Along with “Like A Rolling Stone” and “Positively 4th Street,” “Can You Please Crawl Out Your Window?” was one of the first Bob Dylan songs I heard.
I was 12 years old and could totally relate to the anger and bitterness in Dylan’s voice.
The surreal lyrics, which have always reminded me of Salvador Dali and Picasso’s Cubist period, run through both “Like A Rolling Stone” and “Can You Please Crawl Out Your Window?”
And of course the sound on those records was unlike anything else going on at the time.
Bob Dylan first tried recording “Can You Please Crawl Out Your Window?” on July 30, 1965 while working on Highway 61 Revisited with a group of musicians that included Harvey Brooks (bass), Al Kooper (organ) and Michael Bloomfield (guitar).
There were two takes recorded that day, the second of which was mistakenly released as “Positively 4th Street” on September 7, 1965. I bought that single and have long loved that version of the song.
On October 5th, 1965, Dylan and The Hawks rerecorded the song, and that version was released as a single on December 21, 1965.
I’ve included those versions below, but also a number of interesting covers.
Each of these artists — the Hold Steady, Jimi Hendrix, The Vacels and Transvision Vamp — make the song their own.
I think the Transvision Vamp version is quite good, especially if you don’t try and compare it to the Dylan versions,
Bob Dylan (version that was mistakenly released as “Positively 4th Street”):
Bob Dylan and the Hawks:
The Hold Steady:
Jimi Hendrix – Can You please Crawl Out Your Window (1967)
Transvision Vamp – Can You Please Crawl Out Your Window.flv