The Flaming Lips – “Lay Lady Lay” (Bob Dylan Cover)

George Salisbury

The Flaming Lips – “Lay Lady Lay” (Bob Dylan Cover)

George Salisbury

The Flaming Lips have been psychedelic road warriors for decades, and they can’t be that right now. But the Lips have still stayed ultra-busy during the pandemic, and they’ve had all sorts of projects bubbling: the new album, the space bubble shows, the line of weed gummies. A couple of nights ago, the Lips were on Kimmel, rocking the same stage that they’d once rocked when they played their first show in 1983. And today, we get to hear them taking on a classic from Bob Dylan, something of a psychedelic road warrior himself.

Recently, in celebration of Dylan’s 80th birthday next month, Uncut magazine released the tribute compilation Dylan Revisited. It has people like Courtney Marie Andrews, Thurston Moore, Weyes Blood, and the Weather Station covering Dylan’s songs. We’ve already posted Low’s version of “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door,” and now we’ve got the Flaming Lips covering “Lay Lady Lay.”

Dylan released “Lay Lady Lay” on the Nashville Skyline album in 1969, and it’s a playful and low-key love song, far-removed from the cerebral epics he’d been cranking out a few years earlier. The song was a top-10 hit for Dylan, and it’s been covered a great many times since then. The Byrds, the Isley Brothers, and Ministry, among many others, have all offered up their radically different takes on “Lay Lady Lay.” The Flaming Lips’ version of the song is pretty faithful, with Wayne Coyne singing it in his tremulous upper register, still sounding like a little kid even though he’s 60. Listen to the Flaming Lips’ cover of “Lay Lady Lay” and the Dylan original below.

Dylan Revisited is out now, with the latest issue of Uncut.

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