I´ve posted some great versions of VOJ lately. There seems to be strong opinions among our readers regarding “best VOJ live version”, so why not compare different versions?
I´v nominated 10 versions and would love to get feedback – use the comments section in this post or comment on my post on Alldylan´s FB page -> Alldylan @ Facebook.
Try to pick 3, but any number will do.
My top 3:
- Sheffield 1966
- Portsmouth 2000
- Dublin 2005
If we get enough response, I´ll compile the results and update this post.
16 May 1966
Ain’t it just like the night to play tricks when you’re tryin’ to be so quiet?
We sit here stranded, though we’re all doin’ our best to deny it
And Louise holds a handful of rain, temptin’ you to defy it
Lights flicker from the opposite loft
In this room the heat pipes just cough
The country music station plays soft
But there’s nothing, really nothing to turn off
Just Louise and her lover so entwined
And these visions of Johanna that conquer my mind
Manchester, New Hampshire
3 September 1988
Theater Of Living Arts
21 June 1995
19 April 1996
In the empty lot where the ladies play blindman’s bluff with the key chain
And the all-night girls they whisper of escapades out on the “D” train
We can hear the night watchman click his flashlight
Ask himself if it’s him or them that’s really insane
Louise, she’s all right, she’s just near
She’s delicate and seems like the mirror
But she just makes it all too concise and too clear
That Johanna’s not here
The ghost of ’lectricity howls in the bones of her face
Where these visions of Johanna have now taken my place
New York City, New York
26 July 1999
Visions of Madonna version
Cumberland Civic Center
25 February 1999
Now, little boy lost, he takes himself so seriously
He brags of his misery, he likes to live dangerously
And when bringing her name up
He speaks of a farewell kiss to me
He’s sure got a lotta gall to be so useless and all
Muttering small talk at the wall while I’m in the hall
How can I explain?
Oh, it’s so hard to get on
And these visions of Johanna, they kept me up past the dawn
24 September 2000
Inside the museums, Infinity goes up on trial
Voices echo this is what salvation must be like after a while
But Mona Lisa musta had the highway blues
You can tell by the way she smiles
See the primitive wallflower freeze
When the jelly-faced women all sneeze
Hear the one with the mustache say, “Jeeze
I can’t find my knees”
Oh, jewels and binoculars hang from the head of the mule
But these visions of Johanna, they make it all seem so cruel
1 October 2000
13 July 2001
The peddler now speaks to the countess who’s pretending to care for him
Sayin’, “Name me someone that’s not a parasite and I’ll go out and say a prayer for him”
But like Louise always says
“Ya can’t look at much, can ya man?”
As she, herself, prepares for him
And Madonna, she still has not showed
We see this empty cage now corrode
Where her cape of the stage once had flowed
The fiddler, he now steps to the road
He writes ev’rything’s been returned which was owed
On the back of the fish truck that loads
While my conscience explodes
The harmonicas play the skeleton keys and the rain
And these visions of Johanna are now all that remain
The Point Depot
27 November 2005
- Alldylan @ Facebook
- Bob Dylan: Live 1961- 1969 (video & audio)
- Bob Dylan: 5 essential videos from the 60’s
- Bob Dylan live 1970 – 1979 (videos & audio)
- Bob Dylan: 7 essential videos from the 70’s
- Bob Dylan: Live 1980 – 1989 (Video & audio)
- Bob Dylan: 8 essential videos from the 80’s
- Bob Dylan concert videos/audio from 1990 – 1995 @ alldylan.com
- Bob Dylan: Concerts & Videos from 1996 – 1999 @ Alldylan.com
- Bob Dylan: 10 concert videos you MUST see from the 90’s
- Bob Dylan live 2000 – 2009 (videos & audio)
- Bob Dylan live 2010 – 2014 (videos & audio)
- Bob Dylan Never Ending Tour 2015 – Videos & Audio
- Karl Erik’s expectingrain.com
- Olof’s “Still On The Road“
10 thoughts on “Bob Dylan: best live versions of “Visions of Johanna””
1. 26 May 1966 London (you can’t top this one !)
2. 13 November 2003 Paris
1) Gaumont Theatre, Sheffield, England, 16 May 1966
2) The Point Depot, Dublin, Ireland, 27 November 2005
Thanks! Do you have a number 3 ?
In the 2000 Portsmouth version there is an additional line at the end, something like:
Words…and nothing is said!
By the way: Portsmouth 2000 is my favourite, but I like every version, because I love the song so much.
But I miss one great version in your list:
2015 Stimmen Festival in Lörrach, Germany.
It is very different from all the others and deserve your attention.
Portsmouth for me daylight second.
Always loved this one by Jerry
Greetings from Sydney, Australia
After Portsmouth ? 2 & 3 ?
Just Portsmouth Egil
Portsmouth it is.
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