Some of China’s Biggest Indie Bands are Covering Bob Dylan Songs

Hear this Robert Zimmerman

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8:52 PM HKT, Tue June 23, 2020

Nobel Prize winner Bob Dylan released his first album of original new material in eight years last week, Rough and Rowdy Ways. As a tribute of sorts — and timed to coincide with a planned exhibition of his art in Beijing — a number of China’s best-known artists have been covering some of his most famous songs in recent weeks.

Entitled Retrospectrum, the Dylan retrospective — which previously ran in Shanghai for seven months — was due to open in the capital this week, but has now been delayed due to a resurgence in Covid-19 cases in the city. That’s not stopped the steady flow of cover versions appearing online however, courtesy of Taihe Music Group’s Indie Works label.

Artists to contribute so far include PK14 frontman Yang Haisong (who proffered a noisy take “Blowin’ in the Wind”), old-school rockers The Face (who did “Forever Young”), and ever-popular rock trio Hedgehog, who put a typically bouncy spin on “Like a Rolling Stone.”

Folk-rock artist Lao Lang (who in April put on a Chinese answer to One World: Together at Home) also got involved with a cover of “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door.” Click15’s Ricky Sixx is set to join the fray too, as is folk artist Kulu Liang (we’ll update the playlist below once those songs become available).

Cover photo: Bob Dylan on stage in Shanghai in 2011

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