Playlist: Bob Dylan songs that could have been movies
The stories these songs tell might be happy or sad, truth or fiction. But they’ll all have one thing in common: They makes us see a film inside our head, or evoke a mood that feels like a movie . We follow the stories and identify with the characters, and like real movies they are sometimes linear (like most movies) and sometimes the structure is more experimental, like Reservoir Dogs or Satyricon. A few times we cannot say why they feel cinematic but they do.
Here are my choices:
All along the watchtower – Bob Dylan (live):
Lily, Rosemary and The Jack of Hearts – Bob Dylan (Blood On the tracks, NY sessions):
“Dylan has so many story-songs under his belt, from the surrealist goof of “Bob Dylan’s 115th Dream” to the ripped-from-the-headlines “Lonesome Death Of Hattie Carroll,” that it’s hard to single out just one. But one of his finest yarns turns up on 1975’s Blood On The Tracks—this Western about a charming rogue who blows into town and gets the better of villainous mine owner Big Jim, with the help of Jim’s showgirl mistress Lily and put-upon wife Rosemary. The song’s cinematic sweep makes it feel like it might have been a great film in the hands of a director like Howard Hawks or Dylan’s friend Sam Peckinpah. And in fact, Dylan tried at least once to get a screenplay based on “Lily” off the ground.”
Tweeter and The Monkey Man – Travelling Wilburys: