Category Archives: Bob Dylan recording sessions

Bob Dylan – The 4th recording session for “The Times They Are A-Changin’” – 23 October 1963 – update

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

“The message isn’t in the words, …. I don’t do anything with a sort of message.
I’m just transferring my thoughts into music. Nobody can give you a message like that.”
~Bob Dylan (to Ray Coleman, May 1965)

To me, that song [When The Ship Comes In] says a whole lot. Patti LaBelle should do that. You know? You know, there again, that comes from hanging out at a lot of poetry gatherings. Those kind of images are very romantic. They’re very gothic and romantic at the same time. And they have a sweetness to it, also. So It’s a combination of a lot of different elements at the time. That’s not a contrived line. That’s not sitting down and writing a song. Those kind of songs, they just come out. They’re in you so they’ve got to come out.
~Bob Dylan (to Paul Zollo, April 1991)

49 years ago Dylan did his 4th recording session for “The Time They are A-Changin'” 

Some background info from Wikipedia:

The Times They Are a-Changin’ is the third studio album by American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan, released in January 1964 by Columbia Records.

Produced by Tom Wilson, it is the singer-songwriter’s first collection to feature only original compositions. The album consists mostly of stark, sparsely-arranged story songs concerning issues such as racism, poverty, and social change. The title track is one of Dylan’s most famous; many felt that it captured the spirit of social and political upheaval that characterized the 1960s.

Sessions did not resume for more than two months. During the interim, Dylan toured briefly with Joan Baez, performing a number of key concerts that raised his profile in the media. When Dylan returned to Studio A on October 23, he had six more original compositions ready for recording. Master takes for “The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll” and “When the Ship Comes In” were both culled from the October 23 session. A master take for “Percy’s Song” was also recorded, but it was ultimately set aside and was not officially released until Biograph in 1985.

Albums involved:

ALBUM Release date CODE
The Times They Are A-Changin’ 1964-01-13 TTTAA
Biograph 1985-11-07 BIO
Love @ Theft bonus disc 2001-09-11 LTB

Studio A
Columbia Recording Studio
New York City, New York
October 23, 1963, 10-1 pm

Produced by Tom Wilson.
Engineers: Knuerr and Dauria.

Songs:

  1. The Lonesome Death Of Hattie Carroll
  2. The Lonesome Death Of Hattie Carroll
  3. When The Ship Comes In
  4. When The Ship Comes In
  5. The Times They Are A-Changin’
  6. Percy’s Song – BIO
    “….the exquisitely performed ‘protest’ number ‘Percy’s Song’…”
    ~Michael Gray (The Bob Dylan Encyclopedia)

    “Percy’s song” makes one think Dylan could have had a career as a courtroom lawyer….. “Percy’s song” is long – too long, I think, for the simple story it tells; the appeal here is the melody and Dylan’s evident affection for this tune and for the repeating lines, “turn. turn, turn again… turn, turn to the rain and the wind.” He weaves a spell with these lines, passing along the spell they wove on him….
    ~Paul Williams (Performing artist 60-73)

  7. The Lonesome Death Of Hattie Carroll
  8. The Lonesome Death Of Hattie Carroll – TTTAA
    “The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll” is an extremely moving song that has stood the test of time better than any of Dylan’s other early topical songs of this sort… Dylan sings it from the heart; he really cares about the woman who died – her dignity and the value of her life come through in the song, it is a memorial to her and a tribute to people like her as much as an attack on her killer and people like him and the system that coddles them.
    ~Paul Williams (Performin Artist 60-73)

    “Although a song such as his magnificent ‘Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll’ makes an ordinary worker into a kind of heroine, Dylan makes this happen as a device, not an end in itself: a device for strengthening an essentially political and social polemic.
    ~Michael Gray (The Bob Dylan Encyclopedia)



  9. When The Ship Comes In
  10. When The Ship Comes In – TTTAA
    “Even as words on the page, though, the song has a charm very much its own—like a glimpse into a world both real and unreal: morally mature (if severe) yet child-like in conception. The internal rhyming is so effective, driving the vision along in the rhythm of the oncoming ship as it meets, again and again, relentlessly, the swell of the sea: ‘And the song, will, lift, as the main, sail, shifts / And the boat, drifts . . .’ and this internal rhyming collaborates perfectly with the alliterative effects (as well, of course, as with the tune): ‘Then the sands will roll out a carpet of gold / For your weary toes to be a-touchin’. . .’ The child-like allegory comes over as a quite unexceptionable moral cleanliness—a convincing wisdom. …” ~Michael Gray (The Bob Dylan Encyclopedia)


  11. The Times They Are A-Changin’ – L&TB
    (note: either this take or take 16 was released on L&TB)

  12. The Times They Are A-Changin’
  13. The Times They Are A-Changin’
  14. The Times They Are A-Changin’
  15. The Times They Are A-Changin’
  16. The Times They Are A-Changin’
  17. East Laredo Blues
  18. Key To The Highway (Charles Segar/Willie Broonzy)
  19. That’s All Right Mama (Arthur Crudup)


Related articles @ JV:

References:

-Egil

Blood On The Tracks – 4th Recording Session

On the 3th recording session for Blood On The Tracks on September 18th, Dylan only tried 2 takes on Buckets of Rain. The 4th recording session (on  September 19, 1974) was a way more important story….

Here are some quotes, facts & music….

If any of Dylan’s record albums deserve to be singled out as a “masterpiece” (and I’ve avoided this because how can one leave out ‘Blonde On Blonde’? ‘Highway 61 Revisited’? ‘Hard Rain’?), it is the one that most successfully combines conscious, deliberate creation (composition) with spontaneous expression (performance) – 1974’s ‘Blood On The Tracks’
~Paul Williams (Performing Artist 74-86)

..Dylan.. succeeded in producing an album that stoked up his genius quotient nearly ten years after he was thought to have left it by the roadside. And he had done it by reinventing his whole approach to language. Gone were the surrealistic turns of phrase on Blonde On Blonde, gone was the ‘wild mercury sound’ surrounding those mystical words. In their place was a uniformity of mood, a coherence of sound, and an unmistakable maturity to the voice…. He had never sung better.
~Clinton Heylin (Behind The Shades)

 

Albums involved:

ALBUM Release date CODE
Blood On The Tracks 1975-01-17 BOTT
Biograph 1985-11-07 BIO
The Bootleg Series Volumes 1–3
(Rare & Unreleased) 1961-1991
1991-03-26 TBS1-3
Blood On The Tracks – Test pressing  Nov 74  BOTT-TP
Jerry Maguire – Soundtrack 1996-12-10 JMS

Studio A, A & R Recording, New York City, New York
September 19, 1974, 7 pm-03am

Produced by Bob Dylan
Engineers: Phil Ramone & Glenn Berger (“Phil & Lenn”)

  1. Up To Me
  2. Up To Me
  3. Buckets Of Rain
  4. Buckets Of Rain
  5. Buckets Of Rain
  6. Buckets Of Rain – BOTT & BOTT-TP
    Life is sad
    Life is a bust
    All you can do is do what you must
  7. If You See Her, Say Hello – BOTT-TP
  8. Up To Me
  9. Up To Me
  10. Up To Me
  11. Meet Me In The Morning
  12. Meet Me In The Morning
  13. Buckets Of Rain
  14. Tangled Up In Blue
  15. Tangled Up In Blue
  16. Tangled Up In Blue – BOTT-TP (or 15)
  17. Simple Twist Of Fate
  18. Simple Twist Of Fate
  19. Simple Twist Of Fate – BOTT & BOTT-TP
    ‘Simple Twist of Fate’ is another absolutely extraordinary performance. Where ‘Tangled Up In Blue’ is bright, bouncy, jangly, ‘Simple Twist Of Fate’ is soft and warm and mournful. Dylan’s voice is.. gentle and rounded.
    ~Paul Williams (Performing Artist 74-86)
  20. Up To Me
  21. Up To Me – BIO
    In its own way ‘Up To Me’ is as masterful an achievement as ‘Tangled Up In Blue’, using much the same technique to create a well-crafted juxtaposition of ‘what I know to be the truth’ and what ‘I’m projecting’.
    ~Clinton Heylin (Still On The Road)
  22. Idiot Wind
  23. Idiot Wind
  24. Idiot Wind
  25. Idiot Wind – TBS1-3
  26. You’re A Big Girl Now
  27. Meet Me In The Morning
  28. Meet Me In The Morning
  29. Meet Me In The Morning
  30. Meet Me In The Morning
  31. Meet Me In The Morning
  32. Meet Me In The Morning
  33. Tangled Up In Blue
  34. Tangled Up In Blue
  35. Tangled Up In Blue

“[The real] wonder is in the spaces, in what the artist’s left out of his painting. To me, that has always been the key to Dylan’s art. To state things plainly is the function of journalism; but Dylan sings a more fugitive song: allusive, symbolic, full of imagery and ellipses, and by leaving things out, he allows us the grand privilege of creating along with him. His song becomes our song because we live in those spaces. If we listen, if we work at it, we fill up the mystery, we expand and inhabit the work of art. It is the most democratic form of creation”
~Peter Hamill (liner notes to BOTT)

 

Musicians: 

  • Bob Dylan (guitar, vocal)
  • Tony Brown (bass)

Related articles @ JV:

References:

-Egil

Blood On The Tracks – Second Recording Session


Bob Dylan’s second recording session for Blood On The Tracks continued on  September 17, 1974. Another important day in the studio.

Here are some quotes, facts & music….

We cut the entire album in one day like that. Now that blew my mind. I was 19-years-old and trying to learn how to make art. The style of the time was set by guys I was working with like Paul Simon, who would take weeks recording a guitar part only to throw it away. I thought that was the way one was supposed to do it: one note at a time and a year to make an album. Dylan cut the whole thing in six hours on a Monday night. I was confused. It was like the floor, barely built under my young soul, was being ripped apart, board by board.
Then Dylan came back in on Tuesday, and recorded most of the album again.
~Glenn Berger (Bob Dylan’s Blood On The Tracks: The Untold Story)

Albums involved:

ALBUM Release date CODE
Blood On The Tracks 1975-01-17 BOTT
Biograph 1985-11-07 BIO
Blood On The Tracks – Test pressing  Nov 74  BOTT-TP
Jerry Maguire – Soundtrack 1996-12-10 JMS

 

Studio A, A & R Recording, New York City, New York
September 17, 1974, 7 pm-01am

Produced by Bob Dylan
Engineers: Phil Ramone & Glenn Berger (“Phil & Lenn”)

  1. You’re A Big Girl Now
  2. You’re A Big Girl Now – BIO & BOTT-TP
    You’re A Big Girl Now was pain personified, that pain remaining red raw when he cut the exquisite New York version originally intended for the album (only released ten years later, on Biograph).
    ~Clinton Heylin (from “Still On The Road”)

    Dylan complains in the Biograph notes about “stupid and misleading jerks” (i.e. critics) who have suggested this song is “about my wife”.
    ~Paul Williams (Performing Artist 1974-86) 

  3. Tangled Up In Blue
  4. Unidentified Song
  5. Blues
  6. You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go
  7. Shelter From The Storm – JMS
    This first run-through on the seventeenth has no bass accompaniment, possibly because he was showing Brown the song.  Taking a pause to work on other songs, he only returned to ‘Shelter’ later the same evening, wisely deciding the sixth verse added very little to the song.
    ~Clinton Heylin (from “Still On The Road”)

  8. Shelter From The Storm
  9. Buckets Of Rain
  10. Tangled Up In Blue
  11. Buckets Of Rain
  12. Shelter From The Storm
  13. Shelter From The Storm
  14. Shelter From The Storm – BOTT & BOTT-TP
    That word-perfect fifth take survived all the reconfigurations the album underwent, emerging as on of it’s real highlights. And though Dylan went on to perform it a number of different ways – almost always effectively – the nature of the song remained fixed. ~Clinton Heylin (from “Still On The Road”)
  15. You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go
  16. You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go – BOTT & BOTT-TP

Musicians: 

  • Bob Dylan (guitar, vocal)
  • Tony Brown (bass)
  • Paul Griffin (organ)

Related posts on JV:

References:

-Egil

Blood On The Tracks – First recording session

Bob Dylan started recording Blood On The Tracks September 16, 1974.
The event needs to be acknowledged.

Here are some quotes, facts & music….

When Dylan began work at A&R one Monday afternoon in September he seemed unusually keen to get on with the recording process. The songs themselves were no more than 2 months old, and he was still excited by the new approach to language he had uncovere.
Even behind closed studio doors he was determined to get the songs out of his system as quickly, and with as much impact, as possible
~Clinton Heylin (The Recording Sessions)

From Wikipedia:

Dylan arrived at Columbia Records’ A&R Recording Studios in New York City on September 16, 1974, where it was soon realized that he was taking a “spontaneous” approach to recording. The session engineer at the time, Phil Ramone, later said that he would “go from one song to another like a medley. Sometimes he will have several bars, and in the next version, he will change his mind about how many bars there should be in between a verse. Or eliminate a verse. Or add a chorus when you don’t expect”. Eric Weissberg and his band, Deliverance, originally recruited as session men, were rejected after two days of recording because they could not keep up with Dylan’s pace. Dylan retained bassist Tony Brown from the band, and soon added organist Paul Griffin (who had also worked on Highway 61 Revisited) and steel guitarist Buddy Cage. After ten days and four sessions with the current lineup, Dylan had finished recording and mixing, and, by November, had cut a test pressing on the album. Columbia soon began to prepare for the album’s imminent release, but, three months later, just before the scheduled launch, Dylan re-recorded several songs at the last minute, in Minneapolis’ Sound 80 Studios, utilizing local musicians organized by his brother, David Zimmerman. Even with this setback, Columbia managed to release Blood on the Tracks by January 17, 1975.

Albums involved:

ALBUM Release date CODE
Blood On The Tracks 1975-01-17 BOTT
The Bootleg Series Volumes 1–3
(Rare & Unreleased) 1961-1991
1991-03-26 TBS1-3
Blood On The Tracks – Test pressing  Nov 74  BOTT-TP

 

Studio A, A & R Recording, New York City, New York
September 16, 1974, 6 pm-midnight.

Produced by Bob Dylan
Engineers: Phil Ramone & Glenn Berger (“Phil & Lenn”)

  1. If You See Her, Say Hello
  2. If You See Her, Say Hello – TBS1-3

    I once read a book of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s letters to some girl, and they were extremely private and personal, and I didn’t feel there was any of myself in those letters, but I could identify with what he was saying. A lot of myself crosses over into my songs. I’ll write something and say to myself, I can change this, I can make this not so personal, and at other times I’ll say, I think I’ll leave this on a personal level, and if somebody wants to peek at it and make up their own minds about what kind of character I am, that’s up to them. Other times I might say, well, it’s too personal, I think I’ll turn the corner on it, because why do I want somebody thinking about what I’m thinking about, especially if it’s not to their benefit.
    ~Bob Dylan to Scott Choen (SPIN), 1985

  3. You’re A Big Girl Now
  4. You’re A Big Girl Now
  5. Simple Twist Of Fate
  6. Simple Twist Of Fate
  7. You’re A Big Girl Now
  8. Up To Me
  9. Lily, Rosemary And The Jack Of Hearts – BOTT-TP

    The one challenge left now was to see if he could record this epic fifteen-verse narrative with a similar minimum of fuss. Which it appears he did. And again it came first. On day one of the sessions at the old Studio A in New York (now known as A&R Studios) – before the band called up to lend a hand had even arrived – Dylan had cut the song in a single take, making it the first song to be assigned to the album. Nor did he feel throughout the New York sessions the slightest need to return to the song.
    ~Clinton Heylin (Still On The Road)

  10. Simple Twist Of Fate
  11. Simple Twist Of Fate
  12. Simple Twist Of Fate
  13. Call Letter Blues
  14. Meet Me In The Morning – BOTT & BOTT-TP
  15. Call Letter Blues – TBS1-3
    The one song cut on the sixteenth with the sound of deliverance was one of those prototypical blues tunes Dylan had been playing at the afternoon session. “Call Letter Blues” , when released on “The Bootleg Series”, took most fans by surprise.  Rather than being a previously unknown song in it’s own right, it was in fact “Meet Me In The Morning” with an alternate set of lyrics.
    ~Clinton Heylin (The Recording Sessions) 

  16. Idiot Wind
  17. Idiot Wind
  18. Idiot Wind
  19. Idiot Wind
  20. Idiot Wind
  21. Idiot Wind – BOOT-TP (overdubbed version)
    If you’ve heard both versions [of ‘Idiot Wind’], you realize, of course, that there could be a myriad of verses for the thing. It doesn’t stop… Where do you end?… It’s something that could be a work continually in progress.
    ~Bob Dylan to Paul Zollo, 1991
  22. You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go
  23. You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go
  24. You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go
  25. You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go
  26. You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go
  27. You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go
  28. You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go
  29. You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go
  30. Tangled Up In Blue – TBS1-3
    This version suggest he quickly abandoned any idea of putting a band behind the song/s. A second guitar (Weissberg’s?) picks out the parts of the melody Dylan’s scratchy rhythm has left unsaid, while Tony Brown’s bass underpins the clack-clack of the singer’s jacket-buttons. But something ain’t right. Weissberg recalled how ‘Bob  … seemed a bit ill at ease in the studio, as though he wanted to get it over with.’ Having hurried through the song, he knew he’d have to return to it.
    ~Clinton Heylin (Still On The Road) 

Musicians:

  • Bob Dylan (guitar, vocal)
  • Charles Brown III (guitar)
  • Barry Kornfeld (guitar)
  • Eric Weissberg (guitar)
  • Thomas McFaul (keyboards)
  • Tony Brown (bass)
  • Richard Crooks (drums).

Related posts on JV:

References:

-Egil