Wednesday 13 March 2024

Knockin' On Heavens Door

Written for the 1973 film Pat Garrett & Billy The Kid, the original single release hit the Top 20 in majority of countries (except France and Germany for some reason? - maybe they're just not big Dylan fan's there).

Based around 4 chords - G D Am / G D C (and repeat) - even the most ham-fisted of guitarists (ie me) can get their chubby fingers around that

Referring to the Second Hand Songs site, which counts the numbers of different versions available:

"Yesterday" = 1252 versions

"My Way" = 679 versions

"Hallelujah" = 608 versions

"(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" = 406 versions

Note: at the other end of the scale The Cockney Rejects "Greatest Cockney Rip Off" has only 2 versions

"Knockin' On Heaven's Door" shows 251 versions

James Last had quickly done a loungey/big band/easy listening version in 1973, before Arthur Louis reggaefied it in 1975, and Eric Clapton (who had played on the Louis version) placed his own stamp on it..

Kevin Coyne - hippified it

Booker T Jones - Stax-ed it

Sisters Of Mercy - added darkness

The Alarm - enormodomed it in a U2 wannabe moment (and came close for a time, but ultimately fell away and returned to small venues)

Guns n Roses - just cos it sold the most, don't make it the best

Bryan Ferry - stylised it on 'Dylanesque'

Tracy Chapman - infused it with raw emotion

Randy Crawford - gospelises it, imbues a bit of soul, but ultimately places it in the middle of the road

Avril Lavigne - delivers a Canadian pop princess version (but how many teenyboppers note the darkness in the lyrics?)

Wyclef Jean - locates it in New York, and casts it as a tribute to Biggie Smalls, Tupac, Princess Aaliyah and other departed R&B rappers (and does a fine Bob Marely impression in the mix too)

Roger Waters - Waters always sounds a bit angry or in pain, and it's no different here

Tom Petty - the  Live At The Filmore sounds more like Dylan than Dylan at times

Warren Zevon - adds a certain poignancy, because he was ...

Enjoy every sandwich

1 comment:

  1. Warren Zevon's version can leave a lump in your throat and a tear in your eye