Fantasy Football - Footballguys Forums
rockaction

Bob Dylan, Tangentials, and Eephus's Review Thread: Ella Fitzgerald, Top Of The Marquee

Recommended Posts

I can't add to the Desire discussion, and this is mere consumerism, but I just got the Mobile Fidelity One-Step Ultradisc treatment of Gaye's What's Going On. It sounds awesome. There's more of the Detroit mix in this mastering in my opinion. Lots of low end. But nice. 

On a dissimilar note, but as certain hip hop/rap artists are considered among those who speak for the streets (in so much as they can be spoken of in a unitary way) I also got Pusha T's Daytona on wax today, too. Hmmm...if you know, you know, I guess.

ūü§Ē

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The football draft sent me down an early Prince path that ended up with Midnight Love, the last album Marvin Gaye recorded before his murder. 

It was his first album after leaving Motown for CBS.  Gaye and his collaborators used lots of synths and drum machines that time stamp the album in the early 80s  Sexual Healing is the hit here and deservedly so.  It's the only time where the synthetic and soulful combine for the greater good.  The slow jam Til Tomorrow is good once you get past the spoken word before bedtime intro.  Joy and Midnight Lady are best the funky up tempo bangers.  The album has a bright sound that's similar to the records Quincy Jones made with Michael Jackson during this period but the recordings are busier.  Sometimes you can smell the cocaine in the groove. 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Dr. Octopus said:

I've gone back and forth on whether Desire or BOTT is my favorite Dylan record (with Blonde on Blonde working it's way in there from time to time). It's probably "cooler" to claim Desire for contrarian reasons, but ultimately I would have to give in and admit Tracks is better as well. 

My new hot take is that Desire got propelled in the slipstream of BOTT and Rolling Thunder.  This brief cycle in 75-76 was undoubtedly the greatest of Dylan's many comebacks.

The record was a huge commercial hit by Dylan standards which may have helped its critical standing as well.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Eephus said:

The football draft sent me down an early Prince path that ended up with Midnight Love, the last album Marvin Gaye recorded before his murder. 

It was his first album after leaving Motown for CBS.  Gaye and his collaborators used lots of synths and drum machines that time stamp the album in the early 80s  Sexual Healing is the hit here and deservedly so.  It's the only time where the synthetic and soulful combine for the greater good.  The slow jam Til Tomorrow is good once you get past the spoken word before bedtime intro.  Joy and Midnight Lady are best the funky up tempo bangers.  The album has a bright sound that's similar to the records Quincy Jones made with Michael Jackson during this period but the recordings are busier.  Sometimes you can smell the cocaine in the groove.

It's kind of amazing how you can hear the cocaine just dripping off the knobs in the eighties.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, rockaction said:

It's kind of amazing how you can hear the cocaine just dripping off the knobs in the eighties.

Bosley can't hear much of anything but his nose still works.

  • Like 1
  • Laughing 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We spent some time with Oh Mercy tonight.  Unsure what I think about it.  Will give it another spin tomorrow.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Maybe I'm getting Dylaned out with the end in sight but I was a little disappointed by this one too.

No Mercy (1989)

No Mercy marked another one of Dylan's comebacks, returning this time after a series of not so good 80s efforts.  No Mercy teamed Dylan with producer Daniel Lanois who was red hot at the time.  I don't think the production suited the man or his material but I can understand why it turned heads in 1989.  Lanois produced another Dylan album later on (Time Out of Mind) that I don't remember as being quite as Lanoisy as this one. 

I think the sound fits better on the more up tempo songs of side one.  "Political World" and "Everything Is Broken" find a nice groove and are pretty well known by mid-period Dylan standards.  The band, made up of Lanois sidemen rather than Dylan's touring group, can rock but Dylan sometimes sound like he's in another room.  Some of the slower songs on No Mercy are set in a odd ambient soundscape that's unlike anything else I've heard from Dylan.  The arrangements are so ethereal that the songs drift away.  It's as if Lanois has bleached all the color out of the recordings.

Although I have mixed feelings about the album, I had no problems finding songs for the playlist.  Man in a Long Black Coat has a bit of "Night of the Hunter" about it.  The production accentuates the dark mood and post-apocalyptic landscape.  I chose What Was It You Wanted over the more familiar "Most of the Time" because of its unusual sound.  It's almost like Dylan in dub with his harmonica reminiscent of Augustus Pablo's melodica on a thousand reggae songs.

In Mrs. Eephus' words, Bosley has been riding "The Confusion Train" the past few nights.  His nocturnal wanderings have increased in frequency and length.  I'm a much sounder sleeper than she is so I don't hear him at night but it's driving her nuts.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm down to single digits to go:

Bob Dylan
The Times They Are a-Changin
Another Side of Bob Dylan
Blonde on Blonde
Nashville Skyline
Empire Burlesque
Good As I Been to You
Christmas in the Heart
Tempest

I think I'll save the Christmas record for December (if the good Lord's willin' and the creek don't rise)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Eephus said:

I'm down to single digits to go:

Bob Dylan
The Times They Are a-Changin
Another Side of Bob Dylan
Blonde on Blonde
Nashville Skyline
Empire Burlesque
Good As I Been to You
Christmas in the Heart
Tempest

I think I'll save the Christmas record for December (if the good Lord's willin' and the creek don't rise)

You're doing what champions do. Setting a goal and seeing it through.

I can barely get through Marvin and Van, and I've got variety here. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
36 minutes ago, rockaction said:

You're doing what champions do. Setting a goal and seeing it through.

I can barely get through Marvin and Van, and I've got variety here. 

Assist to Boz for giving me 30-40 minutes of uninterrupted listening time every night.

I never set a goal when this started (or my own thread for that matter).  My normal listening habits are to dabble in everything so the idea of plowing through 30+ Dylan albums is way outside the norm.  But it's been rewarding to try to wrap my head around Dylan's massive catalog. Even his mediocre albums are full of interesting moments.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
43 minutes ago, Eephus said:

Assist to Boz for giving me 30-40 minutes of uninterrupted listening time every night.

I never set a goal when this started (or my own thread for that matter).  My normal listening habits are to dabble in everything so the idea of plowing through 30+ Dylan albums is way outside the norm.  But it's been rewarding to try to wrap my head around Dylan's massive catalog. Even his mediocre albums are full of interesting moments.

I was being facetious, but that's cool. I've personally been edified by your endeavor, so it's been nice to watch and read and see the thread updated for me. Glad it's rewarding for you. 

On a personal level, if there's no conversation to have or relate to, I'm not as interested in the sourcing of these records, what they mean, what the markings mean, all that. I've sort of gone off to other sites and learned a bit about what goes on and went on with the record industry and pressing actual records from this, and I've taken the anecdotal to take some time to listen to Dylan stuff I might otherwise have not have listened to. I now, thanks to this thread and keeping it alive, have a more defined sense of what to get in order to really listen to these records as they were meant to be heard, which is nice. Dylan himself was an audiophile it is said, and that he liked the high fidelity pressings of his records, which is in keeping with his fastidiousness, one would presume. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Times They Are A-Changin' (1964)

If I'd listened to Dylan's albums in chronological order (as some guy suggested early on in the thread), the changes in The Times They Are A-Changin' would have been more striking.  The album was Dylan's first with only his own songs.  It was notably darker than his previous three records without any of the jokey talking blues numbers that were his first compositions on record.  There are still a couple of protest songs but except for the title track and "With God On Their Side" ,  they're more focused at a personal level.  This is only the third of Dylan's five early acoustic albums I've listened to for this project but it's definitely my favorite of the three. 

The development in Dylan's songwriting chops is astounding.  There's nothing as grand in scope as "Hard Rain" from his last album but it's a work of tremendous maturity for a 22 year old.   The "Ballad of Hollis Brown" sounds like a folk tale of murder that's been passed down generations.  "The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll" shows Dylan to be a master of the telling detail.  I chose Hollis Brown because of its unrelenting, building tension as the sordid tale unfolds.  My other selection "Boots of Spanish Leather" with its alternating verses is another timeless story of long distance love.

Boz is doing OK.  He walks slowly but at a consistent pace on flat ground.  I probably place too much importance on how well he deals with the front porch steps but it's an area where he's slowed down noticeably.  Every now and again he'll surprise me by hopping up the stairs like a mountain goat but it's usually a 2-3 minute proposition to make it up the thirteen steps.  He still gets excited about going for a nighttime walk whether Dylan is coming along or not.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, Eephus said:

The Times They Are A-Changin' (1964)

If I'd listened to Dylan's albums in chronological order (as some guy suggested early on in the thread), the changes in The Times They Are A-Changin' would have been more striking.  The album was Dylan's first with only his own songs.  It was notably darker than his previous three records without any of the jokey talking blues numbers that were his first compositions on record.  There are still a couple of protest songs but except for the title track and "With God On Their Side" ,  they're more focused at a personal level.  This is only the third of Dylan's five early acoustic albums I've listened to for this project but it's definitely my favorite of the three. 

The development in Dylan's songwriting chops is astounding.  There's nothing as grand in scope as "Hard Rain" from his last album but it's a work of tremendous maturity for a 22 year old.   The "Ballad of Hollis Brown" sounds like a folk tale of murder that's been passed down generations.  "The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll" shows Dylan to be a master of the telling detail.  I chose Hollis Brown because of its unrelenting, building tension as the sordid tale unfolds.  My other selection "Boots of Spanish Leather" with its alternating verses is another timeless story of long distance love.

Boz is doing OK.  He walks slowly but at a consistent pace on flat ground.  I probably place too much importance on how well he deals with the front porch steps but it's an area where he's slowed down noticeably.  Every now and again he'll surprise me by hopping up the stairs like a mountain goat but it's usually a 2-3 minute proposition to make it up the thirteen steps.  He still gets excited about going for a nighttime walk whether Dylan is coming along or not.

I remember listening and being blown away by "Ballad of Hollis Brown." Quite the thing.

Sounds like routine and companionship is the stuff of life for Boz. Cheers to that. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, rockaction said:

Sounds like routine and companionship is the stuff of life for Boz. Cheers to that. 

I'm two steps above that dog who's always hiding behind the reflection in the oven door

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I figured I'd finish off the 80s tonight with Empire Burlesque.  It didn't start off promisingly when Bosley, who was unusually excited tonight for some reason, jumped from about midway down the stairs and ended up turtled between the bottom step and the gate.  Fortunately he was OK after I flipped him over.   I was a couple steps behind him and it was definitely a leap rather than a fall.  It eventually became a tumble but it began as a leap.

The record is tough for me to get a handle on so far.  I needed to get past the gospel singers and the big 80s drums but the songs aren't bad at all.  I was starting to get used to the sound when I ran into my buddy Stefano who joined our walk for most of it.  By the time he left us to go buy a slice, I was two blocks away from the house.  We have plans the next three nights so I may have to rewind Empire Burlesque back to track 1.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/23/2019 at 3:11 PM, Eephus said:

Maybe I'm getting Dylaned out with the end in sight but I was a little disappointed by this one too.

No Mercy (1989)

No Mercy marked another one of Dylan's comebacks, returning this time after a series of not so good 80s efforts.  No Mercy teamed Dylan with producer Daniel Lanois who was red hot at the time.  I don't think the production suited the man or his material but I can understand why it turned heads in 1989.  Lanois produced another Dylan album later on (Time Out of Mind) that I don't remember as being quite as Lanoisy as this one. 

I think the sound fits better on the more up tempo songs of side one.  "Political World" and "Everything Is Broken" find a nice groove and are pretty well known by mid-period Dylan standards.  The band, made up of Lanois sidemen rather than Dylan's touring group, can rock but Dylan sometimes sound like he's in another room.  Some of the slower songs on No Mercy are set in a odd ambient soundscape that's unlike anything else I've heard from Dylan.  The arrangements are so ethereal that the songs drift away.  It's as if Lanois has bleached all the color out of the recordings.

Although I have mixed feelings about the album, I had no problems finding songs for the playlist.  Man in a Long Black Coat has a bit of "Night of the Hunter" about it.  The production accentuates the dark mood and post-apocalyptic landscape.  I chose What Was It You Wanted over the more familiar "Most of the Time" because of its unusual sound.  It's almost like Dylan in dub with his harmonica reminiscent of Augustus Pablo's melodica on a thousand reggae songs.

In Mrs. Eephus' words, Bosley has been riding "The Confusion Train" the past few nights.  His nocturnal wanderings have increased in frequency and length.  I'm a much sounder sleeper than she is so I don't hear him at night but it's driving her nuts.

I'm not crazy about that record either, though I am a Lanois fan. Series of Dreams is a good one from those sessions that didn't make the record for whatever reason.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Shuffling around the It's Too Late to Stop Now volumes and soaking in that wondrous live Van sound.  

Here comes the night.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Empire Burlesque (1985)

I've been at this for going on three months and hopefully I've learned something from it.  I've spent a lot of words on how Dylan's records sound and complaining about this and that but as I've gotten deeper into Dylan's music, I think I'm better able to appreciate the songs beneath the production.  Empire Burlesque is a perfect test of how much I've grown.  It has the ### ####edest sound that screams 1985. He certainly wasn't the only veteran artist who tried to bring his music current with the latest studio frippery. But even though the album is as dated as a Nagel print, the songs themselves are solid.

The eighties were weird (although not as weird as this loop of Dylan singing "We Are the World" for ten hours) and I think the best way to enjoy Empire Burlesque is to embrace the zeitgeist. The best place to start is at the beginning with "Tight Connection to My Heart (Has Anybody Seen My Love)".  It's yet another Dylan song of love lost (or abandoned) set to a rolling beat with lots of backup singers but the lyrics are great and the ending hints at larger stakes.

Never could learn to drink that blood
And call it wine
Never could learn to hold you love
And call you mine

The peak weirdness on the album comes from another song with an unwieldy title "When the Night Comes Falling From the Sky".  In an alternate universe, this could have been a beloved classic instead of the absurd Arthur Baker dance mix it became. The album version is worth listening to once because it's one of the strangest songs in Dylan's history. It's hard to get past the Linn Drums and synths but there's a good song in there somewhere that's worth seeking out in a live recording to see what could have been.  

Of course I didn't choose either of these for the playlist because they wouldn't flow.  Seeing the Real You At Last sounds a bit like a Dylan impersonator fronting Huey Lewis & The News but it's fascinating how Dylan weaves lines from old Hollywood movies into the lyrics.  The other song I picked is the anomaly on the album.  Dark Eyes is a simple acoustic track that stands out from the overproduced mess of the album. Dylan observes the scene around him but ends each verse with "all I see are dark eyes".  It may have been a song he threw together to fill the album but even his throwaways can be beautiful.

Boz was moving slowly over the weekend, perhaps as an aftermath to his tumble down the stairs but he seemed back to normal last night.  He was 18.5 lbs. the last time he was weighed at the vet which is 3.5 lbs. down from where he was in his younger days.  It's probably good for him to be leaner now because it's less weight to carry on his hind legs.  His appetite still seems to be OK.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Heading out in the Country with

Nashville Skyline (1969)

This is one of the albums I listened to first when we began our Dylan adventures but before I started doing write-ups.  I wasn't impressed by the album at the time but my perspective of Dylan has changed since the beginning of summer.

The first thing that you notice with Nashville Skyline is that voice, a reedy tenor treated with reverb.  Dylan affects this style on some of his early 70s efforts but never as prominently as he does here.  I guess his voice suits the straightforward (for Dylan) countrified material he was writing at the time.  There are no apocalyptic visions or deep explorations of spirituality, just a relaxed set of songs backed by a crack crew of Nashville session musicians.  I think I found the record to be too inconsequential when I listened to it earlier but I enjoyed the vibe more this time around.  I still don't care for the awful harmonizing with Johnny Cash on "Girl From the North Country" that serves as kind of a prelude for the album with the instrumental "Nashville Skyline Rag".

I added the rollicking piano-driven To Be Alone with You and the gorgeous heartbreak ballad I Threw It All Away to the playlist.  I considered the famous slow jam "Lay Lady Lay" and "Tonight I'll Be Staying Here with You" but I've been favoring more obscure tracks all along and it's too late to turn back now.  It's a solid album that was influential at the time for its fusion of folk, country and rock 'n roll.  A lot has happened musically since 1969 and it sounds far from revolutionary today but it goes down like a glass of sweet tea on a hot afternoon.

Not much new on the Boz front.  The world of an old dog is very small.  He sleeps most of the time, wanders around the house occasionally and goes for walks three times a day.  He got stuck on the front stairs the other night when he got too close to the final step to be able to lift his forelegs.  He just stood there until I moved him back by a half inch or so.  Dogs don't have a reverse gear so this was another variation of the Bosley gets trapped theme.

 

 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, CletiusMaximus said:

This is exactly how I sound when I'm alone in my car.

I sound more like 2007 Dylan

  • Laughing 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, Eephus said:

Heading out in the Country with

Nashville Skyline (1969)

This is one of the albums I listened to first when we began our Dylan adventures but before I started doing write-ups.  I wasn't impressed by the album at the time but my perspective of Dylan has changed since the beginning of summer.

The first thing that you notice with Nashville Skyline is that voice, a reedy tenor treated with reverb.  Dylan affects this style on some of his early 70s efforts but never as prominently as he does here.  I guess his voice suits the straightforward (for Dylan) countrified material he was writing at the time.  There are no apocalyptic visions or deep explorations of spirituality, just a relaxed set of songs backed by a crack crew of Nashville session musicians.  I think I found the record to be too inconsequential when I listened to it earlier but I enjoyed the vibe more this time around.  I still don't care for the awful harmonizing with Johnny Cash on "Girl From the North Country" that serves as kind of a prelude for the album with the instrumental "Nashville Skyline Rag".

I added the rollicking piano-driven To Be Alone with You and the gorgeous heartbreak ballad I Threw It All Away to the playlist.  I considered the famous slow jam "Lay Lady Lay" and "Tonight I'll Be Staying Here with You" but I've been favoring more obscure tracks all along and it's too late to turn back now.  It's a solid album that was influential at the time for its fusion of folk, country and rock 'n roll.  A lot has happened musically since 1969 and it sounds far from revolutionary today but it goes down like a glass of sweet tea on a hot afternoon.

Not much new on the Boz front.  The world of an old dog is very small.  He sleeps most of the time, wanders around the house occasionally and goes for walks three times a day.  He got stuck on the front stairs the other night when he got too close to the final step to be able to lift his forelegs.  He just stood there until I moved him back by a half inch or so.  Dogs don't have a reverse gear so this was another variation of the Bosley gets trapped theme.

 

 

Don't know where I read/heard it, but I think he had quit smoking for a few years around that time and his voice got more "normal".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bonus Dylan for a Friday.

I went on a bike ride today and listened to one of Spotify's "recommended" for you albums Dylan & The Dead (1989).  The Spotify algorithm knows I listen to Dylan a lot and probably hacked my Paypal information to figure out I've lived on Haight Street for 20+ years.

The pairing sounds good on paper but unfortunately doesn't deliver on record.  The band never is given much of a chance of stretch their legs and Dylan seems the opposite of energized.   There aren't even any radical/interesting rearrangements of familiar material.  The completist in me is glad I heard it but the rest of me wishes I'd picked something else for my ride back from the beach.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/5/2019 at 11:57 AM, Eephus said:

What ever happened to @Man of Constant Sorrow?

I don't know. He and OTB have gone on to greener pastures these days, it seems.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Fun fact:  The version of  "Joey" on Dylan & The Dead is a minute and a half shorter than the original on Desire.

I guess shorter is better but I'm not going to listen again to find out.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/5/2019 at 2:57 PM, Eephus said:

What ever happened to @Man of Constant Sorrow?

 

17 hours ago, rockaction said:

I don't know. He and OTB have gone on to greener pastures these days, it seems.

Heya guys. I'm not totally gone.

I was hit with the busy bug recently. My parents have been needing my help a lot lately, and I have been putting together a business website for my photography. This has taken up most all of my free time. It is not yet ready for release; but I am getting close. I have gotten some business from my efforts so far tho ... so, it is working.

Finally, I had my Dynasty League FF draft this past week - ready for kickoff.

 

So, I apologize for my absence, but it is hopefully about to change.

Thanks for mention. I will catch up here and in the Movie club thread soon. Really.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good As I Been To You  (1992)

This album was 50 year old Dylan's return to his folk roots.  The thirteen songs are all acoustic covers of traditional folk and blues numbers.  Good As I Been To You and its 1993 companion World Gone Wrong are intimate sets delivered in ragged glory with the occasional flubbed note and croaked vocal.   The latter album is a bit darker with fewer love songs and more murder ballads but this record is not all sweetness and light.  Both records are excellent and form a clear demarcation between Dylan's pop-focus in the 80s and the more idiosyncratic efforts that followed. 

Dylan is in good form here.  The obvious point of comparison is to his earliest records of (mostly) acoustic folk songs.  His voice in his early 20s was clearer and had greater range but I think his gruff old man voice suits the material better.  Although he was never a virtuoso on guitar, his strumming and picking on this record is excellent.  My only criticism is that 55 minutes of acoustic folk songs is too much of a good thing.  I never knew "Froggie Went a Courtin'" had so many verses.

I was tempted to choose "Frankie and Albert" for the playlist because the song better known as "Frankie and Johnny" is as legendary and oft-covered as "Stagger Lee".  Maybe someday I'll compile a playlist of all the versions I can find.  Until then, the playlist will have to do with an old Howlin' Wolf number Sittin' On Top of the World.. If young Dylan could have sung the blues like this, he might have done nothing else.  But you have to live some to sing the blues and the older Dylan pulls it off with conviction.  The other song is Jim Jones, a rendition of a folk ballad about a prisoner conscripted to the penal colonies of Australia.  It's also the song Jennifer Jason Leigh sings during the coffee scene in The Hateful Eight.

Boz seems to have developed a weakness in his right hind leg.  He sometimes falls down when he pivots to his right.  Hopefully it's a temporary thing but he's still able to get around and made it up the steps pretty easily last night.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Getting down to the nitty gritty now.

Bob Dylan
Another Side of Bob Dylan
Christmas in the Heart
Tempest

I think I'll take on Another Side next before finishing with Dylan's first and last* albums.

 

*Tempest is his last record of original material.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Eephus said:

Another Side of Bob Dylan

Go away/from my window/leave at your own chosen speed

Sold this in service of getting Marvin's What's Going On from Mobile Fidelity (Supercut, 45 RPM, 2019)

Nice stuff. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not sure what I'm going to do when I finish up Dylan.  I've been listening to the man around four nights per week for three months.  I listen to lots of other music new and old but the Dylan records have become a companion on our slow nightly walks.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, Eephus said:

I'm not sure what I'm going to do when I finish up Dylan.  I've been listening to the man around four nights per week for three months.  I listen to lots of other music new and old but the Dylan records have become a companion on our slow nightly walks.

Open thread, as far as I see it.

Also, sorry to have cut and pasted the whole synopsis of the reviews in the previous post. That was an editing error -- not sure how that happened. They can still be found, updated, in the OP. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Eephus said:

Getting down to the nitty gritty now.

Bob Dylan
Another Side of Bob Dylan
Christmas in the Heart
Tempest

I think I'll take on Another Side next before finishing with Dylan's first and last* albums.

 

*Tempest is his last record of original material.

Forgot about Blonde On Blonde :bag:

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, Eephus said:

Forgot about Blonde On Blonde :bag:

Blonde on Blonde - Nada Surf

I think that was already linked by CIA earlier in the thread, but it could use another turn. Another great song about another artist's work. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Started listening to Another Side last night but I had my phone set to shuffle

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another Side of Bob Dylan (1964)

I've probably listened to this one more than any of his other early acoustic albums.  One of my college roommates Don Howell rated it highly and played it often.  I also picked up a copy of the LP somewhere along the way from another roommate Cathryn who didn't take her records with her when she moved out.  It's a great album but not quite as good as Times They Are A-Changin' which preceded it.  Another side was Dylan's third album in 15 months and contains a couple of throwaway songs but he exhibits more humor on them than he had on his previous two more political records.  But I'm quibbling again..  It's a great album period.

Dylan went electric shortly afterwards and I guess you can see changes coming in retrospect.  He's starting to hit his head on the limitations of folk music and solo acoustic performances.  He's mastered the form and changing of the guard from folk to rock inspired him to greater heights.

The selections for the playlist are one classic and one oddball.  The classic is I Don't Believe You (She Acts Like We Never Have Met) another of Dylan's great kiss off songs.  At least in this case the feeling was mutual since the woman is just as out as Dylan is.  The oddball is a funny little blues original called Black Crow Blues.  It's unique in Dylan's early catalog because he accompanies himself on piano (and harp).  Dylan was a big Jerry Lee Lewis fan in Minnesota and does a credible boogie woogie here.

It's been hot again in SF and Bosley has been very lethargic.  I'm sure I've mentioned the neighborhood cats and how they interact with Boz.  Their new thing is sitting on the fence between houses and watching Bosley wander around the yard.  It's gotten to be so common that Bosley will climb 5-6 steps so he's at the same level as the fence to see if any cats are there.  The problem is he turns his body to look through the railing; once he's parallel with the step he doesn't have enough room or inclination to pivot back to climb the remaining stairs.

 

 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Way back at the beginning of this thread, somebody argued that people should listen to Dylan's catalog chronologically.  I guess that's one way of doing it but while Dylan is a lot of things, linear ain't one of 'em.  It would be more than a little perverse to save Dylan's debut to the very end so instead I'll take it on with two to go.

Bob Dylan (1962)

Dylan was a 21 year folk singer who'd just moved to NY from Minnesota a year earlier.  For his first self titled LP, Dylan recorded two originals and eleven traditional folk and blues numbers.  Listening from a lifetime further along, I can hear the talent but not the genius that was to come.  There's a hint of the attitude and ego that allowed Dylan to transcend the collectivist folkie scene and become the voice of his generation.  But it's just a hint; he's' still trying to find his voice here.  He comes off a bit mannered at times, he growls a bit and even tries to yodel.   The songwriting that would soon separate the him from contemporaries like Phil Ochs, Dave Van Ronk or Arlo Guthrie wasn't mature either.  The two originals are a autobiographical talking blues and "Song to Woody", where Dylan positions himself in the tradition of Woody Guthrie, Leadbelly and Cisco Houston.  Dylan never lacked for ambition which is one of the things that's made him great.

One obvious song for the playlist is Man of Constant Sorrow, a folk song where Dylan gets to show off his picking and harp playing.  Baby Let Me Follow You Down gets the other playlist slot.  It's a short song, especially after Dylan spends almost a minute long introducing it, but it rocks once it gets rolling.  Dylan must have liked the song because he performed it right after he went electric and again at The Last Waltz.

Bosley gave us a scare last night.  We'd gone over to Oakland for a barbecue and left him in the house alone.  We spent longer than expected at the party and got back after dark.  When I walked in the door, Boz was nowhere to be seen and his dog bed was empty.  Our flat isn't that big but it took us about five minutes to finally find him.  Mrs. Eephus heard a faint cry in the back of the house and saw the black tip of his tail behind a box.  He'd somehow managed to wedge himself into a small space between the box and the wall and he couldn't get out.  Once we pulled him out he seemed more thirsty than traumatized by the experience.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Took the proverbial great leap forward, fifty years forward to be exact from 21 year old to 71 year old Dylan.

Tempest (2012)

This is the most recent album of original songs.  The three records since have been all covers.  Dylan is nothing if not mysterious, who knows if he's got more material in him.  If not, Tempest isn't the greatest final act but it certainly has its moments.  The first thing I noticed listening to his first and last albums back to back is the voice.  Dylan's vocal chords have been subjected to a lifetime of abuse.  His range is so limited that it affects the melodies of the songs.  His timing is still sharp but he has to fall back on gargling his vowels to emphasize them.  It took me a spin to get accustomed to his voice and the album grew on me after that.

He swings out of the gate with the opener "Duquesne Whistle" but the record soons grinds into a slower and darker groove.  I wouldn't say the album is about death but it's never very far away.  I guess that's a fact of life after 70.  Like some of his other late career records, Dylan takes his time to tell his tales.  Half the ten songs are over seven minutes in length.  This includes the title track which at 13:54 is the second longest track of his career.  It's Dylan's telling of the Titanic legend and it's not very good.  I've listened to it twice which is once too many.

There are a handful of standout songs but I narrowed them down to the usual two.¬† Early Roman Kings is an accordion blues based on "Mannish Boy" and "I'm Your Hoochie Coochie Man" that may be about the Roman Republic or 1950s New York street gangs or something else completely.¬† Pay In Blood is Dylan in full on angry old man mode which works well within the limitations of his voice.¬† He jabs in the verses but sneaks in an uppercut in the refrain "I'll pay in blood / but not my own‚ÄĚ.¬† It's a strong song that wouldn't be out of place on any Dylan album.

Bosley occasionally has a burst of energy on his night time walks.  It's usually after we've waited at a stop light and he'll dash off the curb into the crosswalk.  A couple of nights ago on Tempest day 1, he did it mid-block and went charging off into a wall.  He seemed very surprised by the sudden stop but wasn't discouraged because he had another spurt about five minutes later.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Only one* album to go:  Blonde on Blonde.

Here's a little BoB timewaster that lets you play around with a four track mixer of "One of Us Must Know (Sooner or Later)".  You can also remix "Like A Rolling Stone" but that's not on Blonde on Blonde.

 

* excluding Christmas In the Heart.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Has anyone here seen Bob Dylan live in the last year or two?  I see he is touring and coming to a local venue.  I am considering going, but I am a little on the fence about it.  Is he still worth a live show?  I sort of feel like I need to go as I can't expect there will be many more opportunities, but I also don't want a sour taste in my mouth for the last hurrah.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The videos I've seen from the last European leg were hit and miss.  The setlists had some interesting material but didn't change at all from show to show.

I'm in the same boat as you.  He's playing at Stanford next month but I'm giving it a pass.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The next Bootleg Series release on Nov 1 will cover Nashville sessions from 1967-69.  It'll consist of outtakes from John Wesley Harding and Nashville Skyline including some additional duets with Johnny Cash and some tracks recorded with Earl Scruggs and his sons.

The teaser is an alternate take of Tell Me That It Isn't True that rocks harder than the version on Nashville Skyline.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

RIP Robert Hunter. 

It's a pretty high compliment for a songwriter to co-write with Dylan.  Their 2009 collaboration Together Through Life is Dylan's last great album (so far).

Forgetful Heart - Live

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Everything ends but at least we're going out on a high note

Blonde on Blonde (1966)

This thread started off to discuss the best Dylan album for RA to buy on audiophile vinyl.  I guess this one has as good a claim as any.  I've listened to a lot of Dylan this summer from throughout his career.  Although almost every record has its charms I think I agree with the conventional wisdom about peak-Dylan.  The two albums he made in the year between going electric and his motorcycle crash are about as good as rock 'n roll gets.

It's really hard to choose between Blonde on Blonde and Highway 61 Revisited but unless you're paying silly money for special pressings, you really don't have to.  The obvious thing Blonde on Blonde has going for it is it's a double album (more music, more music, more music).  It has 36% more songs and is 41% longer than Highway 61 Revisited.  But basic old school analytics don't tell the story.  Blonde on Blonde was (mostly) recorded in Nashville with local session men and seems to have a more laid back vibe.   The rhythm section swings away and  there are some very interesting guitar parts such as "Absolutely Sweet Marie".   The best known track on Blonde on Blonde is one of Dylan's silliest, "Rainy Day Women #12 & 35".  There's nothing as epic here as "Desolation Row" or "Like A Rolling Stone".  The long closing number "Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands" is probably my favorite Dylan song over ten minutes in length, which if you've followed this thread is damning with faint praise.

The playlist wraps tonight as well.  I've consciously avoided the most famous songs but there's no way I can pass Visions of Johanna over.  It's one of Dylan's greatest which is to say it's one of the greatest; sheer brilliance that keeps moving the bar higher with every verse.  It's a song I've loved for almost forty years.  Every mix needs some rockers so I'm moving down the line with Leopard Skin Pillbox Hat.  There are certainly better songs on the album but it's Dylan having some lascivious fun.  Besides, Mrs. Eephus had a leopard print hat when we first starting dating.  It was somewhere between a pillbox hat and a beret.  Thankfully, her dog chewed on it or she'd still have it today.  That was our first dog together although I just came in at the end.

With the death of Robert Hunter yesterday, I reviewed my impressions of two records where he worked with Dylan.  There actually were three but I still remember Tempest.  Boz and I listened to Together Through Life early on in the project in June when Bosley was still going up and down the back steps by himself.  His condition has definitely deteriorated since then. He's less steady on his feet and he gets confused by stairs.  I have to help him either by leading him down or supporting him up.  When I bathed him earlier in the week, I was struck by how small and frail he is under his fur.  He's been having some trouble standing while eating his dog food.  His hind legs slide out from under him on the kitchen floor and he ends up eating while lying on his side.  I bought a rubber mat for him today that he can stand on while eating and drinking.  It seemed to help since his usual kibble debris field was non-existent tonight.

Thanks to Rockaction for letting me barge in on his thread and for keeping things organized.  It made things much easier when I was looking for the Dylan/Hunter records yesterday.   I don't start many threads here and wouldn't have thought to begin one with Dylan and Bosley but I'm happy with the way things turned out.  There were some albums I'll probably never listen to again but great or good or less good, Dylan always offers something provocative.  Thanks to Dylan of course and the many talented musicians who've graced his records.  Dylan has always had exceptional taste when choosing sidemen and I guess you have to be special to keep up with the way he typically records his songs.  Finally, thanks to my pal Bosley for never getting too far ahead or behind me. 

If you made it this far, here's one final plug for the playlist.  I'm biased but I think it's a better career-spanning survey than Spotify's This is Bob Dylan and it's two hours shorter too.  My list will probably make me cry someday but will always remind me of the road of life with Bosley.

  • Like 2
  • Love 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The pleasure, as they say, has been all ours. Thanks for a brief glimpse into your life, Eephus. I know I'm better for this thread.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/5/2019 at 12:36 PM, Eephus said:

Dylan has been releasing records for almost 60 years and has rarely repeated himself.  He's not a singles-oriented artist so a greatest hits compilation won't suffice.  I think it'll take at least five albums to get a chalk outline of his career.

  1. one of his early acoustic records
  2. choose one from Bringing It All Back Home, Hwy 61 or Blonde on Blonde
  3. Blood on the Tracks or Desire
  4. A live album
  5. Something from his late career (post-1989) revival

 

I've revisited this post after making it through to the other side.

  1. The Times They Are A-Changin'
  2. Blonde on Blonde
  3. Blood On The Tracks
  4. I'll put the new Rolling Thunder Revue Live sampler in the live album slot as a placeholder until something from the Never Ending Tour gets a proper release
  5. Love and Theft

Five albums isn't a lot to cover sixty years.  I'd add Good As I Been To You and The Basement Tapes to fill in some gaps.

 

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.