Sunday, 24 June 2012

The Cover Version - The Swell Season & Liam O Maonlai do Dylan's "Forever Young"






May your hands always be busy. May your feet always be swift. May you have a strong foundation, when the winds of changes shift. May your heart always be joyful.




Liam O Maonlai and the oddly named Swell Season belt out a fine version of Dylan's "Forever Young", the original version, of course, found on the much maligned "Planet Waves" by Bobby and The Band from 1974.

The resonant slow waltz is, not only the highlight of "Waves", but for many, up there with some of Dylan's finest moments.

Dylan has said of the song: "I wrote it thinking about one of my boys and not trying to be too sentimental."

"Forever Young" is a song that's been covered by a plethora of artists really running the range from the sublime (Baez, Cash, et al) to the ridiculous (Rod Stewart et al) .... to the 'beyond f*cking ridiculous' (yap, that would be you, Meat Loaf!) This bijou performance probably fits in the first category.

Recorded for Czech television back in 2008, Marketa Irglova - a native of said great nation (you haven't lived til you've spent some days - and, as importantly, nights - in Prague!) - plus partner in crime, Glen Hansard, are joined by Liam O Maonlai, former lead singer of the bizarre 'yuppy folky' entity that was the 'Hothouse Flowers'.

Well, it's really O Maonlai plus 'backing band', and it's him on lead vocals and plonking on the ivories supported by Hansard on guitar/ backing vocals and Marketa adding her female vocal charms.

Surprisingly, O Maonlai (like Hansard, a name all too often synonymous with excess and OTT-ness!) keeps things restrained here and does a great job, gently building up the song, verse by verse.

Even His Bobness would be impressed.






















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