Tag Archives: Bob Dylan

Today: The late Hank Williams was born in 1923 – 89 years ago

It can be explained in just one word: sincerity. When a hillbilly sings a crazy song, he feels crazy. When he sings, ‘I Laid My Mother Away,’ he sees her a-laying right there in the coffin. He sings more sincere than most entertainers because the hillbilly was raised rougher than most entertainers. You got to know a lot about hard work. You got to have smelt a lot of mule manure before you can sing like a hillbilly. The people that have been raised something like the way the hillbilly has…. knows what he sings about and appreciates it
~Hank Williams (on the success of Country Music)

Nobody had a talent for making suffering enjoyable like Hank Williams
~Kris Kristofferson

From Wikipedia:

Birth name Hiram King Williams
Also known as The Lovesick Blues Boy
Lovesick
Luke the Drifter
Hank Williams, Sr.
The Hillbilly Shakespeare
Born September 17, 1923
Mount Olive, Butler County, Alabama
Died January 1, 1953 (aged 29)
Oak Hill, West Virginia
Genres Country, Western, gospel,blues, honky-tonk, folk
Occupations Songwriter
Musician
Instruments Vocals, guitar
Years active 1937–1952
Labels Sterling, MGM
Associated acts Drifting Cowboys
Audrey Williams
Website www.hankwilliams.com

Hank Williams (September 17, 1923 – January 1, 1953), born Hiram King Williams, was an American singer-songwriter and musician regarded as one of the most important country music artists of all time. Williams recorded 35 singles (five released posthumously) that would place in the Top 10 of the Billboard Country & Western Best Sellers chart, including 11 that ranked number one.

From allmusic – Stephen Thomas Erlewine:

Hank Williams is the father of contemporary country music. He was a superstar by the age of 25; he was dead at the age of 29. In those four short years, he established the rules for all the country performers who followed him and, in the process, much of popular music. Hank wrote a body of songs that became popular classics, and his direct, emotional lyrics and vocals became the standard for most popular performers. He lived a life as troubled and reckless as that depicted in his songs. ….  read more @ allmusic.com

Legacy:

  • Alabama governor Gordon Persons officially proclaimed September 21 “Hank Williams Day”
  • In 1961, Williams was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame
  • he was inducted in the Alabama Music Hall of Fame in 1985
  • In 1987, he was inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame under the category Early Influence
  • He was ranked second in CMT’s 40 Greatest Men of Country Music in 2003, behind only Johnny Cash
  • His son, Hank Jr., was ranked on the same list
  • In 2004 Rolling Stone ranked him number 74 on its list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time
  • In 2011 Williams’s 1949 MGM number one hit, “Lovesick Blues,” was inducted into the Recording Academy Grammy Hall Of Fame.
  • In 1999, Williams was inducted into the Native American Music Hall of Fame. 
  • On April 12, 2010, the Pulitzer Prize Board awarded Williams a posthumous special citation that paid tribute to his “craftsmanship as a songwriter who expressed universal feelings with poignant simplicity and played a pivotal role in transforming country music into a major musical and cultural force in American life.” 
  • Keeping his legacy, Williams’s son, Hank Williams, Jr., daughter Jett Williams, grandson Hank Williams III, and granddaughters Hilary Williams and Holly Williams are also country musicians.

Cold Cold Heart:

Hey Good Lookin’:

Album of the day – 40 Greatest Hits (1979):

Other September 17:

Continue reading Today: The late Hank Williams was born in 1923 – 89 years ago

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

Today: The late Bill Monroe was born in 1911 – 101 years ago

I’m a farmer with a mandolin and a high tenor voice.
~Bill Monroe

From Wikipedia:

Birth name William Smith Monroe
Also known as Bill Monroe
Born September 13, 1911
Origin Rosine, Kentucky, USA
Died September 9, 1996 (aged 84)
Genres Bluegrass, Bluegrass gospel
Occupations Bluegrass artist
Instruments Mandolin
Years active 1930s–1996

William Smith Monroe (September 13, 1911 – September 9, 1996) was an American musician who created the style of music known as bluegrass, which takes its name from his band, the “Blue Grass Boys,” named for Monroe’s home state of Kentucky. Monroe’s performing career spanned 60 years as a singer, instrumentalist, composer and bandleader. He is often referred to as The Father of Bluegrass.

From allmusic.com – Stephen Thomas Erlewine:

Bill Monroe is the father of bluegrass. He invented the style, invented the name, and for the great majority of the 20th century, embodied the art form. Beginning with his Blue Grass Boys in the ’40s, Monroe defined a hard-edged style of country that emphasized instrumental virtuosity, close vocal harmonies, and a fast, driving tempo. The musical genre took its name from the Blue Grass Boys, and Monroe‘s music forever has defined the sound of classical bluegrass — a five-piece acoustic string band, playing precisely and rapidly, switching solos and singing in a plaintive, high lonesome voice. Not only did he invent the very sound of the music, Monroe was the mentor for several generations of musicians. Over the years, Monroe‘s band hosted all of the major bluegrass artists of the ’50s and ’60s, including Flatt & ScruggsReno & SmileyVassar ClementsCarter Stanley, and Mac Wiseman. Though the lineup of the Blue Grass Boys changed over the years, Monroe always remained devoted to bluegrass in its purest form.
Read more @ allmusic 

Awards & Legacy:

  • made an honorary Kentucky colonel in 1966
  • inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1970
  • inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1971
  • inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (as an “early influence”) in 1997
    (Jimmie RodgersBob WillsHank Williams Sr., and Johnny Cash are the only other performers honored in all three)
  • As the “father of bluegrass,” he was also an inaugural inductee into the International Bluegrass Music Hall of Honor in 1991.
  • In 1993, he received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award
  • he was awarded the National Medal of Arts in 1995
  • His well-known song “Blue Moon of Kentucky” has been covered not only by bluegrass but also rock and country artists, most notably Elvis Presley, Paul McCartney, and Patsy Cline.
  • In 2003, CMT had Bill Monroe ranked No. 16 on CMT 40 Greatest Men of Country Music.

Artists that claimed to be influenced by or to be playing the bluegrass genre were often bullied by Bill Monroe. He always considered himself the father and caretaker of bluegrass. He would often say of new bands that did not perform to his standards, “That ain’t no part of nothin’.” Even those who question the scope of bluegrass refer to Monroe as a “musical giant” and recognize that “there would be no bluegrass without Bill Monroe.”

“Uncle Pen” from 1956 at the Ryman Auditorium:

“Blue Moon of Kentucky” – live:

Album of the day: The Essential Bill Monroe and His Blue Grass Boys (1945-1949) (1992):

Other September 13:

Continue reading Today: The late Bill Monroe was born in 1911 – 101 years ago

Today: Bob Dylan released “Love And Theft” in 2001 – 11 years ago

” ‘Love & Theft’ is not an album I’ve recorded to please myself. If I really wanted to that, I would have recorded some Charley Patton songs.”
~Bob Dylan

The old Chess records, the Sun records. . . I think that’s my favorite sound for a record . . . I like . . . the intensity The sound is uncluttered. There’s power and suspense. The whole vibration feels like it could be coming from inside your mind. It’s alive. It’s right there.
~Bob Dylan, to Bill Flanagan, 2009

 

From Wikipedia:

Released September 11, 2001
Recorded May 2001
Genre Folk rock, blues, roots rock,Americana
Length 57:25
Label Columbia
Producer Jack Frost (Bob Dylan’s pseudonym)

Love and Theft is the thirty-first studio album by American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan, released in September 2001 by Columbia Records. It featured backing by his touring band of the time, with keyboardist Augie Meyers added for the sessions. It peaked at #5 on the Billboard 200, and has been certified with a gold album by the RIAA. A limited edition release included two bonus tracks on a separate disc recorded in the early 1960s, and two years later, on September 16, 2003, this album was one of fifteen Dylan titles reissued and remastered for SACD hybrid playback.

The album continued Dylan’s artistic comeback following 1997’s Time Out of Mind, and was given an even more enthusiastic reception. Though often referred to without quotations, the correct title is “Love and Theft”. The title of the album was apparently inspired by historian Eric Lott’s book Love & Theft: Blackface Minstrelsy and the American Working Class, which was published in 1993. “Love and Theft becomes his Fables of the Reconstruction, to borrow an R.E.M. album title”, writes Greg Kot in The Chicago Tribune (published September 11, 2001), “the myths, mysteries and folklore of the South as a backdrop for one of the finest roots rock albums ever made.”

…. “Love and Theft is, as the title implies, a kind of homage,” writes Kot, “[and] never more so than on ‘High Water (for Charley Patton),’ in which Dylan draws a sweeping portrait of the South’s racial history, with the unsung blues singer as a symbol of the region’s cultural richness and ingrained social cruelties. Rumbling drums and moaning backing vocals suggest that things are going from bad to worse. ‘It’s tough out there,’ Dylan rasps. ‘High water everywhere.’ Death and dementia shadow the album, tempered by tenderness and wicked gallows humor.”

In an interview conducted by Alan Jackson for The Times Magazine in 2001, before the album was released, Dylan said “these so-called connoisseurs of Bob Dylan music…I don’t feel they know a thing, or have any inkling of who I am and what I’m about. I know they think they do, and yet it’s ludicrous, it’s humorous, and sad. That such people have spent so much of their time thinking about who? Me? Get a life, please. It’s not something any one person should do about another. You’re not serving your own life well. You’re wasting your life.”

Reception:

4 important opinions……

  • Clinton Heylin (from “Still On The Road…”):
    … Not for the first time, his ambition proved greater than his artistry – “Love and Theft” was a patchwork quilt of borrowed ideas, and Dylan knew it. Hence, the little in-jokes with which he littered the lyrical trail. On the other hand, one has to acknowledge the bravura with which he approached his task. Previously, the editing process – before and during sessions – had generally expunged more derivative, less interesting debts. The reverse was now true. This time, Dylan positively celebrated every aspect of his cut-up canvas, even taking the album title from a 1993 book, Love & Theft: Blackface Minstrelsy and the American Working Class by Eric Lott. He even bookended the collection with two tracks that copped not only their melodies, but also their arrangements from earlier recordings.
  • Paul Williams (from “Bob Dylan: Performance Artist 1986-1990 And Beyond”):
    Language. I’ve read close to a hundred reviews of “Love And Theft” by now, and yet Bob Dylan sums it up best, puts into words how I feel about this new and fabulous verbomusical experience. Says what I wanna say to you on this 7th day of November, 2001: “I know a place where there’s still somethin’ going on.” Yeah! Wow. He does, when so few seem to, and he takes me there. Over and over, whenever I listen to this album. And now I too know such a place, thank you very much. And then how about this (not just the words but the sound of his voice and the music that floats around it) as a description of the L&T experience?: “Another one of them endless days …” Oh yes.
    It’s such a listenable record. The sound, the melodies, the feel, the variety, the connectedness of it all. Each song, I find myself lingering in the car or wherever it’s playing so I can hear it to the end. I get caught by each of ‘em again and again in quite a number of pleasing and satisfying ways. And like I say, I like the wholeness, the connectedness, of the album, the way it all hangs together and becomes a single experience, single narrative, in some mysterious and pleasing way that’s not easily pointed to or articulated.
  • Michael Gray (Bob Dylan Encyclopedia):
    The Dylan world seemed at once to divide into those finding it much less substantial and those taking to it far more wholeheartedly. All agreed that the two albums differ in nearly every respect.
    DANIEL LANOIS’ fingerprints are nowhere on ‘‘Love and Theft’’; the musicians used are, for the first time, Dylan’s Never-Ending Tour Band of the day, augmented by AUGIE MEYERS and his brother; there are no obviously great songs—no equivalent
    of ‘Not Dark Yet’ or ‘Highlands’. But on ‘‘Love and Theft’’ a tumult of generously packed minor songs bump up boisterously against each other, like tuba players in a charabanc bouncing off on the excursion of a lifetime, calling to and fro amongst themselves in excited dialogue about everything under the sun. Dylan’s voice is almost completely shot here, yet what he does with it is most subtlely nuanced and shrewdly judged. And he is in such a good mood! This is the warmest, most outgoing, most good-humoured Bob Dylan album since Nashville Skyline, if not The Basement Tapes.
  • Robert Christgau:
    Before minstrelsy scholar Eric Lott gets too excited about having his title stolen–“He loves me! Honey, Bob Dylan loves me!”–he should recall that Dylan called his first cover album Self-Portrait. Dylan meant that title, of course, and he means this one too, which doesn’t make “Love and Theft” his minstrelsy album any more than Self-Portrait’s dire “Minstrel Boy” was his minstrelsy song. All pop music is love and theft, and in 40 years of records whose sources have inspired volumes of scholastic exegesis, Dylan has never embraced that truth so warmly. Jokes, riddles, apercus, and revelations will surface for years, but let those who chart their lives by Dylan’s cockeyed parables tease out the details. I always go for tone, spirit, music. If Time Out of Mind was his death album–it wasn’t, but you know how people talk–this is his immortality album. It describes an eternal circle on masterful blazz and jop readymades that render his grizzled growl as juicy as Justin Timberlake’s tenor–Tony Bennett’s, even. It’s profound, too, by which I mean very funny. “I’m sitting on my watch so I can be on time,” he wheezes, because time he’s got plenty of. A+


In 2012, the album was ranked #385 on Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, while Newsweek magazine pronounced it the second best album of its decade. In 2009, Glide Magazine ranked it as the #1 Album of the Decade. Entertainment Weekly put it on its end-of-the-decade, “best-of” list, saying, “The predictably unpredictable rock poet greeted the new millennium with a folksy, bluesy instant classic.”

Track listing:

All songs written and composed by Bob Dylan.

1. “Tweedle Dee & Tweedle Dum” 4:46
2. “Mississippi” 5:21
3. “Summer Days” 4:52
4. “Bye and Bye” 3:16
5. “Lonesome Day Blues” 6:05
6. “Floater (Too Much to Ask)” 4:59
7. “High Water (For Charley Patton)” 4:04
8. “Moonlight” 3:23
9. “Honest With Me” 5:49
10. “Po’ Boy” 3:05
11. “Cry a While” 5:05
12. “Sugar Baby” 6:40

Personnel

  • Bob Dylan – vocals, guitar, piano, production
Additional personnel

Mississippi – Live 2002:

High Water (For Charley Patton) – Orlando – 10/10/10:

Album of the day:

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Continue reading Today: Bob Dylan released “Love And Theft” in 2001 – 11 years ago

Today: Bob Dylan released “Under The Red Sky” in 1990 – 22 years ago

Anyway, Leadbelly did most of those kind of songs. He’d been out of prison for some time when he decided to do children’s songs and people said oh, why did Leadbelly change? Some people liked the old ones, some people liked the new ones. Some people liked both songs. But he didn’t change, he was the same man! Anyway, this is a song called …, It’s a new song I wrote a while back. I’m gonna try and do it as good as I can. there’s somebody important here tonight who wants to hear it, so we’ll give it our best …  – preface to ‘Caribbean Wind’, Warfield Theatre, San Francisco, November 12, 1980

From wikipedia:

Released September 10, 1990
Recorded Early 1990
Genre Rock
Length 35:21
Label Columbia
Producer “Jack Frost” (Bob Dylan), Don Was, and David Was

Under the Red Sky is the twenty-seventh studio album by American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan, released in September 1990 by Columbia Records.

The album was largely greeted as a strange and disappointing follow-up to 1989’s critically acclaimed Oh Mercy. Most of the criticism was directed at the slick sound of pop producer Don Was, as well as a handful of tracks that seem rooted in children’s nursery rhymes. It is a rarity in Dylan’s catalog for its inclusion of celebrity cameos, by SlashElton JohnGeorge HarrisonDavid CrosbyStevie Ray Vaughan and Bruce Hornsby.

 Reception:

Dylan has echoed most critics’ complaints, telling Rolling Stone in a 2006 interview that the album’s shortcomings resulted from hurried and unfocused recording sessions, due in part to his activity with the Traveling Wilburys at the time. He also claimed that there were too many people working on the album, and that he was very disillusioned with the recording industry during this period of his career.

  • Dylan critic Patrick Humphries, author of The Complete Guide to the Music of Bob Dylan, was particularly harsh in his assessment ofUnder the Red Sky, stating the album “was everything Oh Mercy wasn’t—sloppily written songs, lazily performed and unimaginatively produced.
  • The album did have some critical support, particularly from Robert Christgau of The Village Voice, who wrote “To my astonishment, I think Under the Red Sky is Dylan’s best album in 15 years, a record that may even signal a ridiculously belated if not totally meaningless return to form…It’s fabulistic, biblical…the tempos are postpunk like it oughta be, with [Kenny] Aronoff’s sprints and shuffles grooving ahead like ’60s folk-rock never did.” 
  • Paul Nelson, writing for Musician, called the album “a deliberately throwaway masterpiece.” 

More opinions:

  • Clinton Heylin (from “Still On The Road…”): 
    under the red sky seems to oppress an awful lot of Dylan fans. Some particularly infantile criticism has been directed at its self conscious use of nursery rhyme-like constructions, largely from people entirely ignorant of nursery rhymes’ centuries-old role in the folk tradition. Dylan certainly received little credit for daring to make a gut-bustin’ R&B record less than a year after leaving the swamplands of Lanoisville. Whatever its failings, the album conveys a real unity of purpose. What it lacked was one song that raised things to a higher plane, preferably at the expense of an album-opener that went, ‘Wiggle wiggle wiggle, like a bowl of soup.’
  • Robert Christgau:
    This Was Bros. pseudothrowaway improves on the hushed emotion, weary wisdom, and new-age “maturity” of the Daniel Lanois-produced Oh Mercy even if the lyrics are sloppier–the anomaly is what Lanois calls Oh Mercy’s “focused” writing. Aiming frankly for the evocative, the fabulistic, the biblical, Dylan exploits narrative metaphor as an adaptive mechanism that allows him to inhabit a “mature” pessimism he knows isn’t the meaning of life. Where his seminal folk-rock records were cut with Nashville cats on drums–Kenny Buttrey when he was lucky, nonentities when he wasn’t–here Kenny Aronoff’s tempos are postpunk like it oughta be, springs and shuffles grooving ever forward. The fables are strengthened by the workout, and as a realist I also treasure their literal moments. I credit his outrage without forgetting his royalty statements. I believe he’s gritted his teeth through the bad patches of a long-term sexual relationship even if he still measures the long term in months. And when he thanks his honey for that cup of tea, I melt. A-
  • Michael Gray (Bob Dylan Encyclopedia):
    The first Dylan album after Oh Mercy shows Dylan characteristically retreating from that album’s mainstream production values and safe terrain, and refusing to offer a
    follow-up. Nevertheless his penchant for recently modish producers has him turn this time to DAVID & DON WAS of Was Not Was, who offer a rougher and less unified sound. It’s a pity Dylan pads out the album with some sub-standard rockism(‘Wiggle Wiggle’ and ‘Unbelievable’) and the ill-fitting, foggy pop of ‘Born in Time’, because the core of the album is an adventure into the poetic
    possibilities of nursery rhyme that is alert, fresh and imaginative, and an achievement that has gone largely unrecognised.

  • Paul Williams (from “Bob Dylan: Performance Artist 1986-1990 And Beyond”):

    It’s a magnificent album, really, and I love every performance on it. Oh, there have been times over the years when I’ve had my doubts about “10,000 Men” or “2×2,” but as with a good concert, each performance in sequence opens doors in listener and singer and musicians and, because the whole is greater than the sum of the parts, the parts are elevated in dignity and expressive power just by their connectedness to that whole. So I find myself getting into the groove of “10,000 Men,” the easy flow of the language, the surprising shouts and whispers of the vocal, the irrepressible Under the Red Sky humor that chugs along throughout (and catches my attention at different moments every time I listen).

  • Stephen Thomas Erlewine (allmusic.com):
    Dylan followed Oh Mercy, his most critically acclaimed album in years, with Under the Red Sky, a record that seemed like a conscious recoil from that album’s depth and atmosphere. By signing Don Was, the king of mature retro-rock, as producer, he guaranteed that the record would be lean and direct, which is perhaps exactly what this collection of simplistic songs deserves. Still, this record feels a little ephemeral, a collection of songs that Dylan didn’t really care that much about. In a way, that makes it a little easier to warm to than its predecessor, since it has a looseness that suits him well, especially with songs this deliberately lightweight. As such, Under the Red Sky is certainly lightweight, but rather appealing in its own lack of substance, since Dylan has never made a record so breezy, apart from (maybe) Down in the Groove. That doesn’t make it a great, or even good, record, but it does have its own charms that will be worth searching out for Dylanphiles. 

Track listing:

All songs written by Bob Dylan.

  1. “Wiggle Wiggle” – 2:09
  2. “Under the Red Sky” – 4:09
  3. “Unbelievable” – 4:06
  4. “Born in Time” – 3:39
  5. “T.V. Talkin’ Song” – 3:02
  6. “10,000 Men” – 4:21
  7. “2 × 2” – 3:36
  8. “God Knows” – 3:02
  9. “Handy Dandy” – 4:03
  10. “Cat’s in the Well” – 3:21
Personnel

  • Bob Dylan – acoustic and electric guitar, piano, accordion, harp, vocals, production
Additional musicians
Technical personnel
  • Dan Bosworth – assistant engineering
  • Marsha Burns – production coordination
  • Ed Cherney – engineering, mixing
  • Steve Deutsch – assistant engineering
  • Judy Kirshner – assistant engineering
  • Jim Mitchell – assistant engineering
  • Brett Swain – assistant engineering

Under The Red Sky:

Album of the day:

Other September 10:

Continue reading Today: Bob Dylan released “Under The Red Sky” in 1990 – 22 years ago