Good evening folks. Tonight I’m going to try a piece I’ve been toying with for a while. The basis is this: In the year 2000, Rage Against the Machine released their final album before their breakup. The album was “Renegades” and consisted of 12 covers from artists spanning all genres, from hip-hop to country.
The goal of this series of posts is to showcases both the original songs, as some of you (myself included) may not have known about the original creators of the tracks before they were Rage-ified.
I’m going to start with one of my personal favorites from “Renegades”, a track originally written and recorded by Bob Dylan. The track in question is “Maggie’s Farm” and has been in my playlist rotation since I had a playlist rotation.
So let’s get started with the original shall we?
I’ll be honest here, I don’t know shit when it comes to Bob Dylan. I’ve rarely listened to his music and as such can make no statements comparing this to his other work, or the work of other artists for that matter. This is probably the only song of his that I’ve listened to in it’s entirety and I’m still not sure on where I stand with it.
On one hand I dig what’s going on. The loose folk jangle music, simple guitars and screeching harmonica overlaid by the now unmistakable Dylan drawl. I understand the appeal his music has but at the same time it doesn’t really click with me. I like it but I don’t love it, something that will have to be investigated further with more listening sessions.
Now onto the cover.
My situation with Rage is the polar opposite of Dylan. Rage Against the Machine have been hugely influential in the music I listened to as I grew up. They were one of the first bands to introduce me to heavy music and to this day hold a special little spot in my cranium.
All my fangirl gushing aside, I do prefer the cover to the original (Suprised?). While Dylan has an almost apathetic drawl, there’s no questioning the venom in Zach de la Rocha, and there’s certainty no questioning the bedrock groove conjured by the rest of the band. In the most frat-boy way possible, the outro on this song goes hard as fuck.
One other thing I’d like to mention is the lyrical interpretation both songs can incur. While the original Dylan song was theorized to have been written as a protest against the folk-rock protest movement that Dylan has gotten swept up, it doesn’t exactly apply to the cover.
The other interpretation of the original was one of a straightforward political song, a flavor that can heard throughout the lyrics. It seems a fairly obvious match then, considering the socio-political nature of Rage’s entire career.
So that’s that. I’ll be doing these posts randomly as the mood strikes me. Let me know what you thought or what you’d like to see, mainly so it doesn’t seem like I’m writing blog posts to the universe.