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

The Martin Drew Band w. Brian Smith: Child is Born (1977)

The Martin Drew Band w. Brian Smith: Child is Born (1977)

For many decades Martin Drew - who died in 2010 -- was the go-to drummer in Britain. A partial list, which he drew up himself, of the people he'd played with included Lee Konitz, Woody Herman,... > Read more

The Beatles: Three Cool Cats (1962)

The Beatles: Three Cool Cats (1962)

Among the many odd things about the Beatles audition for Decca Records on January 1 1962 wasn't that the company's Dick Rowe famously turned them down saying they sounded too much like the Shadows... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

A HARD DAY'S NIGHT, REMASTERED AND REISSUED (2014): All they had to do was act naturally

A HARD DAY'S NIGHT, REMASTERED AND REISSUED (2014): All they had to do was act naturally

At the same time as the Beatles were filming their first feature A Hard Day's Night, the once-great Elvis Presley was cranking out mindless Hollywood movies such as Fun in Acapulco and Kissin'... > Read more

WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT . . . TEX WITHERS: Country'n'Western from the East End

WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT . . . TEX WITHERS: Country'n'Western from the East End

The more you try to find out about Tex Withers, the more confusing it can become. One thing everyone agrees on however is that this country music singer in London – who insisted he had... > Read more