Noel Gallagher once declared that “Bob Dylan sings Bob Dylan better than anyone else.” It might sound like an obvious statement – or even seem like a misquote – but when the context is considered it carries rather more weight.
The term soulful singer often gets bandied around when discussing Dylan, he’s more of an interpreter of a song than an out and out vocalist. When it comes to singing, he isn’t going to be headlining the Madrid Opera Houses any time soon, and when his songs like ‘Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues’ end up in the hands of Nina Simone, he can’t hold a candle to the resultant vocal performance. But he knows his own songs and where they come from, and as a result, he is able to imbue them with more vital soul than anybody.
It was this that Noel Gallagher was discussing when he made the declaration. The Manchester songsmith had been asked by the Irish Independent why he plays Oasis songs in his solo set when his brother Liam Gallagher isn’t there to sing them, to which he replied, “I play the [Oasis] songs because it is what people want to hear when I play live. And why wouldn’t I? I fucking wrote all of them!”
Noel continued: “I know who the girl is in ‘Don’t Look Back In Anger’. She is not an actual fucking girl. But I know where she is coming from. Bob Dylan sings Bob Dylan better than anyone else,” he added. As it turns out, Noel himself also sings Bob Dylan very well.
The track ‘Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright’ is perhaps one of most Dylan’s most loved and certainly most misunderstood. Taken from The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan it announced the voice of a generation as a balladeer as well as a protest singer and it remains one of the greatest break-up songs of all time.
In 2011 a lucky fan captured the moment that Noel covered the track while backstage at UCLA. The recording might not be the highest quality, but if anything on this occasion that adds an almost hymnal aura to Noel’s spiritual interpretation.
Take a listen below.