Chrissie Hynde — „Standing in the Doorway: Chrissie Hynde Sings Dylan“ [May 21, 2021, Vinyl LP]
♠♣ Chrissie Hynde přináší vše zpět domů na jejím pojetí coververzí Dylanovek „Standing in the Doorway“ Frontmanka Pretenders a hlavní kytaristka skupiny nahrála v lockdownu devět svých oblíbených písní písničkáře, kterému bylo letos 80 let.
♠♣ Album, které bylo nahráno během lockdownu s kolegou z kapely Pretenders Jamesem Walbourneem, pokrývá některé z oblíbených Dylanových písní Chrissie Hynde včetně skladeb „In the Summertime“, „Sweetheart Like You“ a titulní skladby „Standing in the Doorway“. Vydáno spolu s videem, které dokumentuje vznik alba a obsahuje představení každé z devíti skladeb. Byla to skladba, kterou Dylan vydal v loňském roce a která inspirovala Chrissie k pokračování alba. „Po osmileté přestávce Dylan vydal téměř 17~minutový epos „Murder Most Foul“. „Poslech té písně pro mne změnil úplně všechno. Byla jsem vyvedena z té mrzuté nálady, ve které jsem byla.“ — Chrissie Hynde. Po výměně textu mezi Chrissie Hynde a Jamesem Walbourneem bylo rozhodnuto, že album vytvoří společně a budou pracovat v mezích pandemie tím, že nahrají své části samostatně.
♠♣ “A few weeks into lockdown last year, James sent me the new Dylan track, ‘Murder Most Foul,’” Hynde said in a statement. “Listening to that song completely changed everything for me. I was lifted out of this morose mood that I’d been in. I remember where I was sitting the day that Kennedy was shot — every reference in the song. Whatever Bob does, he still manages somewhere in there to make you laugh because as much as anything, he’s a comedian. He’s always funny and always has something to say. I called James and said, ‘Let’s do some Dylan covers,’ and that’s what started this whole thing.”
♠♣ She and Walbourne began revisiting some of their favorite songs from Dylan’s catalog and recording them together over the phone, though she admitted to Rolling Stone last summer that she was well aware of the high standards Dylan fans tend to set for cover albums.
♠♣ “You don’t want to fuck up a Dylan song and have thousands of Dylanologists gunning for you,” she said, noting that she considered potential lyrical changes. “These days, you don’t have to change the gender of a lyric because it doesn’t matter anymore. That was always a problem in the past, since sometimes it kind of compromises the song. Like, if it didn’t sound right to change, ‘She loves me’ to ‘He loves me,’ let’s say. These days, you can do anything.”
♠♣ “There was one second verse in ‘What’s a Sweetheart Like You’ that said ‘She used to call me sweet daddy when I was only a child,’” she said. “And I thought, ‘That’s gonna be really awkward. I couldn’t figure out how to make that mine. So I went through the archives of different versions he’s done and found a Spanish translation that had a different verse, so I just used that one. I mean, he sang it in English, maybe it wasn’t the official, and then I thought, ‘Oh, these guys are gonna come after me now and say, ‘That’s not what he wrote.’ But it is what he wrote.”
Birth name: Christine Ellen Hynde
Born: September 7, 1951, Akron, Ohio, U.S.
Location: London, and also has an apartment in the Northside Lofts in her hometown of Akron
Album release: Aug. 20, 2021
Record Label: Warner
1. In the Summertime 3:15
2. You’re a Big Girl Now 4:23
3. Standing in the Doorway 7:13
4. Sweetheart like You 5:02
5. Blind Willie McTell 6:05
6. Love Minus Zero / No Limit 4:12
7. Don’t Fall Apart on Me Tonight 6:55
8. Tomorrow is a Long Time 3:34
9. Every Grain of Sand 4:12
♦ Adam Ayan Engineer
♠ Tchad Blake Bells, Engineer, Hammond B3, Organ, Percussion, Producer, Tambourine
♣ Bob Dylan Composer
♥ Chrissie Hynde Guitar, Guitar (Ac.), Vocals
♠ James Walbourne Accordion, Clarinet, Engineer, Flute, Guitar, Guitar (Ac.), Keyboards, Mandolin, Organ, Piano, Producer, Programming, Vocals (Backgr.), Wurlitzer
AllMusic Review by Mark Deming. Score: ★★★½
•⊆⊇• Bob Dylan’s status as the most respected songwriter in rock has been holding firm for decades and isn’t likely to be challenged any time soon. No matter how celebrated or venerable you may be, you’re probably going to end up singing his praises at one time or another, and 40 years on from the release of the Pretenders’ instant~classic debut album, Chrissie Hynde certainly qualifies as celebrated and venerable, even if that description seems a bit stodgy for someone with plenty of creative vitality left. After the release of Dylan’s epic~length song “Murder Most Foul” in 2020, Hynde, who was sunk deep in creative doldrums, began revisiting his songbook, and soon she and Pretenders guitarist James Walbourne were passing files back and forth from their home studios, working out arrangements and embellishments for tunes penned by the Bard of Hibbing. This experiment in home recording grew into an album, and 2021’s Standing in the Doorway: Chrissie Hynde Sings Bob Dylan finds her digging deep into nine of his songs. The arrangements are simple, often just Hynde’s voice and her and Walbourne’s guitars, and the focus is firmly on her voice. Sounding smart, tough, thoughtful, and a little bit sexy, Hynde’s vocals have always been strong and evocative, and she knows how to make her delivery work in favor of Dylan’s lyrics. The performances here are rarely groundbreaking, but Hynde the Songwriter clearly understands what makes these songs click, and uses that knowledge to take Hynde the Chanteuse through a handful of compelling performances, bringing color and shade to Dylan’s imagery and reinforcing the strengths of his wordplay. Hynde’s confidence and intuition fill out these songs beautifully, and if the backings are simple, they confirm that while he’s most acclaimed as a lyricist, Dylan knows how to write a great melody, and Hynde and Walbourne honor those as well. The lovely interpretation of “In the Summertime” from Dylan’s oft~maligned 1981 LP Shot of Love is a valid reminder that even his weakest albums include songs well worth investigating. With just nine tracks, Standing in the Doorway: Chrissie Hynde Sings Bob Dylan feels a bit more like an EP than a proper album, but Hynde’s takes on Dylan’s songs are savvy and satisfying, and she’s more than done right by one of her acknowledged inspirations.
Review by KORY GROW: