July 29: Bob Dylan: The Third Recording Session for Highway 61 Revisited in 1965

I never wanted to write topical songs,…. Have you heard my last two records, Bringing It All Back Home and Highway 61? It’s all there. That’s the real Dylan.
~Bob Dylan (to Frances Taylor – Aug 1965)

If you had to sum up Highway 61 Revisited in a single sentence, suffice it to say that it is the album that invented attitude and raised it to an art form. Just take a look at the cover. Nobody from Johnny Rotten to Eminem has done it better to this day.
~Nigel Williamson (The Rough Guide To Bob Dylan)

Studio A
Columbia Recording Studios
New York City, New York
29 July 1965
The 3rd Highway 61 Revisited session, produced by Bob Johnston


Wikipedia:
To create the material for Highway 61 Revisited, Dylan spent a month writing in his new home in the Byrdcliffe artists’ colony of Woodstock in upstate New York. When he returned to Studio A on July 29, he was backed by the same musicians as the previous session, but his producer had changed from Wilson to Johnston.

Their first session together was devoted to three songs. After recording several takes each of “Tombstone Blues”, “It Takes a Lot to Laugh” and “Positively 4th Street”, masters were successfully recorded. “Tombstone Blues” and “It Takes a Lot to Laugh” were included in the final album, but “Positively 4th Street” was issued as a single-only release. At the close of the July 29 session, Dylan attempted to record “Desolation Row”, accompanied by Al Kooper on electric guitar and Harvey Brooks on bass. There was no drummer, as the drummer had gone home. This electric version was eventually released in 2005, on The Bootleg Series Vol. 7

Songs:

  1. It Takes A Lot To Laugh, It Takes A Train To Cry
  2. It Takes A Lot To Laugh, It Takes A Train To Cry
  3. It Takes A Lot To Laugh, It Takes A Train To Cry
  4. Tombstone Blues
  5. Tombstone Blues
  6. Tombstone Blues
  7. Tombstone Blues
  8. Tombstone Blues
  9. Tombstone Blues
  10. Tombstone Blues
  11. Tombstone Blues
  12. Tombstone Blues
    (recorded 10 am – 1 pm)
    released 30 Aug 2005 – The Bootleg Series Vol 7. No Direction Home: The Soundtrack

  1. Tombstone Blues
  2. Tombstone Blues
    (recorded 10 am – 1 pm)
    released 30 Aug 1965 – Highway 61 Revisited

    If Salvador Dali or Luis Bunuel had picked up a Fender Strat to head a blues band, they might have come up with something like “Tombstone Blues.”
    ~Bill Janovitz (allmusic.com)
  3. It Takes A Lot To Laugh, It Takes A Train To Cry
  4. It Takes A Lot To Laugh, It Takes A Train To Cry
  5. It Takes A Lot To Laugh, It Takes A Train To Cry
  6. It Takes A Lot To Laugh, It Takes A Train To Cry
    (recorded 2:30 – 5:30 pm)
    released 30 Aug 1965 – Highway 61 Revisited
  7. Positively 4th Street
  8. Positively 4th Street
  9. Positively 4th Street
  10. Positively 4th Street
  11. Positively 4th Street
  12. Positively 4th Street
  13. Positively 4th Street
  14. Positively 4th Street
  15. Positively 4th Street
  16. Positively 4th Street
    (recorded 2:30 – 5:30 pm)
    released 7 Sept 1965 as a single

Musicians:

  • Bob Dylan (guitar, piano, harmonica, vocal)
  • 1-14 Mike Bloomfield (guitar), Paul Griffin (piano), Bobby Gregg (drums), Joseph Machao Jr. (bass), Al Kooper (organ)
  • 15-28 Mike Bloomfield (guitar), Frank Owens (piano), Bobby Gregg (drums), Russ Savakus (bass), Al Kooper (organ)

Bob_Dylan studio 1965

Related articles @ JV:

References:

-Egil

4 thoughts on “July 29: Bob Dylan: The Third Recording Session for Highway 61 Revisited in 1965”

  1. Afraid that’s not Dylan singing on this YouTube version of ‘Positively 4th Street’. Although the band sound quite convincing..

    Keeping us on our toes to spot the deliberate mistake?!

    Great to hear the other tracks though – thank you for all you do.

    1. Ooh my mistake, too much work and too little time. Sorry.

      Will search for it but I think it’s unavailable on most streaming services…

      Thanks for making me aware of my mistake.

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