Tag Archives: Oh Mercy

Classic Bob Dylan Bootleg: The Oh Mercy outtakes 1989

mercy on us1

Classic Bob Dylan bootleg 1989: The Oh Mercy Outtakes

“Most of them [the songs on “Oh Mercy”] are stream-of-consciousness songs, the kind that come to you in the middle of the night, when you just want to go back to bed. The harder you try to do something, the more it evades you. These weren’t like that.”
~Bob Dylan (to Edna Gundersen, 21 September 1989)

There are several releases that has these outtakes, the first I found was Deeds of Mercy but my favourite is Mercy on Us: The Oh Mercy outtakes remastered. Essentially the same release but with better sound.  I think they managed to cut the hiss, without ruining the music – unlike so many other times…

 “These recordings have traded for years, and have appeared on several commercial bootlegs. The cover states the tracks to be remastered, and indeed they sound great. The package is a cardboard triptych with some beautiful “Oh Mercy” inspired graphics. The track list shown on the back cover is correct except for one thing…What Good Am I? has a misspelling and appears as “What Goog Am I?”. Other than that typo, this is truly a stunning title . Highly recommended!”
– Bobsboots

Highlights: Born in Time, Shooting Star (both takes) and God Knows but everything is highly recommended and I would pick different songs if you asked me another day.

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 1973: The Pat Garrett sessions
My favourite Bob Dylan bootleg from 1983: Infidels outtakes (Rough cuts)
My favourite Bob Dylan bootleg from 1995: Prague 3 nights in March
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

Continue reading Classic Bob Dylan Bootleg: The Oh Mercy outtakes 1989

March 23, 1989 Bob Dylan Recorded “Series of Dreams”





bob dylan series_of_dreams

Dreams can tell us a lot about ourselves, if we can remember them. We can see what’s coming around the corner sometimes without actually going to the corner..
~Bob Dylan (to Bill Flanagan in 2009)

“Series of Dreams” is a major Dylan song and an important statement.
~Paul Williams (Bob Dylan: Performing Artist Volume 3: Mind Out Of Time 1986 And Beyond)

#62 on my list of Dylan’s 200 best songs. First recorded on March 23, 1989 during the recording sessions for Oh Mercy. It was overdubbed and first released in 1991 as the final song on “The Bootleg Series 1-3”. It is a great haunting song.. with fascinating lyrics.

1991 version:

Continue reading March 23, 1989 Bob Dylan Recorded “Series of Dreams”

The Best Dylan Covers: Sarah Jarosz – Ring Them Bells

Photo: Justin Higuchi (
Photo: Justin Higuchi (wikipedia)

Ring Them Bells is included on the Bob Dylan album Oh Mercy, his twenty-sixth studio album, released on September 18, 1989 by Columbia Records. Produced by Daniel Lanois, it was hailed by critics as a triumph for Dylan, after a string of weaker-reviewed albums.

Continue reading The Best Dylan Covers: Sarah Jarosz – Ring Them Bells

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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Bob Dylan’s best songs – Most Of The Time


Bob_Dylan-Oh_Mercy-Frontal

Most of the time
I’m clear focused all around
Most of the time
I can keep both feet on the ground
I can follow the path, I can read the signs
Stay right with it when the road unwinds
I can handle whatever I stumble upon
I don’t even notice she’s gone
Most of the time
~Bob Dylan (“Most Of The Time”)

“I don’t know who I am most of the time. It doesn’t even matter to me.”
~Bob Dylan (David Gates interview Sept 1997)

“Most of The Time” is a “big song,” a major work, the sort of listening experience that brings people back to an album again and again.
~Paul Williams (Bob Dylan: Performing Artist Volume 3: Mind Out Of Time 1986 And Beyond)

“Most Of The Time” is the most atmospheric track on the best Bob Dylan album of the 1980s.
~Nigel Williamson (The Rough Guide To BD)

“Most Of The Time” is my fav song from “Oh Mercy”, and it’s the “Oh Mercy” version that’s @ 31 on my top 200 list. This is however not my fav studio version.. as you will see further down in this post.

I really love the lyrics & Bob’s vocal on this one…

Here is Andrew Mueller (The Guardian) from the documentary “Both Ends of The Rainbow”:

Most of the time
It’s well understood
Most of the time
I wouldn’t change it if I could
I can make it all match up, I can hold my own
I can deal with the situation right down to the bone
I can survive, I can endure
And I don’t even think about her
Most of the time
~Bob Dylan (“Most Of The Time”)

Continue reading Bob Dylan’s best songs – Most Of The Time