Tag Archives: Bob Dylan

Today: Jim Dickinson passed away 3 years ago

“(Jim Dickinson is)…. that magical musical maestro from Memphis….   he was the kind of guy you could call to play piano, fix a tractor, or make red cole slaw from scratch.”
-Bob Dylan

From Wikipedia:

James Luther “Jim” Dickinson (November 15, 1941 – August 15, 2009) was an American record producer, pianist, and singer who fronted, among others, the Memphis based band, Mudboy & The Neutrons.

Some highlights:

Introducing himself – from www.artistshousemusic.org:

Down in Mississippi:

Album of the day: James Luther Dickinson – Dixie Fried:

Read about the album @ allmusic: Dixie Fried

More August-15:

Continue reading Today: Jim Dickinson passed away 3 years ago

Today: Bob Dylan released “Shot of Love” in 1981 – 31 years ago

I hear the ancient footsteps like the motion of the sea
Sometimes I turn, there’s someone there, other times it’s only me
I am hanging in the balance of the reality of man
Like every sparrow falling, like every grain of sand

From Wikipedia:

Released August 10, 1981
Recorded March–May 1981
Genre Rock, gospel
Length 40:15
Label Columbia
Producer Chuck PlotkinBob Dylan
with Bumps Blackwell on “Shot of Love”

Shot of Love is singer-songwriter Bob Dylan‘s 21st studio album, released by Columbia Records in August 1981.

It is generally considered to be Dylan’s last of a trilogy of overtly religious, Christian albums. Also, it was his first since becoming born-again to focus on secular themes, from straight-ahead love songs to an ode to the deceased comedian Lenny Bruce. Arrangements are rooted more in rock’n’roll, less in gospel than on Dylan’s previous two albums.

At the time of its release, Shot of Love received mixed reviews; Paul Nelson of Rolling Stone in particular savaged the album, though he did single out the last track, “Every Grain of Sand,” as a stand-out. Shot of Love, while reaching UK #6, continued Dylan’s US commercial decline, reaching #33 during a brief chart stay. By contrast, Bono of Irish band U2 described Shot of Love as one of his favourites, particularly due to Dylan’s singing ability.

Track listing:

Side One

  1. “Shot of Love” – 4:18
  2. “Heart of Mine” – 4:29
  3. “Property of Jesus” – 4:33
  4. “Lenny Bruce” – 4:32
  5. “Watered-Down Love” – 4:10

Side Two

  1. “Dead Man, Dead Man” – 3:58
  2. “In the Summertime” – 3:34
  3. “Trouble” – 4:32
  4. “Every Grain of Sand” – 6:12

“The Groom’s Still Waiting at the Altar”, originally the B-side to “Heart of Mine” and included only on cassette release, was added to Shot of Love as track 6 in 1985 (song one on side two of the vinyl LP), and has been present in all subsequent pressings.

5 best songs.. according to me:

  1. Every Grain of Sand
  2. The Groom’s Still Waiting at the Altar
  3. Lenny Bruce
  4. Shot of Love
  5. Heart of Mine

A large number of songs recorded during the Shot of Love sessions were ultimately omitted from the final album, but several outtakes later found their way into private circulation.

Best of the outtakes is Caribbean WindAngelina… but that is another story.

Aftermath:

A number of critics had already turned on Dylan for the evangelism of his last two albums, but the reception for Shot of Love was particularly harsh. Despite lavish praise of “Every Grain Of Sand,” Paul Nelson of Rolling Stone savaged the rest of the album. Nick Kent of New Musical Express called it “Dylan’s worst album to date.” Despite heavy touring in Europe and North America (in which all but two songs were performed), sales of Shot of Love were below CBS’s expectations. Still, in an interview taken in 1983, Dylan would describe Shot of Love as a personal favorite.

Great live version of “Every Grain of Sand” – Paris 84:

Every Grain of Sand – studio version:

Now here is a real gem! – “The Grooms Still Waiting At The Altar” – live (probably Nov 1980):

Album of the day:

Other August-10:

Continue reading Today: Bob Dylan released “Shot of Love” in 1981 – 31 years ago

Today: Bob Dylan recorded master version of “Desolation Row” in 1965 – 47 years ago

Now the moon is almost hidden
The stars are beginning to hide
The fortune-telling lady
Has even taken all her things inside
All except for Cain and Abel
And the hunchback of Notre Dame
Everybody is making love
Or else expecting rain

Location: Studio E, Columbia Recording Studios – NYC

What:  The 6th and last Highway 61 Revisited session, produced by Bob Johnston

Master versions recorded: Desolation Row

The released version on H61R is actually a splice between take 6 & 7.

Musicians: Overdub session with Bob Dylan (guitar) and Charlie McCoy (guitar, bass).
More detalis from: Olof’s Files 

Desolation Row is number 9 on my list of Dylan’s 200 best songs.

From Wikipedia:

Desolation Row” is a 1965 song written and sung by Bob Dylan. It was recorded on August 4, 1965 and released as the closing track of Dylan’s sixth studio album, Highway 61 Revisited. It has been noted for its length (11:21) and surreal lyrics in which Dylan weaves characters from history, fiction, the Bible and his own invention into a series of vignettes that suggest entropy and urban chaos.

The Highway 61 Revisited version was recorded on August 4, 1965, in Columbia’s Studio A in New York City. Nashville-based guitarist Charlie McCoy, who happened to be in New York, was invited by producer Bob Johnston to contribute an improvised acoustic guitar part and Russ Savakus played bass guitar. Polizzotti credits much of the success of the song to McCoy’s contribution: “While Dylan’s panoramic lyrics and hypnotic melody sketch out the vast canvas, it is McCoy’s fills that give it their shading.”

I happen to agree with -> Mark Polizzotti is the author of “Bob Dylan’s Highway 61 Revisited (33 1/3)“.

 Please check out Video’s of the day from last night:
–>  Desolation Row – The Marionette Performance part 1 & 2

Studio version from youtube:

Album of the day.. again:

Other August-04:

Continue reading Today: Bob Dylan recorded master version of “Desolation Row” in 1965 – 47 years ago

Today: Bob Dylan recorded master version of “Isis” in 1975

Isis, oh, Isis, you mystical child
What drives me to you is what drives me insane
I still can remember the way that you smiled
On the fifth day of May in the drizzlin’ rain

Location: Studio E, Columbia Recording Studios – NYC

What:  5th Desire session, produced by Don DeVito.

Master versions recorded: Isis, SaraAbandoned Love

  • Isis & Sara released on Desire 16 January 1976
  • Abandoned Love released on Biograph 28 October 1985
Bob Dylan (guitar, vocal), Scarlet Rivera (violin), Sheena Seidenberg (tambourine & congas), Rob Stoner (bass), Howie Wyeth (drums).
More detalis from: Olof’s Files 

From Wikipedia:

This song is in a moderately fast 3/4 time, in the key of B-flat major. The arrangement is based on rhythm chords played on acoustic piano, accompanied by bass, drums, and violin. The harmonic progression consists of an ostinato using the chords I-♭VII-IV-I (B♭-A♭-E♭-B♭) throughout. The lyrics are all verses; there is no chorus. The melody is in the style of a modal folk song, emphasizing the tonic and dominant notes in the scale, with leaps of a fifth in between them. The mode is Mixolydian with a major third in the harmony, but Dylan’s delivery of the melody uses a flatted third as in the blues.

The song was written and recorded during a time of separation and reunion in Dylan’s own marriage; consequently, for fans and critics the temptation to interpret it as an allegory of Dylan’s own marital difficulties is irresistible, especially since the Desire album contains the song “Sara” which is openly about their marriage and separation. Since Dylan was known to include autobiographical hints in his previous songs, this interpretation cannot be considered farfetched. “Isis” draws upon mythological themes of a male hero separating from his wife, going on adventures, and returning to the marriage, going back to the Odyssey.

Dylan did an up-tempo live version of this song with the Rolling Thunder Revue, a performance of which was included in the film Renaldo and Clara. A live Rolling Thunder version of the song was included on the compilation album Biograph, which Dylan introduces as “a song about marriage”. Coupled with the name of the album, this introduction further insinuates that the song documents Dylan’s marital tribulations.

Live from Rolling Thunder 1 – Plymouth:

Spotify playlist – Isis, Sara & Abandoned Love:

Album of the day:

Other July-31:

Continue reading Today: Bob Dylan recorded master version of “Isis” in 1975

Today: Bob Dylan recorded master version of “Positively 4th Street” in 1965 – 47 years ago

On July 29, 1965 Dylan undertook his 3rd Highway 61 Revisited session, produced by Bob Johnston.

Location: Studio A, Columbia Recording Studios – NYC

The day left us with master versions of Positively 4th Street, Tombstone Blues It Takes A Lot To Laugh, It Takes A Train To Cry.

Positively 4th Street ranks as no. 14 on my list of Dylans 200 best songs (Tombstone is 72 & It Takes a lot is 76).

Musicians:

Bob Dylan (guitar, piano, harmonica, vocal).
Mike Bloomfield (guitar), Frank Owens (piano), Bobby Gregg (drums), Russ Savakus (bass), Al Kooper (organ).

From Wikipedia:

Positively 4th Street” is a song written and performed by Bob Dylan, first recorded by Dylan in New York City on July 29, 1965. It was released as a single by Columbia Records on September 7, 1965, …..   …  Rolling Stone magazine ranked the song as #203 in their 500 Greatest Songs of All Time list.

The song was released between the albums Highway 61 Revisited and Blonde On Blonde, as the follow-up to Dylan’s hit single “Like a Rolling Stone“, but wasn’t included on either LP. The song’s title does not appear anywhere in the lyrics and there has been much debate over the years as to the significance or what individual the song concerns. Dylan once lived on 4th Street in Manhattan.

In studio summer 1965 – photo by Don Hunstein:

Bob Dylan also recorded “Catfish” on this day in 1975.

Location: Studio E – Columbia Recording Studios, NYC

Wikipedia:

Catfish is a song written Bob Dylan and Jacques Levy. It was originally recorded for Dylan’s 1976 album Desire but was released onThe Bootleg Series Volumes 1–3 (Rare & Unreleased) 1961–1991. “Catfish” was a tribute to future Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher Jim Hunter (better known as Catfish Hunter). Joe Cocker covered the song and included it on his 1976 album “Stingray,” and Kinky Friedman released a live version on his “Lasso from El Paso” album.

 

Album of the day:

Other July 29:

Continue reading Today: Bob Dylan recorded master version of “Positively 4th Street” in 1965 – 47 years ago