May 16: Bob Dylan released Blonde On Blonde in 1966
The closest I ever got to the sound I hear in my mind was on individual bands in the Blonde on Blonde album. It’s that thin, that wild mercury sound. It’s metallic and bright gold, with whatever that conjures up. That’s my particular sound.
~Bob Dylan (to Ron Rosenbaum – Nov 1977)
Blonde on Blonde is all resonance. The songs and their stories and evocative lines and seductive melodies inhabit a realm of sound unique to this album, different from anything created before or since by Dylan or anyone else. Dylan called it “that thin, that wild mercury sound-metallic and bright gold, with whatever that conjures up.”
~Paul Williams (Bob Dylan Performing Artist I: The Early Years 1960-1973)
To have followed up one masterpiece with another was Dylan’s history making achievement here…Where Highway 61 Revisited has Dylan exposing and confronting like a laser beam in surgery, descending from outside the sickness, Blonde on Blonde offers a persona awash inside the chaos…We’re tossed from song to song…The feel and the music are on a grand scale, and the language and delivery are a rich mixture of the visionary and the colloquial.
~Michael Gray (Song & Dance Man III: The Art of Bob Dylan)
I wasn’t quite sure how to do it and what material to use. I would have liked to do old folk songs with acoustic instruments, but there was a lot of input from other sources as to what would be right for the MTV audience. The record company said, “You can’t do that, it’s too obscure.”
~Bob Dylan (to Edna Gundersen May 1995)
April 28: Bob Dylan Together Through Life was released in 2009
…Sure, I try to stick to the rules. Sometimes I might shift paradigms within the same song, but then that structure also has its own rules. And I combine them both, see what works and what doesn’t. My range is limited. Some formulas are too complex and I don’t want anything to do with them.
~Bob Dylan (to Bill Flanagan, in 2009)
“Dylan, who turns 68 in May, has never sounded as ravaged, pissed off and lusty”
~David Fricke (rollingstone.com)
Together Through Life is an album that gets its hooks in early and refuses to let go. It’s dark yet comforting, with a big tough sound, booming slightly like a band grooving at a soundcheck in an empty theatre. And at its heart there is a haunting refrain. Because above everything this is a record about love, its absence and its remembrance.
~Danny Eccleston (mojo4music.com)
Beyond Here Lies Nothin’
I’m listening to Billy Joe Shaver And I’m reading James Joyce Some people they tell me I got the blood of the land in my voice
~Bob Dylan (I Feel A Change Comin’ On)
April 23: Bob Dylan at Budokan was released in 1979
The Budokan album was only supposed to be for Japan. They twisted my arm to do a live album for Japan. It was the same band I used on Street Legal, and we had just started findin’ our way into things on that tour when they recorded it. I never meant for it to be any type of representation of my stuff or my band or my live show.
~Bob Dylan (to Kurt Loder – March 1984)
I believe this double LP was made available so our hero could boast of being outclassed by Cheap Trick, who had the self-control to release but a single disc from this location.
~Robert Christgau (robertchristgau.com)
Released 38 years ago today (April 23).
The album was slaughtered by many critics.. especially in the US.
“The writers complain the show’s disco or Las Vegas. I don’t know how they came up with those theories. We never heard them when we played Australia or Japan or Europe. It’s like someone made it up in one town and the writer in the next town read it. I don’t know what the reviewers mean half the time. I don’t even care.”
~Bob Dylan (to Robert Hilburn – Nov 1978)
April 9: Bob Dylan released Nashville Skyline in 1969
Well, Jann, I’ll tell you something. There’s not too much of a change in my singing style, but I’ll tell you something which is true… I stopped smoking. When I stopped smoking my voice changed… So drastically, I couldn’t believe it myself. That’s true. I tell you, you stop smoking those cigarettes (laughter)… and you’ll be able to sing like Caruso.
~Bob Dylan (to Jann Wenner Nov 1969)
Anyway, on Nashville Skyline you had to read between the lines. I was trying to grasp something that would lead me on to where I thought I should be, and it didn’t go nowhere – it just went down, down, down.
~Bob Dylan (to Jonathan Cott, Sept 1978)
Released 48 years ago, it surely is one of his most controversial albums.. “Embracing” classic Country music & kicking off the “Country Rock” genre.
I’ve always liked this album… not a masterpiece, but a solid Dylan album.
#1 – Girl from the North Country (with Johnny Cash)