25 SEPTEMBER 1966
Another Dylan cover for 1966, this time from Stevie Wonder doing a surprisingly upbeat version of ‘Blowin’ in the Wind’, which peaked at #36 in the UK during this month. It reached #9 on the US Hot 100 Billboard chart (and #1 on the R&B chart).
This legendary song had already been covered several times, most notably by folk trio Peter, Paul and Mary, who released the song in June 1963, three weeks after it first appeared on 'The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan' album. They took it to #2 on the Billboard charts. Other versions released before 1966 include one in German by none other than Marlene Dietrich, and a non-charting by-the-book effort from Marianne Faithful in 1964.
Wonder's version does all that a good cover needs to do - interpret the original in a new and attractive way. This retains the melody of the folk song but somehow manages to add a Motown feel and beat.