Revisit David Lynch’s perfectly strange cover of a Bob Dylan classic
Though David Lynch is famed for his films and TV shows, the mercurial auteur has also taken a turn in the recording studio. Back in 2013, acclaimed filmmaker David Lynch released his third studio album in the shape of his experiment electronic rock blues album The Big Dream.
The record consisted of 12 “modern blues” songs and was recorded and produced by Lynch himself alongside the help of his longtime musical collaborator Dean Hurley. During that recording, Lynch would take on another auteur, the brilliant Bob Dylan.
Setting up at Lynch’s own Asymmetrical Studio in Los Angeles at some point in 2012, the duo put together an album that received international acclaim and registered in the official charts. When asked about his songwriting process, Lynch once said that “sometimes the lyrics come first but mostly the music is talking to you about how it wants to be, and then the lyrics are born out of that.”
The album’s release was built on a series of cryptic and mysterious social media posts by Lynch until, eventually, he released the lead single which was double A-side single ‘Are You Sure”/”Star Dream Girl’. Following that, the second single revealed a collaboration with Swedish singer-songwriter Lykke Li in ‘I’m Waiting Here’.
With fans unsure of what was to come with the final product, Lynch surprised many by including a cover of iconic Bob Dylan song ‘The Ballad of Hollis Brown’ which sat in the middle of the tracklisting. It sat as a prized, if not slightly strange, jewel in the middle of Lynch’s surprisingly well-put-together musical crowd.
When asked about the Dylan cover, Lynch seemingly dampened the significance of its inclusion and said it is “not really a cover of Bob Dylan as much as it is a cover of a Nina Simone cover of Bob Dylan” before adding that its inclusion was an “important for the sequence of the album.” If there’s a more Lynchian reason for including a song on an album you will ever hear.
Below it is included with Simone and Dylan’s versions: