“Say what you want about Empire Burlesque — at the very least, it’s the most consistent record Bob Dylan has made since Blood on the Tracks, even if it isn’t quite as interesting as Desire. However, it is a better set of songs, all deriving from the same place and filled with subtle gems — the most obvious being “Tight Connection to My Heart (Has Anybody Seen My Love?),” but also “Emotionally Yours” and “Dark Eyes” — proving that his powers are still there.”
I’ll Remember You (my favorite version from the movie Masked and Anonymous):
Bob Dylan fans and music critics continue to debate the album’s merits, especially when compared to the styles he pioneered in the 1960s and 1970s. It is one of Dylan’s most discussed albums in terms of quality, having a distinct “80s style” production to the songs. There are some really great songs on this album, but they seem hidden under the “80s sound”.
The sessions for Empire Burlesque were held in New York and Hollywood from July 1984 to April 1985.
September 22: Bob Dylan – Farm Aid, Champaign, Illinois 1985 (videos)
Dylan joins Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers (who have just concluded their own set) on stage. Together they launch straight into “Clean-Cut Kid” followed by a blues song called “Shake,” seemingly a Dylan lyric set to the rune of Roy Head’s “Treat Her Right.” Then comes the live debuts of two Empire Burlesque songs, “I’ll Remember You” and “Trust Yourself,” both of which have Dylan dueting with Madelyn Quebec, who is clearly struggling to keep up with his idiosyncratic phrasing. A searing version of “That Lucky 0l’ Sun” follows, before Willie Nelson joins them on guitar for a romp through the highly appropriate “Maggie’s Farm.” Although the American TV broadcast, courtesy of the Nashville Network, manages to omit the first and fifth songs and cut the second, the excitement of the performance comes across, reaffirming Dylan’s power in concert after the very public disaster at “Live Aid ” The buzz from the concert is enough for him to suggest a more longterm collaboration with the Heartbreakers.
~Clinton Heylin (Bob Dylan: A Life in Stolen Moments Day by Day 1941-1995)
University Of Illinois Champaign, Illinois 22 September 1985 Farm Aid Concert
Live Aid was a dual-venue concert held on 13 July 1985, and an ongoing music-based fundraising initiative. The original event was organised by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure to raise funds for relief of the ongoing Ethiopian famine. Billed as the “global jukebox”, the event was held simultaneously at Wembley Stadium in London, England, United Kingdom (attended by 72,000 people) and John F. Kennedy Stadium in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States (attended by about 100,000 people).
Bob Dylan played at 22:39 on the USA concert. There were some controversy about his remarks about spending some of the money on farmers in need in the US.
Composing it [When The Night Comes Falling From The Sky], yeah. Um… you know, it was bits and pieces of different places that went into writing that. Lines overheard here and there, you know, strung together over a long period of time, resulted in that particular piece.
~Bob Dylan (to Eliot Mintz – March 1991)
…Dylan sings wonderfully. The songs seems capable of kicking itself into even-higher gear, and as the band recognizes it, so does Dylan, who gets audibly more and more excited as the song progresses
~John Bauldie (about the TBS 1-3 version)
@ #113 on my list of Dylan’s 200 best songs.. and this is the “Bootleg Series 1-3” version…. the Empire Burlesque version is nowhere near my top 200…
This version was recorded @
The Power Station
New York City, New York
19 February 1985 Empire Burlesque recording session
The band included 2 “E-streeter’s”: Roy Bittan & Little “Stevie” Van Zandt..
Bob Dylan (guitar, vocal)
Roy Bittan (piano)
Robbie Shakespeare (bass)
Sly Dunbar (drums)
Queen Ester Marrow, Debra Byrd, Carolyn Dennis (backing vocals).