Tag Archives: Down In The Groove

May 30: Bob Dylan released Down In The Groove in 1988

Bob_Dylan_Down_In_The_Groove

“Bob’s bad stuff is better than other musicians’ best”

Down in the Groove is singer-songwriter Bob Dylan‘s 25th studio album, released by Columbia Records 30 May 1988. Egil here at Johannasvisions rate it as maybe Dylan’s lowest point. Me? I’m not so sure anymore…

It got pretty terrible reviews upon it’s release. Many reviewers compared it to his previous album, Knocked Out Loaded, and not in a favourable way.

Wikipedia:
“A highly collaborative effort, it was Dylan’s second consecutive album to receive almost unanimous negative reviews. Released during a period when his recording career was experiencing a slump, sales were disappointing, reaching only #61 in the US and #32 in the UK.”

How is it in hindsight? Was it unfairly slated? I think it’s better than reported and as usual Dylan’s standards were expected to be higher than anybody else’s. We cannot expect a masterpiece every time. Can we?

The album was delayed for more than six months and the track listing changed at least three times. The tracks that made the final album come from many different recording sessions spread out over a long time (six years?).

Rick Griffin Down in the Groove
Rick Griffin was asked by Dylan’s management to come up with a cover design for what was to be the ‘Down In The Groove’ album. Rick produced many designs and, apparently, became somewhat exasperated as his ideas were rejected and changed. This seems to have reflected the overall situation surrounding the album at the time (bonhams)

I’ve always thought of it as a strangely confusing album, but it gets less confusing with each listen session. It has some very good cover songs. Let’s Stick together opens the record in an energetic way, I would love to hear it live!

The comes the song I think is not very good at all, the cover When did you leave heaven. Very eighties drum sound, strange production, it just sounds a bit off, I don’t think the song suits Dylan, and it ends kind of funny.

Sally Sue Brown, the third track is another rockn’roll/soul standard that gets a good run through. I prefer Arthur Alexanders classic, but it is not bad at all.

The last three songs on the album are also cover songs (Ninety Miles an Hour (Down a dead end street), Shenandoah and Rank Strangers To Me, and they are all quite good actually.
Continue reading May 30: Bob Dylan released Down In The Groove in 1988

Bob Dylan: Rank Strangers To Me (Albert E. Brumley)

bob dylan rank strangers to me

I wandered again
To my home in the mountains
Where in youth’s early dawn
I was happy and free.
I look for my friends,
But I never could find ’em.
I found they were all
Rank strangers to me.

Albert E. Brumley

“Rank Strangers To Me” is a song written/arranged by Albert E. Brumley.

Wikipedia:

Birth name Albert Edward Brumley
Born October 29, 1905
near Spiro, Oklahoma, United States
Died November 15, 1977 (aged 72)
Powell, Missouri, United States
Genres Christian

Albert Edward Brumley (1905–1977) was an American shape note gospel music composer and publisher.

albert brumley

I’ll Fly Away,” “Turn Your Radio On,” “If We Never Meet Again (This Side of Heaven),” “I’ll Meet You In The Morning,”, “He Set Me Free” & “Rank Strangers To Me” are among a host of favorites written by Albert E. Brumley. He wrote over 800 songs. He established the Albert E. Brumley Sundown to Sunup Gospel Sing (now Albert E. Brumley Gospel Sing) in 1969 in Springdale, Arkansas. Brumley has been inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, Gospel Music Hall of Fame, and Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame.

Continue reading Bob Dylan: Rank Strangers To Me (Albert E. Brumley)

May 30 in Music History

Today: Bob Dylan released Down In The Groove 26 years ago (read more)

Down in the Groove is the twenty-fifth studio album by American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan, released on May 30, 1988 by Columbia Records.

A highly collaborative effort, it was Dylan’s second consecutive album to receive almost unanimous negative reviews. Released during a period when his recording career was experiencing a slump, sales were disappointing, reaching only #61 in the US and #32 in the UK.

Bob_Dylan_Down_In_The_Groove
 Benjamin David “Benny” Goodman (May 30, 1909 – June 13, 1986) was an American jazz and swing musician, clarinetist and bandleader; widely known as the “King of Swing”.
In the mid-1930s, Benny Goodman led one of the most popular musical groups in America. His January 16, 1938 concert at Carnegie Hall in New York City is described by critic Bruce Eder as “the single most important jazz or popular music concert in history: jazz’s ‘coming out’ party to the world of ‘respectable’ music.”
 benny goodman
 Nicholas Bowen “Topper” Headon (born 30 May 1955), known as “Topper” due to his resemblance to Mickey the Monkey from the Topper comic, is a British rock and roll drummer, best known for his membership in the punk rock band The Clash. He is commonly recognised as the most inspirational and technically inventive punk rock drummer of the late 1970s and early 1980s. Writing for Allmusic Greg Pato stated that record producer Sandy Pearlman dubbed Headon as “The Human Drum Machine”, due to his impeccable timing and drumming skills.  Topper headon
 Living in the Material World (released 30 May 1973 (US)) is the fourth studio album by English musician George Harrison, released in 1973 on Apple Records. As the follow-up to 1970’s critically acclaimed All Things Must Pass and his pioneering charity project, the Concert for Bangladesh, it was among the most highly anticipated releases of that year. The album was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America two days after release, on its way to becoming Harrison’s second number 1 album in the United States, and produced the international hit “Give Me Love (Give Me Peace on Earth)”. It also topped albums charts in Canada and Australia, and reached number 2 in Britain.  LITMW_album_cover_(clean)
 Mermaid Avenue Vol. II (released 30 May 2000) is a album of previously unheard lyrics written by American folk singer Woody Guthrie, put to music written and performed by British singer Billy Bragg and American band Wilco. It continues the project originally conceived by Guthrie’s daughter, Nora Guthrie which resulted in the release of Mermaid Avenue in 1998. Both volumes were collected in a 2012 box set along with volume three as Mermaid Avenue: The Complete Sessions.  Mermaid2

Spotify Playlist – May 30

Today: Bob Dylan released Down In The Groove 25 years ago

Bob_Dylan_Down_In_The_Groove

“Bob’s bad stuff is better than other musicians’ best”

Down in the Groove is singer-songwriter Bob Dylan‘s 25th studio album, released by Columbia Records 30 May 1988. Egil here at Johannasvisions rate it as maybe Dylan’s lowest point. Me? I’m not so sure anymore…

It got pretty terrible reviews upon it’s release. Many reviewers compared it to his previous album, Knocked Out Loaded, and not in a favourable way.

Wikipedia:
“A highly collaborative effort, it was Dylan’s second consecutive album to receive almost unanimous negative reviews. Released during a period when his recording career was experiencing a slump, sales were disappointing, reaching only #61 in the US and #32 in the UK.”

How is it in hindsight? Was it unfairly slated? I think it’s better than reported and as usual Dylan’s standards were expected to be higher than anybody else’s. We cannot expect a masterpiece every time. Can we?

The album was delayed for more than six months and the track listing changed at least three times. The tracks that made the final album come from many different recording sessions spread out over a long time (six years?).

Rick Griffin Down in the Groove
Rick Griffin was asked by Dylan’s management to come up with a cover design for what was to be the ‘Down In The Groove’ album. Rick produced many designs and, apparently, became somewhat exasperated as his ideas were rejected and changed. This seems to have reflected the overall situation surrounding the album at the time (bonhams)

I’ve always thought of it as a strangely confusing album, but it gets less confusing with each listen session. It has some very good cover songs. Let’s Stick together opens the record in an energetic way, I would love to hear it live!

The comes the song I think is not very good at all, the cover When did you leave heaven. Very eighties drum sound, strange production, it just sounds a bit off, I don’t think the song suits Dylan, and it ends kind of funny.

Sally Sue Brown, the third track is another rockn’roll/soul standard that gets a good run through. I prefer Arthur Alexanders classic, but it is not bad at all.

The last three songs on the album are also cover songs (Ninety Miles an Hour (Down a dead end street), Shenandoah and Rank Strangers To Me, and they are all quite good actually.

I like Rank Strangers To Me best (the closing track). Dylan sings beautifully.

Let’s also include a fine live version from Wembley 1997:

Continue reading Today: Bob Dylan released Down In The Groove 25 years ago