The message isn’t in the words, …. I don’t do anything with a sort of message.
I’m just transferring my thoughts into music. Nobody can give you a message like that.
~Bob Dylan (to Ray Coleman, May 1965)
To me, that song [When The Ship Comes In] says a whole lot. Patti LaBelle should do that. You know? You know, there again, that comes from hanging out at a lot of poetry gatherings. Those kind of images are very romantic. They’re very gothic and romantic at the same time. And they have a sweetness to it, also. So It’s a combination of a lot of different elements at the time. That’s not a contrived line. That’s not sitting down and writing a song. Those kind of songs, they just come out. They’re in you so they’ve got to come out.
~Bob Dylan (to Paul Zollo, April 1991)
56 years ago today Dylan did his 4th recording session for “The Time They are A-Changin'”
Continue reading October 23: Bob Dylan – The 4th recording session for The Times They Are A-Changin’ in 1963 →
I heard the sound that Gordon Lightfoot was getting, with Charlie McCoy and Kenny Buttrey. I’d used Charlie and Kenny both before, and I figured if he could get that sound, I could…. but we couldn’t get it. (Laughs) It was an attempt to get it, but it didn’t come off. We got a different sound… I don’t know what you’d call that… It’s a muffled sound.
~Bob Dylan to Jann Wenner November 29, 1969
52 years ago today Bob Dylan started recording “John Wesley Harding”.
Some background from wikipedia:
Dylan went to work on John Wesley Harding in the fall of 1967. By then, 18 months had passed since the completion of Blonde on Blonde. After recovering from the worst of the results of his motorcycle accident, Dylan spent a substantial amount of time recording the informal basement sessions at West Saugerties, New York; little was heard from him throughout 1967. During that time, he stockpiled a large number of recordings, including many new compositions. He eventually submitted nearly all of them for copyright, but declined to include any of them in his next studio release (Dylan would not release any of those recordings to the commercial market until 1975’s The Basement Tapes; and by then, some of those recordings had been bootlegged, usually sourced from an easy-to-find set of publisher’s demos). Instead, Dylan used a different set of songs for John Wesley Harding.
Continue reading October 17: Bob Dylan first recording session for John Wesley Harding in 1967 →
The result is a sound and a set of songs unlike anything Dylan or anyone else has ever done before…. The lyrics of “Sara” and “Abandoned Love” (and, for that matter, of “Isis” and “Hurricane”) could not be more perfect, but overall the triumph of Desire is musical
~Paul Williams (BD performing artist 1974-86)
Recorded in the summer lull before the first Rolling Thunder tour and released soon after it, the stand-out tracks are ‘Isis’, ‘Romance in Durango’ and ‘Black Diamond Bay’, but ‘Hurricane’, ‘One More Cup of Coffee’ and ‘Oh Sister’ are breathing down their necks.
~Michael Gray (BD Encyclopedia)
Columbia Recording Studios
New York City, New York
31 July 1975
5th Desire session, produced by Don DeVito
|The following night [31 July 1975], Dylan held another session, this time recording three songs. From this session, Dylan recorded the master take for “Isis” as well as master takes for “Abandoned Love” and “Sara.” Dylan’s wife Sara, the subject of the song that bore her name, also accompanied him to this session.
Continue reading July 31: Bob Dylan 5th recording session for Desire 1975 →
The closest I ever got to the sound I hear in my mind was on individual bands in the Blonde on Blonde album. It’s that thin, that wild mercury sound. It’s metallic and bright gold, with whatever that conjures up. That’s my particular sound.
~Bob Dylan (to Ron Rosenbaum – Nov 1977)
He had a piano in his room at the hotel and during the day I would go up there and he would teach me a song. I would be like a cassette machine. I would play the song over and over on the piano for him. This served a double purpose. One, he could concentrate on writing the lyrics and didn’t have to mess with playing the piano; two, I could go to the studio early that night and teach it to the band before he even got there, so they could be playing the song before he even walked through the door.
~Al Kooper (talking about BoB recording sessions)
Columbia Music Row Studios
9-10 March 1966
Produced by Bob Johnston
Continue reading March 9: Bob Dylan’s 10th (and final) Blonde On Blonde recording session in 1966 →
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)
New Orleans, Louisiana
8 March 1989
Third Oh Mercy recording session, produced by Daniel Lanois
Continue reading March 8: Bob Dylan’s third Oh Mercy recording session in 1989 →