If “On A Night Like This”, the first single from Planet Waves, was an under-achiever on the pop charts, the second “Something There is About You” was an absolute and total dud. It peaked at #107 on the charts, indicating that no one anywhere was interested in this as a single. It is the earliest Dylan single that does not have its own Wikipedia entry. I mean, even “Wigwam” has a Wikipedia entry! That’s pretty damning.
Dylan seemed to believe in the song – he played it twenty-five times (out of forty shows) on the 1974 tour, but then only once since that time. I think he may have given up on it. It doesn’t show up on Before the Flood.
He probably had good reason to quit on it. This is one of those songs that doesn’t really ever catch in my head. I like the guitar just fine, but it’s a bit too long (almost 5:00) to be a good pop song considering how one-note it is. It’s too unvarying to hold my attention for so long, and I actually think that it is one of the least interesting songs on Planet Waves. There are good lyrics here – the first line, “Something there is about you that strikes a match in me”, is great, and the whole second verse about Duluth holds a lot of promise. It just never amounts to very much.
What I find most interesting about this as a single is that it had to have been chosen over “You Angel You”, which is almost the quintessential pop song (2:54, a love song, simple and repetitive). Dylan seems to have hated “You Angel You” though – he has only played it live twice (both in 1990), and he later claimed it had “dummy lyrics”. Too bad, I much prefer it to “Something There is About You”. Of course, “Forever Young” also would’ve made a better second single from this album as well. Actually, most of the album would have been better, and I think that #107 sort of indicates that.
Seriously, I can’t even find a decent cover to link to here….