Tag Archives: 1989

May 28: Bob Dylan When Did You Leave Heaven ? Stockholm, Sweden, 1989 (Video)

bob dylan stockholm 1989

When did you leave heaven ?
How could they let you go ?
How’s every thing in heaven ?
I’d like to know.

Today it’s “Down In the Groove”s birthday. Here is a live version of one it’s songs.

When Did You Leave Heaven? was written by Walter Bullock & Richard Whiting.

What possessed Dylan to record something as banal as ‘When Did You Leave Heaven?’ is
one of life’s little mysteries. I am not sure if this is the same angel that was flying too close
to the ground in 1983, or if another one had gone AWOL from paradise. At any rate, I wish
she had not flown in Dylan’s direction. As with much of the material released on “Down
In The Groove” Dylan’s choice of ‘When Did You Leave Heaven?’ smacks of a man
desperate for a direction home.
~Derek Barker (The Songs He Didn’t Write: Bob Dylan Under the Influence)

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Bob Dylan: House of Gold (Hank Williams) – Videos

OLD post … You’re being redirected to a newer version……

bob dylan 1989 - hank williams

Bob Dylan: House of Gold (Hank Williams)

I started writing songs after I heard Hank Williams.
~Bob Dylan (The Les Crane Show, Feb 1965)

If it wasn’t for Elvis and Hank Williams, I couldn’t be doing what I do today.
~Bob Dylan (to Robert Shelton, June 1978)

The tune utilized on ‘House Of Gold’ is an obvious variant of Williams’ own ‘Lost
Highway’. Williams’ original recording was made in 1949 as a demo and released, with
overdubs, in April 1951 (Polydor 833-752). It is currently available on the “Complete
Hank Williams” box set (Mercury Records, 2000).
~The songs he didn’t write (Derek Barker)

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Bob Dylan’s best songs: Dignity

bob dylan dignity

Of the virtues, I suppose I think integrity is the most essential. Not dignity – a thief can have dignity.
~Bob Dylan (to Barbara Kerr, Feb 1978)

‘Dignity’, which describes so resourcefully the yearning for a more dignified world, would have been the album’s [Oh Mercy] ideal opening track. It scorches along musically, declaring its allegiance to the timeless appeal of the blues, while sounding, above all things, fresh. Its lyric, meanwhile, though ‘Dylanesque’ in that it sounds like no-one else’s work and sounds like a restrained, mature revisit to a mode of writing you might otherwise call mid-1960s Dylan, is fully alert and freshly itself, admits of no leaning on laurels, and has the great virtue that while not every line can claim the workaday clarity of instructional prose, the song is accessible to anyone who cares to listen, and offers a clear theme, beautifully explored, with which anyone can readily identify.
~Michael Gray (The Bob Dylan Encyclopedia)

@ #43 on my list of Dylan’s 200 best songs. It was originally recorded for “Oh Mercy” in 1989, but Dylan wasn’t satisfied with it… and left it. Michael Gray points out that it would have been a perfect opening track to the album… way better than “Political World”… only thing missing was an instrumental solo in the middle.

I will not mess with too many details around the songs recording history.. even Clinton Heylin calls Dignity’s recording history a bit… messy….

Officially we now have 5 different versions available:

# released Album
1 1994 Bob Dylan’s Greatest Hits Volume 3
Brendan O’Brien remixed version
2 1995 MTV Unplugged
Live version
3 2000 The Best of Bob Dylan, Vol. 2
Touched By An Angel version*
4 2008 The Bootleg Series Vol. 8
Piano demo version
 5 2008 The Bootleg Series Vol. 8
Tell Tale Signs version2

* First released on the album “Touched By An Angel: The Album” – TV Series soundtrack compilation (1998)

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March 7: Bob Dylan’s second recording session for Oh Mercy in 1989

bob dylan Oh-Mercy


“Bono had heard a few of those songs and suggested that Daniel [Lanois] could really record them right, Daniel came to see me when we were playing in New, Orleans last year and… we hit it off. He had an understanding of what my music was all about.”
~Bob Dylan (to Edna Gundersen Sept 1989)

On the first recording session for “Oh Mercy” he only tried “Born In Time”, and two versions from this session was released on “Tell Tale Signs”. The second sessions focused on “What Good Am I?” & Ring Them Bells.

The Studio
New Orleans, Louisiana
7 March 1989
Second Oh Mercy recording session, produced by Daniel Lanois

Continue reading March 7: Bob Dylan’s second recording session for Oh Mercy in 1989

Bob Dylan: Mercy On Us (Oh Mercy outtakes)


Since we just posted: Bob Dylan: Infidels outtakes (Rough cuts) it feels right to get this post flying as well.

Great outtakes from the “Oh Mercy” sessions.

The Studio
New Orleans, Louisiana
7-29 March 1989

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