Where would the world of music be without The Beatles and Bob Dylan? Together they’ve had a bigger, benevolent, impact on society than just about anybody else. They represent proof of what famous beat writer William S. Burroughs was talking about when he said: “Artists to my mind are the real architects of change and not the political legislators who implement change after the fact.”
The duo spearheaded the counterculture movement and ushered in a new age for music. Strangely enough, perhaps the Prince of Darkness himself, Mr Ozzy Osbourne, described it best: “The only way I can describe it, is like this, ‘Imagine you go to bed today and the world is black and white and then you wake up, and everything’s in colour. That’s what it was like!’ That’s the profound effect it had on me.”
It is no surprise that the two colour-giving forces of the sixties crossed paths quite often and became enormous influences on each other. Whether it was Dylan turning The Beatles onto Marijuana (a fact that also includes the troubadour mishearing some of the band’s lyrics) or Dylan “digging” the fact that The Beatles were “doing things nobody else was” it is safe to say that neither act would be the same without the existence of the other.
The impact was rather more direct on some occasions though, and that is very much the case with Dylan’s classic ‘It Ain’t Me Babe’. The classic throat strained refrain of “no, no, no, it ain’t me babe,” was Dylan’s take on the classic line of “she loves you, yeah, yeah, yeah,” for the track ‘She Loves You’.
It might be a simple little nod to his contemporaries, but its full-throttle delivery imbues the song with even more sincerity and the songsmith forces out each “no” with evermore denial.
The song itself still stands out as one of the finest pieces of songwriting on Another Side of Bob Dylan. Its unique combination of poignancy and catchiness earned it a slew of admirers from Johnny Cash, to his old flame Joan Baez, and The Turtles who scored a top ten hit with their version.
You can listen back to the track below and keep an ear out for the similarity because it is certainly one of those that can go unnoticed for a thousand listens and then once it’s been revealed it can’t be unheard.