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Bob Dylan’s best songs – Tangled Up In Blue

A song that took me ten years to live and two years to write
~Bob Dylan

So that the story took place in the present and the past at the same time. When you look at a painting, you can see any part of it, or you see it altogether. I wanted that song to be like a painting.
~Bob Dylan

Joni Mitchell had an album out called Blue. And it affected me, I couldn’t get it out of my head. And it just stayed in my head and when I wrote that song I wondered, what’s that mean? And then I figured that it was just there, and I guess that’s what happened, y’know.
~Bob Dylan (to Craig McGregor, March 1978)

This masterpiece in number 3 on my list of Dylans 200 best songs. Listening to it almost never fails to put me in a state of flow.. time stops.. there is nothing except this beautiful piece of art occupying my attention.. best form of mindful meditation if you ask me.

It is the best song from one of his best albums: “Blood On The Tracks” (1975):

We allow our past to exist. Our credibility is based on our past. But deep in our soul we have no past. I don’t think we have a past anymore than we have a name. You can say we have a past if we have a future. Do we have a future? No. So how can our past exist if the future doesn’t exist?
~Bob Dylan (to Jonathan Cott, Dec 1977)

But we’re only dealing with the past in terms of being able to be healed by it. We can communicate only because we both agree that this is a glass and this is a bowl and that’s a candle and there’s a window here and there are lights out in the city. Now I might not agree with that. Turn this glass around and it’s something else. Now I’m hiding it in a napkin. Watch it now. Now you don’t even know it’s there. It’s the past… I don’t even deal with it. I don’t think seriously about the past, the present or the future. I’ve spent enough time thinking about these things and have gotten nowhere.
~Bob Dylan (to Jonathan Cott, Dec 1977)

Continue reading Bob Dylan’s best songs – Tangled Up In Blue

Bob Dylan: Isis Montreal, Quebec, 4 December 1975 (Video)

bob dylan 1975

I married Isis on the fifth day of May
But I could not hold on to her very long
So I cut off my hair and I rode straight away
For the wild unknown country where I could not go wrong

One of his strongest performances on video….

Forum de Montréal
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
4 December 1975

  • Bob Dylan (vocal, guitar)
  • Bob Neuwirth (guitar)
  • Scarlet Rivera (violin)
  • T-bone J. Henry Burnett (guitar)
  • Roger McGuinn (guitar)
  • Steven Soles (guitar)
  • Mick Ronson (guitar)
  • David Mansfield (steel guitar, violin, mandolin ,dobro)
  • Rob Stoner (bass, vocals)
  • Howie Wyeth (piano, drums)
  • Luther Rix (drums, percussion)
  • Ronee Blakley (vocal)

I came to a high place of darkness and light
The dividing line ran through the center of town
I hitched up my pony to a post on the right
Went in to a laundry to wash my clothes down

A man in the corner approached me for a match
I knew right away he was not ordinary
He said, “Are you lookin’ for somethin’ easy to catch?”
I said, “I got no money.” He said, “That ain’t necessary”

We set out that night for the cold in the North
I gave him my blanket, he gave me his word
I said, “Where are we goin’?” He said we’d be back by the fourth
I said, “That’s the best news that I’ve ever heard”

I was thinkin’ about turquoise, I was thinkin’ about gold
I was thinkin’ about diamonds and the world’s biggest necklace
As we rode through the canyons, through the devilish cold
I was thinkin’ about Isis, how she thought I was so reckless

How she told me that one day we would meet up again
And things would be different the next time we wed
If I only could hang on and just be her friend
I still can’t remember all the best things she said

We came to the pyramids all embedded in ice
He said, “There’s a body I’m tryin’ to find
If I carry it out it’ll bring a good price”
’Twas then that I knew what he had on his mind

The wind it was howlin’ and the snow was outrageous
We chopped through the night and we chopped through the dawn
When he died I was hopin’ that it wasn’t contagious
But I made up my mind that I had to go on

I broke into the tomb, but the casket was empty
There was no jewels, no nothin’, I felt I’d been had
When I saw that my partner was just bein’ friendly
When I took up his offer I must-a been mad

I picked up his body and I dragged him inside
Threw him down in the hole and I put back the cover
I said a quick prayer and I felt satisfied
Then I rode back to find Isis just to tell her I love her

She was there in the meadow where the creek used to rise
Blinded by sleep and in need of a bed
I came in from the East with the sun in my eyes
I cursed her one time then I rode on ahead

She said, “Where ya been?” I said, “No place special”
She said, “You look different.” I said, “Well, not quite”
She said, “You been gone.” I said, “That’s only natural”
She said, “You gonna stay?” I said, “Yeah, I jes might”

Isis, oh, Isis, you mystical child
What drives me to you is what drives me insane
I still can remember the way that you smiled
On the fifth day of May in the drizzlin’ rain

Check out:

-Egil

Today: Bob Dylan’s film Renaldo And Clara was released in 1978

Renaldo and Clara

This nearly four-hour surrealist odyssey (232 m.)  is written, directed and starring Bob Dylan himself.

Directed by Bob Dylan
Produced by Mel Howard
Written by Bob Dylan, Sam Shepard
Starring Bob Dylan, Sara Dylan, Joan Baez
Music by Various artists
Cinematography Howard Alk, David Meyers, Paul Goldsmith
Editing by Bob Dylan, Howard Alk
Distributed by Circuit Films
Release date(s) January 25, 1978
Running time 232 minutes
Country United States
Language English

There is a myth about this film, it is considered to be incoherent and confusing, well, it isn’t. Everytime I see it, it strikes me as a unified vision, one man’s vision, where he puts different kind of film stocks and styles together to create an entertaining and, yes, demanding movie.  The film is a mixture of fantastic concert footage, documentary style film (dealing with the Hurricane Carter case), and ficitonal, seemingly improvised  footage.

Never let me go:

Drawing structural and thematic influences from the classic  film Les Enfants du Paradis, Dylan infuses Renaldo & Clara with lots of shifting styles, tones, and narrative ideas. Similarities between the two films include the use of whiteface , the recurring flower, the woman in white (Baez), the on-stage and backstage scenes, and the dialogue of both films’ climactic scenes.

lesenfant_dylan

Also evident is the Cubist approach of the two films, allowing us to see the main characters from the different perspectives of various lovers. This also echoes some of the songs from this Dylan period (Simple twist of faith and Tangled up in blue coming to mind). Running time is also relatively similar.

It’s a free associating epic that feels pulled straight from Bob Dylan’s brain, Renaldo and Clara is a work of misunderstood genius.

Continue reading Today: Bob Dylan’s film Renaldo And Clara was released in 1978

Bob Dylan’s best songs – A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall – #16, released version

The hard rain is gonna fall is in the last verse when I say “when the pellets of poison are flooding the waters”. I mean, all the lies, you know, all the lies that people get told on their radios and their newspapers which, all you have to do is
just think for a minute, y’know, try and take peoples brains away, y’know, which maybe’s been done already. I dunno, maybe, I hate to think it’s been done, but all the lies, which are considered poison, y’know, er…
Bob Dylan (to Studs Terkel, April 63)

‘Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall’… I wrote the words of it on a piece of paper. But there was just no tune that really fit to it, so I just sort of play chords without a tune. If all this comes under the heading of a definition, then I don’t care really to define what I do. Other people seem to have a hard time doing that.
~Bob Dylan (to Max Jones, May 64)

From “The Witmark Demos” (Bootleg Series 9):

@ #16 on my list of Dylan’s 200 best songs. The original version from “The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan” was recorded on December 6 – 1962…. 50 year’s ago today. The Witmark version above was recorded sometime in December 62.

‘A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall’, recorded December 6, 1962, is another song whose genius and power are so great that our analytical minds (not our hearts) may have difficulty accepting and recognizing it’s simplicity.
~Paul Williams (Performing Artist 60-73)

from 1964:

 

Continue reading Bob Dylan’s best songs – A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall – #16, released version

Today: Bruce Springsteen meets Bob Dylan for the first time in 1975 – 37 years ago


Photo by Ken Regan

Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen meet for the first time backstage during the Rolling Thunder Revue tour in New Haven, CT.

——

Russell Tyrone Jones (November 15, 1968 – November 13, 2004) was an American rapper and occasional producer, who went by the stage name Ol’ Dirty BastardODB, Ason Unique, Osirus, Rainman, and Big Baby Jesus. He was one of the founding members of the Wu-Tang Clan, a rap group primarily from Staten Island, New York that first rose to mainstream prominence with their 1993 debut album Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers).

After establishing the Wu-Tang Clan, Ol’ Dirty Bastard went on to pursue a successful solo career. However, his professional success was hampered by frequent legal troubles, including incarceration. He died in late 2004 of a drug overdose, two days before his 36th birthday. Prior to his death, Ol’ Dirty Bastard managed to record his third solo album, which has been repeatedly delayed and as of 2012 has not been released.

C.R.E.A.M. (Wu Tang Clan)

Album of The Day:

Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) (1993)

Steve Huey (allmusic.com):
Along with Dr. Dre’s The Chronic, the Wu-Tang Clan’s debut, Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers), was one of the most influential rap albums of the ’90s. Its spare yet atmospheric production — courtesy of RZA — mapped out the sonic blueprint that countless other hardcore rappers would follow for years to come. It laid the groundwork for the rebirth of New York hip-hop in the hardcore age, paving the way for everybody from Biggie and Jay-Z to Nas and Mobb Deep. Moreover, it introduced a colorful cast of hugely talented MCs, some of whom ranked among the best and most unique individual rappers of the decade. Some were outsized, theatrical personalities, others were cerebral storytellers and lyrical technicians, but each had his own distinctive style, which made for an album of tremendous variety and consistency. Every track on Enter the Wu-Tang is packed with fresh, inventive rhymes, which are filled with martial arts metaphors, pop culture references (everything from Voltron to Lucky Charms cereal commercials to Barbra Streisand’s “The Way We Were”), bizarre threats of violence, and a truly twisted sense of humor. ... read more @ allmusic.com

Other November 13:

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