I cannot say enough good things about this cover.
Anyone who follows this blog is probably well aware that my favorite band is My Chemical Romance. While this band may currently be on break and not recording any new material yet, you can imagine my excitement when I heard that My Chemical Romance was selected to record a cover for an upcoming film.
And not just any film; My Chemical Romance has recorded a cover of Bob Dylan's Desolation Row for the Watchmen movie, scheduled to hit theatres Friday, March 6th.
While My Chemical Romance's version of Desolation Row is clocking in at nearly a quarter the length of the original track (Bob Dylan's recording having been around eleven minutes long, compared to the three minute length of the cover), I was extremely pleased by the way My Chemical Romance presented this song. Vocalist Gerard Way chose between the multiple verses of the original track and picked which he felt best represented the movie - a process he said was extremely difficult. However, in the end, the verses the band ended up incorporating into their cover exemplify not only the graphic-novel-gone-film, but the essence of Bob Dylan's original song almost, too perfectly.
There is plenty to appreciate beyond the lyrics, too. My Chemical Romance took an entirely different approach to this cover - it sounds nothing like the original, and yet, the hardcore punk styling of the track not only showcase the novel and, eventually, the movie, but also a new phase in the life of this band. My Chemical Romance are considering moving away from the theatric, rock-opera style which was apparent on their album The Black Parade (2006) and fall back on the punk rock foundations which supported their first two albums (I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love; 2002; and Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge, 2004).
Everything about this cover screams punk-rock, from the raw, unpolished vocals to the rough, dirty guitars and crashing symbols of the drum set. The entire essence of the track is just teeming with pent-up emotion, and the whole thing is hard and heavy enough that, at the end of three minutes, you can't help but keep asking for more. The combination of Bob Dylan's outstanding lyrics and My Chemical Romance's talents in musicianship and presentation is truly a winning mix.
All in all, this cover serves not only to represent Watchmen in the most brilliant of ways, but also My Chemical Romance, and the new direction the band plans to take with their careers.
The video is one hundred percent hardcore and a great watch for anyone - however, it's an especially good treat for those My Chem fans eagerly awaiting the band's return from their break (: And anyone who's actually read Watchmen , as I have, will appreciate every reference made in the video - from the Rorschach banner behind the drum set, to the Pale Horse flyers, to the graffiti on bassist Mikey Way's guitar ("Who Watches The Watchmen") ... it's all there.
Make sure to head out and see Watchmen when it hits theatres this Friday!
Until then, keep on rockin' to My Chemical Romance's cover of Desolation Row!
My Chemical Romance - Desolation Row [Bob Dylan Cover] Official Music Video
Originally Recorded by Bob Dylan
Covered by My Chemical Romance
They're selling postcards of the hanging, they're painting the passports brown.
The beauty parlor is filled with sailors; the circus is in town.
Here comes the blind commissioner, they've got him in a trance.
One hand is tied to the tight-rope walker, the other's in his pants.
And the riot squad, they're restless; they need somewhere to go
As Lady and I look out tonight from Desolation Row.
Cinderella, she seems so easy; "It takes one to know one," she smiles.
And puts her hands in her back pockets, Bette Davis style.
And in comes Romeo, he's moaning, "You belong to me, I believe."
And someone says," You're in the wrong place, my friend; you better leave."
And the only sound that's left after the ambulances go
Is Cinderella sweeping up on Desolation Row.
At midnight all the agents and the superhuman crew
Go out and round up everyone that knows more than they do.
They bring them to the factory, where the heart-attack machine
Is strapped across their shoulders, and then the kerosene
Is brought down from the castles by insurance men who go
Check to see that no one is escaping to Desolation Row.
Right now I can't read too good
Don't send me no letters, no.
Not unless you mail them from Desolation Row.