Tag Archives: Daniel Lanois

Bob Dylan’s best songs: Dignity

bob dylan dignity

Of the virtues, I suppose I think integrity is the most essential. Not dignity – a thief can have dignity.
~Bob Dylan (to Barbara Kerr, Feb 1978)

‘Dignity’, which describes so resourcefully the yearning for a more dignified world, would have been the album’s [Oh Mercy] ideal opening track. It scorches along musically, declaring its allegiance to the timeless appeal of the blues, while sounding, above all things, fresh. Its lyric, meanwhile, though ‘Dylanesque’ in that it sounds like no-one else’s work and sounds like a restrained, mature revisit to a mode of writing you might otherwise call mid-1960s Dylan, is fully alert and freshly itself, admits of no leaning on laurels, and has the great virtue that while not every line can claim the workaday clarity of instructional prose, the song is accessible to anyone who cares to listen, and offers a clear theme, beautifully explored, with which anyone can readily identify.
~Michael Gray (The Bob Dylan Encyclopedia)


@ #43 on my list of Dylan’s 200 best songs. It was originally recorded for “Oh Mercy” in 1989, but Dylan wasn’t satisfied with it… and left it. Michael Gray points out that it would have been a perfect opening track to the album… way better than “Political World”… only thing missing was an instrumental solo in the middle.

I will not mess with too many details around the songs recording history.. even Clinton Heylin calls Dignity’s recording history a bit… messy….

Officially we now have 5 different versions available:

# released Album
1 1994 Bob Dylan’s Greatest Hits Volume 3
Brendan O’Brien remixed version
2 1995 MTV Unplugged
Live version
3 2000 The Best of Bob Dylan, Vol. 2
Touched By An Angel version*
4 2008 The Bootleg Series Vol. 8
Piano demo version
 5 2008 The Bootleg Series Vol. 8
Tell Tale Signs version2

* First released on the album “Touched By An Angel: The Album” – TV Series soundtrack compilation (1998)

Continue reading Bob Dylan’s best songs: Dignity

Bob Dylan’s Oh Mercy covered

Bob_Dylan-Oh_Mercy-Frontal

“Oh Mercy (1989) is a collection of 10 songs, best listened to at night, if you’re inclined to take that gypsy caravan down into a mythic Louisiana bayou, a world conjured up by Bob Dylan and producer Daniel Lanois. Virtually every song is a highlight, from “Political World” (which sounds just as immediate today) to the bittersweet “Shooting Star.” It’s quite an ethereal voyage from beginning to end and should withstand the test of time.”
– Josh Downham (user review, Amazon)

It is a great collection of songs and there are many artists that have tried their luck in singing them, none as good as Dylan’s original versions (as usual) but there are some good ones out there. I have tried to collect some of the best.

My three favorites are Gordon Lightfoot, Tom Jones and Willie Nelson.

Check Out:
Blood on the tracks covered
Highway 61 Revisited covered

 

Patti Rain – Political World:

Continue reading Bob Dylan’s Oh Mercy covered

Bob Dylan: Mercy On Us (Oh Mercy outtakes)

MercyOnUs-front

Since we just posted: Bob Dylan: Infidels outtakes (Rough cuts) it feels right to get this post flying as well.

Great outtakes from the “Oh Mercy” sessions.

The Studio
New Orleans, Louisiana
7-29 March 1989

Continue reading Bob Dylan: Mercy On Us (Oh Mercy outtakes)

Bob Dylan: 4th Oh Mercy recording session, 12 March 1989

telltalesigns

“Most of them are stream-of-consciousness songs, the kind that come to you in the middle of the night, when you just want to go back to bed. The harder you try to do something, the more it evades you. These weren’t like that.”
~Bob Dylan (to Edna Gundersen, Sept 1989)

The Studio
New Orleans, Louisiana
12 March 1989
4th Oh Mercy recording session, produced by Daniel Lanois

  1. Most Of The Time
  2. Most Of The Time
  3. Most Of The Time
    “Most of The Time” is a “big song,” a major work, the sort of listening experience that brings people back to an album again and again.
    ~Paul Williams (BD Performing Artist 86-90 & Beyond)

    Overdubbed: Malcolm Burns (bass) 19 April 1989
    Released on: Oh Mercy – 19 September 1989

    Continue reading Bob Dylan: 4th Oh Mercy recording session, 12 March 1989

Today: Bob Dylan recorded “Shooting Star” in 1989 – 24 years ago

bob-dylan-oh-mercy

“Shooting star” was his first album closer since “Every Grain of Sand” to share that slightly somnambulant feel, a gorgeous melody, caressed vocal and an abiding conviction that there are two kinds of people, good (i.e. saved) and lost people.
~Clinton Heylin (Still On The Road)

MTV Unplugged version:

Grooveshark:

Spotify:

Where:

The Studio
New Orleans, Louisiana
14 or 15 March 1989
6th Oh Mercy recording session, produced by Daniel Lanois

Songs:

  1. Everything Is Broken
  2. Everything Is Broken
  3. Everything Is Broken
  4. Jam
  5. Three Of Us Be Free
  6. Three Of Us Be Free
  7. Shooting Star
  8. Shooting Star
  9. Shooting Star
  10. Shooting Star
  11. Shooting Star
  12. Shooting Star
  13. Shooting Star
  14. Shooting Star

Master version of “Everything is Broken” was also recorded @ this session.

Lyrics:

Seen a shooting star tonight
And I thought of you
You were trying to break into another world
A world I never knew
I always kind of wondered
If you ever made it through
Seen a shooting star tonight
And I thought of you

Seen a shooting star tonight
And I thought of me
If I was still the same
If I ever became what you wanted me to be
Did I miss the mark or overstep the line
That only you could see?
Seen a shooting star tonight
And I thought of me

Listen to the engine, listen to the bell
As the last fire truck from hell
Goes rolling by
All good people are praying
It’s the last temptation, the last account
The last time you might hear the sermon on the mount
The last radio is playing

Seen a shooting star tonight
Slip away
Tomorrow will be
Another day
Guess it’s too late to say the things to you
That you needed to hear me say
Seen a shooting star tonight
Slip away

Check out -> Bob Dylan “Oh Mercy”

Album of the day:

Other March-14:

Continue reading Today: Bob Dylan recorded “Shooting Star” in 1989 – 24 years ago