Category Archives: Bob Dylan recording sessions

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

May 4: Bob Dylan – 5th and last Slow Train Coming Recording Session in 1979

Bob Dylan slow train

The reaction on the (U.S.) Slow Train tour was disheartening at times. But it doesn’t wound you because you get used to the ups and downs. You get to where the praise doesn’t mean anything because it’s often for the wrong reason, and it’s the same with the criticism. Besides, I don’t think I’ll be perceived properly till 100 years after I’m gone. I really believe that. I don’t think anybody has really caught on to Blonde On Blonde yet.
~Bob Dylan (to Robert Hilburn – June 1984)

…. Musically, this is probably Dylan’s finest record, a rare coming together of inspiration, desire and talent that completely fuse strength, vision and art. Bob Dylan is the greatest singer of our times. No one is better. No one, in objective fact, is even very close. His versatility and vocal skills are unmatched. His resonance and feeling are beyond those of any of his contemporaries. More than his ability with words, and more than his insight, his voice is God’s greatest gift to him. So when I listen to “When He Returns,” the words finally don’t matter at all. They are as good as they ever were, maybe even better. … I am hearing a voice.
~Jann Wenner (the famous “Slow Train Coming” review Sept 1979)

The last recording session brought us 4 masters: Gotta Serve Somebody, Do Right To Me Baby (Do Unto Others), When He Returns & Man Gave Names To All The Animals.

bob dylan slow train back

Continue reading May 4: Bob Dylan – 5th and last Slow Train Coming Recording Session in 1979

April 27: Bob Dylan 3rd Street-Legal recording session, 27 April 1978


bob dylan street-legal

On this album, I took a few steps backward, but I also took a bunch of steps forward because I had a lot of time to concentrate on it. I also had the band sounding like I want it to sound. It’s got that organ sound from ‘Blonde on Blonde’ again. That’s something that has been missing.
~Bob Dylan (to Robert Hilburn – May 1978)

Jonathan Cott interview – Sept. 1978:
Jonathan Cott: What do you think of all the criticisms of Street Legal?
Bob Dylan: I read some of them. In fact, I didn’t understand them. I don’t think these people have had the experiences I’ve had to write those songs. The reviews didn’t strike me as being particularly interesting one way or another, or as compelling to my particular scene. I don’t know who these people are. They don’t travel in the same crowd, anyway. So it would be like me criticizing Pancho Villa.

bob dylan street legal2

First of all… “Street-Legal” is a fantastic album. I have never “understood” all the criticism it got.. and still gets, and I even dig the original overall sound & production.

The first & second recording session (April 25 & 26) did not produce much (probably only a master of “We Better Talk This Over”), but on this  sessions we (probably) got 4 masters: No Time To Think, Where Are You Tonight? (Journey Through Dark Heat), True Love Tends To Forget & Changing Of The Guards.

Continue reading April 27: Bob Dylan 3rd Street-Legal recording session, 27 April 1978

April 14: Bob Dylan – The 4th Infidels session, NYC 1983





Infidels

I’m usually either here or on the West Coast or down in the Caribbean. Me and another
guy have a boat down there. Jokerman kinda came to me in the islands. It’s very
mystical. The shapes there, and shadows, seem to be so ancient. The song was sorta
inspired by these spirits they call jumbis.
~Bob Dylan (to Kurt Loder, March 1984)

Studio A
Power Station
New York City, New York
14 April 1983
4th Infidels recording session. Produced by Mark Knopfler and Bob Dylan.

Continue reading April 14: Bob Dylan – The 4th Infidels session, NYC 1983

March 14: Bob Dylan recorded “Shooting Star” in 1989

bob dylan shooting star

Seen a shooting star tonight
And I thought of you
You were trying to break into another world
A world I never knew
I always kind of wondered
If you ever made it through
Seen a shooting star tonight
And I thought of you

“Shooting star” was his first album closer since “Every Grain of Sand” to share that slightly somnambulant feel, a gorgeous melody, caressed vocal and an abiding conviction that there are two kinds of people, good (i.e. saved) and lost people.
~Clinton Heylin (Still on the Road: The Songs of Bob Dylan Vol. 2, . 1974-2008)

This was the 6th “Oh Mercy” recording session, and Dylan also landed another master: “Everything Is Broken”.

The Studio
New Orleans, Louisiana
14 or 15 March 1989
6th Oh Mercy recording session, produced by Daniel Lanois

Continue reading March 14: Bob Dylan recorded “Shooting Star” in 1989