Bob Dylan’s best songs – Brownsville Girl





bob dylan knocked out

Bob Dylan’s best songs – Brownsville Girl – #18

Well, in the course of life you find yourself with different people in different rooms. Working with Sam [Sheppard] was not necessarily easier, but it was certainly less meaningless. In every case writing a song is done faster when you got someone like Sam and are not on your own.
~Bob Dylan (Oct, 1997 – press conference)

it is ‘a masterpiece, a song that must rank among the five or six best songs Dylan has ever written.’
~Stephen Scobie

When Dylan is working at this level of creativity—a level that puts him head and shoulders above everyone else—there’s a magic evocativeness about everything he writes that gives the words enormous possibilities..
~ Nigel Hinton

#18 on my list of Dylan’s 200 best songs.

It was originally recorded as “New Danville Girl” @ Cherokee Studio, Hollywood, Los Angeles, California 6 December 1984. Overdubbed May 1986 for the “Knocked Out Loaded” album.

It’s an amazing song with cinematic lyrics co-written with Sam Sheppard.

New Danville Girl (recorded 1984-12-06):

Lyrics to “New Danville Girl” added down towards the end of the post..

Dylan has only performed it once, on August 6, 1986 @ Mid-State Fairground – Paso Robles, California:

Altogether, the delivery is astonishing. Not a false moment, not a foot wrong. Keeping up a curious tension between the very measured, slightly too slow musical accompaniment and the urgency of his voice, he gives a faultless performance, infinitely fluid and expressive, from beginning to end a plausible, intelligent and immensely humane persona and narrator, alert to the turbulent complexities of every moment. It’s a long tour de force not a moment too long, and the Dylan who incandesces through it is the full Bob Dylan of genius and generous intelligence, fully engaged.
~Michael Gray (The Bob Dylan Encyclopedia)

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July 14: Bob Dylan released Knocked Out Loaded in 1986

bob dylan knocked out

“You see, I spend too much time working out the sound of my records these days, .. and if the records I’m making only sell a certain amount anyway, then why should I take so long putting them together?… I’ve got a lot of different records inside me, and it’s time just to start getting them out.”
~Bob Dylan (to Mikal Gilmore, Sept 1985)

“I’m thinking about calling this album Knocked Out Loaded, Is that any good, you think, Knocked Out Loaded?”
~Bob Dylan (to Mikal Gilmore, May 1986)

“Sounds like something he threw together in a week and away forever. But throwing it away is how he gets that off-the-cuff feel, and side two is great fun”
~Robert Christgau (robertchristgau.com)

Among his ten weakest albums, but it includes the brilliant “Brownsville Girl“.

Continue reading July 14: Bob Dylan released Knocked Out Loaded in 1986

July 12: Watch Bob Dylan´s Only Ever Performance of “Hey Joe” @ Juan-Les-Pins, France – 1992

hey joe bob

“Hey Joe” is an American popular song from the 1960s that has become a rock standard and as such has been performed in many musical styles by hundreds of different artists. “Hey Joe” tells the story of a man who is on the run and planning to head to Mexico after shooting his unfaithful wife. However, diverse credits and claims have led to confusion as to the song’s true authorship and genesis. The earliest known commercial recording of the song is the late-1965 single by the Los Angeles garage band The Leaves; the band then re-recorded the track and released it in 1966 as a follow-up single which became a hit.

Continue reading July 12: Watch Bob Dylan´s Only Ever Performance of “Hey Joe” @ Juan-Les-Pins, France – 1992

Bob Dylan Performing “Series of Dreams” in Osaka, Japan, 1994 (video)





I was thinking of a series of dreams
Where nothing comes up to the top
Everything stays down where it’s wounded
And comes to a permanent stop
Wasn’t thinking of anything specific
Like in a dream, when someone wakes up and screams
Nothing too very scientific
Just thinking of a series of dreams

Osaka-jo Hall
Osaka, Japan
12 February 1994

  • Bob Dylan (vocal & guitar)
  • Bucky Baxter (pedal steel guitar & electric slide guitar)
  • John Jackson (guitar)
  • Tony Garnier (bass)
  • Winston Watson (drums & percussion)

I was thinking of a series of dreams
Where nothing comes up to the top
Everything stays down where it’s wounded
And comes to a permanent stop
Wasn’t thinking of anything specific
Like in a dream, when someone wakes up and screams
Nothing too very scientific
Just thinking of a series of dreams

Thinking of a series of dreams
Where the time and the tempo fly
And there’s no exit in any direction
‘Cept the one that you can’t see with your eyes
Wasn’t making any great connection
Wasn’t falling for any intricate scheme
Nothing that would pass inspection
Just thinking of a series of dreams

Dreams where the umbrella is folded
Into the path you are hurled
And the cards are no good that you’re holding
Unless they’re from another world

In one, the surface was frozen
In another, I witnessed a crime
In one, I was running, and in another
All I seemed to be doing was climb
Wasn’t looking for any special assistance
Not going to any great extremes
I’d already gone the distance
Just thinking of a series of dreams

Dreams where the umbrella is folded
Into the path you are hurled
And the cards are no good that you’re holding
Unless they’re from another world
I’d already gone the distance
Just thinking of a series of dreams

Bob Dylan in Osaka – Feb 12, 1994:


-Egil

July 9: Bob Dylan recorded “Blowin’ In The Wind” in 1962

bob dylan 1962

“I still say that some of the biggest criminals are those that turn their heads away when they see wrong and know it’s wrong. I’m only 21 years old and I know that there’s been too many wars… You people over 21 should know better. The first way to answer these questions in the song is by asking them. But lots of people have to first find the wind.”
~Bob Dylan (The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan Liner Notes – 1963)

The version of “Blowin’ in the Wind” that eventually appeared on The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan was recorded at this July 9 session. Of all the available performances of this song from 1962 and 1963, this “official” recording is my favorite. It has a presence, a magic, as if Dylan took a deep breath and thought, “Okay, this one’s for posterity.” I don’t think Dylan ever put quite as much of himself into the song again. He didn’t have to. The song itself was in the wind at that point.
~Paul Williams (Bob Dylan: Performing Artist 1960-1973 The Early Years)


Continue reading July 9: Bob Dylan recorded “Blowin’ In The Wind” in 1962

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