A duet is a musical composition for two performers in which the performers have equal importance to the piece. It is often used to describe a composition involving two singers. It differs from a harmony, as the performers take turns performing a solo section rather than performing simultaneously.
Bob Dylan has done a lot of duets, we have collected some of our favourites and will present them in batches of three. Today we have really dug deep and come up with some seldom heard treasures.
Eric Clapton’s No Reason To cry (album) was recorded at The Band’s Shangri-la Studios in March 1976, and included involvement from all five members; Rick Danko shared vocals with Clapton on “All Our Past Times,” which he co-wrote with Clapton. The album also includes a duet with Bob Dylan on his otherwise unreleased song “Sign Language.” The booklet in Bob Dylan’s box set The Bootleg Series Volumes 1–3 (Rare & Unreleased) 1961–1991 describes his involvement in this album: “Dylan dropped by and was just hanging out, living in a tent at the bottom of the garden. He would sneak into the studio to see what was going on. Dylan offered his new, unrecorded song “Seven Days” to Clapton. Clapton passed on it, but Ron Wood took him up on the offer and released it on his third solo album Gimme Some Neck”.
Sign Language has a really strong The Band vibe:
Bob Dylan & Eric Clapton – Sign Language:
Here is an unedited gem from Brian Wilson’s “Sweet Insanity” sessions. Features Bob Dylan on co-lead vocals; recorded between August 1986–January 1987. Written by Brian Wilson, produced by Brian Wilson and Gary Usher.
Bob Dylan and Brian Wilson – The Spirit of Rock’n Roll:
We will end this post with Bob Dylan’s first released duet, to my knowledge, recorded at the Riverside Church, New York, on 29th July, 1961 for the WRVR radio programme “Saturday Of Folk Music” and broadcast the same day, from the 2000 Vanguard soundtrack album, The Ballad of Ramblin’ Jack. A must hear!
Bob Dylan and Ramblin’ Jack Elliott – Acne with a funny intro by Jack: