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About “Desolation Row”

Today is the day you can download My Chemical Romance’s cover of Bob Dylan’s classic song “Desolation Row” from iTunes.

As some of you may know, the MCR cover song is being used for the end credits of the upcoming Watchmen movie out on March 6.

MCR front man Gerard Way, discussed the song, and how he and his group got the chance to record it, on his blog over on his band's Web site.

It seems that Way’s connection to Watchmen goes a little further back then when director Zack Snyder called him to discuss recording the song. In fact, Way explained that Watchmen changed the way he looked at the world.

At 15 years old, just as I was discovering The Misfits "Walk Among Us" I was reading the first chapter of the graphic novel. It is the one thing I can pinpoint that shaped my views and aesthetics, even down to the way I dressed at the time, not that I walked the hallways in a stained brown trench coat, but I definitely chose more antisocial articles of clothing, like an army jacket, picked up after watching Taxi Driver for the twentieth time, a film I was lead to by the comic. So I would definitely say it's pretty important to me and the band.

Way also discussed that first phone call with Watchmen director Zack Snyder and how they both ironed out what the approach would be in recording the Dylan cover.

I remember getting on the phone with Zack, who was as excited as I was… We talked about the comic and he asked what I felt the approach to the song should be… On his album, Catholic Boy, [Jim Carroll] has a song called "People Who Died"… Zack responded to this approach right away… So the tone was decided upon and then came the length, which initially Zack wanted to be the full version of Dylan's.

But with the full version of Dylan’s tune clocking in at around ten minutes, Way realized some cuts would have to be made in order make way for a tighter, more “punkier” tune that could maintain that high energy.

…I sat in a hotel and did a rough arrangement, which clocked in at around 2:40, and I paid careful attention to the lyrics, while losing some of my favorite verses I managed to keep the ones I felt were represented by Alan Moore in the comic.

Way ended his blog entry with a post script, apologizing to Bob Dylan for “hacking out” most of his lyrics.

Fan reaction to MCR’s cover song appears to be fairly negative. A very un-official poll conducted on this Web site's forum had 39% of the fans who voted saying that they “hated it,” and 43% saying the track was “ehhh.” Only 16% of the fans who voted said that thye “loved it.”

What do you think? Is My Chemical Romance’s “Desolation Row” cover any good? Does it work for the end credits of Watchmen. Feel free to sound off in our forum.

1.26.08 Source:

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