“It’s true. I wouldn’t be compiling this list if it wasn’t for Bob Dylan’s Like A Rolling Stone. Push comes to shove, it’s still probably the single record I’d grab if the house was burning down (which it is, by the way). Because it marks the moment at which the Apocalypse got interesting to me, when the big story I care about kicked into gear. It’s the snare shot to be specific, the one at the very beginning. That’s what did it – kicked the proverbial door wide open, and it’s all been wild urgency ever since. But you’ve already heard that record at least a thousand times, so it doesn’t qualify for this list. But I bet you haven’t heard the live version, from 1974’s Before the Flood, Dylan and the Band raving it up like the anthem it is, saving the world one night at a time. Because everything just keeps on exploding. Same as it ever was.” (Philip Random)
I’d listened to this on vinyl when it came out, but listening now I find it strange how Dylan’s early ’70s voice on this cut sounds so unlike him as I, at least, hold him in my memory. Yes the Dylan phrasing is sort of there, but if you didn’t know the cut, or if Garth Hudson’s organ swirls weren’t a give-away, you might wonder who was doing a Dylan cover.
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