Stayin’ up for days in the Chelsea Hotel,
Writin’ “Sad-Eyed Lady of the Lowlands” for you.
~”Sara” (Bob Dylan)
That song is an example of a song… it started out as just a little thing, Sad-Eyed Lady Of The Lowlands, but I got carried away, somewhere along the line. I just sat down at a table and started writing. At the session itself. And I just got carried away with the whole thing… I just started writing and I couldn’t stop. After a period of time, I forgot what it was all about, and I started trying to get back to the beginning.
~Bob Dylan (to Jann Wenner Nov 1969)
This is the best song I’ve ever written.
~Bob Dylan (to Robert Shelton)
@ #49 on my list of Dylan’s 200 best songs. Recorded @ Columbia Music Row Studios – Nashville, Tennessee – February 16, 4-5.30 am.
“The ghost of ’lectricity howls in the bones of her face Where these visions of Johanna have now taken my place”
— from “Visions of Johanna”
In 1982 readers of ‘The Telegraph” voted ‘Visions of Johanna’ their “favourite Dylan Song” by a wide margin (‘Like A Rolling Stone’ & ‘It’s Alrght, Ma’ tied for second). Why? There is a depth in this song, an intimate bond created between the singer and the listener, that defies analysis & explanation
~Paul Williams (BD Performing Artist 1960-73)
@ #1 on my list of Dylan’s 200 best songs.. this really is a song so good it’s hard grasp… every time I put it on… it feels like a new & old classic.. a true masterpiece.
The master version (Blonde On Blonde version) was recorded @ Columbia Music Row Studios – Nashville, Tennessee –14 February 1966 (47 years ago).
This was the the 6th Blonde On Blonde session, produced by Bob Johnston.. and Dylan also landed “Fourth Time Around” @ this sessions.
Jan Wenner: Of all the versions of This Wheel’s On Fire, which do you like the best? Bob Dylan: Uh… the Band’s. Who else did it? Jan Wenner: Where was that done? Bob Dylan: Well, that was done out in… out in somebody’s basement. Just a basement tape. ~ Jan Wenner Interview Nov 1969
@ #100 on my list of Dylan’s 200 best songs. Recorded in the basement @ The Big Pink, West Saugerties, New York – June – October 1967.
Basement tapes version:
“This Wheel’s on Fire” is a song written by Bob Dylan and Rick Danko. It was originally recorded by Dylan and The Band during their 1967 sessions, portions of which (including this song) comprised the 1975 album, The Basement Tapes. The Band’s own version appeared on their 1968 album, Music From Big Pink.
June 26, 1975
Bob Dylan, Rick Danko
Bob Dylan & The Band
Here’s a great live version from Stockholm 1998-06-09:
Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy aka Will Oldham is coming to Norway in May, playing at least three cities. It would be great to get to see him in concert, but I’m guessing it will be quite difficult to get tickets. Anyway, that’s why I chose him for the video of the day. That and the fact that he has recently played Bob Dylan’s masterpiece Brownsville Girl in concert, one of my all time favourite songs.
Brownsville Girl (Bob Dylan) covered by Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy:
“Well, there was this movie I seen one time,
about a man riding ‘cross the desert
and it starred Gregory Peck.”
“You’re in rock’n roll heaven, man”
– Keith Richards
We can hardly wait, this is really the stuff of legends. The new documentary, “Muscle Shoals” will soon be released, it was shown on The Sundance festival 26th of January. The film was inspired by a magical visit to the town of the same name in Alabama. Camalier a self-taught filmmaker expresses his passion using his instinct, sensibility, and great appreciation of the art form. His original approach to this music documentary is clear in the mystical and evocative way he tells the story of Muscle Shoals.
From Rolling Stone Magazine:
Filled with interviews with a wide array of artists and never-before-seen footage, Muscle Shoals tells the story of this Northern Alabama town and the many hits that came out of its legendary recording spaces: Rick Hall’s FAME Studios and Muscle Shoals Sound Studio, which was started by FAME’s former rhythm section, the Swampers. “Being there does inspire you to do it slightly differently,” says Mick Jagger in the trailer. “It was really funky; you know, that was the whole idea of it.”
The Muscle Shoals Sound Studio was formed in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, in 1969 when musicians Barry Beckett (keyboards), Roger Hawkins (drums), Jimmy Johnson (guitar) and David Hood (bass) (called The Swampers) left FAME Studios to create their own studio. The Muscle Shoals Sound Rhythm Section, as they became known, was the first rhythm section to own its own studio and, eventually, its own publishing and production companies.
The distinctive accompaniment and arrangements have been heard on a tremendous amount legendary recordings, including those from Wilson Pickett, Aretha Franklin, and the Staple Singers among others. Many artists have recorded hit songs and complete albums at the studio. (read more on Wikipedia)
A short clip of director Greg Camalier explaining why he made the movie:
Back in 2008, he was driving from the East Coast to New Mexico with a friend when Camalier saw a road sign for Muscle Shoals. Camalier was a music fan who had heard bits of information about the place for years, but didn’t know much about it. They decided to spend the night in Muscle Shoals, and he and his friend talked about why they had never seen a film about that small yet crucial slice of music history.
FAME (Florence Alabama Music Enterprises) Studios are located at 603 East Avalon in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. They have been an integral part of American popular music from the late 1950s to the present. Artists who recorded there included Wilson Pickett, Aretha Franklin, Otis Redding, Joe Tex, Duane Allman, The Hour Glass, Clarence Carter, Candi Staton, Mac Davis, Paul Anka, Tom Jones, Etta James, Andy Williams, The Osmonds, Shenandoah, and many others. The studio was added to the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage on December 15, 1997. (read more, Wikipedia)