Tag Archives: Oh Mercy

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’s Oh Mercy covered

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“Oh Mercy (1989) is a collection of 10 songs, best listened to at night, if you’re inclined to take that gypsy caravan down into a mythic Louisiana bayou, a world conjured up by Bob Dylan and producer Daniel Lanois. Virtually every song is a highlight, from “Political World” (which sounds just as immediate today) to the bittersweet “Shooting Star.” It’s quite an ethereal voyage from beginning to end and should withstand the test of time.”
– Josh Downham (user review, Amazon)

It is a great collection of songs and there are many artists that have tried their luck in singing them, none as good as Dylan’s original versions (as usual) but there are some good ones out there. I have tried to collect some of the best.

My three favorites are Gordon Lightfoot, Tom Jones and Willie Nelson.

Check Out:
Blood on the tracks covered
Highway 61 Revisited covered

 

Patti Rain – Political World:

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5 great cover versions of Ring Them Bells

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photo: Taken from a bootleg of Oh Mercy outtakes

The lyrics of the Dylan’s song Ring Them Bells are dark, to me, they are much darker than  the melody reveals. The Melody sounds sombre but uplifting in its own dignified way. I can understand why so many artists have made their own interpretations of the song. I have picked a few that I like especially good.

Let us start with Sarah Jarosz’s acoustic performance of Ring Them Bells for Vanguard and Sugar Hill Record’s The Americana Sessions recorded and taped at Minutia Studios in Nashville, TN. It is taken from  Jarosz’s 2011 album,  Follow Me Downavailable on Sugar Hill Records.

Sarah Jarosz – Ring Them Bells:

 

My second choice is quite different but equally good.

Sufjan Stevens – Ring Them Bells (audio):

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Bob Dylan: Mercy On Us (Oh Mercy outtakes)

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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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Bob Dylan: 4th Oh Mercy recording session, 12 March 1989

telltalesigns

“Most of them 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, Sept 1989)

The Studio
New Orleans, Louisiana
12 March 1989
4th Oh Mercy recording session, produced by Daniel Lanois

  1. Most Of The Time
  2. Most Of The Time
  3. Most Of The Time
    “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 (BD Performing Artist 86-90 & Beyond)

    Overdubbed: Malcolm Burns (bass) 19 April 1989
    Released on: Oh Mercy – 19 September 1989

    Continue reading Bob Dylan: 4th Oh Mercy recording session, 12 March 1989