So, I kick off my journey through “Bob Dylan top 200 songs” (my list of Bob Dylans 200 greatest songs) with number 56. Why not start at number 1… or number 200 ? No particular reason, “I just happen to feel this way”. I will publish posts in this category on and off, with no spesific frequency.
If You See Her, Say Hello – #56
New York Version 1
Outtake from original studio sessions for Blood On The Tracks Alt version1: A&R Studios, 19 September 1974, Columbia A&R Studios, NYC Musicians: Bob Dylan: Guitar, Vocals, Charles Brown III: Guitar, Eric Weissberg: Guitar, Barry Kornfield: Guitar
Not released – New York Sessions bootleg
This version is similar to Bootleg Series vol 1-3 version, but different take – softer and shorter without the harmonica solo before the last verse.
Short history – “The making of “Blood On The Tracks”:
The original “New York Sessions” for Blood On The Tracks took place from 16-25 of September 1974 in NYC. A test pressing of the album was made, but Dylan was not comfortable. He took the album “home” to Minnesota and played it for his brother – David Zimmerman. David told Bobby that the album was not “radio friendly”, and they put together a band with local musicians at Sound 80 Studio in Minneapolis on 27 & 30 December. These two sessions ended up replacing half of the albums original New York takes… And one of the unlucky ones was “If You See Here, Say Hello”.. The released Blood On The Tracks version was recorded on December 30.
Why Do I Like the original “New York” version better ?
Sometimes I feel so low-down and disgusted
Can’t help but wonder what’s happenin’ to my companions
Are they lost or are they found
Have they counted the cost it’ll take to bring down
All their earthly principles they’re gonna have to abandon?
There’s a slow, slow train comin’ up around the bend
Slow Train Coming is singer-songwriter Bob Dylan‘s 19th studio album, released by Columbia Records in August 1979.
It was the artist’s first effort since becoming a born-again Christian, and all of the songs either express his strong personal faith, or stress the importance of Christian teachings and philosophy. The evangelical nature of the record alienated many of Dylan’s existing fans; at the same time, many Christians were drawn into his fan base. Slow Train Coming was listed at #16 in the 2001 book CCM Presents: The 100 Greatest Albums in Christian Music.
The album was generally well-reviewed in the secular press, and the single “Gotta Serve Somebody” became his first hit in three years, winning Dylan the Grammy for best rock vocal performance by a male in 1980. The album peaked at #2 on the charts in the UK and went platinum in the US, where it reached #3.
I hear the ancient footsteps like the motion of the sea
Sometimes I turn, there’s someone there, other times it’s only me
I am hanging in the balance of the reality of man
Like every sparrow falling, like every grain of sand
Shot of Love is singer-songwriter Bob Dylan‘s 21st studio album, released by Columbia Records in August 1981.
It is generally considered to be Dylan’s last of a trilogy of overtly religious, Christian albums. Also, it was his first since becoming born-again to focus on secular themes, from straight-ahead love songs to an ode to the deceased comedian Lenny Bruce. Arrangements are rooted more in rock’n’roll, less in gospel than on Dylan’s previous two albums.
At the time of its release, Shot of Love received mixed reviews; Paul Nelson of Rolling Stone in particular savaged the album, though he did single out the last track, “Every Grain of Sand,” as a stand-out. Shot of Love, while reaching UK #6, continued Dylan’s US commercial decline, reaching #33 during a brief chart stay. By contrast, Bono of Irish band U2 described Shot of Love as one of his favourites, particularly due to Dylan’s singing ability.
“Shot of Love” – 4:18
“Heart of Mine” – 4:29
“Property of Jesus” – 4:33
“Lenny Bruce” – 4:32
“Watered-Down Love” – 4:10
“Dead Man, Dead Man” – 3:58
“In the Summertime” – 3:34
“Trouble” – 4:32
“Every Grain of Sand” – 6:12
“The Groom’s Still Waiting at the Altar”, originally the B-side to “Heart of Mine” and included only on cassette release, was added to Shot of Love as track 6 in 1985 (song one on side two of the vinyl LP), and has been present in all subsequent pressings.
5 best songs.. according to me:
Every Grain of Sand
The Groom’s Still Waiting at the Altar
Shot of Love
Heart of Mine
A large number of songs recorded during the Shot of Love sessions were ultimately omitted from the final album, but several outtakes later found their way into private circulation.
Best of the outtakes is Caribbean Wind & Angelina… but that is another story.
A number of critics had already turned on Dylan for the evangelism of his last two albums, but the reception for Shot of Love was particularly harsh. Despite lavish praise of “Every Grain Of Sand,” Paul Nelson of Rolling Stone savaged the rest of the album. Nick Kent of New Musical Express called it “Dylan’s worst album to date.” Despite heavy touring in Europe and North America (in which all but two songs were performed), sales of Shot of Love were below CBS’s expectations. Still, in an interview taken in 1983, Dylan would describe Shot of Love as a personal favorite.
Great live version of “Every Grain of Sand” – Paris 84:
Every Grain of Sand – studio version:
Now here is a real gem! – “The Grooms Still Waiting At The Altar” – live (probably Nov 1980):
Now the moon is almost hidden
The stars are beginning to hide
The fortune-telling lady
Has even taken all her things inside
All except for Cain and Abel
And the hunchback of Notre Dame
Everybody is making love
Or else expecting rain
Location: Studio E, Columbia Recording Studios – NYC
What: The 6th and last Highway 61 Revisited session, produced by Bob Johnston
Master versions recorded: Desolation Row
The released version on H61R is actually a splice between take 6 & 7.
Musicians: Overdub session with Bob Dylan (guitar) and Charlie McCoy (guitar, bass).
Desolation Row is number 9 on my list of Dylan’s 200 best songs.
“Desolation Row” is a 1965 song written and sung by Bob Dylan. It was recorded on August 4, 1965 and released as the closing track of Dylan’s sixth studio album, Highway 61 Revisited. It has been noted for its length (11:21) and surreal lyrics in which Dylan weaves characters from history, fiction, the Bible and his own invention into a series of vignettes that suggest entropy and urban chaos.
The Highway 61 Revisited version was recorded on August 4, 1965, in Columbia’s Studio A in New York City. Nashville-based guitarist Charlie McCoy, who happened to be in New York, was invited by producer Bob Johnston to contribute an improvised acoustic guitar part and Russ Savakus played bass guitar.Polizzotti credits much of the success of the song to McCoy’s contribution: “While Dylan’s panoramic lyrics and hypnotic melody sketch out the vast canvas, it is McCoy’s fills that give it their shading.”