Sunday, 2 April 2017

'...I'm Gonna Look at You 'til My Eyes Go Blind."

Over the past week or two, I’ve been on a bit of a Sheryl Crow kick, largely thanks to rediscovering her cover of one of my most-liked Bob Dylan songs.

She has one of my favourite female voices, yet despite this, I only own one CD and that’s just a single (her '97 release ‘Hard to Make a Stand’); on that basis, you can only imagine how much of her back catalogue I’d own if I hated her (it would fall into minus-figures). Dylan, conversely, takes up more of my collection than anyone else, save The Beatles and Paul McCartney’s solo work. He’s one of those artists who, when you get him, you really get him - and once I’d tuned into his style as a student, I'd time and again be blown away by his lyrics; he’ll have more jaw-dropping imagery in one track than other people fit in a whole career.

These days, I mostly listen to music in the morning when getting ready, and more often than not, this will consist of a suggested YouTube playlist when I’m in the bath, reaching out with a wet hand once in a while to skip a song I just can’t face. The other day, for no particular reason, Sheryl Crow’s version of Mississippi popped into my head and I had the urge to listen to it, which has since led to the odd other song or two of hers filtering through; I’d forgotten how well-constructed her stuff is, and how many great singles she’s released.

Mississippi is a lesser-known, yet hugely uplifting track from Dylan’s 2001 'Love and Theft'; an album that never grabbed me hugely (it’s not a patch on his extraordinary 1997 LP 'Time Out of Mind'; yes, I said “LP”). While I love Dylan’s version, Crow’s voice gives the bridge even more joy-filled impact; it’s a great marriage of performance and lyrics. I’ve head it in my head on and off ever since I went back to it. It’s reminded me it’s high time I actually committed some money to Sheryl Crow’s work, rather than just listening to it through sneaky free sources. Oh, and as an aside; it’s taken every ounce of concentration to not accidentally type Cheryl Cole here at least once.

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