Everyone covers Dylan: "I Shall Be Released"

So Bob Dylan, right? Great songwriter, terrible singer. More often than not, I enjoy covers of his songs rather than his versions, since his voice tends to kill a song for me. Lucky for you, I'm willing to scour the YouTubes to find you 5 of these great covers of a Dylan song each week. This is an impossible task, especially since the 60s were a time when people unabashedly covered songs and released them as singles or performed them on all those variety shows. All I can guarantee are a variety of versions that are good.

First up, "I Shall Be Released." This song was written by our man Bob in 1967.

Bob Dylan's version was recorded in in 1971 for Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits Vol. II:

Although the first recording of it (according to the 'pedia) was in 1968 by the Band, Dylan's band for a time.

1. Here's the Band at the Express Festival of 1970:

2. Nina Simone's version (1969) gives it some soul:

3. Sting at The Secret Policeman's Other Ball in 1981 reggae-ing it up. You know I love it:

4. The Jerry Garcia Band in 1990 giving a solid version of the song with good solos (organ especially) and mellow soul:

5. Jeff Buckley gets spare on his version on the 1993 album, Live at Sin-é.


  1. I agree...a lot. Bob Dylan. Some people LOVE him. But his voice...I can only take a song now and again, but he is definitely talented and has written great music.

  2. His voice is better on some songs then on others. On "The Times Are a Changin'" I actually don't mind his voice. I think it all depends on how high he may have been at the time.