Bob Dylan, Ke$ha contribute to ‘Universal Love’ collection

“He’s Funny That Way.” Don’t take my word for it. Take it from Bob Dylan.

Dylan has re-recorded an all-inclusive version of “She’s Funny That Way,” on the new release, “Universal Love,” a collection of six newly recorded love songs that have been adjusted for same-sex couples.

The release is the vision of MGM Resorts International, which has produced the mini-album (or extended EP, if you prefer) in partnership with the global advertising agency McCann. The music is distributed by Legacy Recordings, which is part of Sony Music’s empire, and beginning today is available on all streaming platforms.

The message is simple: The new tunes are designed to give couples in the LGBTQ community their own re-imagined wedding songs.

“We believe projects like this will help all of us reach a point where seeing the world through the lens of people who happen to be different from us becomes natural and commonplace,” Phyllis James, MGM Resorts’ Chief Diversity and Corporate Social Responsibility Officer, said in a statement. “It is an immense honor for MGM Resorts to spearhead this inspirational project, which celebrates LGBTQ dimensions of the universal emotion of love.”

So, for Dylan, it’s “He’s Funny That Way,” an alternate take on the the 1931 “torch” song composed by Neil Moret, with lyrics written by Richard Whiting. The song has been covered with alternative lyrics by several artists, including Billie Holiday in 1937.

In the new lyrics, you’ll hear Dylan, a Nobel Prize for Literature award-winner and bona fide rock ‘n’ roll legend, sing, “I’ve got a man crazy ‘bout me, he’s funny that way.”

Elsewhere, the album features five artists representing a wide assortment of styles: Ke$ha with “I Need a Woman to Love Me,” St. Vincent with “And Then She Kissed Me,” Benjamin Gibbard of Death Cab for Cutie with “And I Love Him,” Kele Okereke of Bloc Party with “My Guy,” and Valerie June “Mad About The Girl.”

And for those who love an actual, physical piece of music, a CD version of “Universal Love” will be sold in music stores beginning April 21, which is national Record Store Day.

John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. Contact him at jkatsilometes@reviewjournal.com. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.

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