Posted 26th January 2011 00:30 IPThey're all terrific, if you ask me, and I wouldn't want to have to choose between them. Keen listeners will have noticed that the song sung by Wilbert Harrison and Fats Domino actually has little more than the title refrain in common with that sung by Little Richard/Beatles/Graham Parker.
There's also the interesting question of how much of Hey Hey Hey Hey the Beatles actually include in what is after all intended to be a medley. But that's not a gripe at all; the record's perfect.
Now to Dylan and Cash.
Dylan is so hard -- such a varied oeuvre. I could name a hundred indispensable recordings off the top of my head. But if I had to choose just one, I would go for "The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll" (in the version on the "Times They Are a Changing" collection). Or I would today, at least. Youtube doesn't have it, unfortunately. It doesn't have much McZimmy at all, actually.
Now, Johnny Cash. I completely buy the idea of him as a country singer in the great tradition, but I donít share the view that in tackling pop and rock material, as he did on those later albums with Rick Rubin, he was simply playing to the gallery. I was tempted to choose his version of a piece of U2 fluff (ďOneĒ) to show what a great performer could do with the most unpromising of material. I didnít go quite that far, but then again Neil Diamond is no Hank Williams.