hendrix’s electrified version of “All Along The Watchtower” is probably the best BD cover to date, largely for its complete re-invention of Bob’s original acoustic composition. But… what might be the second best Bob cover? Submitted for your approval is Jason And The Scorchers’ “Absolutely Sweet Marie,” a rave-up of hillbilly testosterone that reshapes BD’s original into an all new, catchier-than-all-get-out barn burner. Besides its energy, the cover’s simple brilliance is in turning the phrase “Where are you tonight?” into a repeated chorus. Of course, it may only be the 148th best Bob cover, but pop it into your player for a few days and you won’t be able to shake it. From the band’s 1983 debut EP, Fervor.

17 Comments

  • 1
    CooperTrooper
    August 8, 2008 - 10:56 | Permalink

    Jason beats Hendrix mate!

    Hendrix is ok…but these guys have more energy in one song than Hendrix has in an album.

  • 2
    Festus Von Gunsmoke
    September 1, 2008 - 06:32 | Permalink

    I was lucky enough to once see these guys open for Dylan, and this cover brought down the house. I'm sure Bob was pleased…. it's probably the only reason they were there.

  • 3
    The Riverboat Captain
    September 26, 2008 - 20:48 | Permalink

    It's how my blog was named. I once saw the Scorchers upstairs in a pub in Brighton, UK – the gig was called off after four songs or so as the downstairs bar ceiling was falling in. Country pogoing!

  • 4
    MoreLove
    April 21, 2009 - 14:09 | Permalink

    Hate to be the contrarian but this cover leaves me cold (always did).

    Jason and the Scorchers seem to wring every ounce of irony out of the song and deliver it "straight," whereas, coming from Dylan, we get a shitkicker song from the mouth of a cerebral, which charges the song with anticipation and layered meaning. Coming from Jason et.al., the song sounds like a meaningless vehicle for a somewhat mediocre band seeking attention.

  • 5
    CooperTrooper
    April 21, 2009 - 16:56 | Permalink

    "Somewhat mediocre"?…..

    …they don't come anymore mediocre than Dylan!

    …Bloke sends me to sleep!

  • 6
    Anonymous
    April 21, 2009 - 18:42 | Permalink

    Blame it on attention span. The previous comment was saying that the Scorchers were mediocre, not Dylan.

  • 7
    CooperTrooper
    April 21, 2009 - 22:51 | Permalink

    And I'm saying Dylan is.

  • 8
    MoreLove
    May 8, 2009 - 14:20 | Permalink

    "Mediocre"… I don't think that word means what you think it means.

  • 9
    Capt. Willard
    November 15, 2009 - 03:13 | Permalink

    .
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    Search HERE
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  • 10
    Anonymous
    November 20, 2009 - 17:53 | Permalink

    mediocre bloke? i expect nothing less from a rotten toothed, panty wearing limey about the most prolific poet of the 20th century. good music from britan is all stolen blues from here anyway.

  • 11
    October 3, 2011 - 09:31 | Permalink

    Here’s some other great ones:

    Them – It’s All Over Now Baby Blue
    Jimi Hendrix – Like A Rolling Stone
    Fairport Convention – Percy’s Song
    Fairport Convention – Million Dollar Bash
    The Byrds – My Back Pages
    The Byrds – You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere
    Wire Train – God On Our Side
    Leon Russell – A Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall
    Emmylou Harris – Every Grain of Sand
    Ian & Sylvia – This Wheel’s On Fire
    Linda Ronstadt – Baby You’ve Been On My Mind
    Sam Cooke – Blowin’ In The Wind

    • 12
      Fred
      October 4, 2011 - 18:08 | Permalink

      I submit Youssou N’Dour’s version of Chimes of Freedom as a great, virtually unknown, Dylan cover.

      • 13
        Willard
        October 5, 2011 - 10:47 | Permalink

        Thanks for the slew of other greats being mentioned here.

  • 14
    Jer
    October 3, 2011 - 13:01 | Permalink

    Best/Most Unlikely: Cheap Trick’s manic “Please, Mrs. Henry,” which they used to tear up for 9-10 minutes in their ’77-era live act.

  • 15
    eric b
    October 3, 2011 - 20:39 | Permalink

    Try the Van Morrison live version of Just Like a Woman (from Pacific High) ca. 1971 (?). That’s the best Dylan cover, period. Better than the Hendrix too.

  • 16
    Max Frost
    October 3, 2011 - 21:54 | Permalink

    I’ve always liked Frank Black’s version of Changing of the Guard. But Cheap Tricks version of Please Mrs. Henry is pretty damn cool–thanks for that video!

  • 17
    Paul McClelland
    October 4, 2011 - 21:39 | Permalink

    Very possibly, Harrison was familiar with this version before he sang the song at the “Dylan-Fest” at the garden in the early 90’s. It has the same energy. (George’s was a bit slower)

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