I fuckin’ hope so, man, because it’s a great album
(in 2002, when asked if he didn’t fear burning out and ending up making albums such as “Self Portrait”)
Maybe not Bob Dylan’s proudest moment, but there are good songs on the record.
Here are our 6 best songs from the album:
Copper Kettle (The Pale Moonlight)
Days of’ 49
Early Mornin’ Rain
Let It Be Me
Living The Blues
In Search of Little Sadie
Like a Rolling Stone (great with the re-mastered sound!)
“Well that was a joke, that album was put out at a time I didn’t like the attention I was getting. I never did want attention. At that time I was getting the wrong kind of attention for things I hadn’t done. So we released that album to get people off my back, so they would not like me anymore, that’s the reason the album was put out, so people would stop buying my records, and they did. “ – Bob Dylan (press conference 1981, Germany)
“I said: “Well, fuck it I wish these people would just forget about me. I wanna do something they can’t possibly like, they can’t relate to. They’ll see it and they’ll listen and they’ll say: “Well let’s go on to the next person. He ain’t sayin’ it no more. He ain’t givin’ us what we want,” you know? They’ll go on to somebody else.” But the whole idea back-fired. Because the album went out there, and the people said, “This ain’t what we want”, and they got more resentful. “ – Bob Dylan (Rolling Stone Magazine, 1984) Continue reading June 8: Bob Dylan released Self Portrait in 1970→
I think we were staying at John Hammond’s house. Sara was trying to get Bob to go to Princeton University, where he was being presented with an honorary doctorate. Bob didn’t want to go. I said, ‘C’mon, Bob it’s an honor!’ Sara and I both worked on him for a long time. Finally, he agreed. l had a car outside – a big limousine. That was the first thing he didn’t like. We smoked another joint on the way and I noticed Dylan getting really quite paranoid behind it. When we arrived at Princeton, they took us to a little room and Bob was asked to wear a cap and gown. He refused outright. They said, ‘We won’t give you the degree if you don’t wear this.’ Dylan said. ‘Fine. l didn’t ask for it in the first place.’ … Finally we convinced him to wear the cap and gown.
Spanish is the lovin’ tongue
Soft as springtime, light as spray
There was a girl I learned it from
Living down Sonora way
Now I don’t look much like a lover
Yet I say her love words over
Late at night when I’m all alone
“Mi amor, mi corazon”
“Spanish is the Loving Tongue” is a song based on the poem “A Border Affair” written by Charles Badger Clark in 1907. Clark was a cowboy poet who lived throughout the American West, and was named the Poet Laureate of South Dakota in 1937. The poem was set to music in 1925 by Billy Simon. Over the years, the song was recorded by many top recording artists, including Bob Dylan, Ian and Sylvia, Tom Paxton, Judy Collins, Marianne Faithfull, Emmylou Harris, Michael Martin Murphey, and The Chad Mitchell Trio (under the name “Adios, mi Corazon”).
I was born in East Virginia
North Carolina I did go
There I courted a fair young maiden
But her age I did not know
Dylan records two songs with Randy, Gary, and Earl Scruggs at the New York home of Thomas B. Allen, for a documentary on Earl Scruggs. Playing harmonica and guitar on “Nashville Skyline Rag,” he then duets with Earl on “East Virginia Blues.” The first song is later released on Earl Scruggs Performing with His Family and Friends, both are included in a documentary of the same name screened by NBC in January 1971.
~Clinton Heylin (Bob Dylan: A Life in Stolen Moments Day by Day 1941-1995)
The Home Of Thomas B. Allen Carmel, New York December 1970 Earl Scruggs Documentary
“Taking notes on vocal harmonies from friends Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, the Dead used the softer statements of their fourth studio album as a subtle but moving reflection on the turmoil, heaviness, and hope America’s youth was facing as the idealistic ’60s ended. American Beauty was recorded just a few months after its predecessor, both expanding and improving on the bluegrass, folk, and psychedelic country explorations of Workingman’s Dead with some of the band’s most brilliant compositions.” – Fred Thomas (Allmusic)
It took me a while to get into Grateful Dead, but when they hit me, they hit me hard! This is my second favorite of their albums (my number one is Workingman’s Dead) I should say studio albums, because I really love their early 70s live stuff.
American Beauty is the sixth album by the rock band the Grateful Dead. It was recorded between August and September 1970 and originally released in November 1970 by Warner Bros. Records. The album continued the folk rock and country music explored on Workingman’s Dead and prominently features the lyrics of Robert Hunter.
In 2003, the album was ranked number 258 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.