‘Blowin’ In The Wind’ reinterpreted as a jazzy piano piece also doesn’t seem to work just because it’s so darn slooooow and tedious. Tom was a jazz guy, produced a lot of jazz records, mostly Sun Ra. I just turned around one day and he was there.
bob dylan albums 1980s – Q&A With Bill Flanagan
In an alchemic mix of fact and fantasy, Martin Scorsese looks back at Bob Dylan’s 1975 Rolling Thunder Revue tour and a country ripe for reinvention. The electric part, on the other hand, is certainly a lot of fun. There is even one otherwise unavailable song, a fiery ‘n’ ferocious blues-rock romp called ‘Tell Me Momma’, somewhat reminiscent of ‘From A Buick 6’ but played in a much sloppier fashion – as befitted The Band, at that time still the Hawks, better. Speaking of the Hawks, they do indeed come across as raving, aggressive rock’n’roll players, much unlike the future appearance of Robbie Robertson and pals, and they are a terrific backing outfit for Bob, with two sets of keyboards creating a thick, overwhelming sound, and Robertson’s guitar blasts, maybe not quite enough to replace the quickly burning passion of Mike Bloomfield, maybe somewhat more calculated and cool-headed, but still maddeningly effective. Anyway, this guy wanted a big, fat, hairy sonic texture, and he got himself one. It’s amazing we can actually hear him sing over the din – I’ll bet you anything the audience couldn’t, making this one more pretext for booing.
Third and last, the songs themselves are good. Of course, you’ve heard all of these melodies before (‘Can’t Wait’ – typical Dylan ballad; ‘Dirt Road Blues’ – typical fast blues tune; others, too, it’s easy to find their ancestry), but this time I wouldn’t call any of them ‘recycled waste’. This is mostly blues tunes he’d never done before in that way. Sad, depressed blues tunes. Not gospel, or disco, or anything. Just sad, depressed blues tunes destined to reflect an old man’s reminiscences of his past and thoughts of his future.
So cheer up, folks – get this album (especially since it’s a double LP on one CD) and dig it as Bob’s ‘groove’ album. Seriously – it’s one of the biggest puzzles in my life as to how people can really hate this stuff. Maybe being an American gives you the advantage of dismissing it? Well then, from an international point of view it still looks great. No, I still think that it mainly has to do with a ‘crumble of expectations’, as this is truly the oddest piece in Bob’s catalog. Where were you when he was recording Skyline? What’s the difference people? There ain’t none. And of course Self-Portrait can’t even hope to rank along the true Dylan classics, but hey, it’s adequate – it doesn’t actually pretend to, like some of his worst Eighties’ albums do. I easily count it as one of the best, exemplary unpretentious, ‘non-statement’ albums ever recorded.
The starker The Times They Are A-Changin ‘ hinted that he wasn’t going to be pigeonholed for long by the folk purists and Another Side Of Bob Dylan upped his game with a set of songs that reached The Byrds in Los Angeles, who covered ‘All I Really Want To Do’ and used it as the template for their own newly minted jingle-jangle folk-rock.
My voice cracking here and there wouldn’t bother me, bum notes or wrong chords would bother me more. On September of My Years,” I didn’t fix anything. That would be impossible to pull off anyway because we were all in the same room playing together at the same time and there was a lot of leakage into other mics. You only fix things if you overdub the vocals separately and we didn’t do that here. If you mangle a lyric on records like this, you have to go back and start over. It’s a live recording. My voice cracking here or there just might mean it was recorded too early in the day, but it doesn’t hurt the overall effect, it wouldn’t bother me.
Given his status as one of modern music’s greatest icons, it is safe to say he accomplished that mission. Taking into account the repeated references to the events of that day, in both song lyrics and interviews over the next decade, it was clear that the landmark show was something of a touchstone for Dylan. Dylan’s decision to add this dimension to his sound would lead to the most productive period of his career, including his legendary collaboration with The Band.
Joining the band to sing Doug’s songs were Rodney Crowell , Delbert McClinton, Kelly Willis and others. This kind of tribute concert with a lot of guest stars is often a recipe for under-rehearsed mediocrity, but not this time. Instead of the band adjusting to the singers, the singers adjusted to the band. And because the band was full of Tex-Mex virtuosos steeped in Doug’s music, it all sounded like the Sir Douglas Quintet or the Texas Tornadoes, Doug’s best known groups.
Dylan’s initial success arguably came from Peter, Paul & Mary ‘s cover of “Blowin’ In The Wind,” but a favorable The New York Times live review and his performances at the Newport Folk Festival led the way to his breakthrough album, 1963’s The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan. His true mainstream move came with the release of 1965’s emblematic “Like A Rolling Stone,” which peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100.
While his romantic relationship with Baez lasted only two years, it benefited both performers immensely in terms of their music careers—Dylan wrote some of Baez’s best-known material, and Baez introduced him to thousands of fans through her concerts. By 1964 Dylan was playing 200 concerts annually, but had become tired of his role as “the” folk singer-songwriter of the protest movement. Another Side of Bob Dylan, recorded in 1964, was a much more personal, introspective collection of songs, far less politically charged than Dylan’s previous efforts.
Track listing: 1) Odds And Ends; 2) Orange Juice Blues (Blues For Breakfast); 3) Million Dollar Bash; 4) Yazoo Street Scandal; 5) Goin’ To Acapulco; 6) Katie’s Been Gone; 7) Lo And Behold; 8) Bessie Smith; 9) Clothes Line Saga; 10) Apple Suckling Tree; 11) Please Mrs Henry; 12) Tears Of Rage; 13) Too Much Of Nothing; 14) Yea! Heavy And A Bottle Of Bread; 15) Ain’t No More Cane; 16) Crash On The Levee (Down In The Flood); 17) Ruben Remus; 18) Tiny Montgomery; 19) You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere; 20) Don’t Ya Tell Henry; 21) Nothing Was Delivered; 22) Open The Door Homer; 23) Long Distance Operator; 24) This Wheel’s On Fire.
mostly lyrics left over when we were recording all those Basement Tapes songs. Track listing: 1) Wiggle Wiggle; 2) Under The Red Sky; 3) Unbelievable; 4) Born In Time; 5) T.V. Talkin’ Song; 6) 10,000 Men; 7) 2 X 2; 8) God Knows; 9) Handy Dandy; 10) Cat’s In The Well.
Track listing: 1) Highway 61 Revisited; 2) Maggie’s Farm; 3) I And I; 4) License To Kill; 5) It Ain’t Me Babe; 6) Tangled Up In Blue; 7) Masters Of War; 8) Ballad Of A Thin Man; 9) Girl From The North Country; 10) Tombstone Blues.
But in the end, that turns out to be the strength of the album. Of all the records released in 1966 (and many of them are among my all-time favourites), Blonde On Blonde is the most humane, friendly, and intimate of them all, just because all of its rawness and edginess clicks so much better with your own rawness and edginess and doesn’t make you stand and go ‘wow, this is God-like, I feel so small and humiliated by this holiness’. And there certainly is one aspect in which Blonde On Blonde is exceedingly diverse: moodwise. It is alternately drunk, threatening, Biblical, romantic, clownish, pissed-off, rocking, and epic, with each mood individually represented by its own melodic approach, lyrical imagery, and vocal delivery, and that’s what prevents it from being boring. It’s not like it’s the first time we see this diversity, of course, but with the lengthy format, it’s the first time we see that much of it pulled off so successfully.
So no more dumb arguments, let’s get straight to the essence. And the essence, of course, is the vibe. And the vibe, of course, is unpredictability and arrogance. It’s no big secret that Dylan had begun baffling his audience’s expectations long before the infamous Newport festival. So it’s October ’64, and people still mostly think of Bob Dylan in terms of protest songs, but look at the photos: this is no longer the Wise Through Suffering Working Class Representative of Times, this is already the long-haired black-sweatered beatnik snub of Another Side. The change has come; the electric guitar has but to follow. Just how many protest songs has he performed on here? Three? Four? Five, actually – out of nineteen, and none of them among his biggest. No ‘Blowin’ In The Wind’ on here (imagine the Rolling Stones not performing ‘Satisfaction’!); no ‘Masters Of War’. Three tunes from Times only, one probably due to personal request from Joan Baez.
Of course, all of the funniness and hicky laughter from Bob himself (the liner notes even hint at the possibility of his being high that night – not very probable, I’d say, unless, of course, Bob had a regular habit of getting high before every recorded show), all of the non-seriousness and un-solemnity are in jarring – and fascinating – contrast with the force, conviction, and energy actually contained in the performances themselves. The newer songs, soon to be recorded for Dylan’s most revolutionary album, but as of now, still mostly unplayed, fresh off the oven, are particularly strong, although I wouldn’t be discriminatin’ the Another Side material, either.
Track listing: 1) Frankie & Albert; 2) Jim Jones; 3) Blackjack Davey; 4) Canadee-I-; 5) Sittin’ On Top Of The World; 6) Little Maggie; 7) Hard Times; 8) Step It Up And Go; 9) Tomorrow Night; 10) Arthur McBride; 11) You’re Gonna Quit Me; 12) Diamond Joe; 13) Froggie Went A-Courtin’.
Across two discs-worth of music, Live 1962 – 1966: Rare Performances from The Copyright Collections chronicles Dylan’s transformation from groundbreaking acoustic folk” artist to iconic force of pop culture.
ROLLING THUNDER REVUE: A BOB DYLAN STORY BY MARTIN SCORSESE captures the troubled spirit of America in 1975, and the joyous music that Bob Dylan performed that fall. Master filmmaker Martin Scorsese creates a one-of-a-kind movie experience: part documentary, part concert film, part fever dream. Featuring Joan Baez, Rubin “Hurricane” Carter, Sam Shepard, Allen Ginsberg, and Bob Dylan giving his first on-camera interview in over a decade. The film goes beyond mere reclamation of Dylan’s extraordinary music—it’s a roadmap into the wild country of artistic self-reinvention.
Fortunately, the album starts on an entirely different note, with Bob’s most upbeat song in ages, the word-playful ‘All I Really Want To Do’ – upbeat to the extent of every cover version of it transformed into a merry pop song and to the extent of Dylan re-arranging it as a merry pop song for his later performances as well. It’s also one of his most hilarious examples of the “thesaurus approach” ever, and it’s all the more sad how cover versions usually skip over so many verses in favour of the repetitive chorus – actually, repetitive only within the confines of a cover, but never coming across as repetitive in Dylan’s own version. Note the parallelism between this album opener and the next one: this was a short period during which Dylan’s aim was to knock you off your rocker with a heavy verbal barrage right from the very start. (Although – clever lad! – he’d give up on that practice later).
The much more introspective, somewhat misogynistic ‘Don’t Think Twice It’s Alright’ is yet another timeless classic here: if you ever doubted that Dylan could pen a great melody, here’s your chance to disprove it. (And after having disproved that, you’d find yourself DEAD WRONG! HA HA! He actually ripped it off Paul Clayton’s ballad ‘Who’s Gonna Buy Your Ribbon Saw’). A bitter-meets-tender ‘bye bye love’-type ditty, it hits you with all the might of the Bobster’s weird, by now softer, gruffer and more melancholy tone, and the effect is unforgettable. ‘I gave her my heart but she wanted my soul’ – had such an oppostion ever been made before in the world of folk music? Look for it.
Bob Dylan (born Robert Zimmerman May 24, 1941), is an American singer-songwriter, writer, and artist who has influenced popular music and culture for more than five decades. Dylan has especially played a critical role in the American folk music revival.
Religious, cozy and friendly; what other characteristics I still haven’t mentioned? Oh yeah. Overall, this album produces a very ‘lazy’ impression as well, although it’s not the ‘laziness’ of Selfportrait: the latter showed signs of tiredness (Bob tired of his fame and success), while New Morning displays signs of obvious boredom. Tracks like ‘Time Passes Slowly’ really set a unique mood that makes me imagine Bob as a lazy sluggard lying on his bed and staring at the ceiling. It does have a melody, because I’m able to remember it; but it creeps along at such a snail pace, and it sounds so blatantly minimalistic – one finger on a piano, eh? – that you will certainly be tempted to deny its very existence. Do not. It’s just an Intentionally Boring (And Bored) Melody.
This is where it all starts happening. Thirteeen tracks, with a collective length of over fifty minutes (that’s twice as long as a contemporary Beach Boys LP – and makes it a real bummer to be transferred on C-90 tape, by the way), and not one of them out of place or irrelevant! As if to intentionally distance his newly-found Strength from the now forgotten Weakness, Bob almost completely eschews covers this time, and stuffs the album full of his compositions – some of which happen to be among his most famous songs of all time.
Track listing: 1) She’s No Good; 2) Talkin’ New York; 3) In My Time Of Dyin’; 4) Man Of Constant Sorrow; 5) Fixin’ To Die Blues; 6) Pretty Peggy-; 7) Highway 51 Blues; 8) Gospel Plow; 9) Baby Let Me Follow You Down; 10) House Of The Risin’ Sun; 11) Freight Train Blues; 12) Song To Woody; 13) See That My Grave Is Kept Clean.
Born Robert Zimmerman, the iconic singer-songwriter dubbed himself Bob Dylan in a nod to poet Dylan Thomas. This hour you’ll hear “Boy from the North Country: Bob Dylan in Minnesota,” produced by MPR’s Jim Bickal.
For Hale — known for supplying string arrangements to diverse pop recordings by the likes of Jamiroquai, Charlotte Church, Kylie Minogue and Susan Boyle, as well as theatrical productions of Tootsie,” Strictly Ballroom” and Guys and Dolls” and the Fifty Shades Darker” soundtrack — being given carte blanche regarding what they would with the source material was both liberating and terrifying.