Tag Archives: music calendar

June 10: Empire Burlesque by Bob Dylan was released in 1985

empire1

June 10: Empire Burlesque by Bob Dylan was released in 1985

Empire Burlesque is singer-songwriter Bob Dylan’s 23rd studio album, it was released by Columbia Records 10 June 1985. The album peaked at #33 in the US and #11 in the UK.

Allmusic (Stephen Thomas Erlewine):

“Say what you want about Empire Burlesque — at the very least, it’s the most consistent record Bob Dylan has made since Blood on the Tracks, even if it isn’t quite as interesting as Desire. However, it is a better set of songs, all deriving from the same place and filled with subtle gems — the most obvious being “Tight Connection to My Heart (Has Anybody Seen My Love?),” but also “Emotionally Yours” and “Dark Eyes” — proving that his powers are still there.”

I’ll Remember You (my favorite version from the movie Masked and Anonymous):

Bob Dylan fans and music critics continue to debate the album’s merits, especially when compared to the styles he pioneered in the 1960s and 1970s. It is one of Dylan’s most discussed albums in terms of quality, having a distinct “80s style” production to the songs. There are some really great songs on this album, but they seem hidden under the “80s sound”.

The sessions for Empire Burlesque were held in New York and Hollywood from July 1984 to April 1985.

Continue reading June 10: Empire Burlesque by Bob Dylan was released in 1985

Norah Jones covers Bob Dylan – Happy Birthday Norah Jones





norah-jones6

Happy birthday Norah Jones!

Wikipedia:

Born Geetali Norah Jones Shankar; March 30, 1979

 Norah Jones is the daughter of Indian sitar player Ravi Shankar and Sue Jones. She is also Anoushka Shankar’s half-sister.

In 2002, she launched her solo music career with the release of the commercially successful and critically acclaimed album Come Away with Me, a fusion of jazz, pop, and country music, which was certified diamond album, selling over 26 million copies. The record earned Jones five Grammy Awards, including theAlbum of the Year, Record of the Year, and Best New Artist. Her subsequent studio albums, Feels Like Home, released in 2004, Not Too Late, released in 2007, the same year she made her film debut in My Blueberry Nights, and her 2009 release The Fall all gained Platinum status, selling over a million copies and were generally well received by critics. Jones’ fifth studio album, Little Broken Hearts, was released on April 27, 2012.

Jones has won nine Grammy Awards and was 60th on Billboard magazine’s artists of the 2000–2009 decade chart. Throughout her career, Jones has won numerous awards and has sold more than 50 million albums worldwide. Billboard named her the top jazz artist of the 2000–2009 decade.

We really like Norah Jones, we especially like it when she does Country music and of course when she sing the songs of our hero Bob Dylan. We have trawled the web to find some of her great cover versions.

Lets start with a duet, here she sings I Shall Be Released with the man himself, Bob Dylan:

Continue reading Norah Jones covers Bob Dylan – Happy Birthday Norah Jones

October 26: Bob Dylan released World Gone Wrong in 1993

world gone wrong

“Dylan’s second attempt to revive the folk music revival while laying down a new record without writing any new songs is eerie and enticing”
– Robert Christgau (A-)

“it’s the liner notes that offer the most interesting aspect of the album…[With] the songs steeped in deceit, treachery, venality and despair—not to mention his sometimes slightly berserk annotations—the picture builds up of the Blues as Bible Study, a series of lessons to be interpreted.”
– Andy Gill (The Independent)

World Gone Wrong is the twenty-ninth studio album by American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan, released on October 26, 1993 by Columbia Records.

It was Dylan’s second consecutive collection of only traditional folk songs, performed acoustically with guitar and harmonica. The songs tend to deal with darker and more tragic themes than the previous outing, Good as I Been to You.

The album received a warm reception from critics. Despite earning a Grammy award for Best Traditional Folk Album, it peaked at a modest #70 in the US, and at #35 in the UK.

wgw3

I really like this album, the power of Dylan’s performance here cannot be overstated. The guitar playing has a feel to it that is very appealing, I can picture Dylan sitting alone, having the time of his life (you can hear him tapping his feet on Ragged & Dirty). When the world has gone wrong, of course, one thing you can do is sing the blues. Bob Dylan brought things back to the roots on these two albums (Good as I been to you and World Gone Wrong).

This one is from the heart!

Continue reading October 26: Bob Dylan released World Gone Wrong in 1993

September 7: Tempest by Bob Dylan was released in 2012

Bob_Dylan-Tempest

September 7: Tempest by Bob Dylan was released in 2012

Shine your light
Movin’ on
You burned so bright
Roll on, John

Three years have gone since we was offered Tempest from Bob Dylan, it still sounds great.

Tempest is the thirty-fifth studio album by Dylan, released on September 7 to 11 (different countries and continents), 2012 . The album was recorded at Jackson Browne’s Groove Masters Studios in Santa Monica, California. Dylan wrote all of the songs himself with the exception of the track “Duquesne Whistle”, which he co-wrote with Robert Hunter.

Tempest was very well received by contemporary music critics, who praised its traditional music influences and Dylan’s dark lyrics. The album peaked at number three on the Billboard 200.

The album’s title initially spurred rumors that it would be Dylan’s final album, based on its similarity to the title of Shakespeare’s final play.
Dylan later responded:

“Shakespeare’s last play was called The Tempest. It wasn’t called just plain “Tempest”. The name of my record is just plain Tempest. It’s two different titles.”

Some facts from Wikipedia:

Released From September 7 to September 11, 2012
Recorded January–March 2012 at Groove Masters Studios in Santa Monica, California
Genre Rock, folk rock
Length 1:08:31
Label Columbia
Producer Bob Dylan

Here are three tracks from Tempest (with my analysis, sort of…):

Tin Angel 
“For me, after listening to it for two days, the most obvious masterpiece on Bob Dylan’s new album is the murder ballad, Tin Angel. It’s a story-song, the kind Dylan has done so magnificently many times before. Cross the Green Mountain, Tweeter and the Monkey Man and  Brownsville Girl springs to mind. They are extremely cinematic songs and they tell a story over many verses.  Another song that pops up in my head is the wonderful story of Spanish Jack by Willy DeVille, not very like in sound but in tone.”  Read More…

Pay in Blood
“Bob Dylan says the stigma of slavery ruined America and he doubts the country can get rid of the shame because it was “founded on the backs of slaves.”

Bob Dylan told in a recent interview with Rolling Stone Magazine that in America “people are at each other’s throats just because they are of a different color, it will hold any nation back.” He went on to say that black people know that some white people  “didn’t want to give up slavery.””  Read more…

Scarlet Town
“The song feels like a mash of several songs, and that’s actually what it is. He draws inspiration from the old ballad Barbara Allen, but he just uses it as a framework to tell an even more sinister tale. The new parts of the song also feels like a split between two different songs, one set in biblical times and the other addressing the state of USA/The Western world today.”  Read more…

Continue reading September 7: Tempest by Bob Dylan was released in 2012

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