@ #62 on my list of Dylan’s 200 best songs. First recorded on March 23, 1989 during the recording sessions for Oh Mercy. It was overdubbed and first released in 1991 as the final song on “The Bootleg Series 1-3”. It is a great haunting song.. with fascinating lyrics.
Well, it’s always been my nature to take chances
My right hand drawing back while my left hand advances
Where the current is strong and the monkey dances
To the tune of a concertina
…. there were some real songs on this album that we recorded, a couple of really long songs, like there was one I did – do you remember Visions Of Johanna?…. Well, there was one like that. I’d never done anything like it before. It’s got that same kind of thing to it. It seems to be very sensitive and gentle on one level, then on another level the lyrics aren’t sensitive and gentle at all. We left that off the album.
~Bob Dylan (to Neil Spencer – July 1981)
How to comment on this extraordinary piece of writing? Recorded at the ‘Shot of Love’ sessions of April-May 1980, Angelina is unlike anything else Bob Dylan has ever written – part Cocteau film, part Braque painting, totally surreal, it defies logic and heads off for the deepest, darkest parts of poetic mystery. Though Dylan has never commented about the song in public, chances are that he’d confess that it was as much mystery to him as to anyone else.
~John Bauldie (TBS1-3 booklet)
@ number 80 on my list of Dylan’s 200 best songs.
Angelina is credited as being recorded on May 4, 1981 on “The Bootleg Series, Vol. 1-3”. According to “Krogsgaard” & “Olof’s – Still on the Road“, this is not true, as it were mixed on that day, but recorded March 26:
Composing it [When The Night Comes Falling From The Sky], yeah. Um… you know, it was bits and pieces of different places that went into writing that. Lines overheard here and there, you know, strung together over a long period of time, resulted in that particular piece.
~Bob Dylan (to Eliot Mintz – March 1991)
…Dylan sings wonderfully. The songs seems capable of kicking itself into even-higher gear, and as the band recognizes it, so does Dylan, who gets audibly more and more excited as the song progresses
~John Bauldie (about the TBS 1-3 version)
@ #113 on my list of Dylan’s 200 best songs.. and this is the “Bootleg Series 1-3” version…. the Empire Burlesque version is nowhere near my top 200…
This version was recorded @
The Power Station
New York City, New York
19 February 1985 Empire Burlesque recording session
The band included 2 “E-streeter’s”: Roy Bittan & Little “Stevie” Van Zandt..
Bob Dylan (guitar, vocal)
Roy Bittan (piano)
Robbie Shakespeare (bass)
Sly Dunbar (drums)
Queen Ester Marrow, Debra Byrd, Carolyn Dennis (backing vocals).