Bob Dylan performed at The Great Music Experience third day in a row. Todai-ji Temple, Nara, Japan – 1994.
In cooperation with UNESCO, the festival, The Great Music Experience was held over three days in Nara, Japan. It was trying to bring Japanese culture out to the world, and Japanese musicians shared the stage with artists from around the globe.
The concert took place in front of the world’s largest wooden building, the Buddhist temple of Todai-Ji, housing the largest Buddha statue in the world.
Dylan stole the show and he said as soon as he came off-stage that he had not sung so well for 15 years. Bob Dylan opened with A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall on which Q magazine said: This is no ordinary version… he really opens his lungs and heart and sings, like he’s not done for many a year…The only word for it majestic!
Here it is the whole Bob Dylan set, enjoy!
The Great Music Experience. Produced by Tony Hollingsworth
1. A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall
2. I Shall Be Released
3. Ring Them Bells
4. I Shall Be Released
1–3 Bob Dylan (guitar & vocal) backed by Phil Palmer (guitar), ”Wix” Vickens (keyboards), Pino Palladino (bass), Jim Keltner (drums) and The Tokyo New Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Michael Kamen
4 Bob Dylan (guitar & shared lead vocal) in the grand finale with all participating artists, among them Joni Mitchell, Jon Bon Jovi, Richie Sambora, Ry Cooder, Roger Taylor and the members of INXS and X Japan.
1–3 was broadcast in the radio and TV program THE GREAT MUSIC EXPERIENCE COUNTDOWN, 22 May 1994 in over 50 countries all over the world.
4 broadcast in the radio and TV program THE GREAT MUSIC EXPERIENCE COUNTDOWN, 29 May 1994 on BBC in the UK.
1 released in Scandinavia on CD single Columbia COL 660942 2, 15 December 1994.
1 released on CD single Dignity (MTV Unplugged), Columbia COL 661 400 2, 11 April 1995.
Musicians said the collaborations, however rewarding, were difficult given the differences in musical backgrounds. “The only thing holding us together this evening is the shining Buddha,” said Michael Kamen, a composer of movie soundtracks who is serving as the musical director here and who composed an overture that encompassed all the musicians and instruments. The mixing of the music is being done by George Martin, who was the Beatles’ producer. (New York Times)
…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 28, 2009
Folk rock, blues rock, Americana
Jack Frost (Bob Dylan pseudonym)
Together Through Life is the thirty-third studio album by singer-songwriter Bob Dylan, released in April 2009 by Columbia Records. The album debuted at number one in several countries, including the U.S. and the UK. It is Dylan’s first number one in Britain since New Morning in 1970.
Dylan wrote all but one of the album’s songs with Grateful Dead lyricist Robert Hunter, with whom he had previously co-written two songs on his 1988 album Down in the Groove. In an interview with Rolling Stone magazine, Dylan commented on the collaboration:
“Hunter is an old buddy, we could probably write a hundred songs together if we thought it was important or the right reasons were there… He’s got a way with words and I do too. We both write a different type of song than what passes today for songwriting.”
The only other writer Dylan has ever collaborated with to such a degree is Jacques Levy, with whom he wrote most of the songs on Desire (1976).
Rumors of the album, reported in Rolling Stone magazine, came as a surprise, with no official press release until March 16, 2009 — less than two months before the album’s release date. Dylan produced the record under his pseudonym of Jack Frost, which he used for his previous two studio albums, “Love and Theft” and Modern Times. The album was rumored to contain “struggling love songs” and have little similarity to Modern Times.
In a conversation with music journalist Bill Flanagan, published on Bob Dylan’s official website, Flanagan suggested a similarity of the new record to the sound of Chess Records and Sun Records, which Dylan acknowledged as an effect of “the way the instruments were played.” He said that the genesis of the record was when French film director Olivier Dahan asked him to supply a song for his new road movie, My Own Love Song, which became “Life is Hard” – indeed, ‘according to Dylan, Dahan was keen to get a whole soundtrack’s worth of songs from the man’ – and “then the record sort of took its own direction.”
Beyond Here Lies Nothin’ live 2011 Tucson, AZ:
Dylan is backed on the album by his regular touring band, plus David Hidalgo of Los Lobos and Mike Campbell of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. Dylan commented on Campbell’s guitar work in his interview with Flanagan: “He’s good with me. He’s been playing with Tom for so long that he hears everything from a songwriter’s point of view and he can play most any style.”
In the interview with Bill Flanagan, Dylan discusses the only known outtake to “Together Through Life”, “Chicago After Dark”. Apparently, this song was in the running to be on the album but was left off the final version, as Flanagan talks about the song as if it is on the album. The song is not circulating among collectors.
“Bill Flanagan: In that song CHICAGO AFTER DARK, were you thinking about the new President?
Bob: Not really. It’s more about State Street and the wind off Lake Michigan and how sometimes we know people and we are no longer what we used to be to them. I was trying to go with some old time feeling that I had.”
Described at length in a 2009 interview to promote the album Together Through Life, according to Dylan, it’s about “how sometimes we know people and we are no longer what we used to be to them”. In fact, this song never existed.He made it all up. How fitting. ~Clinton Heylin (telegraph.co.uk)
Forgetful Heart, Memphis, 2011:
The album received two Grammy Award nominations in Best Americana Album category and “Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance” category for “Beyond Here Lies Nothin'”.
The album also is significant as the only album by Dylan to top the US and UK charts consecutively.
The album’s cover photo is the same as that on the cover of American author Larry Brown’s short story collection, Big Bad Love.
“Beyond Here Lies Nothin'” 3:51
“Life Is Hard” 3:39
“My Wife’s Home Town” (Willie Dixon, Dylan, Hunter) 4:15
…..I did the album, and I call it that, but what it means is for other people to interpret, you know, if it means something to them. Infidels is a word that’s in the dictionary and whoever it applies to… to everybody on the album, every character. Maybe it’s all about infidels.
~Bob Dylan (to Kurt Loder in March 1984)
Foot of Pride:
“Bob’s musical ability is limited, in terms of being able to play a guitar or a piano,….. It’s rudimentary, but it doesn’t affect his variety, his sense of melody, his singing. It’s all there. In fact, some of the things he plays on piano while he’s singing are lovely, even though they’re rudimentary. That all demonstrates the fact that you don’t have to be a great technician. It’s the same old story: If something is played with soul, that’s what’s important.”
“I’ve made shoes for everyone, even you, while I still go barefoot”
~Bob Dylan (from “I and I”)
Studio A Power Station New York City, New York 27 April 1983
Produced by Mark Knopfler and Bob Dylan
Foot Of Pride
Foot Of Pride
Foot Of Pride
Foot Of Pride ….Composing it was alright, it probably had a bunch of extra verses that probably… most likely weren’t necessary, they should have been… they should have been combined. But, the reason why it was never used was because the tempo speeded up, but there wasn’t any drum machine used on that, the tempo just automatically took off, for some vague and curious reason. ~Bob Dylan (to Eliot Mintz – March 1991) – Foot of pride is in fact, in the words Dylan used to describe the composition “Like A Rolling Stone,” “a long piece of vomit”. … it’s about how pride destroys us and turns us into monsters. ~Paul Williams (BD performing artist 1974-86)
I And I
I And I
I And I
I And I
I And I
I And I …according to author/critic Tim Riley, “updates the Dylan mythos. Even though it substitutes self-pity for the [pessimism found throughout Infidels], you can’t ignore it as a Dylan spyglass: ‘Someone else is speakin’ with my mouth, but I’m listening only to my heart/I’ve made shoes for everyone, even you, while I still go barefoot.'” Riley sees the song as an exploration of the distance between Dylan’s “inner identity and the public face he wears”. ~Wikipedia – “I and I”, the other epic from these sessions, is a beautiful song, powerfully sung, with a wonderfully moody and evocative instrumental setting…. ~Paul Williams (BD perfroming artist 1974-86)
My Morning Jackets has a long relationship with Dylan’s songs and it will be great to be able to see them on the same bill.
Bob Dylan’s songs have become part of the great American songbook and there are a lot of artists covering his compositions. My Morning Jacket is one of the best and most interesting of the contemporary bands around, and their covers of Dylan are all good, some are great.
In honor of Amnesty International’s 50th anniversary, a number of musical heavyweights came together for a new Bob Dylan cover album. Chimes of Freedom: Songs of Bob Dylan Honoring 50 Years of Amnesty International had a wonderful cover of “You’re a Big Girl Now” done by My Morning Jacket.
This made me check around to see if My Morning Jacket had done more songs by Dylan and they had.