Category Archives: Bob Dylan

Today: Bob Dylan released “New Morning” in 1970, 43 years ago

bob dylan new morning

..Well, there were two good songs on S. P., DAYS OF FORTY-NINE and COPPER KETTLE… and without those two LPs there’d be no New Morning. Anyway I’m just starting to get back on my feet as far as my music goes… Al, do you use amphetamine?
~Bob Dylan (A.J. Weberman Interview, Jan 1971)

The album has a feeling of”starting over” about it, as the title and the back cover photo (Dylan with blues singer Victoria Spivey in 1961-he looks very young) both suggest.
~Paul Williams (Bob Dylan Performing Artist I: The Early Years 1960-1973)

This is a quirky album, from a Dylan not pointing a way for anyone, but from a great artist remaining at his work knowingly in the face of not being creatively on top form in the phenomenal way he had been in the period 1964–68.Warm and abiding, it sounds better and better as the years go by.
~Michael Gray (The Bob Dylan Encyclopedia)

Day of The Locusts:

From Wikipedia:

Released October 19, 1970
Recorded June–August 1970 at Studio B and Studio E, Columbia Studio Building, 49 East 52nd Street, New York City
Genre Rock, country rock, country
Length 35:21
Label Columbia
Producer Bob Johnston

New Morning is the eleventh studio album by American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan, released in October 1970 by Columbia Records.

Coming only four months after the controversial Self Portrait, the more concise and immediate New Morning won a much warmer reception from fans and critics. Most welcome was the return of Dylan’s familiar, nasal singing voice. While he has a slightly nasal tone to his voice on “Alberta #1” from Self Portrait this was the first full album with his familiar voice since John Wesley Harding in 1967: he had taken on a country croon since then. In retrospect, the album has come to be viewed as one of the artist’s lesser successes, especially following the release of Blood on the Tracks in 1975, often seen as a fuller return-to-form.

It reached #7 in the US, quickly going gold, and gave Dylan his sixth UK number 1 album. The album’s most successful song from a commercial perspective is probably “If Not for You”, which also was recorded by George Harrison, who had played guitar on a version of the song not released until 1991’s Bootleg Series Volume 2, and was also an international hit for Olivia Newton-John in 1971. Bryan Ferry also included the song on Dylanesque.

Bob Dylan - New Morning (back)

 

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Aftermath:

Critics were quick to praise New Morning upon its release. Ralph Gleason’s Rolling Stone review reflected most sentiments, proclaiming “WE’VE GOT DYLAN BACK AGAIN.” Few placed it alongside his masterworks from the 1960s, but it was considered a substantial improvement over its predecessor. It was only four months since Self Portrait, and many reviewers did not resist comparing the two. “In case you were wondering how definitive that self-portrait was, here comes its mirror image four months later,” wrote Robert Christgau, before giving it an A-.

While New Morning neared completion, Dylan and his manager, Albert Grossman, formally dissolved their business relationship on July 17, 1970. Grossman retained certain rights from previous agreements, including royalties on work produced under his management, but their publishing company, Big Sky Music, would be replaced by Ram’s Horn Music before the end of 1971, putting an end to any joint ownership in publishing. Dylan would gain complete control over his personal management and his own music publishing. Another tense contract negotiation awaited in 1972, this time with CBS. Until then, there would be little musical activity as Dylan entered the quietest period of his career.

bob dylan 1970

 

More opinions:

Paul Williams (Bob Dylan Performing Artist I: The Early Years 1960-1973):
New Morning to me is a scary album. Unlike Nashville Skyline and Self Portrait it’s not a conceptual experiment (Dylan goes country; Dylan sings other people’s songs). It is not a half-hearted effort-there is energy and humor in the singing and musical accompaniment, cleverness and intelligence in the lyrics, personality and imagination in the music, the sound. It should be, in short, the return of Bob Dylan, and was hailed as such by fans and critics at the time. And that’s the scary part. New Morning is Bob Dylan pretending to be Bob Dylan, not in any obvious way (like writing a sequel to “Mr. Tambourine Man”) but in a very subtle way: he goes through all the motions and touches all the bases, but leaves out Ingredient X.

Michael Gray (The Bob Dylan Encyclopedia):
There’s much more going on here than this, though. Throughout the album there is a subtle but sustained falsification of the rural/patriarchal ideas suggested here (and on Nashville Skyline): a persistent kind of Midas touch that deliberately
makes the picture here an idealised and therefore not a real one. … The cumulative effect of all this carefully established unreality is to make New Morning very different, in its vision, from any other Dylan album. It begins to express a new optimism-through-doubt. He may have little to say but he has the courage to know it: and to make, to pass his time, an intelligent critique of what he doesn’t believe in any more. New Morning says for his country persona what ‘My Back Pages’ said about his protest persona.

Robert Christgau:
In case you were wondering how definitive that self-portrait was, here comes its mirror image four months later. Call it love on the rebound. This time he’s writing the pop (and folk) genre experiments himself, and thus saying more about true romance than is the pop (or folk) norm. Two side-closing throw-ins–a sillyditty about a gal named “Winterlude” and the scatting beatnik send-up “If Dogs Run Free”–almost steal the show. And the two other side-closers, which make religion seem dumber than it already is, damn near give it back. A-

 

Track listing:

All songs written by Bob Dylan.

Side one
  1. “If Not for You” – 2:39
  2. “Day of the Locusts” – 3:57
  3. “Time Passes Slowly” – 2:33
  4. “Went to See the Gypsy” – 2:49
  5. “Winterlude” – 2:21
  6. “If Dogs Run Free” – 3:37
Side two
  1. “New Morning” – 3:56
  2. “Sign on the Window” – 3:39
  3. “One More Weekend” – 3:09
  4. “The Man in Me” – 3:07
  5. “Three Angels” – 2:07
  6. “Father of Night” – 1:27

My fav songs from the album:

  • If Not For You
  • New Morning
  • The Man In Me
  • Sign On the Window

If Not For You:

Personnel:

  • Bob Dylan – vocals, harmonica, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, organ; piano on “Day of the Locusts”, “Time Passes Slowly”, “Went to See the Gypsy”, “Winterlude”, “Sign on the Window”, and “Father of Night”
Additional musicians
  • David Bromberg – electric guitar, dobro
  • Harvey Brooks – bass guitar
  • Ron Cornelius – electric guitar
  • Charlie Daniels – bass guitar
  • Buzzy Feiten – electric guitar
  • Al Kooper – organ, piano, electric guitar, French horn
  • Russ Kunkel – drums
  • Billy Mundi – drums
  • Hilda Harris – backing vocals
  • Albertin Robinson – backing vocals
  • Maeretha Stewart – backing vocals on “If Dogs Run Free”
Technical personnel
  • Bob Johnston – production
  • Len Siegler – photographer

Sign On the Window:

“New Morning” is not available @ Spotify, but another great album released on this day in 1973 is:

Album of the day: The Who – Quadrophenia

the who Quadrophenia

Other October 19:

Continue reading Today: Bob Dylan released “New Morning” in 1970, 43 years ago

Bob Dylan: Where Teardrops Fall, London, England 8 February 1990 (Video)

bob dylan london 1990

Far away where the soft winds blow
Far away from it all
There is a place you go
Where teardrops fall

Far away in the stormy night
Far away and over the wall
You are there in the flickering light
Where teardrops fall

Hammersmith Odeon
London, England
8 February 1990

  • Bob Dylan (vocal & guitar)
  • G. E. Smith (guitar)
  • Tony Garnier (bass)
  • Christopher Parker (drums)

We banged the drum slowly
And played the fife lowly
You know the song in my heart
In the turning of twilight
In the shadows of moonlight
You can show me a new place to start

I’ve torn my clothes and I’ve drained the cup
Strippin’ away at it all
Thinking of you when the sun comes up
Where teardrops fall

By rivers of blindness
In love and with kindness
We could hold up a toast if we meet
To the cuttin’ of fences
To sharpen the senses
That linger in the fireball heat

Roses are red, violets are blue
And time is beginning to crawl
I just might have to come see you
Where teardrops fall

 
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-Egil

Bob Dylan: Long Black Veil, Wheeling, West Virginia 28 April 1997 (Video)

bob dylan 1997

 

Ten years ago, on a cold, dark night
There was someone killed ‘neath the Town hall light
There were few at the scene, but they all agreed
That the man who ran looked a lot like me

Capitol Music Hall
Wheeling, West Virginia
28 April 1997

  • Bob Dylan (vocal & guitar)
  • Bucky Baxter (pedal steel guitar & electric slide guitar)
  • Larry Campbell (guitar)
  • Tony Garnier (bass)
  • David Kemper (drums & percussion)

She walks these hills in a long black veil
She visits my grave while the night winds wail
Nobody knows, nobody sees
Nobody knows but me

The judge said Son, what’s your alibi
If you were somewhere else, then you won’t have to die
I spoke not a word thought it meant my life
For I’d been in the arms of my best friend’s wife

(Refrain)

The scaffold was high and eternity near
She stood in the crowd and shed not a tear
But sometime at night when the cold winds moan
In a long black veil she cries over my bones

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-Egil

Bob Dylan: Hard Rain, Bologne – 10 Nov 2005 (video)

bob dylan bologna 2005

 

Oh, where have you been, my blue-eyed son?
Oh, where have you been, my darling young one?
I’ve stumbled on the side of twelve misty mountains
I’ve walked and I’ve crawled on six crooked highways
I’ve stepped in the middle of seven sad forests
I’ve been out in front of a dozen dead oceans
I’ve been ten thousand miles in the mouth of a graveyard
And it’s a hard, and it’s a hard, it’s a hard, and it’s a hard
And it’s a hard rain’s a-gonna fall

Palamalaguti
Bologne, Italy
10 November 2005

  • Bob Dylan (vocal & piano)
  • Stu Kimball (guitar)
  • Denny Freeman (guitar)
  • Donnie Herron (violin, mandolin, pedal steel guitar)
  • Tony Garnier (bass)
  • George Recile (drums & percussion)

Oh, what did you see, my blue-eyed son?
Oh, what did you see, my darling young one?
I saw a newborn baby with wild wolves all around it
I saw a highway of diamonds with nobody on it
I saw a black branch with blood that kept drippin’
I saw a room full of men with their hammers a-bleedin’
I saw a white ladder all covered with water
I saw ten thousand talkers whose tongues were all broken
I saw guns and sharp swords in the hands of young children
And it’s a hard, and it’s a hard, it’s a hard, it’s a hard
And it’s a hard rain’s a-gonna fall

And what did you hear, my blue-eyed son?
And what did you hear, my darling young one?
I heard the sound of a thunder, it roared out a warnin’
Heard the roar of a wave that could drown the whole world
Heard one hundred drummers whose hands were a-blazin’
Heard ten thousand whisperin’ and nobody listenin’
Heard one person starve, I heard many people laughin’
Heard the song of a poet who died in the gutter
Heard the sound of a clown who cried in the alley
And it’s a hard, and it’s a hard, it’s a hard, it’s a hard
And it’s a hard rain’s a-gonna fall

Oh, who did you meet, my blue-eyed son?
Who did you meet, my darling young one?
I met a young child beside a dead pony
I met a white man who walked a black dog
I met a young woman whose body was burning
I met a young girl, she gave me a rainbow
I met one man who was wounded in love
I met another man who was wounded with hatred
And it’s a hard, it’s a hard, it’s a hard, it’s a hard
It’s a hard rain’s a-gonna fall

Oh, what’ll you do now, my blue-eyed son?
Oh, what’ll you do now, my darling young one?
I’m a-goin’ back out ’fore the rain starts a-fallin’
I’ll walk to the depths of the deepest black forest
Where the people are many and their hands are all empty
Where the pellets of poison are flooding their waters
Where the home in the valley meets the damp dirty prison
Where the executioner’s face is always well hidden
Where hunger is ugly, where souls are forgotten
Where black is the color, where none is the number
And I’ll tell it and think it and speak it and breathe it
And reflect it from the mountain so all souls can see it
Then I’ll stand on the ocean until I start sinkin’
But I’ll know my song well before I start singin’
And it’s a hard, it’s a hard, it’s a hard, it’s a hard
It’s a hard rain’s a-gonna fall

 

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-Egil

Bob Dylan: Isis Montreal, Quebec, 4 December 1975 (Video)

bob dylan 1975

I married Isis on the fifth day of May
But I could not hold on to her very long
So I cut off my hair and I rode straight away
For the wild unknown country where I could not go wrong

One of his strongest performances on video….

Forum de Montréal
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
4 December 1975

  • Bob Dylan (vocal, guitar)
  • Bob Neuwirth (guitar)
  • Scarlet Rivera (violin)
  • T-bone J. Henry Burnett (guitar)
  • Roger McGuinn (guitar)
  • Steven Soles (guitar)
  • Mick Ronson (guitar)
  • David Mansfield (steel guitar, violin, mandolin ,dobro)
  • Rob Stoner (bass, vocals)
  • Howie Wyeth (piano, drums)
  • Luther Rix (drums, percussion)
  • Ronee Blakley (vocal)

I came to a high place of darkness and light
The dividing line ran through the center of town
I hitched up my pony to a post on the right
Went in to a laundry to wash my clothes down

A man in the corner approached me for a match
I knew right away he was not ordinary
He said, “Are you lookin’ for somethin’ easy to catch?”
I said, “I got no money.” He said, “That ain’t necessary”

We set out that night for the cold in the North
I gave him my blanket, he gave me his word
I said, “Where are we goin’?” He said we’d be back by the fourth
I said, “That’s the best news that I’ve ever heard”

I was thinkin’ about turquoise, I was thinkin’ about gold
I was thinkin’ about diamonds and the world’s biggest necklace
As we rode through the canyons, through the devilish cold
I was thinkin’ about Isis, how she thought I was so reckless

How she told me that one day we would meet up again
And things would be different the next time we wed
If I only could hang on and just be her friend
I still can’t remember all the best things she said

We came to the pyramids all embedded in ice
He said, “There’s a body I’m tryin’ to find
If I carry it out it’ll bring a good price”
’Twas then that I knew what he had on his mind

The wind it was howlin’ and the snow was outrageous
We chopped through the night and we chopped through the dawn
When he died I was hopin’ that it wasn’t contagious
But I made up my mind that I had to go on

I broke into the tomb, but the casket was empty
There was no jewels, no nothin’, I felt I’d been had
When I saw that my partner was just bein’ friendly
When I took up his offer I must-a been mad

I picked up his body and I dragged him inside
Threw him down in the hole and I put back the cover
I said a quick prayer and I felt satisfied
Then I rode back to find Isis just to tell her I love her

She was there in the meadow where the creek used to rise
Blinded by sleep and in need of a bed
I came in from the East with the sun in my eyes
I cursed her one time then I rode on ahead

She said, “Where ya been?” I said, “No place special”
She said, “You look different.” I said, “Well, not quite”
She said, “You been gone.” I said, “That’s only natural”
She said, “You gonna stay?” I said, “Yeah, I jes might”

Isis, oh, Isis, you mystical child
What drives me to you is what drives me insane
I still can remember the way that you smiled
On the fifth day of May in the drizzlin’ rain

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-Egil