Category Archives: Music Calendar

Today: Bob Dylan released “Highway 61 Revisited” in 1965 – 47 years ago

 

 How does it feel
How does it feel
To be without a home
Like a complete unknown
Like a rolling stone?

From Wikipedia:

Released August 30, 1965
Recorded Columbia Studio A, 799 Seventh Avenue, New York, June 15 – August 4, 1965
Genre Rock, folk rock
Length 51:26
Label Columbia
Producer Bob JohnstonTom Wilson on “Like a Rolling Stone”

Highway 61 Revisited is the sixth studio album by singer-songwriter Bob Dylan. It was released in August 1965 by Columbia Records. On his previous album, Bringing It All Back Home, Dylan devoted Side One of the album to songs accompanied by an electric rock band, and Side Two to solo acoustic numbers. For Highway 61 Revisited, Dylan used rock backing on every track, except for the closing 11-minute acoustic song, “Desolation Row“. Critics have written that Dylan’s ability to combine driving, complex, blues-based rock music with the power of poetry made Highway 61 Revisited one of the most influential albums ever recorded.

Leading off with his hit single of that summer, “Like a Rolling Stone“, the album features many songs that have been acclaimed as classics and that Dylan has continued to perform live over his long career, including “Highway 61 Revisited“, “Ballad of a Thin Man“, and “Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues“. Dylan named the album after one of the great North American arteries, which connected his birthplace in Minnesota to southern cities famed for their musical heritage, including St. LouisMemphis, and New Orleans.

Highway 61 Revisited peaked at number three in the United States charts and number four in the United Kingdom. The album has received multiple accolades and was ranked number four on Rolling Stone‘s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. The single “Like a Rolling Stone” reached number two in the US charts and number four in the UK. It has been described by critics as Dylan’s magnum opus and was number one on Rolling Stone‘s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time list. Two further songs, “Desolation Row“, and “Highway 61 Revisited“, were listed at number 185 and number 364 respectively.

Background:

In May 1965, Dylan returned from his tour of England feeling tired and dissatisfied with his material. “I was going to quit singing. I was very drained… I was playing a lot of songs I didn’t want to play,” Dylan told Nat Hentoff in 1966.

“It’s very tiring having other people tell you how much they dig you if you yourself don’t dig you.”

Out of this dissatisfaction, Dylan wrote an extended piece of verse which Dylan described as a “long piece of vomit”. He refined this long poem into a song consisting of four verses and a chorus—”Like a Rolling Stone”. 

Dylan told Hentoff that the process of writing and recording “Like a Rolling Stone” washed away this dissatisfaction, and renewed his enthusiasm for creating music. Speaking of the breakthrough of writing that song, forty years later, Dylan told Robert Hilburn in 2004,

“It’s like a ghost is writing a song like that… You don’t know what it means except the ghost picked me to write the song.”

Highway 61 Revisited was recorded in two blocks of recording sessions, which took place in Studio A of Columbia Records in New York City, located at 799 Seventh Avenue, just north of West 52nd Street. The first session, June 15 and June 16, was produced by Tom Wilson and resulted in the single, “Like a Rolling Stone”. On July 25, Dylan performed his controversial electric set at the Newport Folk Festival, where some sections of the crowd booed his performance. Four days after Newport, Dylan returned to the recording studio. From July 29 to August 4, Dylan and his band completed recording Highway 61 Revisited, but under the supervision of a new producer, Bob Johnston.

Track listing:

Side one 
1. “Like a Rolling Stone” 6:09 
2. “Tombstone Blues” 5:58 
3. “It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry” 4:09 
4. “From a Buick 6” 3:19 
5. “Ballad of a Thin Man” 5:58 

Side two
6. “Queen Jane Approximately” 5:31
7. “Highway 61 Revisited” 3:30
8. “Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues” 5:31
9. “Desolation Row”

—-

My ratings (0-10):

 Reception:

  • Singer-songwriter Phil Ochs told Broadside magazine, immediately after the record’s release, that Dylan had “produced the most important and revolutionary album ever made”. Speaking to Anthony Scaduto five years later, Ochs said, “I put on Highway 61 and I laughed and said it’s so ridiculous. It’s impossibly good, it just can’t be that good. How can a human mind do this?
  • The album cemented Dylan’s mastery of a new genre—combining verbal complexity with a hard rock sound. One 1965 reviewer wrote: “Bob Dylan used to sound like a lung cancer victim singing Woody Guthrie. Now he sounds like a Rolling Stone singing Immanuel Kant“.
  • The album was a hit, peaking at number 3 on the Billboard 200 chart of top albums. In August 1967, Highway 61 was certificated as a gold record.
  • Highway 61 Revisited has remained among the most highly acclaimed of Dylan’s works. Scaduto, Dylan’s first serious biographer, wrote that it may be “one of the most brilliant pop records ever made. As rock, it cuts through to the core of the music—a hard driving beat without frills, without self-consciousness.” Commenting on Dylan’s imagery, Scaduto wrote: “Not since Rimbaud has a poet used all the language of the street to expose the horrors of the streets, to describe a state of the union that is ugly and absurd.”
  • Dylan critic Michael Gray called Highway 61 “revolutionary and stunning, not just for its energy and panache but in its vision: fusing radical, electrical music … with lyrics that were light years ahead of anyone else’s; Dylan here unites the force of blues-based rock’n’roll with the power of poetry. Rock culture, in an important sense, the 1960s, started here.”
  • In 1995 Highway 61 Revisited was named the fifth greatest album of all time in a poll conducted by Mojo magazine. 
  • In 2001, the TV network VH1 placed it at number 22. 
  • In 2003, Rolling Stone magazine, describing Highway 61 as “one of those albums that, quite simply, changed everything”, placed it at number four in its list of the greatest albums of all time. 
  • The Rolling Stone list of the 500 greatest songs of all time ranked “Highway 61 Revisited”, “Desolation Row” and “Like a Rolling Stone” at #364, #185 and #1, respectively.

Personnel:

  • Bob Dylan – guitar, harmonica, piano, vocals, liner notes, police siren
Additional musicians
Technical personnel
  • Bob Johnston – production
  • Daniel Kramer – cover photographer
  • Tom Wilson – production on “Like a Rolling Stone”

Like A Rolling Stone – original:

Ballad of a Thin Man – Live Copenhagen 1966:

Album of the day – Highway 61 Revisited (1965):

Other August 30:

Continue reading Today: Bob Dylan released “Highway 61 Revisited” in 1965 – 47 years ago

Today: The late Charlie Parker was born in 1920 – 92 years ago

 

From Wikipedia:

Birth name Charles Parker, Jr.
Also known as Bird, Yardbird,
Zoizeau (in France)
Born August 29, 1920
Kansas City, Kansas, United States
Died March 12, 1955 (aged 34)
New York City, New York, United States
Genres Jazz, bebop
Occupations Saxophonist, Composer
Instruments Alto saxophone, tenor saxophone
Years active 1937–1955
Labels Savoy, Dial, Verve
Associated acts Miles DavisMax Roach

Charles Parker, Jr. (August 29, 1920 – March 12, 1955), also known as Yardbird and Bird, was an American jazz saxophonist and composer.

Parker acquired the nickname “Yardbird” early in his career and the shortened form, “Bird”, which continued to be used for the rest of his life, inspired the titles of a number of Parker compositions, such as “Yardbird Suite“, “Ornithology“, “Bird Gets the Worm“, and “Bird of Paradise.”

Parker was a highly influential jazz soloist and a leading figure in the development of bebop,  a form of jazz characterized by fast tempos, virtuosic technique, and improvisation. Parker introduced revolutionary harmonic ideas, including rapid passing chords, new variants of altered chords, and chord substitutions. His tone ranged from clean and penetrating to sweet and somber. Many Parker recordings demonstrate virtuosic technique and complex melodic lines, sometimes combining jazz with other musical genres, including blues, Latin, and classical.

Parker was an icon for the hipster subculture and later the Beat Generation, personifying the jazz musician as an uncompromising artist and intellectual, rather than an entertainer.

 From allmusic.com – Scott Yanow:

One of a handful of musicians who can be said to have permanently changed jazz, Charlie Parker was arguably the greatest saxophonist of all time. He could play remarkably fast lines that, if slowed down to half speed, would reveal that every note made sense. “Bird,” along with his contemporaries Dizzy Gillespie and Bud Powell, is considered a founder of bebop; in reality he was an intuitive player who simply was expressing himself. Rather than basing his improvisations closely on the melody as was done in swing, he was a master of chordal improvising, creating new melodies that were based on the structure of a song. In fact, Bird wrote several future standards (such as “Anthropology,” “Ornithology,” “Scrapple from the Apple,” and “Ko Ko,” along with such blues numbers as “Now’s the Time” and “Parker’s Mood”) that “borrowed” and modernized the chord structures of older tunes. Parker‘s remarkable technique, fairly original sound, and ability to come up with harmonically advanced phrases that could be both logical and whimsical were highly influential. By 1950, it was impossible to play “modern jazz” with credibility without closely studying Charlie Parker.   Read more -> allmusic.com

All the things you are:

 I’ve Got Rhythm:

Album of the day – Jazz at Massey Hall (1953):

Other August-29:

Continue reading Today: The late Charlie Parker was born in 1920 – 92 years ago

Today: Stevie Ray Vaughan passed away in 1990 – 22 years ago

He was the greatest blues guitarist of his generation.
~ Mick Jagger

From Wikipedia:

Birth name Stephen Ray Vaughan
Also known as SRV
Born October 3, 1954
Dallas, Texas, United States
Died August 27, 1990 (aged 35)
East Troy, Wisconsin, United States
Genres Rock, blues, blues rock,electric blues, Texas blues
Occupations Musician, singer-songwriter, record producer
Instruments Guitar, vocals
Years active 1965–1990
Labels Epic, Legacy, Sony
Associated acts Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double TroubleJimmie VaughanDoyle Bramhall,David BowieLonnie Mack,Albert KingJeff Beck
Website srvofficial.com

Stephen “Stevie” Ray Vaughan (October 3, 1954 – August 27, 1990) was an American guitarist, singer-songwriter, and record producer. Often referred to by his initials SRV, Vaughan is best known as a founding member and leader of Double Trouble. Together with drummer Chris Layton and bassist Tommy Shannon, they ignited the blues revival of the 1980s. With a career spanning seven years, Vaughan and Double Trouble consistently sold out concerts while their albums frequently went gold.

I remember when he first came out, he was doing that Hendrix song [Voodoo Chile], and I heard all these people going, “Ah, he’s just trying to do Hendrix. But he went a lot further than that. He was absolutely 100-proof, pure blues. Albert Collins, Muddy Waters – the essence of that was in everything he played. More than the Allman Brothers, he was straight-down-the-line blues.
~Gregg Allman

Stevie was always playing. After he’d get offstage, he’d get on his bus. And he had all these Stratocasters hanging there. He’d grab one and start goin’.
~Gregg Allman

From allmusic.com (Stephen Thomas Erlewine):

With his astonishingly accomplished guitar playing, Stevie Ray Vaughan ignited the blues revival of the ’80s. Vaughan drew equally from bluesmen like Albert KingOtis Rush, and Muddy Waters and rock & roll players like Jimi Hendrix and Lonnie Mack, as well as the stray jazz guitarist like Kenny Burrell, developing a uniquely eclectic and fiery style that sounded like no other guitarist, regardless of genre. Vaughan bridged the gap between blues and rock like no other artist had since the late ’60s. For the next seven years, Stevie Ray was the leading light in American blues, consistently selling out concerts while his albums regularly went gold. His tragic death in 1990 only emphasized his influence in blues and American rock & roll.    …read more @ allmusic

Texas Flood – Live:

Pride & Joy – live at the Montreux 1985

Album of the day – Texas Flod (1983):

Other August 27:

Continue reading Today: Stevie Ray Vaughan passed away in 1990 – 22 years ago

Today: Elvis Presley released “Suspicious Minds” in 1969 – 43 years ago

OLD post … You’re being redirected to a newer version……

This is my fav Elvis song (although not this version) together with “Mystery Train”.

From Wikipedia:

B-side You’ll Think Of Me
Released August 26, 1969
Format 45 rpm record
Recorded January 23, 1969
Genre Soul, pop
Length 4:22 (3:28)
Label RCA
Writer(s) Mark James
Producer Chips Moman and Felton Jarvis

Suspicious Minds” is a song written by American songwriter Mark James. After James’ recording failed commercially, the song was handed to Elvis Presley by producer Chips Moman, becoming a number one song in 1969, and one of the most notable hits of Presley’s career. “Suspicious Minds” was widely regarded as the single that returned Presley’s career success, following ’68 Comeback Special. It was his seventeenth and last number-one single in the United States. Rolling Stone later ranked it #91 on their list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

Background

Elvis Presley’s recordings in American Sound Studio were a direct consequence to ’68 Comeback Special, that interested Chips Moman in produce recordings to the new style of Presley, making his comeback to the Memphis musical scene, by recording rock,gospel, country, rhythm & blues and soul. George Klein, local Memphis dj & close friend of Elvis’ suggested he record at the studio.

American Sound Studio session

“Suspicious Minds” was a product of January 23, 1969 session, that took place between 4 am and 7 am. It took eight takes to produce the final song that was later overdubbed by Presley the same night. Also in the same were recorded “I’ll Hold You In My Heart (Till I Can Hold You In My Arms)”, “Without Love (There Is Nothing)”, and “I’ll Be There”. on August 7, was again overdubbed to stereo and mono in Las Vegas, where the final master was produced. The song is noted for its change of Rhythm, in the Bridge section, from 4/4 to a slower 6/8 and back again to the faster 4/4 rhythm. The first verse repeats over and over again, until it completely fades out, it features a bass guitar, organ, strings, trumpets, trombones, and drums. Session producer Felton Jarvis made the unusual decision to add a premature fade-out to the song starting at 3:36, mirroring the way Presley used to perform it in his live Las Vegas stage act. The fadeout lasts for about 15 seconds before fading back in, conveying a message of relationship in the song. Future Grateful Dead vocalist Donna Jean Godchaux sang backing vocals on the track.

Best version:

Released version:

Elvis Presley Suspicious Minds Live That’s The Way It Is 1970

Live 1973 – Aloha Hawaii:

Album of the day – Suspicious Minds: The Memphis 1969 Anthology (1999):

Other August 26:

Continue reading Today: Elvis Presley released “Suspicious Minds” in 1969 – 43 years ago

Today: Jeff Tweedy is 45

From Wikipedia:

Birth name Jeffrey Scot Tweedy
Born August 25, 1967 (age 45)
Belleville, Illinois, United States
Genres Alternative country, alternative rock
Occupations Musician, songwriter
Instruments Vocals, guitar, bass guitar, harmonica
Years active 1984–present
Labels Giant/RockvilleSireReprise,NonesuchDrag City
Associated acts WilcoUncle TupeloGolden SmogLoose Fur

Jeffrey Scot “Jeff” Tweedy (born August 25, 1967) is an American songwriter, musician and leader of the band Wilco. Tweedy joined rockabilly band The Plebes with high school friend Jay Farrar in the early 1980s, but Tweedy’s musical interests caused one of Farrar’s brothers to quit. The Plebes changed their name to The Primitives in 1984, and subsequently to Uncle Tupelo. Uncle Tupelo garnered enough support to earn a record deal and to tour nationally. After releasing four albums, the band broke up in 1994 because of conflicts between Tweedy and Farrar.

In 1994, Tweedy formed Wilco with John StirrattMax Johnston, and Ken Coomer. Wilco has released eight albums and found commercial success with their albums Yankee Hotel FoxtrotA Ghost Is BornSky Blue Sky and Wilco (The Album). The band also released two collaboration albums with Billy Bragg and one with The Minus 5. Jeff Tweedy has been the recipient of two Grammy Awards, including Best Alternative Album for A Ghost Is Born. Tweedy has also participated in a number of side groups including Golden Smog and Loose Fur, published a book of poems, and released a DVD of solo performances. He was originally influenced by punk and country music, but has later reflected more experimental themes in his music.

Wilco is an American alternative rock band based in Chicago, Illinois. The band was formed in 1994 by the remaining members of alternative country group Uncle Tupelo following singer Jay Farrar‘s departure. Wilco’s lineup has changed frequently, with only singer Jeff Tweedy and bassist John Stirratt remaining from the original incarnation. Since early 2004, the other current members are guitarist Nels Cline, multi-instrumentalists Pat Sansone and Mikael Jorgensen, and drummer Glenn Kotche. Wilco has released eight studio albums, a live double album, and four collaborations: three with Billy Bragg, and one with The Minus 5.

Wilco’s music has been inspired by a wide variety of artists and styles, including Bill Fay and Television, and has in turn influenced music by a number of modern alternative rock acts. The band continued in the alternative country of Uncle Tupelo on its debut album A.M. (1995), but has since introduced more experimental aspects to their music, including elements of alternative rock and classic pop.

Impossible Germany – live:

Wilco – Austin City Limits 2012 Saturday, Feb. 4 (full show):
Setlist:
Art of Almost
Poor Places
Bull Black Nova
Open Mind
Born Alone
One Wing
Black Moon
War on War
Far, Far Away
Dawned on Me
Cruel to be Kind (with Nick Lowe)

Album of the day – Kicking Television, Live In Chicago (2005):

Other August 25:

Continue reading Today: Jeff Tweedy is 45