Category Archives: Bob Dylan recording sessions

September 24: recording sessions for Bob Dylan: Greatest Hits Vol.2 in 1971

bob dylan greatest hits vol2

 

“He felt there were some songs that he had written that had become hits of sorts for other people, that he didn’t actually perform himself, and he wanted to fit those on the record as well…So we just went in one afternoon and did it, it was just the two of us and the engineer, and it was very simple…we chose three [songs] on the spot and mixed them…in the space of an afternoon…Sometimes I wasn’t even sure if it was a final take until we would just finish and Bob would say, ‘Okay, let’s go and mix it.'”
~Happy Traum


I believe we can hear a surprisingly happy Dylan reasserting the expressive power and rich musicality of his own work. The soulful harmonica playing, the striking two-part singing, the confident and inventive guitar rhythms, the strong conveying of individual consciousness and specific feelings in the vocalizing of words and phrases, all work together to communicate the artist’s renewed confidence in the value of his work and in his ability as a performer to share something unique with the world.
~Paul Williams (BD Performing Artist, 1960-73)

Wikipedia:

Bob Dylan’s Greatest Hits Vol. II (1971), also known as More Bob Dylan Greatest Hits, was the second compilation album released by Bob Dylan. With Dylan not expected to release any new material for an extended period of time, CBS Records president Clive Davis proposed issuing a double LP compilation of older material. Dylan agreed, compiling it himself and suggesting that the package include a full side of unreleased tracks from his archives. After submitting a set of excerpts from the The Basement Tapes that Davis found unsatisfactory, Dylan returned to the studio in September 1971 to recut several Basement songs, with Happy Traum providing backup.

The final package included one previously uncollected single, “Watching the River Flow”, an outtake from the same sessions, “When I Paint My Masterpiece”; one song from Dylan’s April 12, 1963 Town Hall concert, “Tomorrow Is a Long Time”, and three songs from the September sessions, “I Shall Be Released”, “You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere”, and “Down in the Flood”. The remaining tracks were drawn from existing releases.

Continue reading September 24: recording sessions for Bob Dylan: Greatest Hits Vol.2 in 1971

November 29: Bob Dylan – Third (and last) Recording Session for John Wesley Harding 1967

bob-dylan-john-wesley-harding-1967

JW: John Wesley Harding – why did you call the album that?
BD: We… I called it that because I had that song John Wesley Harding. It didn’t mean anything to me. I called it that, Jann, ‘cause I had the song John Wesley Harding, which started out to be a long ballad. I was gonna write a ballad on… Like maybe one of those old cowboy… You know, a real long ballad. But in the middle of the second verse, I got
tired. I had a tune, and I didn’t want to waste the tune, it was a nice little melody, so I just wrote a quick third verse, and I recorded that. But it was a silly little song….
~Bob Dylan to Jann Wenner November 29, 1969

This quiet masterpiece, which manages to sound both authoritative and tentative (a mix that gave it a highly contemporary feel), is neither a rock nor a folk album—and certainly isn’t folk-rock. It isn’t categorisable at all.
~Michael Gray (The Bob Dylan Encyclopedia)

51 years ago Bob Dylan entered Columbia Studio A, Nashville Tennessee tempting his third (and final) recording session for “John Wesley Harding”.

Continue reading November 29: Bob Dylan – Third (and last) Recording Session for John Wesley Harding 1967

November 14: Bob Dylan recorded master version of Forever Young in 1973

BD-ForeverYoung

May God bless and keep you always
May your wishes all come true
May you always do for others
And let others do for you
May you build a ladder to the stars
And climb on every rung
May you stay forever young
Forever young, forever young
May you stay forever young

May you grow up to be righteous
May you grow up to be true
May you always know the truth
And see the lights surrounding you
May you always be courageous
Stand upright and be strong
May you stay forever young
Forever young, forever young
May you stay forever young

May your hands always be busy
May your feet always be swift
May you have a strong foundation
When the winds of changes shift
May your heart always be joyful
May your song always be sung
May you stay forever young
Forever young, forever young
May you stay forever young

– Forever Young by Bob Dylan

Here is a great live version.

Winterland
San Francisco, California
25 November 1976

  • Bob Dylan (guitar & vocal)
  • Robbie Robertson (guitar)
  • Garth Hudson (synthesizer)
  • Richard Manual (keyboards)
  • Rick Danko (bass)
  • Levon Helm (drums)

Continue reading November 14: Bob Dylan recorded master version of Forever Young in 1973

November 9: Bob Dylan recorded Wedding Song 1973

BD1973

I love you more than ever, more than time and more than love
I love you more than money and more than the stars above
Love you more than madness, more than waves upon the sea
Love you more than life itself, you mean that much to me

 

 Bob Dylan wrote this great love song 45 years ago today! 

Continue reading November 9: Bob Dylan recorded Wedding Song 1973

July 31: Bob Dylan 5th recording session for Desire 1975

Bob_Dylan-Desire-Frontal

The result is a sound and a set of songs unlike anything Dylan or anyone else has ever done before…. The lyrics of “Sara” and “Abandoned Love” (and, for that matter, of “Isis” and “Hurricane”) could not be more perfect, but overall the triumph of Desire is musical
~Paul Williams (BD performing artist 1974-86)

Recorded in the summer lull before the first Rolling Thunder tour and released soon after it, the stand-out tracks are ‘Isis’, ‘Romance in Durango’ and ‘Black Diamond Bay’, but ‘Hurricane’, ‘One More Cup of Coffee’ and ‘Oh Sister’ are breathing down their necks.
~Michael Gray (BD Encyclopedia)

Studio E
Columbia Recording Studios
New York City, New York
31 July 1975
5th Desire session, produced by Don DeVito

The following night [31 July 1975], Dylan held another session, this time recording three songs. From this session, Dylan recorded the master take for “Isis” as well as master takes for “Abandoned Love” and “Sara.” Dylan’s wife Sara, the subject of the song that bore her name, also accompanied him to this session.

Continue reading July 31: Bob Dylan 5th recording session for Desire 1975