Category Archives: Bob Dylan

Today: Bob Dylan recorded master version of “Positively 4th Street” in 1965 – 47 years ago

On July 29, 1965 Dylan undertook his 3rd Highway 61 Revisited session, produced by Bob Johnston.

Location: Studio A, Columbia Recording Studios – NYC

The day left us with master versions of Positively 4th Street, Tombstone Blues It Takes A Lot To Laugh, It Takes A Train To Cry.

Positively 4th Street ranks as no. 14 on my list of Dylans 200 best songs (Tombstone is 72 & It Takes a lot is 76).

Musicians:

Bob Dylan (guitar, piano, harmonica, vocal).
Mike Bloomfield (guitar), Frank Owens (piano), Bobby Gregg (drums), Russ Savakus (bass), Al Kooper (organ).

From Wikipedia:

Positively 4th Street” is a song written and performed by Bob Dylan, first recorded by Dylan in New York City on July 29, 1965. It was released as a single by Columbia Records on September 7, 1965, …..   …  Rolling Stone magazine ranked the song as #203 in their 500 Greatest Songs of All Time list.

The song was released between the albums Highway 61 Revisited and Blonde On Blonde, as the follow-up to Dylan’s hit single “Like a Rolling Stone“, but wasn’t included on either LP. The song’s title does not appear anywhere in the lyrics and there has been much debate over the years as to the significance or what individual the song concerns. Dylan once lived on 4th Street in Manhattan.

In studio summer 1965 – photo by Don Hunstein:

Bob Dylan also recorded “Catfish” on this day in 1975.

Location: Studio E – Columbia Recording Studios, NYC

Wikipedia:

Catfish is a song written Bob Dylan and Jacques Levy. It was originally recorded for Dylan’s 1976 album Desire but was released onThe Bootleg Series Volumes 1–3 (Rare & Unreleased) 1961–1991. “Catfish” was a tribute to future Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher Jim Hunter (better known as Catfish Hunter). Joe Cocker covered the song and included it on his 1976 album “Stingray,” and Kinky Friedman released a live version on his “Lasso from El Paso” album.

 

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Today: The late Mike Bloomfield was born in 1943 – 69 years ago

From Wikipedia:

Michael Bernard “Mike” Bloomfield (July 28, 1943 – February 15, 1981) was an American musician, guitarist, and composer, born in Chicago, Illinois, who became one of the first popular music superstars of the 1960s to earn his reputation almost entirely on his instrumental prowess, since he rarely sang before 1969–70. Respected for his fluid guitar playing, Bloomfield knew and played with many of Chicago’s blues legends even before he achieved his own fame, and was one of the primary influences on the mid-to-late 1960s revival of classic Chicago and other styles of blues music. In 2003 he was ranked at number 22 on Rolling Stone‘s “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time”.

From Allmusic (Steve Huey):

Michael Bloomfield was one of America’s first great white blues guitarists, earning his reputation on the strength of his work in the Paul Butterfield Blues Band. His expressive, fluid solo lines and prodigious technique graced many other projects — most notably Bob Dylan‘s earliest electric forays — and he also pursued a solo career, with variable results. Uncomfortable with the reverential treatment afforded a guitar hero, Bloomfield tended to shy away from the spotlight after spending just a few years in it; he maintained a lower-visibility career during the ’70s due to his distaste for fame and his worsening drug problems, which claimed his life in 1981.

The Paul Butterfield Blues Band:

With a style honed in the gritty blues bars of Chicago’s south side, the Butterfield Blues Band was instrumental in bringing the sound of authentic Chicago blues to a young white audience in the mid-’60s, and although the band wasn’t a particularly huge commercial success, its influence has been enduring and pervasive. The band was formed when singer and harmonica player Paul Butterfield met guitarist and fellow University of Chicago student Elvin Bishop in the early ’60s. Bonding over a love of the blues, the pair managed to hijack Howlin’ Wolf‘s rhythm section (bassist Jerome Arnold and drummer Sam Lay) and began gigging in the city’s blues houses, where they were spotted in 1964 by producer Paul Rothchild, who quickly had them signed to Elektra Records. Guitar whiz Mike Bloomfield joined the band just before they entered the studio to record their debut album (and in time to be on-stage with the group when they backed up Bob Dylan at his infamous electric set at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival). Organist and pianist Mark Naftalin also came on board during the sessions for the self-titled The Paul Butterfield Blues Band, which was released by Elektra late in 1965.
(Steve Legget – Allmusic.com) 

The classic Newport picture backing Bob Dylan (going electric):

Here is “Maggie’s Farm” from Newport 65:

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What we think we know about the new Bob Dylan album

The title is Tempest.
It has ten songs.
It will be released September 11th 2012 in the US.

Update: Release date UK September 10th 2012 (according to nme.com)

Update: Release date Norway September 7th 2012 (according to platekompaniet.no)

David Hidalgo says it has a Latin American influence with a Tres Guitar.

It is Bob Dylan’s 35th studio album.

It is recorded at Jackson Browne’s Los Angeles studio.

It was recorded from January to March this year.

It marks Bob Dylan’s  50TH anniversary as a recording artist.

The Tracklist is:
1. Duquesne Whistle
2. Soon After Midnight
3. Narrow Way
4. Long and Wasted Years
5. Pay In Blood
6. Scarlet Town
7. Early Roman Kings
8. Tin Angel
9. Tempest
10. Roll On John

Track 10 is about John Lennon (and it’s a long song, 9 minutes(?)), it quotes lines from multiple Beatles songs, including “Come together right now” from “Come Together” and “I heard the news today, oh boy” from “A Day in the Life.”

Tempest is also a play by William Shakespeare (his last).

The picture on the front is of a statue in Austria depicting Pallas a Greek godess.

Update: The picture on the front is not depicting the Greek goddess Pallas! In fact it depicts the female allegory of the river Vltava (Moldau) which indeed is part of the Pallas monument in front of the Austrian Parliament. The Elbe and the Vltava on the backside, the Danube and the Inn on the front. (Thanks to Mierow Brothers, also see the comments)

The statue has been colorized into a blood like color for the album artwork.

It is produced by Jack Frost (a Dylan alias).

The T in the title looks like a cross.

The first track, Duquesne Whistle, appears to be a reference to a 1933 Time Magazine article about a small Pennsylvania steel town.

Tempest (the ninth track) might be about The Titanic and could be around 14 minutes long.

The Album is supposedly 68 minutes long.

The 5th track, Pay in Blood, includes the line, “I’ll pay in blood, but not my own.”

It will be released in the following formats:
1) A “standard” CD jewel case release.
2) A “deluxe” CD release.
3) A double vinyl LP release.
4) iTunes release.

Update: The font of the word Tempest comes from resembles that of a 1961 advert for the Pontiac Tempest (Thanks to stephenoxford and Matthew , check out the comments…)

Update: Pallas Athene was the Shaker of the Spear… just to make a connection with Shakespeare’s The Tempest (Tank you Christopher Twigg, check the comments)

– Hallgeir

Today: Bob Dylan’s album: “Saved” was released in 1980 – 32 years ago

From Wikipedia:

Saved is singer-songwriter Bob Dylan‘s 20th studio album, released by Columbia Records in June 1980.

Saved was the second album of Dylan’s “Christian trilogy,” following his conversion to born-again Christianity. It expanded on themes explored on its predecessor, Slow Train Coming, with gospel arrangements and lyrics extolling the importance of a strong personal faith. Many critics dismissed Saved as dogmatic or bombastic. The album hit #3 on the UK charts, but managed to reach only to #24 on the US charts and did not go gold.

The replaced cover for ‘Saved’:

Released June 23, 1980
Recorded February 11–15, 1980
Genre Rock, gospel
Length 42:39
Label Columbia
Producer Jerry WexlerBarry Beckett

5 best songs from the album:

  1. In The Garden
  2. Solid Rock
  3. Are You Ready?
  4. Saved
  5. Pressing On

Clip from the Toronto concert in 1980 – Saved:

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Today: Bob Dylan recorded Master version of “Like A Rolling Stone” in 1965 – 47 years ago

Bob Dylan’s second best song ? or best ? iow – best or second best song ever recorded.

It doesn’t really matter.

«.. The Sound Is So Rich the Song Never
Plays The Same Way Twice»
– Greil Marcus

From Wikipedia:

Like a Rolling Stone” is a 1965 song by American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan. Its confrontational lyrics originate in an extended piece of verse Dylan wrote in June 1965, when he returned from a grueling tour of England, exhausted.

After the lyrics were heavily edited, “Like a Rolling Stone” was recorded a few weeks later as part of the sessions for the forthcoming album Highway 61 Revisited. During a difficult two-day preproduction, Dylan struggled to find the essence of the song, which was demoed without success in 3/4 time. A breakthrough was made when it was tried in a rock music format, and rookie session musician Al Kooper improvised the organ riff for which the track is known.

However, Columbia Records was unhappy with both the song’s length at over six minutes and its heavy electric sound, and was hesitant to release it. It was only when a month later a copy was leaked to a new popular music club and heard by influential DJs that the song was put out as a single. Although radio stations were reluctant to play such a long track, “Like a Rolling Stone” reached number two in the US charts and became a worldwide hit.

 

B-side “Gates of Eden” (5:44)
Released July 20, 1965
Format 7″ single
Recorded June 15–16, 1965, Columbia Studio A, 799 Seventh Avenue, New York City
Genre Rock, folk rock
Length 6:09 (single)
6:13 (album)
Label Columbia
Writer(s) Bob Dylan
Producer Tom Wilson

 

Legacy:

The song’s sound was revolutionary in its combination of electric guitar licks, organ chords, and Dylan’s voice, at once young and jeeringly cynical. Critic Michael Gray described the track as “a chaotic amalgam of blues, impressionism, allegory, and an intense directness in the central chorus: ‘How does it feel'”. The song had an enormous impact on popular culture and rock music. Its success made Dylan a pop icon, as Paul Williams notes:

Dylan had been famous, had been the center of attention, for a long time. But now the ante was being upped again. He’d become a pop star as well as a folk star … and was, even more than the Beatles, a public symbol of the vast cultural, political, generational changes taking place in the United States and Europe. He was perceived as, and in many ways functioned as, a leader.
  • 2010 – rank 1 – 500 Greatest Songs of All Time (Rolling Stone Magazine) 
  • 2006 – rank 4 – 200 Greatest Songs of the 1960s (Pitchfork Media)
  • 2000 – rank 4 – 100 Greatest Rock Songs (VH1)

Live in 1966:

Original:

Spotify Playlist – different versions of this masterpiece:

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