Sunday, January 25, 2015

The Boxer

Having decided
He's a tragic boxer type,
A loser goes home.

Bob Dylan recorded Simon & Garfunkel's "The Boxer" for his 1970 album "Self Portrait." Whether the album really was Dylan's attempt to shake off fans and fame by recording a bunch of other people's pop hits, soft vocal standards and his own b-team music is up for debate. What's undeniable is that his version of this song borders on parody. As one music critic, I forget who, said of this cover that Dylan's voice is double tracked and neither voice is on time or on key or in sync with the other. It sounds to me like an intentionally horrible piss take on the original, which is one of Simon & Garfunkel's most soaring and big moments on tape. As with most of Dylan's lesser moments, however, this one in its short, stark simplicity grew on me after a while, if only because I like seeing just how far you can go with a song before you break it.

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