Tom Jones Says Bob Dylan Is A Writer Not A Singer


Tom Jones recently joined American Songwriter for an interview and made a headline-grabbing statement by saying that Bob Dylan is a writer rather than a singer.

Bob Dylan is one of the most covered artists, owing to his iconic pieces blended with his masterful songwriting skills. Famous Welsh star Tom Jones also covered a Dylan song, ‘What Good Am I?‘ for his 38th studio album, ‘Praise & Blame,’ released on July 26, 2010. Besides Bob Dylan, the album featured covers from John Lee Hooker and Billy Joe Shaver.

While it was Jones’ first cover of Dylan, it wouldn’t be the last. The singer delivered a covered version of Dylan’s ‘When the Deal Goes Down’ in his follow-up album, ‘Spirit in the Room,’ which arrived in 2012. For his 40th studio album, ‘Surrounded by Time,’ released on April 23, 2021, Tom Jones again covered two Dylan songs, firstly ‘One More Cup of Coffee,’ and later ‘Not Dark Yet,’ in the new expanded edition of his latest album.

In a recent interview, Jones was asked about his deep connection to Bob Dylan since he covered many songs from the legendary singer. Tom Jones explained that he loves Dylan’s songs and might even consider doing a Dylan album. The singer thinks Dylan’s tracks give a lot of room for new interpretations since the musician is mainly a writer rather than a singer. Jones highlighted that he doesn’t make many changes in the arrangements of Dylan’s songs, but he can easily add new elements to them by singing.

Jones’ statements on Bob Dylan follow:

“I love Dylan. I love his songs, and I’d love to do a Dylan album. Dylan’s songs are fantastic, but it’s just trying to find a different way, if possible, of doing them from what he’s already done. That’s the thing with Bob Dylan. He’s a writer. He’s not a singer. So there are a lot of scopes there. The first Dylan cover I did was ‘What Good Am I?’ on ‘Praise & Blame.’ I love Dylan’s stuff, but arrangement-wise, when I sing it, it’s going to sound different anyway. ‘One More Cup of Coffee’ on the last album was more or less the same arrangement as he did. It’s just me singing it, but that makes it different.”

You can listen to Tom Jones’ Bob Dylan covers below.