|"Lay Lady Lay"|
|Single by Bob Dylan|
|from the album Nashville Skyline|
|Recorded||February 14, 1969|
|Studio||Columbia Studio A, Nashville, Tennessee|
|Bob Dylan singles chronology|
|Nashville Skyline track listing|
"Lay Lady Lay"
"Lay Lady Lay", sometimes rendered "Lay, Lady, Lay",is a song written by Bob Dylan and originally released in 1969 on his Nashville Skyline album. Like many of the tracks on the album, Dylan sings the song in a low croon, rather than in the high nasal singing style associated with his earlier (and eventually later) recordings. The song has become a standard and has been covered by numerous bands and artists over the years, including the Byrds, Ramblin' Jack Elliott, the Everly Brothers, Melanie, the Isley Brothers, Bob Andy, Duran Duran, Magnet, Hoyt Axton, Angélique Kidjo, Ministry, Malaria!, Lorrie Morgan and Minimal Compact.
"Lay Lady Lay" was originally written for the soundtrack of the movie Midnight Cowboy , but wasn't submitted in time to be included in the finished film.Dylan's recording was released as a single in July 1969 and quickly became one of his top U.S. hits, peaking at #7 on the Billboard Hot 100. The single did even better in the United Kingdom where it reached #5 on the UK Singles Chart. Like many of the tracks on Nashville Skyline, the song is sung by Dylan in a warm, relatively low sounding voice, rather than the more abrasive nasal singing style with which he had become famous. Dylan attributed his "new" voice to having quit smoking before recording the album, but some unreleased bootleg recordings from the early 1960s reveal that, in fact, Dylan had used a similar singing style before.
Don Everly of the Everly Brothers recounted in a 1986 Rolling Stone interview that Dylan performed parts of the song for them after a late 1960s appearance by the duo in New York, as they were "looking for songs, and he was writing "Lay Lady Lay" at the time."Despite a popular story that the Everly Brothers rejected the song due to misunderstanding the lyrics as sexual in nature, Everly continued "He sang parts of it, and we weren't quite sure whether he was offering it to us or not. It was one of those awestruck moments." In a 1994 interview Don Everly further explained the encounter, stating that "It really wasn't a business meeting ... It wasn't that kind of atmosphere." The Everly Brothers later covered the song on their EB 84 album, 15 years after Dylan's release.
According to country musician Johnny Cash, Dylan played the song first in a circle of singer-songwriters at Cash's house outside of Nashville. Cash claimed that several other musicians also played their own new, unheard songs.[ citation needed ]
Drummer Kenny Buttrey has said that he had a difficult time coming up with a drum part for the song. Dylan had suggested bongos, while producer Bob Johnson said cowbells. In order to "show them how bad their ideas were", Buttrey used both instruments together. Kris Kristofferson, who was working as a janitor in the studio at the time, was enlisted to hold the bongos in one hand and the cowbell in the other. Buttrey moved the sole overhead drum mic over to these new instruments. When he switches back to the drums for the choruses the drumset sounds distant due to not being directly mic'd. The take heard on the album is the first take and is one of Buttrey's own favorite performances.
"I used to listen to that one record, 'Lay Lady Lay', in my brother's bedroom in the basement of our house," recalled Madonna. "I'd lie on the bed and play that song and cry all the time. I was going through adolescence; I had hormones raging through my body. Don't ask me why I was crying – it's not a sad song. But that's the only record of his that I really listened to."
Written in the key of A major, or A Mixolydian,the song's chord progression features a descending chromatic line and Dylan's voice occupies a range from F#2 to D4. The bass is most often based on the chromatic descent or otherwise emphasizing the modal center of A. The chief hook in "Lay Lady Lay", a song with far more hooks than is typical for Dylan, is a recurring four-note pedal steel guitar riff. The song's distinctive drum part is performed by Kenny Buttrey, who regarded his contribution to the song as one of his best performances on a record. Lyrically the song speaks of romantic and sexual anticipation as the singer beseeches his lover to spend the night with him.
Dylan played the song live for the first time at the Isle of Wight on August 31, 1969; a recording is included on Isle of Wight Live, part of the 4-CD deluxe edition of The Bootleg Series Vol. 10: Another Self Portrait (1969–1971) . Performances of the song from 1974 and 1976 are included on the Before the Flood and Hard Rain live albums. The song has frequently been performed by Dylan since the late 1980s during his Never Ending Tour.
"Lay Lady Lay" also appears on Dylan's quintuple-platinum Greatest Hits, Volume II album, as well as on the Masterpieces , Biograph , The Best of Bob Dylan, Vol. 1 , and The Essential Bob Dylan compilation albums.
|"Lay Lady Lay"|
1969 Dutch picture sleeve.
|Single by The Byrds|
|Released||May 2, 1969|
|Recorded||March 27, 1969, Columbia Studios, Hollywood, CA|
April 18, 1969, Columbia Studios, Nashville, TN
|The Byrds singles chronology|
The Byrds' recording of "Lay Lady Lay" was released as a single on May 2, 1969 and reached #132 on the Billboard chart but failed to break into the UK Singles Chart.The song was recorded as a non-album single shortly after the release of the Byrds' seventh studio album, Dr. Byrds & Mr. Hyde . The Byrds decided to cover the song after Bob Dylan played the band his newly recorded Nashville Skyline album at band leader Roger McGuinn's house. The Byrds recorded "Lay Lady Lay" on March 27, 1969, but producer Bob Johnston overdubbed a female choir on to the recording on April 18, 1969 without the Byrds' consent. The single was then released and it was only after it had been issued that the band became aware of the addition of the female choir. The group were incensed, feeling that the choral overdub was incongruous and an embarrassment. The Byrds were so upset at Johnston's tampering with the song behind their backs, that they never again worked with him.
Despite the band's displeasure with the finished single, many critics felt that the presence of the female choir added a dramatic touch which heightened the song's emotional appeal.Journalist Derek Johnson, writing in the NME , commented "The harmonic support behind the solo vocal is really outstanding, largely because the Byrds have been augmented by a girl chorus. This, plus the familiar acoustic guitars, the attractive melody and the obstructive beat, makes it one of the group's best discs in ages." When "Lay Lady Lay" was released on The Byrds box set in 1990, it was presented without its choral overdub at McGuinn's insistence. This alternate version, without the female choir, was included as a bonus track on the remastered Dr. Byrds & Mr. Hyde CD in 1997. It was also included on the 2002 reissue of The Byrds Play Dylan and the 2006 box set, There Is a Season .
Duran Duran recorded a pop rock version of the song, appearing as track five on their 1995 covers album, Thank You .Nick Rhodes has stated on the band's official website (answering an Ask Katy question in 2008 about the second single taken from Thank You) "I seem to remember my concern at that time was, in fact, our record label's - Capitol in America and EMI for the rest of the world - deciding to split their decision on their choice for the first single, "White Lines" in the US and "Perfect Day" for the rest of the world. Hence, there was no worldwide focus and both territories forced to use the other track as their second single, so it didn't really work out to be an ideal situation for anyone. I'm not sure what I would've chosen for a second single, possibly "Lay Lady Lay", but then I am still very happy with the way "Perfect Day" turned out."
|"Lay Lady Lay"|
|Single by Ministry|
|from the album Filth Pig|
|Format||7" single, CD|
|Recorded||1995, Chicago Trax Studios, Chicago, Illinois|
|Genre||Industrial metal, alternative metal|
|Length||5:44 (album version)|
|Producer(s)||Hypo Luxa, Hermes Pan|
|Ministry singles chronology|
American industrial metal band Ministry covered "Lay Lady Lay" during the eighth Bridge School Benefit charity concert in October 1994, with Pearl Jam lead singer Eddie Vedder performing backing vocals.Studio version of the song was recorded and released as a single from Ministry’s sixth studio album, Filth Pig , in February 1996. The song also appears on the band's 2008 covers album, Cover Up . Initially, frontman Al Jourgensen wanted to cover Jimmy Webb song "Wichita Lineman", but had to choose another song after watching Urge Overkill performing it live. During the recording, Bill Rieflin was asked to perform drums, but he rejected and quit the band shortly after, with Rey Washam replacing him and thus making his debut with Ministry.
The single release included two versions of "Lay Lady Lay"; one being the standard album version and the other being a shorter edited version. In the Rolling Stone magazine’s review of Filth Pig, critic Jon Wiederhorn wrote that the cover "amalgamates a deep distorted bass line, clicking electronic percussion, jangling acoustic guitars, ominous curls of feedback and [Al] Jourgensen's trademark howls."
|1.||"Lay Lady Lay" (edit)||5:11|
|2.||"Lay Lady Lay" (album version)||5:44|
Many other cover versions of the song have been recorded by numerous performers, including:
The Byrds were an American rock band formed in Los Angeles, California in 1964. The band underwent multiple lineup changes throughout its existence, with frontman Roger McGuinn remaining the sole consistent member. Although they only managed to attain the huge commercial success of contemporaries like the Beatles, the Beach Boys, and the Rolling Stones for a short period in the mid-1960s, the Byrds are today considered by critics to be nearly as influential as those bands. Their signature blend of clear harmony singing and McGuinn's jangly twelve-string Rickenbacker guitar was "absorbed into the vocabulary of rock" and has continued to be influential.
"My Back Pages" is a song written by Bob Dylan and included on his 1964 album Another Side of Bob Dylan. It is stylistically similar to his earlier folk protest songs and features Dylan's voice with an acoustic guitar accompaniment. However, its lyrics—in particular the refrain "Ah, but I was so much older then/I'm younger than that now"—have been interpreted as a rejection of Dylan's earlier personal and political idealism, illustrating his growing disillusionment with the 1960s' folk protest movement with which he was associated, and his desire to move in a new direction. Although Dylan wrote the song in 1964, he did not perform it live until 1988.
Younger Than Yesterday is the fourth album by the American rock band the Byrds and was released on February 6, 1967 on Columbia Records. It saw the band continuing to integrate elements of psychedelia and jazz into their music, a process they had begun on their previous album, Fifth Dimension. In addition, the album captured the band and record producer Gary Usher experimenting with new musical textures, including brass instruments, reverse tape effects and an electronic oscillator.
Ballad of Easy Rider is the eighth album by the American rock band the Byrds and was released in November 1969 on Columbia Records. The album was named after the song "Ballad of Easy Rider", which had been written by the Byrds' guitarist and singer, Roger McGuinn, as the theme song for the 1969 film, Easy Rider. The title was also chosen in an attempt to capitalize on the commercial success of the film, although the majority of the music on the album had no connection with it. Nonetheless, the association with Easy Rider heightened the Byrds' public profile and resulted in Ballad of Easy Rider becoming the band's highest charting album for two years in the U.S.
Mr. Tambourine Man is the debut studio album by American rock band the Byrds, released on June 21, 1965 by Columbia Records. The album, along with the single of the same name, established the band as an internationally successful act, and was influential in originating the musical style known as folk rock. The term was, in fact, first coined by the American music press to describe the band's sound in mid-1965, around the same time the "Mr. Tambourine Man" single reached the top of the Billboard chart. The single and album also represented the first effective American challenge to the dominance of the Beatles and the British Invasion during the mid-1960s.
Turn! Turn! Turn! is the second album by the folk rock band the Byrds and was released in December 1965 on Columbia Records. Like its predecessor, Mr. Tambourine Man, the album epitomized the folk rock genre and continued the band's successful mix of vocal harmony and jangly twelve-string Rickenbacker guitar. The album's lead single and title track, "Turn! Turn! Turn!", was a Pete Seeger adaptation of text from the Book of Ecclesiastes that had previously been arranged in a chamber-folk style by the band's lead guitarist Jim McGuinn, while working with folksinger Judy Collins. The arrangement that McGuinn used for the Byrds' version utilized the same folk rock style as the band's previous hit singles.
The Byrds' Greatest Hits is the first greatest hits album by the American rock band the Byrds and was released in August 1967 on Columbia Records. It is the top-selling album in the Byrds' catalogue and reached number 6 on the Billboard Top LPs chart, but failed to chart in the UK.
Dr. Byrds & Mr. Hyde is the seventh album by the American rock band the Byrds and was released in March 1969 on Columbia Records. The album was produced by Bob Johnston and saw the band juxtaposing country rock material with psychedelic rock, giving the album a stylistic split-personality that was alluded to in its title. It was the first album to feature the new band line-up of Clarence White (guitar), Gene Parsons (drums), John York (bass), and founding member Roger McGuinn (guitar). Dr. Byrds & Mr. Hyde is unique within the band's discography for being the only album on which McGuinn sings the lead vocal on every track.
(Untitled) is the ninth album by the American rock band the Byrds and was released in September 1970 on Columbia Records. It is a double album, with the first LP featuring live concert recordings from early 1970, and a second disc consisting of new studio recordings. The album represented the first official release of any live recordings by the band, as well as the first appearance on a Byrds' record of new recruit Skip Battin, who had replaced the band's previous bass player, John York, in late 1969.
The Byrds Play Dylan is the name of two different compilation albums by the American rock band the Byrds, one released in 1979 and the other issued in 2002. As their titles suggest, each compilation consists of interpretations of Bob Dylan penned songs, which the Byrds recorded at different stages of their career.
"All I Really Want to Do" is a song written by Bob Dylan and featured on his Tom Wilson-produced 1964 album, Another Side of Bob Dylan. It is arguably one of the most popular songs that Dylan wrote in the period immediately after he abandoned topical songwriting. Within a year of its release on Another Side of Bob Dylan, it had also become one of Dylan's most familiar songs to pop and rock audiences, due to hit cover versions by Cher and the Byrds.
"The Times They Are a-Changin'" is a song written by Bob Dylan and released as the title track of his 1964 album of the same name. Dylan wrote the song as a deliberate attempt to create an anthem of change for the time, influenced by Irish and Scottish ballads. Released as a 45-rpm single in Britain in 1965, it reached number 9 on the UK Singles Chart.
"Just Like a Woman" is a song written by Bob Dylan and first released on his 1966 album, Blonde on Blonde. It was also released as a single in the U.S. during August 1966 and peaked at #33 on the Billboard Hot 100. Dylan's recording of "Just Like a Woman" was not issued as a single in the United Kingdom but the British beat group, Manfred Mann, did release a hit single version of the song in July 1966, which peaked at #10 on the UK Singles Chart. In 2011, Rolling Stone magazine ranked Dylan's version of the song at #232 in their list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
"It's All Over Now, Baby Blue" is a song written and performed by Bob Dylan and featured on his Bringing It All Back Home album, released on March 22, 1965 by Columbia Records. The song was recorded on January 15, 1965 with Dylan's acoustic guitar and harmonica and William E. Lee's bass guitar the only instrumentation. The lyrics were heavily influenced by Symbolist poetry and bid farewell to the titular "Baby Blue." There has been much speculation about the real life identity of "Baby Blue", with possibilites including Joan Baez, David Blue, Paul Clayton, Dylan's folk music audience, and even Dylan himself.
"You Ain't Goin' Nowhere" is a song written by Bob Dylan in 1967 in Woodstock, New York, during the self-imposed exile from public appearances that followed his July 29, 1966, motorcycle accident. A recording of Dylan performing the song in September 1971 was released on the Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits Vol. II album in November of that year, marking the first official release of the song by its author. Earlier 1967 recordings of the song, performed by Dylan and the Band, were issued on the 1975 album The Basement Tapes and the 2014 album The Bootleg Series Vol. 11: The Basement Tapes Complete.
"Ballad of Easy Rider" is a song written by Roger McGuinn, with input from Bob Dylan, for the 1969 film, Easy Rider. The song was initially released in August 1969 on the Easy Rider soundtrack album as a Roger McGuinn solo performance. It was later issued in an alternate version as a single by McGuinn's band the Byrds on October 1, 1969. The Byrds' single reached number 65 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was issued in most international territories, although it was not released in the United Kingdom.
"Lady Friend" is a song by the American rock band the Byrds, written by band member David Crosby and released as a single on July 13, 1967. The single reached number 82 on the Billboard Hot 100, but failed to chart in the United Kingdom. "Lady Friend" is the only song penned solely by David Crosby to appear on the A-side of a Byrds' single.
Preflyte is a compilation album by the American folk rock band the Byrds and was released in July 1969 on Together Records. The album is a collection of demos recorded by the Byrds at World Pacific Studios in Los Angeles during 1964, before the band had signed to Columbia Records and become famous. It includes early demo versions of the songs "Here Without You", "You Won't Have to Cry", "I Knew I'd Want You", and "Mr. Tambourine Man", all of which appeared in re-recorded form on the band's 1965 debut album.
The Byrds' Greatest Hits Volume II is the second greatest hits album by the American rock band The Byrds. It was released in the United Kingdom on October 29, 1971 by CBS Records as a follow-up to the band's first compilation album, The Byrds' Greatest Hits. The album appeared following the band's successful appearance at the Lincoln Folk Festival on July 24, 1971 and may have been issued by CBS as a reaction to the band's previous studio album, Byrdmaniax, having failed to chart in the UK.
Never Before is a compilation album by the American rock band the Byrds, consisting of previously unreleased outtakes, alternate versions, and rarities. It was initially released by Re-Flyte Records in December 1987 and was subsequently reissued on CD in 1989, with an additional seven bonus tracks.
I have been known to say, with great pride, that my last act in Ministry was to refuse to play on their version of Dylan’s "Lay Lady Lay," which appeared on Filth Pig.