I don’t know… It’s certainly not an album of felicity… I try to live within that line between despondency and hope. I’m suited to walk that line, right between the fire … I see [the album] right straight down the middle of the line, really.
~Bob Dylan to Robert Hilburn in 1997
“My recollection of that record is that it was a struggle. A struggle every inch of the way. Ask Daniel Lanois, who was trying to produce the songs. Ask anyone involved in it. They all would say the same. I didn’t trust the touring band I had at the time to do a good job in the studio, and so I hired these outside guys. But with me not knowing them, and them not knowing the music, things kept on taking unexpected turns. Repeatedly, I’d find myself compromising on this to get to mat. As a result, though it held together as a collection of songs, that album sounds to me a little off.
~Bob Dylan (Press conference 2001)
‘ Not Dark Yet ‘ is many folks’ favourite song on Dylan’s 1997 album, and for sure it pushes all the right buttons: a gorgeous vocal, a brooding melody, the darkling worldview and that seemingly effortless way he captured the dusk in his veins.
~Clinton Heylin (Still On The Road)[/vc_message][/vc_column][/vc_row]
I can’t wait, wait for you to change your mind
It’s late, I’m trying to walk the line
Well, it’s way past midnight and there are people all around
Some on their way up, some on their way down
The air burns and I’m trying to think straight
And I don’t know how much longer I can wait
…one day Bob comes in, sits at the piano, and plays this song, ‘Can’t Wait’. And this is a gospel version. Tony starts playing this real sexy groove with him, and Bob is hammering out this gospel piano and really singing. The hair on my arms went up. It was stunning. Luckily, I was recording. We were thinking, ‘If this is going to be anything like this, this record is going to be unbelievable.’
~Mark Howard (Engineer on Time Out Of Mind) about the early version – “Oxnard version”
“(Jim Dickinson is)…. that magical musical maestro from Memphis…. he was the kind of guy you could call to play piano, fix a tractor, or make red cole slaw from scratch.”
“There are cool cats and there are cool Memphis cats but no one, not Elvis, not Jerry Lee, not even the Wolf came close to epitomizing Memphis and cool like Jim Dickinson did. He was the Top Cat Daddy, an inspiration, a mentor and my friend.
If you knew his music and understood his role as one of the links between black and white culture and between blues and rock and roll, you know what I’m talking about. If he is unfamiliar to you, now’s as good time as any to get to know him, even though he’s checked out of the motel.”
-Joe Nick Patoski
John Brown (from his great 1972 album “Dixie Fried” – words by Bob Dylan):
UPDATED to include 22 lists from the comments section in this post.
The new votes caused some (minor) changes to the list. Most important: BIABH moved up to #4 & TOOM dropped to #5.
Saturday I asked the question – What are your five favorite Bob Dylan studio albums ? – over at our Facebook page. The response was great. As of writing 80 people (all Bob Dylan experts) have uttered their opinions.
If you’re not on Facebook, or do not “like” our page.. you can use the comment section to post your 5 favorites. I will update this list at a later stage.