Friday, April 10, 2009

I Want You

Bob Dylan's "I Want You" is one of my favorite songs, only not when Dylan sings it. Don't get me wrong -- I think Dylan is a fine performer, and Blonde on Blonde is one of my favorite albums. It's just that Dylan's version of "I Want You" is a bit too folky or melancholy or flat or boring. In the context of Blonde on Blonde, it's perfectly decent.

At least two other singers have done better renditions.

In the original broadcast of Bob Dylan's 30th Anniversary Special, someone named Sophie B. Hawkins did an excellent cover of "I Want You" that came closer to fulfilling the divine nature of what the song could have been had not Bob Dylan flattened the song. For some reason likely related to a financial dispute, Hawkins' version isn't on the video or the album. Hey, here it is:

While reading a book about Bruce Springsteen called Born to Run, I read that Bruce did a version of this song as well. Twitterpated, I had to skip my fatherly duties and go find it. This is especially bad because today is Wendy's birthday, and I'm ignoring everyone to hunt down Mr. Springsteen's version. Here's Bruce Springsteen's version, which contains the appropriate degree of longing: