Bill Fay - Screams in the Ears [1967]

A lot of people tried their hand at Bob Dylan mimicry in the sixties, but few aimed at the apocalyptic diver bar blues that filled Highway 61 Revisited, and it's hard to imagine anyone pulled it off as well as Bill Fay did here on the B-side of his debut single. That's not to say that Fay wasn't a talent in his own right, but the connection here seems undeniable. The shared sense of vicious judgement and deep disillusionment with the culture of the day in their lyrics combined with the similar circumstances of their recordings -- they were both solo songwriters that were taking a fresh spin fronting already existent bands (here Bill is backed by a group called The Fingers that the producer brought to the recording date) -- may explain a certain amount of stylistic overlap, but the link still stands.

I don't mean to sound critical of the song. In fact, I wish there were more songs like it, because for any of us who has had that moment of clarity deep in the midst of a party where you find yourself saying "who are these monsters and what am I doing here?", how many songs do we really have?

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