Love Sick by Bob Dylan, was recorded in January 1997 and released on his 30th studio album Time Out of Mind in September of that year. It was released as the second single from the album in June 1998, in various CD formats some of which featured a February 25, 1998 live version of the song, from Dylan’s performance at the 1998 Grammy Awards.
I thought it would be interesting to see how the song has changed over the years. I believe these two versions show the enduring power of the song.
Kurt Loder: I heard an outtake from the Infidels sessions called Blind Willie McTell. Is that ever going to come out? It’s a great song.
Bob Dylan: 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 (Kurt Loder interview 1984)
[Blind Willie McTell] He was just a very smooth operating bluesman. His songs always reminded me of… As trains, but that ‘s just my hang up, you know, trains. And his vocal style, and his sound seems to fit right in with that lonesome sound. His kinda, you know, Ragtime… kinda thing on a 12 string guitar, so it made everything he did sound, you know, give it a little higher pitch. You know, you could probably call… You could probably call… you could probably say he was the Van Gogh of Blues. You could probably say he was the Van Gogh of the country Blues.
~Bob Dylan (Eliot Mintz Interview, March 1991)
I thought it would be interesting to see how the song has changed over the years. I believe I have found 4 fantastic versions, and my favourite is still the electric studio version from May 1983.
I’m beginning to hear voices and there’s no one around
Well, I’m all used up and the fields have turned brown
I went to church on Sunday and she passed by
My love for her is taking such a long time to die
I’m waist deep, waist deep in the mist
It’s almost like, almost like I don’t exist
I’m twenty miles out of town in cold irons bound
‘Cold Irons Bound’ was another case of Dylan trying ro throw off the shackles of sound Lanois was ever seeking to impose. Unhappy with anything uptempo, Lanois sought to dissuade Dylan from recreating his live sound, leaving ‘Cold Irons Bound’ as the one occasion when core elements of that live sound were allowed into Criteria.
~Clinton Heylin (Still on the Road: The Songs of Bob Dylan Vol. 2, . 1974-2008)
Facts from wikipedia:
September 30, 1997
“Cold Irons Bound” is a Grammy Award-winning song written by Bob Dylan, recorded in January 1997 and released on September 30, 1997 on his critically acclaimed album Time Out of Mind.
William Zanzinger killed poor Hattie Carroll
With a cane that he twirled around his diamond ring finger
At a Baltimore hotel society gath’rin’
And the cops were called in and his weapon took from him
As they rode him in custody down to the station
And booked William Zanzinger for first-degree murder
But you who philosophize disgrace and criticize all fears
Take the rag away from your face
Now ain’t the time for your tears
~Bob Dylan (The Lonesome Death Of Hattie Carroll)
The story I took out of the newspaper and I only changed the words. It’s, er… ..Well, I changed, er… the reporters view into… I used it I used it for something I wanted to say, er, and I used his view, the Maryland reporters view to get at what I wanted to say and turn it that way. And I used a true story, that’s all. I could have used a made-up story.
~Bob Dylan (to Steve Allen – Feb. 1964)
audio from the interview:
“The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll” is an extremely moving song that has stood the test of time better than any of Dylan’s other early topical songs of this sort (retellings of real events, usually tragedies, usually with a moral attached or implicit). Dylan sings it from the heart; he really cares about the woman who
died-her dignity and the value of her life come through in the song, it is a memorial to her and a tribute to people like her as much as it is an attack on her killer and people like him and the system that coddles them.
~Paul Williams (Bob Dylan Performing Artist I: The Early Years 1960-1973)