Bob Dylan: 5 great songs recorded in 1983




This is not a “best from 1983” list, just 5 Great songs Bob Dylan recorded in 1983.

Blind Willie McTell (electric version)

I didn’t think I recorded it right. But I don’t know why that stuff gets out on me. I mean, it never seems to get out on other people.
~Bob Dylan (to Kurt Loder, March 1984)

Studio A
Power Station
New York City, New York
April/May 1983

Infidels recording session. Produced by Mark Knopfler and Bob Dylan.

Not released.

Seen the arrow on the doorpost
Saying, “This land is condemned
All the way from New Orleans
To Jerusalem”
I traveled through East Texas
Where many martyrs fell
And I know no one can sing the blues
Like Blind Willie McTell

Jokerman

I’m usually either here or on the West Coast or down in the Caribbean. Me and another guy have a boat down there. Jokerman kinda came to me in the islands. It’s very
mystical. The shapes there, and shadows, seem to be so ancient. The song was sorta inspired by these spirits they call jumbis.
~Bob Dylan (to Kurt Loder, March 1984)

Studio A
Power Station
New York City, New York
13 April 1983

3rd Infidels recording session. Produced by Mark Knopfler and Bob Dylan.

Released on INFIDELS, 1 November 1983.

Standing on the waters casting your bread
While the eyes of the idol with the iron head are glowing
Distant ships sailing into the mist
You were born with a snake in both of your fists while a hurricane was blowing
Freedom just around the corner for you
But with the truth so far off, what good will it do?




Foot of Pride

Composing it was alright, it probably had a bunch of extra verses that probably… most likely weren’t necessary, they should have been… they should have been combined. But, the reason why it was never used was because the tempo speeded up, but there wasn’t any drum machine used on that, the tempo just automatically took off, for some vague and curious reason.
~Bob Dylan (to Eliot Mintz, March 1991)

Studio A
Power Station
New York City, New York
27 April 1983

15th Infidels recording session. Produced by Mark Knopfler and Bob Dylan.

Released on THE BOOTLEG SERIES (RARE & UNRELEASED) 1961-1991, Volume 3, 26 March 1991.

Like the lion tears the flesh off of a man
So can a woman who passes herself off as a male
They sang “Danny Boy” at his funeral and the Lord’s Prayer
Preacher talking ’bout Christ betrayed
It’s like the earth just opened and swallowed him up
He reached too high, was thrown back to the ground
You know what they say about bein’ nice to the right people on the way up
Sooner or later you gonna meet them comin’ down

Someone’s Got A Hold Of My Heart – alt.version

Studio A
Power Station
New York City, New York
April/May 1983

Infidels recording session. Produced by Mark Knopfler and Bob Dylan.

Not released.

They say, “Eat, drink and be merry
Take the bull by the horns”
I keep seeing visions of you, a lily among thorns
Everything looks a little far away to me

License To Kill

Studio A
Power Station
New York City, New York
13 April 1983

3rd Infidels recording session. Produced by Mark Knopfler and Bob Dylan.

Released on INFIDELS, 1 November 1983.

Man thinks ’cause he rules the earth he can do with it as he please
And if things don’t change soon, he will
Oh, man has invented his doom
First step was touching the moon

Previous in this series:

-Egil

2 thoughts on “Bob Dylan: 5 great songs recorded in 1983”

  1. Someone’s Gotta Hold Of My Heart

    This is never mentioned as one of Dylan’s greats – why?
    Both sets of lyrics great – I am still hoping that Bob might come up with another song like this before he draws the shades.

    Bob as the Master of Funk?

    Is “Tell Me” from the same period?

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