Like most musicians, Bruce Springsteen is a huge Bob Dylan fan. The Boss has been covering songs from America’s favourite songwriter for decades, yet Dylan has only repaid the favour once. Here we’re listening back to that very cover, as Dylan takes on Springsteen’s ‘Dancing in the Dark’.
Springsteen has covered some of Dylan’s classic tracks including ‘It’s All Over Now Baby Blue’, ‘Highway 61 Revisited’, and ‘I Want You’ to name a few. All tracks, which fit firmly in Springsteen’s wheelhouse, remain possible contributing factors to being attributed to the “new Dylan” moniker he received when breaking into the collective consciousness.
Yet when Dylan took on The Boss’ 1984 mega-hit ‘Dancing in the Dark’, not one person would’ve imagined the folk legend busting out this hip-swinging ditty. Many would say he probably should’ve held back.
The cover comes from Bob Dylan’s live performance on January 12th, 1990, at Toad’s Place in New Haven, Connecticut. The 700-seater venue was booked at the last minute so Dylan could prepare for his upcoming tour of South America. The first show of the decade for Dylan would be a memorable one.
He littered the performance with a host of different covers including Kris Kristofferson, Hank Williams and more in what was one of the strangest sets you’re ever liekly to see form Dylan—and that’s saying something. He dragged the show across four sets and played over 50 songs.
Approaching the end of the third set of the night, Bob Dylan decided to pull out a cover of ‘Dancing in the Dark’ that nobody expected and, in fact, many didn’t recognise.
The fault of which was in large part down to Dylan’s performance of the eighties classic. The singer had clearly forgotten most of the words to the dancefloor filler and by the end of the song was purely riffing on the lyrics.
While it may not be the greatest cover of Springsteen you’ll ever hear, in fact, it may be one of the worst. This bootleg recording remains the only time Bob Dylan ever covered The Boss and for Bruce’s sake, we thought we’d give it a fresh outing.
Listen below to Bob Dylan’s cover of Bruce Springsteen’s 1984 hit ‘Dancing in the Dark’.