It’s All Over Now, Baby Jack-Ass

Don’t laugh at my lousy photo editing skills, young Bob Dylan…

Since the new Deluxe Edition of Beck’s star-making album Odelay came out, I’ve been revisiting the original a fair amount. The whole album is great, but my favorite song (and, if I remember the logic correctly, the reason I bought the album in the first place) has to be “Jack-Ass.” Sure, “Where It’s At” was more famous. And sure, “The New Polution” had a better video. But “Jack-Ass” was better than both. Very relaxing, for one thing.

So recently, I was looking around at some articles about the Deluxe Edition, thinking over whether I would buy it or not, and I came across a mention of how eclectic the samples on the album were. A note: Certain people, and I tend to count myself among them, have a pretty big thirst for musical minutia. It’s just like any other obsession — only instead of knowing all the names and plots of all the Star Trek episodes or something, we can tell you that yes, there’s a rumor that during the recording of The Ohio Players’ “Love Rollercoaster” you can hear someone being murdered, but that it’s widely known to be just a rumor. I’m sure you could count all the authors of all the music blogs linked on the right among these ranks as well. Knowledge of samples, for me and many others, is one of the best outlets for this brand of obsession.

Anyway. “Jack-Ass” is built around a sample of Them’s cover of the Dylan song “It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue.” Them, for your reference, was Van Morrison’s band before he went solo and became the artist that we all know and love and don’t understand the words he’s singing. They’re most famous for doing the garage-rock tune “Gloria.” People who write about music sometimes call the song “proto-punk.” Patti Smith famously covered it (and/or owned the crap out of it) on her first album Horses. Trivia!

Here’s the chain back to the source, from Beck to Van to Bob. Sample to cover to original.

Beck – Jack-Ass (Buy It)

Them – It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue (Buy It)

Bob Dylan – It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue (Buy It)

And just for a bit of contrast, here’s a different version of “Jack-Ass” from the Deluxe Edition of Odelay. Pretty good in its own way, but I still prefer the album version.

Beck – Strange Invitation (Buy It)

posted by Adam

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One response to “It’s All Over Now, Baby Jack-Ass

  1. Great post Adam…Van wins it for me though, the man just can’t be beat! And a little bit of trivia (or an all consuming obsession with it) never hurt anyone!

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