Tag Archives: Desire

Jan 5: Bob Dylan released “Desire” in 1976 – 41 years ago





Bob Dylan Desire

 The result is a sound and a set of songs unlike anything Dylan or anyone else has ever done before…. The lyrics of “Sara” and “Abandoned Love” (and, for that matter, of “Isis” and “Hurricane”) could not be more perfect, but overall the triumph of Desire is musical
~Paul Williams (Bob Dylan: Performing Artist, Vol 2: The Middle Years 1974-1986)

Recorded in the summer lull before the first Rolling Thunder tour and released soon after it, the stand-out tracks are ‘Isis’, ‘Romance in Durango’ and ‘Black Diamond Bay’, but ‘Hurricane’, ‘One More Cup of Coffee’ and ‘Oh Sister’ are breathing down their necks.
~Michael Gray (The Bob Dylan Encyclopedia)

Desire is considered by many Dylan fans to be among his best albums, It’s number 5 on my list – check out: Bob Dylan’s best albums

 

Let’s kick off with Dylan’s performance of Hurricane on Sept. 10 – 1975 (WTTW-TV Studio, Chicago for “The World of John Hammond”):

Continue reading Jan 5: Bob Dylan released “Desire” in 1976 – 41 years ago

October 24: Bob Dylan recorded “Hurricane” in 1975

bobhurricane75
Bob Dylan visiting Rubin Carter in Prison, 1975 (Ken Regan)

@ Columbia Studio 1  in New York City, New York – 24 October 1975: Bob Dylan’s 6th and last Desire recording session, produced by Don DeVito.

In this session he tried Hurricane 10 times, no other songs were tried.

A splice of takes 2 & 6 was released on his great album “Desire” –  16 January 1976.

Pistol shots ring out in the barroom night
Enter Patty Valentine from the upper hall
She sees the bartender in a pool of blood
Cries out, “My God, they killed them all!”
Here comes the story of the Hurricane
The man the authorities came to blame
For somethin’ that he never done
Put in a prison cell, but one time he could-a been
The champion of the world

Here it is:

spotify

And here are some other versions as well:

Continue reading October 24: Bob Dylan recorded “Hurricane” in 1975

July 31: Bob Dylan 5th recording session for Desire 1975

Bob_Dylan-Desire-Frontal

The result is a sound and a set of songs unlike anything Dylan or anyone else has ever done before…. The lyrics of “Sara” and “Abandoned Love” (and, for that matter, of “Isis” and “Hurricane”) could not be more perfect, but overall the triumph of Desire is musical
~Paul Williams (BD performing artist 1974-86)

Recorded in the summer lull before the first Rolling Thunder tour and released soon after it, the stand-out tracks are ‘Isis’, ‘Romance in Durango’ and ‘Black Diamond Bay’, but ‘Hurricane’, ‘One More Cup of Coffee’ and ‘Oh Sister’ are breathing down their necks.
~Michael Gray (BD Encyclopedia)

 

Studio E
Columbia Recording Studios
New York City, New York
31 July 1975
5th Desire session, produced by Don DeVito

The following night [31 July 1975], Dylan held another session, this time recording three songs. From this session, Dylan recorded the master take for “Isis” as well as master takes for “Abandoned Love” and “Sara.” Dylan’s wife Sara, the subject of the song that bore her name, also accompanied him to this session.

Continue reading July 31: Bob Dylan 5th recording session for Desire 1975

July 30: Bob Dylan 4th recording session for Desire in 1975

Bob_Dylan-Desire-Frontal

July 30: Bob Dylan 4th recording session for Desire in 1975

The result is a sound and a set of songs unlike anything Dylan or anyone else has ever done before…. The lyrics of “Sara” and “Abandoned Love” (and, for that matter, of “Isis” and “Hurricane”) could not be more perfect, but overall the triumph of Desire is musical
~Paul Williams (Bob Dylan: Performing Artist, Vol 2: The Middle Years 1974-1986)

Recorded in the summer lull before the first Rolling Thunder tour and released soon after it, the stand-out tracks are ‘Isis’, ‘Romance in Durango’ and ‘Black Diamond Bay’, but ‘Hurricane’, ‘One More Cup of Coffee’ and ‘Oh Sister’ are breathing down their necks.
~Michael Gray (The Bob Dylan Encyclopedia)

 

Studio E
Columbia Recording Studios
New York City, New York
30 July 1975
4th Desire session, produced by Don DeVito

On the night of July 30, 1975, Dylan returned to Studio E with a smaller group of musicians, including Stoner, Rivera, Harris, and drummer Howie Wyeth (a friend of Stoner’s who was hired by Dylan on Stoner’s suggestion). For the most part, this group of musicians formed the core of the Rolling Thunder Revue. The difference became apparent early on in the session, when a usable take of “Isis” was recorded on the first try. Both Dylan and Stoner were pleased with the session, and Stoner suggests that the more intimate sound was much closer to the sound of the completed album.Five of the nine songs from Desire were recorded at that session, as well as a slow version of “Isis,” the original master take of “Hurricane”, the single-only release “Rita Mae,” and a successful take of “Golden Loom” that was later released in 1991. Of the participating musicians, only Emmylou Harris was dissatisfied with the results. It would also be her last session, as she had prior commitments with her own career.
~Wikipedia

Continue reading July 30: Bob Dylan 4th recording session for Desire in 1975

Jacques Levy on working with Bob Dylan

 

levy

All of the songs from the Desire sessions are collaborations between Dylan (words and music) and Levy (words), with the exception of “Sara,” “Abandoned Love,” “One More Cup of Coffee,” and “Golden Loom,” all written by Dylan alone. It is of course uncharacteristic of Dylan to work with another writer-this marks only the first or second time he ever shared credit for the lyrics of a song, and still stands as his most extensive collaboration with another songwriter.
~Paul Williams (Bob Dylan: Performing Artist, Vol 2: The Middle Years 1974-1986)

From the Paul Zollo (SongTalk) interview with Bob Dylan – April 1991:
SongTalk: Your collaborations with Jacques Levy came out pretty great.
Bob Dylan: We both were pretty much lyricists. Yeah, very panoramic songs because, you know, after one of my lines, one of his lines would come out. Writing with Jacques wasn’t difficult. It was trying to just get it down. It just didn’t stop. Lyrically. Of course, my melodies are very simple anyway so they’re very easy to remember.

This is a great interview from May 2004 uploaded to YouTube 2013. Sadly enough Levy passed away in September 2004.

Wikipedia:

Jacques Levy (29 July 1935 – 30 September 2004) was an American songwriter, theatre director, and clinical psychologist.

Levy was born in New York City in 1935, and attended City College. He received a doctorate in psychology from Michigan State University. Levy was a trained psychoanalyst, certified by the Menninger Institute for Psychoanalysis in Topeka, Kansas. He later returned to New York and became a clinical psychologist.

In 1965, Levy directed Sam Shepard’s play Red Cross. The following year he directed two of the short plays in Jean-Claude van Itallie’s America Hurrah. In 1969, Levy directed the off-Broadway erotic revue Oh! Calcutta!, after which, Levy approached Roger McGuinn of The Byrds to collaborate on a project inspired by Henrik Ibsen’s Peer Gynt. The musical stalled, but one song, “Chestnut Mare,” co-written by McGuinn and Levy, became the single released from the album (Untitled) in 1970. Many further Levy-McGuinn songs appeared on Byrds and McGuinn albums during the 1970s. In 1973, Levy and Van Itallie reunited for Mystery Play, which starred Judd Hirsch and had a brief run off-Broadway at the Cherry Lane Theatre.

In the mid-seventies, Levy met Bob Dylan through McGuinn. Shortly after, the two collaborated on “Isis” and another six songs which appeared on Dylan’s 1976 album Desire. These included “Hurricane” about imprisoned boxer Rubin “Hurricane” Carter, and “Joey” about the mafia gangster and hit man, Joe Gallo. In 1975, Levy effectively directed Dylan’s Rolling Thunder Revue. Levy’s lyrics also entered the repertoires of Joe Cocker,Crystal Gayle, and Carly Simon.

This is insightful stuff, like getting a glimpse into the creative process.

Continue reading Jacques Levy on working with Bob Dylan