Welcome back Under The Covers Sunday with this Week’s debut, for 2018, with Band Of Skulls covering a Quintessential Bob Dylan Song, “It Ain’t Me Babe”. Settle in to learn a little about the Original Song, and the Origin of the Cover Version. By the end, you can do a little Compare and Contrast between the Cover and the Original, and decide which you love more. Sometimes its a toss-up, and both are divine. Its fun, too, to check out whether it is more of a Tribute to the Original, or a unique, creative take on it, or maybe a bit of both.
So, let’s get started. Let’s press play together and have a listen to Band Of Skulls Version, taken off of the Bob Dylan Tribute Album, Chimes Of Freedom: The Songs of Bob Dylan, Honoring 50 Years of Amnesty International.
“It Ain’t Me Babe” by Band Of Skulls
“It Ain’t Me Babe” is Originally written and performed by Bob Dylan. It appeared first on his fourth Album, Another Side of Bob Dylan, released by Columbia Records in 1964. It has been said that this Song, and the Album as a whole, marked a departure for Dylan. Oliver Trager noted that it chronicled Dylan “as he began to explore the possibilities of language and deeper levels of human experience.” (from Wikipedia)
Soon after its release the Song was covered by The Turtles and Johnny Cash. The latter sang it as a duet with June Carter. It has been covered by many more artists, including Janis Joplin, Jan And Dean, Joan Baez, Nancy Sinatra, Bryan Ferry, Kesha, Band Of Skulls (who we are exploring today), and others.
Many sources cite that Dylan was inspired to write this Song because of his relationship with former girlfriend Suze Rotolo. He has said to have written the Song during a visit to Italy in 1963, while he was looking for Rotolo, who was studying there at the time. The notion of him “looking for her” makes it sound to me like she didn’t necessarily want him there, which gives an unsettling feeling to it. Maybe it was in that search that he realized it wasn’t him she wanted?
The Album itself was notoriously recorded in one night. It was an all-night studio session that is said to have been aided by “a couple of bottles of Beaujolais.” The last master take was completed at 1:30am.
According to various sources, the opening line to “It Ain’t Me Babe” (“Go away from my window”) is a shout-out to fellow folk-singer John Jacob Niles’ Song “Go ‘Way From My Window”.
“Go ‘Way From My Window” by John Jacob Niles
The lyric “no, no, no, it ain’t me babe” is also said to be a call-back to The Beatles’ “she loves you, yeah, yeah, yeah”, from their Hit Song, “She Loves You”, which the girl in Dylan’s Song obviously does not.
“She Loves You” by The Beatles
Band Of Skulls are from Southampton in the UK. They are an Indie Rock trio that consists of Russell Marsden (vocals and guitar), Emma Richardson (vocals and bass), and Matt Hayward (drums). The three formed the band in college, where they met, though Russell and Matt had been pals since they were kids. They have released four studio Albums, so far.
Their overall style is Indie Rock meets Blues Rock. In 2017, Matt Hayward reportedly left the band. It will be interesting to see if Russell and Emma continue. I hope so.
Let’s have a listen to Dylan’s Original:
“It Ain’t Me Babe” by Bob Dylan
Though I am partial to the Original (I love Dylan), I’m pretty fond of the Band Of Skulls cover. I’ve added it to many Playlists and Mixes. What do you think? Do you prefer the Cover or the Original? Do you like another Cover of “It Ain’t Me Babe” better?
Check back in Next Sunday to see what Song I cover next. You won’t want to miss it!