Bob Dylan Said the Name of a Frank Sinatra Song Could Be ‘a Threat and a Promise’

TL;DR:

  • Bob Dylan covered a number of Frank Sinatra songs.
  • Dylan said the title of one of the songs could have multiple meanings. 
  • Sinatra’s version of the song and Dylan’s cover garnered similar receptions.
Bob Dylan with a guitar
Bob Dylan | Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Bob Dylan and Frank Sinatra made very different songs. Despite this, they recorded many of the same songs. Notably, Dylan said one of the Sinatra songs he covered “levitates itself.”

Bob Dylan covered a classic song that sort of reminded him of ‘Mack the Knife’

Dylan covered a number of Sinatra songs. He even released an album of Sinatra covers called Shadows in the Night. During a 2017 interview posted on his website, Dylan discussed covering Sinatra’s “The Best Is Yet to Come.”

“It wasn’t difficult,” Dylan opined. “I didn’t bring anything unusual to it. There are a lot of key shifts and modulations in that song and you have to slide your way in and out of them. It’s a bit of a challenge, but once you figure it out, it’s pretty easy.”

Dylan compared “The Best Is Yet to Come” to another famous song performed by Sinatra. “It’s just a straight-ahead blues-based ballad, unique in its own way,” he opined. “It’s like ‘Mack the Knife,’ but nothing like ‘Mack the Knife.'” 

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What he thought of Frank Sinatra’s ‘The Best Is Yet to Come’

Dylan ruminated on the title of “The Best is Yet to Come.” “It’s such an old-fashioned phrase, you wouldn’t think anybody could do anything with it,” he said. “‘The best is yet to come’ could be both a threat and a promise; the lyrics sort of insinuate that even though the world is falling down, a better one is already in its place.”

Dylan further praised the song. “The song kind of levitates itself, you don’t have to do much to get it off the ground,” he added. “I like all of Carolyn Leigh’s lyrics too; she wrote the lyrics to ‘Stay with Me.'”

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How the world reacted to Frank Sinatra’s ‘The Best Is Yet to Come’ and Bob Dylan’s cover

Sinatra never released his version of “The Best Is Yet to Come” as a single, so it never charted on the Billboard Hot 100. The track appeared on the compilation album Nothing but the Best. Nothing but the Best reached No. 2 on the Billboard 200, staying on the chart for 144 weeks.

Dylan’s cover of “The Best Is Yet to Come” did not chart on the Billboard Hot 100. It appeared on the album Triplicate. Triplicate peaked at No. 37 on the Billboard 200, staying on the chart for a single week.

“The Best Is Yet to Come” is a classic track even if Dylan said there could be a dark undertone to its lyrics.

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