Cover Wars: Quinn The Eskimo (The Mighty Quinn)

The Grateful Dead played this cover a total of 59 times. The audio below is the version from Garcia Plays Dylan (7/2/1989) and the video is from 9/19/1990.

[audio:https://glidemag.wpengine.com/hiddentrack/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/quinndead.mp3]

Another version that was released before the artist who wrote it, The Hollies recorded this on their 1969 album The Hollies Play Dylan.

[audio:https://glidemag.wpengine.com/hiddentrack/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/quinnhollies.mp3]

As discussed in the intro, the Manfred Mann version of this song is arguably more well-known that any version Dylan has ever released. We’ve got two videos below in addition to the audio, and they are both worth watching.

[audio:https://glidemag.wpengine.com/hiddentrack/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/quinnmanfred.mp3]

Trippy video #1:

A bit more lip-syncing in this one:

Phish has played Quinn The Eskimo a total of 13 times now and has the honor of achieving bustout status twice in the Phish repertoire. When Phish played it at the Hampton Coliseum in 1998, it had been approximately 1000 shows since the last performance. Played a total of four times combined in 1998 and 1999, Phish then waited another 209 shows until playing Quinn again this year in Telluride, CO. The audio below is from Telluride and the video is from Madison Square Garden in 1998.

[audio:https://glidemag.wpengine.com/hiddentrack/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/quinnphish.mp3]

As far as last week’s Cover Wars, The Band won by a large margin for best cover of Bruce Springsteen’s Atlantic City.

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5 Responses

  1. hard to believe it was only played 59 times by the Dead, seems like such a staple for them, and for me, quintessentially Jerry and the Dead. My vote: hands down: Dead

  2. No contest — good ol’ GD. Mann’s version is carbon-copy and uninspired; Phish’s version is pretty off-key and dopey; Cornershop def gives it some rock edge, but ultimately Garcia and co. give this tune the ebullient liftoff it deserves. Jerry’s vox are in an emotive league of their own, here.

  3. It’s a carbon copy of — well – err…uh oh! Total brain fart on my end, and duly schooled by DaveO. I retract my comment. For some reason, thought Mann’s version was chapter and verse Dylan rendition, but just checked out the Biograph version which was the 2nd take Dylan ever recorded of the song during Basement Tapes sessions — and it sounds nothing like Mann’s version. Fascinating. So, the Dead’s version is really a cover of Mann’s cover as opposed a cover of Dylan’s arrangement. Amazing. Thanks for calling me out 😉

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