Tag Archives: infidels

August 12: Happy 66th Birthday Mark Knopfler

Mark Knopfler

…. Actually we are soul mates. As far as guitar playing goes he never steps all over with fancy licks. Yeah, Mark was incredible. He helped make this record in a thousand ways, not only musically, which in itself would have been enough. Brilliant guy, I can’t say enough about him.
~Bob Dylan (Talking about Knopfler part in the making of “Infidels” – July 1983 to Martin Killer)

The most celebrated British guitar hero to emerge in the 1970s and ’80s, Mark Knopfler rose to fame as the leader of Dire Straits, and his songwriting and incisive guitar work played a decisive role in making them an international success story. At a time when punk and new wave were making technique for its own sake seem irrelevant, and metal was taking the guitar solo in noisier and unpredictable directions, Knopfler’s clean but dexterous picking proved there was still room for traditionalism and chops in mainstream rock & roll.
~Mark Deming (allmusic.com)

Dire Straits – Sultans Of Swing (Alchemy Live – 1983):

Continue reading August 12: Happy 66th Birthday Mark Knopfler

My favourite Bob Dylan bootleg 1983: Infidels outtakes (Rough cuts)

Bob Dylan - Rough Cuts (Infidels Studio Sessions) - Front

 

My favourite Bob Dylan bootleg 1983: Infidels outtakes (Rough cuts)

 For the first time in his career, Dylan books a month of sessions to record an album. The sessions will take place at the Power Station in New York, across the way from Sony Studios. Dylan coproduces the album with Mark Knopfler. The band they have devised for the sessions ranks as one of his most inspired gatherings. The rhythm section is Sly Dunbar and Robbie Shakespeare. The two-pronged guitar attack is to be provided by Knopfler and ex-Stones axeman Mick Taylor. Keyboardist Alan Clark has been enlisted from Knopfler’s band. The sessions result in 16 original new songs, 14 cover versions, and a couple of instrumentals (copyrighted under the titles, “Dark Groove” and “Don’t Fly Unless It’s Safe”).
~Clinton Heylin (Still on the Road: The Songs of Bob Dylan Vol. 2, . 1974-2008)

This is a fantastic bootleg/collection, the material and versions recorded included in these month-long sessions are impressive. The Infidels albums and singles, Death is not the end on the album Down in the Groove, Five tracks on Bootleg series vol 1-3: Blind Willie McTell (acoustic), Tell Me, Someone’s got a hold of my heart, Foot of Pride and Lord Protect My Child.

“…This Power Station material has also been released, in part, in several packages; under various titles. The quality of this material is great. There is some slight tape hiss, and at times ‘dead air’ noise. The overall sound, success of  ‘Infidels’, and desire for studio outtakes has been the spawn of the numerous releases. 

The outtakes themselves are most highly recommended. There really seems to be no particular standout as far as the various versions of CDs, … If you own one, for all practical purposes you own then all.”
– Bobsboots.com

Here we have some brilliant outtakes from the Infidels sessions. Most importantly the electric versions of “Blind Willie McTell”. This is worth the whole package, really.

Other entries in this series:

My Favourite Bob Dylan bootleg from 1962: The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan Outtakes
My Favourite Bob Dylan bootleg from 1969: The Dylan / Cash Sessions
My favourite Bob Dylan bootleg from 2011: Funen Village Denmark June 27
My Favourite Bob Dylan bootleg from 2012: The Day of Wine and Roses, Barolo, Italy July 16
My Favourite Bob Dylan bootleg from 2014: Gothenburg Sweden July 15

outfidels
Another bootleg from the same sessions

 

Studio A
Power Station
New York City, New York
April 11 – May 17.

Continue reading My favourite Bob Dylan bootleg 1983: Infidels outtakes (Rough cuts)

Bob Dylan: Infidels outtakes (Rough cuts)

Bob Dylan - Rough Cuts (Infidels Studio Sessions) - Front

 For the first time in his career, Dylan books a month of sessions to record an album. The sessions will take place at the Power Station in New York, across the way from Sony Studios. Dylan coproduces the album with Mark Knopfler. The band they have devised for the sessions ranks as one of his most inspired gatherings. The rhythm section is Sly Dunbar and Robbie Shakespeare. The two-pronged guitar attack is to be provided by Knopfler and ex-Stones axeman Mick Taylor. Keyboardist Alan Clark has been enlisted from Knopfler’s band. The sessions result in 16 original new songs, 14 cover versions, and a couple of instrumentals (copyrighted under the titles, “Dark Groove” and “Don’t Fly Unless It’s Safe”).
~Clinton Heylin (Still on the Road: The Songs of Bob Dylan Vol. 2, . 1974-2008)

Here we have some brilliant outtakes from the Infidels sessions. Most importantly the electric versions of “Blind Willie McTell”.

Studio A
Power Station
New York City, New York
April 11 – May 17.

Continue reading Bob Dylan: Infidels outtakes (Rough cuts)

Bob Dylan’s Infidels covered

Infidels

Infidels is the twenty-second studio album by American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan, released on October 27, 1983 by Columbia Records.

Produced by Mark Knopfler and Dylan himself, Infidels is seen as his return to secular music, following a conversion to Christianity, threeevangelical, gospel records and a subsequent return to a secular, culturally Jewish lifestyle. Though he has never abandoned religious imagery, Infidels gained much attention for its focus on more personal themes of love and loss, in addition to commentary on theenvironment and geopolitics. Christopher Connelly of Rolling Stone called those Gospel albums just prior to Infidels “lifeless”, and sawInfidels as making Bob Dylan’s career viable again. According to Connelly and others Infidels is Dylan’s best poetic and melodic work since Blood on the Tracks. It has been reported that reviews like these of Dylan’s religious works depressed the musician profoundly, inspiring Dylan’s comment at one concert that he was only referred to as a “prophet” when he was a secular “prophet” (paraphrased).

The critical reaction was the strongest for Dylan in years, almost universally hailed for its songwriting and performances. The album also fared well commercially, reaching #20 in the US and going gold, and #9 in the UK. Still, many fans and critics were disappointed that several songs were inexplicably cut from the album just prior to mastering—primarily “Blind Willie McTell”, considered a career highlight by many critics, and not officially released until it appeared on The Bootleg Series Volume III eight years later.

– wikipedia

As I have said many times before, these songs (all of them!) are best sung by Bob Dylan. Despite that, we enjoy to find out what other artist can do with such a treasure chest of songs. Some are great, some are good and some are interesting. It’s a good album and this should be fun, so let’s get started.

Let us begin with the great band, Built to spill.

Built To Spill – Jokerman (from ‘Bob Dylan in the 80’s: Volume 1’, audio) it is just amazing!:

Jimmy Lafave – Sweetheart Like You (live):

Continue reading Bob Dylan’s Infidels covered

Bob Dylan: 10 best songs recorded in 1983

Dylan 1983

This is an updated & revised post originally published a year ago.

The “Infidels” Birthday inspired me to set up a list of Dylan’s best songs recorded in 1983.

I’ve chosen to include 2 versions of “Blind Willie McTell”. This is by far the best song Dylan recorded in 1983… and the both versions are fantastic.

1 Blind Willie McTell – electric version not released*
2 Blind Willie McTell – acoustic version The Bootleg Series 3
3 Jokerman Infidels
4 Foot of Pride The Bootleg Series 3
5 Someone’s Got A Hold Of My Heart – alt.version not released*
6 License To Kill Infidels
7 I & I Infidels
8 Lord Protect My Child The Bootleg Series 3
9 Sweetheart Like You Infidels
10 Tell Me The Bootleg Series 3

 

* My source is the “Rough Cuts” bootleg:

bob dylan rough cuts

Check out bobsboots.com

Now for the goodies..

1. Blind Willie McTell – electric version:

I didn’t think I recorded it right. But I don’t know why that stuff gets out on me. I mean,
it never seems to get out on other people.
~Bob Dylan (to Kurt Loder, March 1984)

Seen the arrow on the doorpost
Saying, “This land is condemned
All the way from New Orleans
To Jerusalem”
I traveled through East Texas
Where many martyrs fell
And I know no one can sing the blues
Like Blind Willie McTell

Well, I heard that hoot owl singing
As they were taking down the tents
The stars above the barren trees
Were his only audience
Them charcoal gypsy maidens
Can strut their feathers well
But nobody can sing the blues
Like Blind Willie McTell

See them big plantations burning
Hear the cracking of the whips
Smell that sweet magnolia blooming
See the ghosts of slavery ships
I can hear them tribes a-moaning
Hear that undertaker’s bell
Nobody can sing the blues
Like Blind Willie McTell

There’s a woman by the river
With some fine young handsome man
He’s dressed up like a squire
Bootlegged whiskey in his hand
There’s a chain gang on the highway
I can hear them rebels yell
And I know no one can sing the blues
Like Blind Willie McTell

Well, God is in His heaven
And we all want what’s His
But power and greed and corruptible seed
Seem to be all that there is
I’m gazing out the window
Of the St. James Hotel
And I know no one can sing the blues
Like Blind Willie McTell

Continue reading Bob Dylan: 10 best songs recorded in 1983