The Sound Symposium: It Ain't Me Babe (1969)

 |   |  1 min read

The Sound Symposium: It Ain't Me Babe (1969)

In his liner essay to the new Bob Dylan Bootleg Series collection Another Self Portrait, the writer Greil Marcus makes a disparaging comment about the string arrangement on the original version of Copper Kettle which appeared on Dylan's Self Portrait collection in 1970.

He jibes that while the song stood out on that album, the strings sounded like The  Longines Symphonette Society Does Bob Dylan.

We don't need to have heard them, we get what he means.

Dylan however has made some interesting comments about arrangements and also noted, rather tartly, in his book Chronicles that while most people turned attention on his lyrics, songwriters knew he wrote tunes as well.

True, and his songs have been subjected to many instrumental treatments . . . possibly by the Longines Symphonette Society who specialised in easy listening.

I don't have access to whatever they might have done to Dylan, but this particular track comes from an ensemble who, prior to doing the album Bob Dylan Interpreted from which this is lifted, had done the albums Paul Simon Interpreted and Contemporary Composers Interpreted (Lennon-McCartney featuring, of course).

The arrangments are by Paul Harris and the liner notes to this Dylan one say, "The Sound Symposium is fast becoming America's foremost interpreter of contemporary music. This album will tell you why".

You be the judge, but if nothing else it does prove Dylan's point. He also wrote tunes. 

For more oddities, one-offs or songs with an interesting backstory use the RSS feed for daily updates, and check the massive back-catalogue at From the Vaults.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   From the Vaults articles index

Tim Hollier: Full Fathoms Five (1968)

Tim Hollier: Full Fathoms Five (1968)

The title of this song by an obscure and unfairly overlooked British psych-folkie would be familiar to followers of New Zealand music, and those who know the works of the Bard. The line comes... > Read more

Tom Waits and the Kronos Quartet: Diamond in Your Mind (2007)

Tom Waits and the Kronos Quartet: Diamond in Your Mind (2007)

With a new Tom Waits album Bad As Me due in late October (his first studio album in seven years), it is timely to prime the pump with a little known item From the Vaults. In 2007 at a concert in... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

THE AUSTRALIANS: ORIGINS TO EUREKA by THOMAS KENEALLY

THE AUSTRALIANS: ORIGINS TO EUREKA by THOMAS KENEALLY

Among the many peculiarities in this wrinkled history of the Australian people -- from pre-European times through the First Fleet and up to the Eureka Stockade -- is that one of the first strikes... > Read more

Jethro Tull, Al Stewart: Hanging on the telephone.

Jethro Tull, Al Stewart: Hanging on the telephone.

Rock journalists in this country need little reminding that we live a long way from the action. But the reminders come every time a record company or promoter says that deathless phrase,... > Read more