Today: Bob Dylan recorded master version of “Desolation Row” in 1965 – 47 years ago

Now the moon is almost hidden
The stars are beginning to hide
The fortune-telling lady
Has even taken all her things inside
All except for Cain and Abel
And the hunchback of Notre Dame
Everybody is making love
Or else expecting rain

Location: Studio E, Columbia Recording Studios – NYC

What:  The 6th and last Highway 61 Revisited session, produced by Bob Johnston

Master versions recorded: Desolation Row

The released version on H61R is actually a splice between take 6 & 7.

Musicians: Overdub session with Bob Dylan (guitar) and Charlie McCoy (guitar, bass).
More detalis from: Olof’s Files 

Desolation Row is number 9 on my list of Dylan’s 200 best songs.

From Wikipedia:

Desolation Row” is a 1965 song written and sung by Bob Dylan. It was recorded on August 4, 1965 and released as the closing track of Dylan’s sixth studio album, Highway 61 Revisited. It has been noted for its length (11:21) and surreal lyrics in which Dylan weaves characters from history, fiction, the Bible and his own invention into a series of vignettes that suggest entropy and urban chaos.

The Highway 61 Revisited version was recorded on August 4, 1965, in Columbia’s Studio A in New York City. Nashville-based guitarist Charlie McCoy, who happened to be in New York, was invited by producer Bob Johnston to contribute an improvised acoustic guitar part and Russ Savakus played bass guitar. Polizzotti credits much of the success of the song to McCoy’s contribution: “While Dylan’s panoramic lyrics and hypnotic melody sketch out the vast canvas, it is McCoy’s fills that give it their shading.”

I happen to agree with -> Mark Polizzotti is the author of “Bob Dylan’s Highway 61 Revisited (33 1/3)“.

 Please check out Video’s of the day from last night:
–>  Desolation Row – The Marionette Performance part 1 & 2

Studio version from youtube:

Album of the day.. again:

Other August-04:

  • Louis Armstrong (August 4, 1901 – July 6, 1971), nicknamed Satchmo or Pops, was an American jazz trumpeter and singer from New Orleans, Louisiana.Coming to prominence in the 1920s as an “inventive” cornet and trumpet player, Armstrong was a foundational influence in jazz, shifting the music’s focus from collective improvisation to solo performance. With his instantly recognizable deep and distinctive gravelly voice, Armstrong was also an influential singer, demonstrating great dexterity as an improviser, bending the lyrics and melody of a song for expressive purposes. He was also greatly skilled at scat singing (vocalizing using sounds and syllables instead of actual lyrics).
  • James Milton Campbell, Jr. (September 7, 1934 – August 4, 2005), better known as Little Milton, was an American electric blues, rhythm and blues, and soul singer and guitarist, best known for his hit records “Grits Ain’t Groceries” and “We’re Gonna Make It.”
  • Lee Hazlewood (July 9, 1929 – August 4, 2007), born Barton Lee Hazlewood was an American country and pop singer, songwriter, and record producer, most widely known for his work with guitarist Duane Eddy during the late 1950s and singer Nancy Sinatra in the 1960s.


2 thoughts on “Today: Bob Dylan recorded master version of “Desolation Row” in 1965 – 47 years ago”

  1. Although I don’t know if I could pick my top 10 Dylan songs which I have sat down many times & put to paper, I am wondering why in you top 10 list “Chimes of Freedom” or “Changing of the Guard” didn’t make the list?

    I do find that my own personal list changes with the mood or what type of day I have had due to Dylan’s vast catalog. To do him justice I find it best to make a top 10 list for each stage of his metamorphases. With over 600 songs it’s almost traumatic to try to choose ten, but “Blind Willie McTell” (acoustic version) & “Like A Rolling Stone” are always on my list. Just my thoughts.

    1. Hi Pamela.. and thanks for your feedback!

      Changing of the guards is number 22 & Chimes of Freedom is 45 in my list of Dylan’s 200 best songs 🙂

      I have created a music database/application with a lot of music related stuff. Among this stuff is 884 of Dylan songs (and loads of other songs/albums releases/etc..)… and I have rated among 600 of those with a grade from 1-10.
      This has helped me build my “Top 200” list.. which btw is dynamic.. I move songs up-and-down.. now and then…

      It requires a fairly systematic mind, lots of hours, some programming skills… but most of all.. a passion for Music (Dylans music in particular).

      Anyway… that’s my way.. 🙂


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