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Bob Dylan's Thread: Holiday Road For The Moment...

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6 minutes ago, Apple Jack said:

Re: Boots, he doesn't go looking for his girlfriend overseas; he resents her leaving him and is wrestling with how to process. Ultimately, concluding after originally asking for her to bring herself back to him unspoiled, that the only thing she can bring back to him is a good pair of shoes. It's one of his finest f you songs, and especially effective as it is a love song right up until the last line.

Ah, thanks for that. I'm going really off my first few listens.

On a different side note: The band switch from 33 to 45 on the table made for a funny chipmunk noise coming from the Deftones on their eponymous, which would prompt a joke about the appropriateness of such in terms of each album's weightiness, but the Deftones are no slouches, musically or lyrically.

 

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4 minutes ago, rockaction said:

Ah, thanks for that. I'm going really off my first few listens.

On a different side note: The band switch from 33 to 45 on the table made for a funny chipmunk noise coming from the Deftones on their eponymous, which would prompt a joke about the appropriateness of such in terms of each album's weightiness, but the Deftones are no slouches, musically or lyrically.

 

I wish I could do that again.

Not coincidentally, one of his other great f you songs, When the Ship Comes In, immediately follows Boots. Another of my favorites. Joan Baez tells a story in No Direction Home that she and Bob were on the road and went to get hotel rooms. They didn't want to give Bob a room because of how he looked. He wasn't well-known in the mainstream yet. Joan was and ended up having to get his room. That pissed Dylan off and he went upstairs and wrote When the Ship Comes In.

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1 minute ago, Apple Jack said:

I wish I could do that again.

Not coincidentally, one of his other great f you songs, When the Ship Comes In, immediately follows Boots. Another of my favorites. Joan Baez tells a story in No Direction Home that she and Bob were on the road and went to get hotel rooms. They didn't want to give Bob a room because of how he looked. He wasn't well-known in the mainstream yet. Joan was and ended up having to get his room. That pissed Dylan off and he went upstairs and wrote When the Ship Comes In.

Regarding the italicized, I can totally relate to that feeling with authors and artists. There's a sense of having played out their greatest stuff, or at least the familiarity with it that precludes the excitement and enjoyment of discovery.

As far as the bolded, I do believe I read that somewhere. 

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11 hours ago, Apple Jack said:

one of his other great f you songs, When the Ship Comes In,

Man, this is a great song that I have not heard before.

😎

Oh the time will come up
When the winds will stop
And the breeze will cease to be breathin’
Like the stillness in the wind
Before the hurricane begins
The hour when the ships comes in

Oh the seas will split
And the ships will hit
And the sands on the shoreline will be shaking
Then the tide will sound
And the waves will pound
And the morning will be breaking

Oh the fishes will laugh
As they swim out of the path
And the seagulls they’ll be smiling
And the rocks on the sand
Will proudly stand
The hour that the ships comes in

And the words that are used
For to get the ship confused
Will not be understood as they’re spoken
For the chains of the sea
Will have busted in the night
And will be buried at the bottom of the ocean

A song will lift
As the mainsail shifts
And the boat drifts on to the shoreline
And the sun will respect
Every face on the deck
The hour that the ships comes in

Then the sands will roll
Out a carpet of gold
For your weary toes to be a-touchin’
And the ship’s wise men
Will remind you once again
That the whole wide world is watchin’

Oh the foes will rise
With the sleep still in their eyes
And they’ll jerk from their beds and think they’re dreamin’
But they’ll pinch themselves and squeal
And know that it’s for real
The hour that the ships comes in

Then they’ll raise their hands
Sayin’ we’ll meet all your demands
But we’ll shout from the bow your hours are numbered
And like Pharoah’s tribe
They’ll be drownded in the tide
And like Goliath, they’ll be conquered

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On 6/8/2019 at 8:44 PM, rockaction said:

"Bob Dylan's Dream" is kind of cool. It's about hanging around with friends and growing up and going different places, both geographically and in mind.

This is also new to me. It is very beautiful. His voice is strong in this one.

The way you described it made me choose it first, btw. It fits.

After the listen, I thought of this poem:

Quote

The Road Not Taken 

BY ROBERT FROST

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,

And sorry I could not travel both

And be one traveler, long I stood

And looked down one as far as I could

To where it bent in the undergrowth;

 

Then took the other, as just as fair,

And having perhaps the better claim,

Because it was grassy and wanted wear;

Though as for that the passing there

Had worn them really about the same,

 

And both that morning equally lay

In leaves no step had trodden black.

Oh, I kept the first for another day!

Yet knowing how way leads on to way,

I doubted if I should ever come back.

 

I shall be telling this with a sigh

Somewhere ages and ages hence:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.

While riding on a train goin' west
I fell asleep for to take my rest
I dreamed a dream that made me sad
Concerning myself and the first few friends I had

With half-damp eyes I stared to the room
Where my friends and I'd spent many an afternoon
Where we together weathered many a storm
Laughin' and singin' till the early hours of the morn

By the old wooden stove where our hats was hung
Our words were told, our songs were sung
Where we longed for nothin' and were satisfied
Jokin' and talkin' about the world outside

With hungry hearts through the heat and cold
We never much thought we could get very old
We thought we could sit forever in fun
But our chances really was a million to one

As easy it was to tell black from white
It was all that easy to tell wrong from right
And our choices they was few so the thought never hit
That the one road we traveled would ever shatter and split

How many a year has passed and gone?
Many a gamble has been lost and won
And many a road taken by many a first friend
And each one I've never seen again

I wish, I wish, I wish in vain
That we could sit simply in that room again
Ten thousand dollars at the drop of a hat
I'd give it all gladly if our lives could be like that

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17 minutes ago, Man of Constant Sorrow said:

Man, this is a great song that I have not heard before.

😎

 

  Reveal hidden contents

Oh the time will come up
When the winds will stop
And the breeze will cease to be breathin’
Like the stillness in the wind
Before the hurricane begins
The hour when the ships comes in

Oh the seas will split
And the ships will hit
And the sands on the shoreline will be shaking
Then the tide will sound
And the waves will pound
And the morning will be breaking

Oh the fishes will laugh
As they swim out of the path
And the seagulls they’ll be smiling
And the rocks on the sand
Will proudly stand
The hour that the ships comes in

And the words that are used
For to get the ship confused
Will not be understood as they’re spoken
For the chains of the sea
Will have busted in the night
And will be buried at the bottom of the ocean

A song will lift
As the mainsail shifts
And the boat drifts on to the shoreline
And the sun will respect
Every face on the deck
The hour that the ships comes in

Then the sands will roll
Out a carpet of gold
For your weary toes to be a-touchin’
And the ship’s wise men
Will remind you once again
That the whole wide world is watchin’

Oh the foes will rise
With the sleep still in their eyes
And they’ll jerk from their beds and think they’re dreamin’
But they’ll pinch themselves and squeal
And know that it’s for real
The hour that the ships comes in

Then they’ll raise their hands
Sayin’ we’ll meet all your demands
But we’ll shout from the bow your hours are numbered
And like Pharoah’s tribe
They’ll be drownded in the tide
And like Goliath, they’ll be conquered

 

Times is such a great album.

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59 minutes ago, Apple Jack said:

Times is such a great album.

I'm gonna finish it later.

I've heard some songs from it b4, but not all.

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7 hours ago, Man of Constant Sorrow said:

I'm gonna finish it later.

I've heard some songs from it b4, but not all.

It's a darn fine album, IMHO. Its rancor is only surpassed by its songwriting. It's a worthy listen and immersion. 

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8 hours ago, rockaction said:

It's a darn fine album, IMHO. Its rancor is only surpassed by its songwriting. It's a worthy listen and immersion. 

I'm about to hit the road for a few errands - I am going to stream it.

I'll tell ya more later.

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It took three walks spread out over six nights but we finally made it through Time Out Of Mind (1997).

I must have heard this before but it was still pretty much of a fresh listen.  We had two young 'uns in 1997 and file sharing was still a few years away for me.  It's generally regarded as one of Dylan's best late-period records and at 72 minutes, it's one of his longest studio albums.

It's a solid set of songs that ambles along nicely at the pace of an old dog.  Dylan gets a lot of stick for his singing voice but I think he's in excellent voice here.  His tone is nasally as usual but his pitch and phrasing are great.  He slides into notes like a blues or jazz singer but he always nails the landing.   He was 56 when this record came out and has finally grown into the old sage voice that he tried to affect in his early records.   Tryin to Get to Heaven and Not Dark Yet are good examples of Dylan's vocal chops at the time.

There's a palpable sense of loss in this record.  The lyrics range from wistful to downright sad, which are amplified by  and the generally laconic pace of the songs.   Cold Iron Bound is the closest thing this album has to a rocker and it's terrific.  I'm of two minds regarding Daniel Lanois' atmospheric production.  I think he does a good job of recording Dylan's voice but I'm not a fan of the gauzy accompaniment.  There are times where it sounds like the band is playing in the next room.

The 16 1/2 minute epic Highlands closes the record.  It's interesting to a point as all Dylan epics are.  It's ostensibly about aging and loss although his heart remains in the highlands wherever he roams.  There are four verses about some interaction with a waitress in Boston and one that seems tailor-made for my nightly walks to Hayes Green with Bosley.

I see people in the park, forgettin' their troubles and woes
They're drinkin' and dancin', wearin' bright colored clothes
All the young men with the young women lookin' so good
Well, I'd trade places with any of 'em, in a minute if I could
I'm crossin' the street to get away from a mangy dog
Talkin' to myself in a monologue
I think what I need might be a full-length leather coat
Somebody just asked me if I'm registered to vote

It's been unseasonably warm in SF since we got back.  This city isn't designed for 90 degree temperatures; our flat is like an oven.  Boz has been really low key due to the heat.  I took him out for a walk in the daytime yesterday but had to turn back after a block.  He walked over a hot manhole cover and went down like the elephant in the Edison newsreel.  He was fine afterwards and we were able to make our usual loop when it cooled down after dark.

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On 6/9/2019 at 10:10 AM, rockaction said:

It would seem that the standout track, to me, is "Ballad of Hollis Brown," a song about a murder/suicide shooting of a family so perfectly harrowing it belongs in the long country tradition of that sort of song. It's really riveting and foreboding, depicting a poor farmer's killing of his family and self. I have a tendency to like that type of song for some reason, whether it's Cash's "Delia's Gone" or the Violent Femmes's "Country Death Song." It could be because the chords are often minor ones, though I'm not sure that's true. Ah, Wiki claims it's a drop D tuning that sounds like E-flat minor. That's a metal trick. (See Spoon's ˆSister Jack" -- "I was in this drop D metal band we called Requiem.")

After my listen, I agree that this is the standout track.

...

There's seven people dead
On a South Dakota farm
There's seven people dead
On a South Dakota farm
Somewheres in the distance
There's seven new people born

 

I prefer Bob's songs that don't refer to specific political topics, but deal more with the general human condition. This holds up well imo.

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I'm excited about the Rolling Thunder documentary so I went back to the record he cut immediately afterwards.

Street Legal (1978)

I believe this was the first Dylan album I ever bought.  It wasn't an auspicious choice but it was his latest release.  This record follows his divorce from Sara and the death of Elvis Presley.  The King's spirit lives on in this record's big band arrangements and heavy use of background singers.   Presley's bass player Jerry Scheff plays on the album.

The album starts off gangbusters with Changing of the Guards and New Pony.  The former rolls in like a freight train and rumbles along with biblical, mythical and autobiographical references.  This is as closest approximation of the Rolling Thunder sound.  New Pony follows as a dirty blues with a great gutbucket sax solo.  The middle of the album is a little soft.  There are times on the album where I got worn out by the horns and backup singers.  They never take a song off.  "Baby Stop Crying" is kind of an interesting slow jam that lacks a killer chorus and "We Better Talk This Over" has kind of a Fleetwood Mac-ish feel to it.

The best song on the album is the magnificent Senor (Tales of Yankee Power).  It's a song that grabs you from the opening couplet.  I've listened to it four times since we came back from our walk.  It's still too hot in SF.  The Jazz Center's block party was tonight so we changed our route to avoid the worst of the crowd. 

Street Legal always suffers in comparison by Blood On the Tracks and Desire.  It's not quite at that pantheon level but the best songs here wouldn't sound out of place on their predecessors.  And they wouldn't have so much soprano saxophone.

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Posted (edited)
14 hours ago, Eephus said:

I'm crossin' the street to get away from a mangy dog
Talkin' to myself in a monologue
I think what I need might be a full-length leather coat
Somebody just asked me if I'm registered to vote

Nice lyrics. That's how he feels about voting as he gets a little even more jaded then. Jesus, that's really wry.

6 hours ago, Eephus said:

Street Legal (1978)

I believe this was the first Dylan album I ever bought. It wasn't an auspicious choice [...]

Cool title, though.

6 hours ago, Eephus said:

It's still too hot in SF.

The weather should break tomorrow. I hope it suits Bosley. 

Edited by rockaction
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9 hours ago, Eephus said:

I'm excited about the Rolling Thunder documentary so I went back to the record he cut immediately afterwards.

Street Legal (1978)

I believe this was the first Dylan album I ever bought.  It wasn't an auspicious choice but it was his latest release.  This record follows his divorce from Sara and the death of Elvis Presley.  The King's spirit lives on in this record's big band arrangements and heavy use of background singers.   Presley's bass player Jerry Scheff plays on the album.

The album starts off gangbusters with Changing of the Guards and New Pony.  The former rolls in like a freight train and rumbles along with biblical, mythical and autobiographical references.  This is as closest approximation of the Rolling Thunder sound.  New Pony follows as a dirty blues with a great gutbucket sax solo.  The middle of the album is a little soft.  There are times on the album where I got worn out by the horns and backup singers.  They never take a song off.  "Baby Stop Crying" is kind of an interesting slow jam that lacks a killer chorus and "We Better Talk This Over" has kind of a Fleetwood Mac-ish feel to it.

The best song on the album is the magnificent Senor (Tales of Yankee Power).  It's a song that grabs you from the opening couplet.  I've listened to it four times since we came back from our walk.  It's still too hot in SF.  The Jazz Center's block party was tonight so we changed our route to avoid the worst of the crowd. 

Street Legal always suffers in comparison by Blood On the Tracks and Desire.  It's not quite at that pantheon level but the best songs here wouldn't sound out of place on their predecessors.  And they wouldn't have so much soprano saxophone.

Love Senor, but for my money the best track on the record is the last, Where are You Tonight? (Journey Through Dark Heat).

There’s a long-distance train rolling through the rain


Tears on the letter I write
There’s a woman I long to touch and I miss her so much
But she’s drifting like a satellite

There’s a neon light ablaze in this green smoky haze
Laughter down on Elizabeth Street
And a lonesome bell tone in that valley of stone
Where she bathed in a stream of pure heat

Her father would emphasize you got to be more than streetwise
But he practiced what he preached from the heart
A full-blooded Cherokee, he predicted to me
The time and the place that the trouble would start

There’s a babe in the arms of a woman in a rage
And a longtime golden-haired stripper onstage
And she winds back the clock and she turns back the page
Of a book that no one can write
Oh, where are you tonight?

The truth was obscure, too profound and too pure
To live it you have to explode
In that last hour of need, we entirely agreed
Sacrifice was the code of the road

I left town at dawn, with Marcel and St. John
Strong men belittled by doubt
I couldn’t tell her what my private thoughts were
But she had some way of finding them out

He took dead-center aim but he missed just the same
She was waiting, putting flowers on the shelf
She could feel my despair as I climbed up her hair
And discovered her invisible self

There’s a lion in the road, there’s a demon escaped
There’s a million dreams gone, there’s a landscape being raped
As her beauty fades and I watch her undrape
I won’t but then again, maybe I might
Oh, if I could just find you tonight

I fought with my twin, that enemy within
’Til both of us fell by the way
Horseplay and disease is killing me by degrees
While the law looks the other way

Your partners in crime hit me up for nickels and dimes
The guy you were lovin’ couldn’t stay clean
It felt outa place, my foot in his face
But he should-a stayed where his money was green

I bit into the root of forbidden fruit
With the juice running down my leg
Then I dealt with your boss, who’d never known about loss
And who always was too proud to beg

There’s a white diamond gloom on the dark side of this room
And a pathway that leads up to the stars
If you don’t believe there’s a price for this sweet paradise
Remind me to show you the scars

There’s a new day at dawn and I’ve finally arrived
If I’m there in the morning, baby, you’ll know I’ve survived
I can’t believe it, I can’t believe I’m alive
But without you it just doesn’t seem right
Oh, where are you tonight?

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3 hours ago, Apple Jack said:

Love Senor, but for my money the best track on the record is the last, Where are You Tonight? (Journey Through Dark Heat).

 

"Where Are You Tonight" is a very good song.  The section leading into the chorus is a bit reminiscent of "Like a Rolling Stone"

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On 6/5/2019 at 9:34 PM, Eephus said:

Bob Dylan - Concert for the Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame Museum Cleveland Stadium 2 Sep 1995

It's a short five song set with Dylan resplendent in a gold satin shirt backed by his tight touring band.  I thought at the time that Dylan stole the show at that very long and star-studded concert. 

Dylan plays a lot of lead guitar on this one.  He's no Hendrix but he and Bucky Baxter trade licks on a powerhouse version of  "All Along the Watchtower"

cripes man give me a break!   punched in your link to All Along the Watchtower  &  1/2 way through started in with the air guitar.    Going to save this for a Friday night when all things are possible including playing it on my awesome music system & altered states are in the cards..   

Thanx!

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I liked Time Out Of Mind so much I'm keeping it modern with Modern Times.  It's CD length so it's a two walk album but I love what I've heard so far.

The heatwave broke this evening.  Boz is happy to see it gone.

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On 6/12/2019 at 12:32 AM, Eephus said:

The best song on the album is the magnificent Senor (Tales of Yankee Power).  It's a song that grabs you from the opening couplet.  I've listened to it four times since we came back from our walk.  It's still too hot in SF.  The Jazz Center's block party was tonight so we changed our route to avoid the worst of the crowd. 

I've listened a few times now too. It is a really great song.

It has an inspirational feel to me.

Señor, señor
Can you tell me where we're headin'?
Lincoln County Road or Armageddon?
Seems like I been down this way before
Is there any truth in that, señor?

...

...

Well, the last thing I remember before I stripped and kneeled
Was that trainload of fools bogged down in a magnetic field
A gypsy with a broken flag and a flashing ring
He said, "Son, this ain't a dream no more, it's the real thing"

...

Señor, señor
Let's overturn these tables
Disconnect these cables
This place don't make sense to me no more

Can you tell me what we're waiting for, señor?

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The Netflix Rolling Thunder Revue documentary is excellent.  Scorsese had access to incredible footage, both of the Revue's performances and backstage scenes.  One of the cardinal rules of film making is to show rather than tell.   This generally works but I think it helps to know some back story about Dylan in 1976 because there's no omniscient narrator to provide it.  

Dylan is at the center of the movie, mostly in archival footage but occasionally in recent talking head interviews.  Scorsese captures the spirit of Rolling Thunder by shifting focus to other characters who took part in the tour.  Some are obvious like Baez and Ginsberg but a guy like Martin von Haselberg, who filmed the tour (and later married Bette Midler) is almost as interesting as Dylan.  Or at least he thinks he is.

The film suffers a bit from the lack of a dramatic arc. The tour begins, the tour ends.  Characters enter, have their scene and are hardly heard from again.  Maybe this is the point, it's a continuation of the statement Scorsese made in The Last Waltz about rock 'n roll and the never ending road.  To put a period on it, right before the credits roll, Dylan and Joan Baez are heard singing "The Water Is Wide" while every Dylan tour date from 1975 to 2018 is listed on screen.

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4 hours ago, Eephus said:

The Netflix Rolling Thunder Revue documentary is excellent.  Scorsese had access to incredible footage, both of the Revue's performances and backstage scenes.  One of the cardinal rules of film making is to show rather than tell.   This generally works but I think it helps to know some back story about Dylan in 1976 because there's no omniscient narrator to provide it.  

Dylan is at the center of the movie, mostly in archival footage but occasionally in recent talking head interviews.  Scorsese captures the spirit of Rolling Thunder by shifting focus to other characters who took part in the tour.  Some are obvious like Baez and Ginsberg but a guy like Martin von Haselberg, who filmed the tour (and later married Bette Midler) is almost as interesting as Dylan.  Or at least he thinks he is.

The film suffers a bit from the lack of a dramatic arc. The tour begins, the tour ends.  Characters enter, have their scene and are hardly heard from again.  Maybe this is the point, it's a continuation of the statement Scorsese made in The Last Waltz about rock 'n roll and the never ending road.  To put a period on it, right before the credits roll, Dylan and Joan Baez are heard singing "The Water Is Wide" while every Dylan tour date from 1975 to 2018 is listed on screen.

I'm about to watch Don't Back Down this week sometime. Should be cool as all get out. 

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3 hours ago, rockaction said:

I'm about to watch Don't Back Down this week sometime. Should be cool as all get out. 

Don't Look Back? Once you're done that, watch No Direction Home. That's as good as anything I've ever seen.

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4 hours ago, rockaction said:

I'm about to watch Don't Back Down this week sometime. Should be cool as all get out. 

It is pretty interesting- I thought he comes off like an ahole in it though.

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Love the bit in Rolling Thunder where he's like wtf I don't remember anything about Rolling Thunder. I wasn't born yet.

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On 6/12/2019 at 8:42 PM, Eephus said:

I liked Time Out Of Mind so much I'm keeping it modern with Modern Times.  It's CD length so it's a two walk album but I love what I've heard so far.

The heatwave broke this evening.  Boz is happy to see it gone.

Finished Modern Times (2006) on a cool, gray night after the Warriors' loss.

I didn't love the second half of the album as much as I did the first.   The record kicked off with a rockabilly basher Thunder on the Mountain and alternated between up and down tempo songs through Workingman's Blues #2.  Nothing after track #6 really moved me; maybe I've just been spoiled by too much Dylan.

Like most of Dylan's albums, Modern Times has a loose, improvised feel.  There's a directness here that I felt was lacking on the Lanois produced Time Out of Mind.  Dylan's voice has deteriorated noticeably in the nine years from the other album.  He still hits most of the notes but he seems more garbled doing it.  He probably sounds worse on this record than the Sinatra tribute album that followed six years later.

I was a bit surprised there wasn't more of a Warriors presence on Hayes Street.  If there was anything happening earlier, it must have dispersed quickly.  It's certainly less of a thing in SF than in the rest of the Bay Area since we are a city of transients.  Bosley is a Bay Area home boy.  He was a rescue from Bethel Island, a five square mile island in the Sacramento River delta.  We got him from someone who got him from Bethel Island so we don't know much about his past.  Our daughter once made up an origin myth with Bosley getting picked up while running along a beach on the island.  It's visual and consistent with his love for the beach so we'll stick with it.

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Eephus said:

Finished Modern Times (2006) on a cool, gray night after the Warriors' loss.

Like most of Dylan's albums, Modern Times has a loose, improvised feel. 

Our daughter once made up an origin myth with Bosley getting picked up while running along a beach on the island.  It's visual and consistent with his love for the beach so we'll stick with it.

You a Warriors fan, or is that just to set mood and backdrop?

I never would have thought of SF as a city of transients, but that it would be so makes sense. Bosley's origin myth has a loose, improvised feel but also makes sense if such is the case. Nice work by your daughter. 

Edited by rockaction
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Feeling sanctified tonight so we went with one of Dylan's Christian albums.

Saved (1980)

This was Dylan's most puzzling career move.  He went from a platinum selling artist to a punch line in three years and never really recovered to his previous level of fame.  The born-again lyrics certainly seem sincere; they're some of his most direct as well.  There's a lot of good stuff here:  a tight Muscle Shoals production, the sensational Spooner Oldham on organ and piano, the way Dylan works with his backup singers.  But overall, the record left me kind of cold.  It's not one of my favorites.

I like gospel music.  I've spent more time in Black churches than I expected to while growing up in Milwaukee.  My father-in-law preached at St. Paul Tabernacle Baptist church for many years.  Unfortunately, age has taken away his stamina to do it any more.  My mother-in-law is one of the finest women I've ever met and I believe a lot of good things have happened in my life because she's prayed for me.  We listen to gospel when I'm in their car and mostly blues when they're riding with us. 

There's something magical in a gospel chorus, even when the soloist goes on too long.  Dylan doesn't have the best pipes to testify.  I think he's at his best when he sticks to more familiar secular forms such as on Solid Rock although Pressing On is a very credible attempt at gospel.

Bosley was unusually energetic tonight; I think the foggy night suits him..  He sprinted across the Oak Street heading out and did his best mountain goat imitation climbing the porch steps on the way back in.  Some days he stands on the bottom step without a clue about what to do next, he's also been known to fall down the stairs or head toward the wrong door.  It's good to know he still has it in him.

 

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I am listening to more of these recent posts, and this struck me. 

On 6/15/2019 at 1:45 PM, Eephus said:

Bosley was unusually energetic tonight; I think the foggy night suits him..  He sprinted across the Oak Street heading out and did his best mountain goat imitation climbing the porch steps on the way back in.  Some days he stands on the bottom step without a clue about what to do next, he's also been known to fall down the stairs or head toward the wrong door.  It's good to know he still has it in him.

I think I share many traits with Bosley. 

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After listening to Saved the other night, I was curious about what Dylan did immediately after his born-again albums.  So we're staying in the 80s with...

Infidels (1983)

Although he'd moved along from Christian music, there are still biblical references in the lyrics especially on the album's best known song Jokerman.  As was required in 1983, Jokerman came with a slick but effective video.  It's a good song although at six minutes, I think it's fat with too many solos.  I wish he'd released the rocking arrangement of Jokerman he performed on Letterman the following year.

I liked the album closing love song Don't Fall Apart on Me Tonight, which reminded me a bit "No Woman, No Cry" and features a strong vocal performance.  Sweetheart Like You is also pretty solid.  There are some real clunkers on the record including his takes on globalism "Union Sundown" and Reagan era politics "Neighborhood Bully". 

At the time, Infidels was regarded as a return to form for Dylan, probably because critics were happy to not have to deal with his Christianity.  The sound definitely places it in the 80s.  Mark Knopfler produced it and plays guitar so it sounds like a Dire Straits album at times.  Bringing in Sly & Robbie as a rhythm section sounds good on paper but is hit and miss in practice.  Sly's drumming has a stiffness about it that doesn't work for me especially on the uptempo songs.

One of Dylan's great lost songs Blind Willie McTell was an outtake from the Infidels sessions.   There are a number of other tracks that were released on Bootleg Series Vol 1-3 that have a rawer sound than Infidels.

Bosley had eleven teeth removed a couple of years ago.  He was always a messy eater but it's gotten ridiculous with fewer teeth.  Our local corner store always gives him dog biscuits.  I now have to break them into bite sized chunks but even then Bosley leaves a massive debris field.  He can't see the pieces he drops so I have to squat in the doorway of the store and feed him dog treat fragments off the floor.  Oh the humanity.

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19 hours ago, Eephus said:

After listening to Saved the other night, I was curious about what Dylan did immediately after his born-again albums.  So we're staying in the 80s with...

Infidels (1983)

This is my first exposure to Dylan. I had cousins that introduced me to many earlier artists when I was even younger - but not Bob.

19 hours ago, Eephus said:

Jokerman came with a slick but effective video.  It's a good song although at six minutes, I think it's fat with too many solos. 

I really like Jokerman and that video. As noted b4, I have tolerance for bloat. :)

I wonder how much input Bob had on the vid. It touches a lot of interesting themes in the art.

19 hours ago, Eephus said:

He can't see the pieces he drops so I have to squat in the doorway of the store and feed him dog treat fragments off the floor.  Oh the humanity.

🐶🍪

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Posted (edited)

Haven’t been able to check in comfortably in a while. Have not seen Don’t Look Back yet, but want to. Should have downloaded it in America. Can’t do that now. Good to see Eephus and Bosley still walking, holding down the fort. Dylan’s eighties period now seems to have lifeblood, though I’m sure Dylan already considered it so. 

Woke up to “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right” in my head tonight. The past two days have been spent at The Colosseum, The Forum, and The Vatican Museum/Sistine Chapel. No accident to take that all in and wake up to a new favorite in my head. Awe-inspiring. To be surrounded with all the gore, gold, marble, and oil in the world is stunning. It’s a wistful feeling seeing all the grandeur and knowing all the death that went with it. It’s actually both testament and rebuke of man. The soaring art and structures are tempered by soaring passions and crimes against humanity required in construct or acted in practice. The humaneness sculpted out of marble and gold juxtaposed against the inhumaneness of the lurching teleology of history would be something our own poet of democracy could describe so well. Our Juvenal, as it were.

Enough for this morning. Typing on an iPad, which is never enjoyable.

 

Edited by rockaction
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10 hours ago, rockaction said:

Haven’t been able to check in comfortably in a while. Have not seen Don’t Look Back yet, but want to. Should have downloaded it in America. Can’t do that now. Good to see Eephus and Bosley still walking, holding down the fort. Dylan’s eighties period now seems to have lifeblood, though I’m sure Dylan already considered it so. 

Woke up to “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right” in my head tonight. The past two days have been spent at The Colosseum, The Forum, and The Vatican Museum/Sistine Chapel. No accident to take that all in and wake up to a new favorite in my head. Awe-inspiring. To be surrounded with all the gore, gold, marble, and oil in the world is stunning. It’s a wistful feeling seeing all the grandeur and knowing all the death that went with it. It’s actually both testament and rebuke of man. The soaring art and structures are tempered by soaring passions and crimes against humanity required in construct or acted in practice. The humaneness sculpted out of marble and gold juxtaposed against the inhumaneness of the lurching teleology of history would be something our own poet of democracy could describe so well. Our Juvenal, as it were.

Enough for this morning. Typing on an iPad, which is never enjoyable.

 

Not When I Paint My Masterpiece?

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1 minute ago, Apple Jack said:

Not When I Paint My Masterpiece?

Much better. Much, much better. Thanks.

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I never expected this to become a thing.  A week and a half before RA started the thread, I happened to pick a Dylan album for the nighttime walk; I don't ever remember which one it was.  It's gotten lost in the flood of Dylan that followed.  But his music seemed like perfect accompaniment for walking an elderly dog around the neighborhood.  Dylan's music is rarely frantic or rushed, it has some swagger but it generally lopes along.  So it is for tonight's album.

Together Through Life (2009)

This record seems like it was fun to record.  It has a comfortable, swinging groove to it and it seems there's less doom and gloom than on the other late-period records I've listened to.  Dylan co-wrote all songs but one with Grateful Dead lyricist Robert Hunter.  The Dead is one of my biggest musical blind spots, especially for someone who's spent his adult life in SF, so I can't spot any big Hunter influences in the song.  His touring band is augmented by Los Lobos' David Hidalgo on the accordion on almost every track.  

My favorite songs were My Wife's Home Town, a hilarious blues with a strip tease beat and Forgetful Heart, a look back at a love gone wrong with a powerful, enigmatic final line.  It's a very enjoyable album that I'll definitely return to.  I thought "If You Ever Go To Houston" dragged but I'm sure Texans would disagree with me.

Bosley survived a tumble down a flight of stairs tonight.  We live in the middle flat of an old Victorian house.  There are 18 steps from our back door landing to our "backyard", which is really just a 30'x20' concrete slab with a grill, lawnchairs and potted plants.  I had just gone downstairs to light the grill when I heard a clattering above me.  I rushed to the bottom of the stairs right about the time Boz was coming to a halt at the bottom.  It happened very quickly but I think I saw him sliding on his belly with his hind legs splayed out behind him.  I don't think he fell 18 steps but by the sound, my guess is he missed the majority of them.  He came to rest on his back.  I flipped him over; he shook himself off, took a few steps and then a pee.  He doesn't seem to be any worse for the wear and tear.

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This thread started off with RA looking for an audiophile grade Dylan album.  Last night we listened to one of Dylan's better sounding recordings but unfortunately not one of his best.

Under The Red Sky (1990)

The record was produced by Don Was and featured a crack band of studio aces including American Idol's Randy Jackson.  There's good separation between the instruments, with the drums sounding particularly good.  Unlike the Lanois recordings, Dylan's voice sounds connected to the band.  It's polished but not slick (most of the time) and probably the most danceable Dylan album I've heard.

Albums from singer/songwriters can only be as good as their songs and that's where Under The Red Sky falters.  When we're out walking, I usually add the songs I like to a rolling playlist so I can listen to them later.  I made it through the walk without saving any of the ten tracks.  Nothing really caught my ear on first listen. 

Upon further review, I was being unfair to Born In Time, which has a wistful Bob reminiscing over a lovely melody.  God Knows is a decent tune that swings into action after the guitar solo.  "TV Talkin' Song" is a funny throwback that probably should have been done with just acoustic guitar and harmonica.  But outside of those three, the songs don't work for me.  They're unusually simple which gave birth to a legend that he wrote them for his four-year old daughter.  "Handy Dandy" sounds like a songwriter's demo for The Archies or some other Saturday morning animated band.

Bosley is fine after his fall the other night.  He's not a toy dog but he's not large.  He weights 19 pounds now and is maybe two feet long from snout to butt with a turned-up tail.  If he fell down half the stairs, it would be at least 4x his length.  If I fell 25 feed, I'd probably break something but not the Boz.

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1 minute ago, Eephus said:

Bosley is fine after his fall the other night.  He's not a toy dog but he's not large.  He weights 19 pounds now and is maybe two feet long from snout to butt with a turned-up tail.  If he fell down half the stairs, it would be at least 4x his length.  If I fell 25 feed, I'd probably break something but not the Boz.

I don't recall you ever saying what breed Boz is, but for some reason, I pictured him like this after his fall. :shrug:

4 minutes ago, Eephus said:

Born In Time

This feels like a combo of a love song and a birthday song - I like that combo.

In the lonely night
In the blinking stardust of a pale blue light
You're comin' through to me in black and white
When we were made of dreams.

You're blowing down the shaky street,
You're hearing my heart beat
In the record breaking heat
Where we were born in time.

Not one more night, not one more kiss,
Not this time baby, no more of this,
Takes too much skill, takes too much will,
It's revealing.
You came, you saw, just like the law
You married young, just like your ma,
You tried and tried, you made me slide
You left me reelin' with this feelin'.

On the rising curve
Where the ways of nature will test every nerve,
You won't get anything you don't deserve
Where we were born in time.

You pressed me once, you pressed me twice,
You hang the flame, you'll pay the price,
Oh babe, that fire
Is still smokin'.
You were snow, you were rain
You were striped, you were plain,
Oh babe, truer words
Have not been spoken or broken.

In the hills of mystery,
In the foggy web of destiny,
You can have what's left of me,
Where we were born in time.

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Took a night off of Dylan.  Listened to Schoolboy Q as we picked our way through the weekend tech bros on Hayes.

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Listened to an older one on our Saturday night stroll.

New Morning (1970)

It's probably best known for "If Not For You" which was a hit the following year for Olivia Newton-John.  It followed closely on the heels of his Self Portrait album, which was the first real stinker in Dylan's career.  This undoubtedly helped its critical reception at the time of its release but I found New Morning to be an unremarkable record. 

On the plus side, Dylan's in fine voice here; he almost croons at times.  His song about Elvis (maybe?) Went to See the Gypsy is kind of cool and the title track has a pleasant sunny disposition.  But that's kind of the problem.  It's Dylan at his most lightweight   The songs drift in and out before really making much of an impression.  Half of the album's twelve tracks clock in at under three minutes including his shortest recorded song in his catalog "Father of Night".  "Sign on the Window" sounds more like a Billy Joel song than Dylan.  NTTAWWT.

There was a crowd at the park on Saturday night.  I think it was the opening party for the new sculpture since there was more old hippies than typical.  The park gets pieces that debut at Burning Man or Coachella.  A woman stopped me to say she'd bought a pair of sunglasses for her old dog after seeing Bosley's, which goes to show you're never too old to set a trend.  I passed along the secret of putting goggles on dogs which took me weeks to figure it out.  In case you're wondering, first put the head strap behind his ears, then pull both the chin strap and the goggles over the dog's snout and finally pull the goggles up over his eyes.

 

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10 minutes ago, Eephus said:

There was a crowd at the park on Saturday night.  I think it was the opening party for the new sculpture since there was more old hippies than typical.  The park gets pieces that debut at Burning Man or Coachella. 

Ah - excellent. Thnx for the update.

Burning Man is something that I planned to attend once - but could not complete. I hope to make it there one day.

12 minutes ago, Eephus said:

A woman stopped me to say she'd bought a pair of sunglasses for her old dog after seeing Bosley's, which goes to show you're never too old to set a trend.  I passed along the secret of putting goggles on dogs which took me weeks to figure it out.  In case you're wondering, first put the head strap behind his ears, then pull both the chin strap and the goggles over the dog's snout and finally pull the goggles up over his eyes.

😎

I was wondering ...

 

I'll do the listen later - at my parents now.

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No walkies tonight.  We're going to the Giants game.

But the playlist is now over twenty songs so it's official.

Bosley and Eephus Love Dylan

It's two songs per album but sometimes only one because standards. 

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Posted (edited)

Forgot to mention there's a dog song on New Morning.  If Dogs Run Free

It's a throwaway fake jazz number to close out side one.  The scat singing is by Maeretha Stewart who went on to bigger and better gigs.

But even Dylan's joke songs pack a punchline

If dogs run free, then what must be
Must be, and that is all
True love can make a blade of grass
Stand up straight and tall
In harmony with the cosmic sea
True love needs no company
It can cure the soul, it can make it whole
If dogs run free

 

Edited by Eephus
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Posted (edited)

Just watched Don't Look Back, a documentary using footage from Dylan's 1965 tour of England in support of his latest album, Bringing It All Back Home. 

First impressions:

1) The video for Subterranean Homesick Blues that leads off the movie definitely should have come at the end, which was the original plan. Talk about beginning on the ultimate note. That said, it's a fantastic and iconic piece of filmed art and music. There are few parallels in pop music history.

2) Dylan is so young, so prescient, but at times sounds like a hipster who is trying too hard to work out all the square demands of show business with his own ideal of authenticism and truth and honesty. It's sort of an internal conflict that manifests not, as some people mentioned, in looking like a jerk per se; but rather looking like an awkward teen just feeling his first real independence. The moment he expounds upon his role as entertainer and posits his audience's expectations as something other than what they claim is telling. 

3) Dylan is growing up, rather awkwardly, and in the biggest of spotlights, a spotlight unnatural for a "folk" or roots singer. It's a tension that permeates the entire movie and informs his behavior. How does one truly rebel on the pop charts singing protest songs and Americana? One threads the smallest needle eyes in doing so.

4) Joan Baez, featured in the film, sings wonderful harmonies with him just warming up or in downtime. Cool footage of the two in the doc.

5) The scene with the broken glass in the street shows just how different the tour is from a rock and roll tour. This is no television in the pool schtick, it's a rather innocuous event and Dylan gets mad about it, albeit fairly. People are supposed to behave, unlike say the Beatles, Stones, etc.

6) The performances are largely from Times, actually. A few from other albums in both video and downtime jams. But most of the live concert footage is culled from that album. This may be the director subtly showing the tension of Dylan's protest music on the pop charts and shaping the story. Skillfully done by him.

7) Poor Donovan. The scene where him and Bob Dylan each do a song just shows how many light years ahead Dylan was in storytelling and songwriting. Donovan plays a willing troubadour song, Dylan gives everyone love and loss and description.

And I'll wrap it up here. I'm sitting in a hotel room in Barcelona at four A.M., wide the #### awake and just waiting for various tours tomorrow of churches and architectural sights. That said, my first impression after leaving Italy is that this is more city life. The incessant graffiti on the storefronts remind me of that. We'll see how I feel tmrw. Florence felt like a wonderful dream I did not want to wake from. But, alas, we moved on. So it was nice to kill time in this new and foreign city with this movie and review that are throwing me a bit of an anchor back to the States. Peace.

Edited by rockaction
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Went with the second of two albums of traditional folk songs Dylan released after he turned 50.

World Gone Wrong (1993)

It's solo acoustic with just Dylan's voice and guitar.  He only brings out the harp on one song.  The obvious comparison is to his folk covers on his self-titled debut, recorded a lifetime before in 1962.  Dylan has grown as a guitarist and a singer in 30 years, although it's impossible to recapture the world of possibilities from when he was a young folksinger. 

The songs are mostly dark, full of murder and lesser crimes.  The two I'm highlighting are Broke Down Engine, which hits the exacta as a blues song and a train song, and Stack a Lee, Dylan's version of one of the foundational myths of American music:  the legend of Stagger Lee.  I liked the album a lot but some of the songs take a couple of verses too long to tell the tale. 

Boz had a very eventful day but it was all of his doing.  It opens at 6AM when Mrs. Eephus wakes to make coffee as she does out of force of habit.  Bosley woke up too and followed her into the kitchen.  He proceeded to pee on her feet, slip on it and fall into the puddle.  At least that's her side of the story.  Needless to say, it turned into a bath day.  Boz is small enough for the kitchen sink, which is a big advantage over a tub sized dog.  He's too old to put up a fight so he just stands there looking miserable.  But now he's clean and beautiful.

 

 

 

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Dylan's liner notes from World Gone Wrong.  They probably were impossible to read in CD booklet in 1993.

This one seems kind of prescient

WORLD GONE WRONG is also by them & goes against cultural policy. "strange things are happening like never before" strange things alright -- strange things like courage becoming befuddled & nonfundamental. evil charlatans masquerading in pullover vests & tuxedos talking gobbledy####, monstrous pompous superficial pageantry parading down lonely streets on limited access highways. strange things indeed -- irrationalist bimbos & bozos, the stuff of legend, coming in from left field -- infamy on the landscape -- "pray to the Good Lord" hit the light switch!

 

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Posted (edited)

I went down an Internet wormhole after listening to Dylan's Stack a Lee last night.  It's fascinating how a real-life murder in 1890s St. Louis inspired an American Legend.

Quote

“William Lyons, 25, colored, a levee hand, living at 1410 Morgan Street, was shot in the abdomen yesterday evening at 10 o’clock in the saloon of Bill Curtis, at Eleventh and Morgan Streets, by Lee Sheldon, also colored. Both parties, it seems, had been drinking and were feeling in exuberant spirits. Lyons and Sheldon were friends and were talking together. The discussion drifted to politics and an argument was started, the conclusion of which was that Lyons snatched Sheldon’s hat from his head. The latter indignantly demanded its return. Lyons refused, and Sheldon withdrew his revolver and shot Lyons in the abdomen. Lyons was taken to the Dispensary, where his wounds were pronounced serious. He was removed to the City Hospital. At the time of the shooting the saloon was crowded with negroes. Sheldon is a carriage driver and lives at 911 North Twelfth Street. When his victim fell to the floor Sheldon took his hat from the hand of the wounded man and coolly walked away. He was subsequently arrested and locked up at the Chestnut Street Station. Sheldon is also known as ‘Stag’ Lee.”

There are hundreds of versions of the song but they differ in critical details, like eyewitness accounts of the crime.  They mostly agree on the basic facts:  Stagger Lee murdered Billy Lyons and a hat was involved but what was the motive, was the murder weapon gun or a knife, were they black or white, did Billy beg for his life and what becomes of Stagger Lee.  The killer is glorified in some versions and vilified in others. 

Stagger Lee has his roots in the blues but his legend spread through jazz, R&B, country, reggae and rock 'n roll.  He was a quintessential American anti-hero--a bad man who took no #### from anyone.  The myth came to life in historical figures including Malcolm X, OJ Simpson, Tupac, Sly Stone and the Black Panthers.

I made a playlist of my favorite versions of the song.  I've stopped at 50 which of course is about 45 too many but it's tough to cull the list.  All of the covers contribute to the folklore in some way, except for Neil Diamond's version which is just awful.

Edited by Eephus

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1 hour ago, Eephus said:

I went down an Internet wormhole after listening to Dylan's Stack a Lee last night.  It's fascinating how a real-life murder in 1890s St. Louis inspired an American Legend.

There are hundreds of versions of the song but they differ in critical details, like eyewitness accounts of the crime.  They mostly agree on the basic facts:  Stagger Lee murdered Billy Lyons and a hat was involved but what was the motive, was the murder weapon gun or a knife, were they black or white, did Billy beg for his life and what becomes of Stagger Lee.  The killer is glorified in some versions and vilified in others. 

Stagger Lee has his roots in the blues but his legend spread through jazz, R&B, country, reggae and rock 'n roll.  He was a quintessential American anti-hero--a bad man who took no #### from anyone.  The myth came to life in historical figures including Malcolm X, OJ Simpson, Tupac, Sly Stone and the Black Panthers.

I made a playlist of my favorite versions of the song.  I've stopped at 50 which of course is about 45 too many but it's tough to cull the list.  All of the covers contribute to the folklore in some way, except for Neil Diamond's version which is just awful.

Lloyd Price had to re-record his take on it without most of the violence just to get radio play. The newer version promptly became a smash hit - #1 for 4 weeks in '58.

There are apparently thousands of verses now, as it's been added to for well over 100 years. It's not a song - it's a myth.

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22 minutes ago, Uruk-Hai said:

Lloyd Price had to re-record his take on it without most of the violence just to get radio play. The newer version promptly became a smash hit - #1 for 4 weeks in '58.

There are apparently thousands of verses now, as it's been added to for well over 100 years. It's not a song - it's a myth.

I believe Price's version added the scene-setting intro.

The night was clear and the moon was yellow and the leaves came tumbling down...

I can't find any versions with this line prior to 1959.  A lot of covers since then have included it.

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9 minutes ago, Eephus said:

I believe Price's version added the scene-setting intro.

The night was clear and the moon was yellow and the leaves came tumbling down...

I can't find any versions with this line prior to 1959.  A lot of covers since then have included it.

Rumor was that Dick Clark spearheaded the movement to add the opening lines and cut out the most murder-y aspects.

 

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