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Music history – May 22

Bob Dylan: The Great Music Experience, Nara, Japan 22 May 1994 (video) (read more)

For the first time ever, Dylan was backed by a full orchestra, the New Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra. The final day was widely televised and Dylan was in magnificent form. I remember being near tears as The Voice returned in all its full, expressive, raging glory. I watched the footage again and again, transfixed at what seemed the best ever rendition of “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall” and a magical and magisterial “Ring Them Bells”, with Dylan filmed beneath a huge statue of Buddha.
~Andrew Muir (One More Night: Bob Dylan’s Never Ending Tour)

 Bob Dylan Todai-ji temple
 Steven Patrick Morrissey (born 22 May 1959), known as Morrissey, is an English singer and lyricist. He rose to prominence in the 1980s as the lyricist and vocalist of the band The Smiths. The band was highly successful in the United Kingdom but broke up in 1987, and Morrissey began a solo career, making the top ten of the UK Singles Chart on ten occasions. Widely regarded as an important innovator in indie music, Morrissey has been described by music magazine NME as “one of the most influential artists ever,” and The Independent has stated “most pop stars have to be dead before they reach the iconic status he has reached in his lifetime.” Pitchfork Media has called him “one of the most singular figures in Western popular culture from the last twenty years.”  Morrissey
 Pneumonia (released May 22, 2001) is the third and last studio album by the alternative country band Whiskeytown, released in 2001.The album is noted for its troubled history which saw the band lose its record deal in the midst of the merger between Polygram and Universal, and the already volatile band fell apart as a result. The album sat on the shelf for nearly two years and it was said that over 100 songs were recorded during the 3 years. It was bootlegged heavily and gained a reputation as a great “lost” record from fans, before getting released by Lost Highway Records as something of an appetizer for Ryan Adams’ 2001 album Gold. WhiskeytownPneumonia
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Spotify Playlist – May 22

Today Bob Dylan gave us the Great Music Experience in 1994 – 19 years ago

Bob Dylan Todai-ji temple

Bob Dylan performed at The Great Music Experience third day in a row.  Todai-ji Temple, Nara, Japan – 1994.

In cooperation with  UNESCO, the festival,  The Great Music Experience was held over three days in Nara, Japan. It was trying to bring Japanese culture out to the world, and Japanese musicians shared the stage with artists from around the globe.

The concert took place in front of the world’s largest wooden building, the Buddhist temple of Todai-Ji, housing the largest Buddha statue in the world.

Dylan stole the show and he said as soon as he came off-stage that he had not sung so well for 15 years. Bob Dylan opened with A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall on which Q magazine said:   This is no ordinary version… he really opens his lungs and heart and sings, like he’s not done for many a year…The only word for it majestic!

Here it is the whole Bob Dylan set, enjoy!

MAY 22,1994
The Great Music Experience. Produced by Tony Hollingsworth

1. A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall
2. I Shall Be Released
3. Ring Them Bells
4. I Shall Be Released

1–3 Bob Dylan (guitar & vocal) backed by Phil Palmer (guitar), ”Wix” Vickens (keyboards), Pino Palladino (bass), Jim Keltner (drums) and The Tokyo New Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Michael Kamen

4 Bob Dylan (guitar & shared lead vocal) in the grand finale with all participating artists, among them Joni Mitchell, Jon Bon Jovi, Richie Sambora, Ry Cooder, Roger Taylor and the members of INXS and X Japan.

  • 1–3 was broadcast in the radio and TV program THE GREAT MUSIC EXPERIENCE COUNTDOWN, 22 May 1994 in over 50 countries all over the world.
  • 4 broadcast in the radio and TV program THE GREAT MUSIC EXPERIENCE COUNTDOWN, 29 May 1994 on BBC in the UK.
  • 1 released in Scandinavia on CD single Columbia COL 660942 2, 15 December 1994.
  • 1 released on CD single Dignity (MTV Unplugged), Columbia COL 661 400 2, 11 April 1995.

Musicians said the collaborations, however rewarding, were difficult given the differences in musical backgrounds. “The only thing holding us together this evening is the shining Buddha,” said Michael Kamen, a composer of movie soundtracks who is serving as the musical director here and who composed an overture that encompassed all the musicians and instruments. The mixing of the music is being done by George Martin, who was the Beatles’ producer. (New York Times)

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