Former Guns N’ Roses guitarist Slash plays solos and makes noise as ex-Ween member Aaron Freeman sings on a newly released recording of the Bob Dylan track “Wiggle Wiggle,” streaming now on Stereogum. Even though the track came out on his Under the Red Sky LP in 1990, it’s one of many covers on a tribute comp due out next month called Bob Dylan in the 80s: Volume One.
In an effort to spotlight the music from the folk-rock icon’s fertile yet, uh, underappreciated decade, artists including the Hold Steady’s Craig Finn, Deer Tick, Reggie Watts and Bonnie “Prince” Billy contribute covers from the era. Last month, Rolling Stone premiered Built to Spill’s take on the Infidels track “Jokerman.”
The original “Wiggle Wiggle” found Dylan playing a blues vamp with all the accoutrements of Eighties mainstream rock – a massive downbeat, an always-present keyboard line, a burping bass line – all of which he imbued with his trademark rasp and lyrics about all sorts of things that wiggle. The original even boasted a guest appearance by Slash just as Guns N’ Roses were approaching critical mass with GN’R Lies.
In the hands of Aaron Freeman, the track sounds like a Freeman original: the bass burps now contort with wah-wah wooziness, the wiggling keyboards are omnipresent and Freeman inflects the vocals with somewhat Ween-y tones. The guitar playing is fluid and Zappa-esque and largely unlike anything Slash played on the original.