Bob Dylan Thread

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Bob Dylan Thread

Post by tom_cas1 » 10 Dec 2014, 12:01

We had one on the old forum, only right that we have one here too.

Bob just announced his new album will be released on the 3rd February next year. I believe it's an album full of Frank Sinatra songs. It's called Shadows In The Night:

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Any other Bob fans here?
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Re: Bob Dylan Thread

Post by mr_spenalzo » 14 Dec 2014, 07:08

In general I really like Bob, but not all of his output. When he's amazing he's amazing, and then he does something to leave me cold, or even proper bad stuff at times. I'll try and break it down.

Acoustic early stuff
I realise there are great songs there (especially the second side of Bringing It All Back Home), but overall I can do without these albums. The debut you could even call "pretty bad". Favourite song during this period: "It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)". I realise that you could position half this album in the next period, which is when...

Dylan goes electric
As good as it gets. Highway 61 Revisited and Blonde On Blonde are classics, and rightly so seeing as they're completely brilliant. Just thinking about "Sad-Eyed Lady Of The Lowlands" or "Visions Of Johanna" makes me dizzy. Favourite song here is "Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues", about as bad-ass as Dylan ever got.

Post motorcycle accident
Mixed bag. I haven't heard the new Bootleg Series, but I'm not fan of the original Basement Tapes, and the few albums that were released (John Wesley Harding, Nashville Skyline) during that time I don't listen to much. I do, however, quite enjoy New Morning and Planet Waves, the latter of which has "Dirge", his best song of this period and the one that shows us what's next.

Brilliant again
Anyone telling you that Blood On The Tracks is a masterpiece is selling it short: it's that, and then some. It really is fantactic, and picking a favourite song from it is impossible. If I had to single one out, "Simple Twist Of Fate" (the Live 1975 version of that is possibly even more magnificent). Or "Idiot Wind". No, make that "You're A Big Girl Now"... except then what about "Buckets Of Rain"? Screw it, can't choose. Dylan's next two were quite good too: Desire and Street Legal. And then we get to the man's...

Christian period
I really really do not like Slow Train Coming, but Saved and Shot Of Love are quite fun, and much better than their reputations have it. Lesson learned: if you're going to be grumpy do it with your touring band, not Dire fucking Straits. Favourite song, "Covenant Woman".

The eighties and early nineties
Dylan fans might want to break it down further, but for me the stretch from Infidels until World Gone Wrong is one with a lot of mediocrity and one absolute highlight, Oh Mercy. If he'd just released that between the Christian period and (roughly) MTV Unplugged the world wouldn't have been a poorer place. Not surprisingly, my personal fave is on Oh Mercy: the beautiful "Most Of The Time".

Renaissance
The first great new Dylan album (Time Out Of Mind) actually sounds not unlike Oh Mercy, and you can debate that Love And Theft starts this phase. Doesn't matter, either album's a good start, and Modern Times and Tempest are even better. Christmas In The Heart is fun during this season as well, and I'm really looking forward to Shadows In The Night. I cannot pick a favourite song: "Nettie Moore" and "Workingman's Blues #2" are simply sublime.

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Re: Bob Dylan Thread

Post by mr_spenalzo » 07 Feb 2015, 18:38

The new album is wonderful, and a particular eye opener is "Why Try To Change Me Now", a song I didn't know at all and now want to seek every version ever of. What a beauty, stunning song. And Dylan's voice, wow. I wouldn't mind a companion piece next year.

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Re: Bob Dylan Thread

Post by tom_cas1 » 14 May 2015, 20:44

I'm yet to take to the new album but that'll no doubt change.

@mr_spenalzo: Interesting cross section of his work. I'll do the same as you've done but with my own comments:

Acoustic early stuff
His self-titled debut album is pretty average to be honest, especially when you compare it to his second album - The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan. What an album that is. I'm actually listening to it right now and it's faultless in every way. Dylan's songwriting at it's very best. Next came The Times They Are a-Changin' and Another Side Of Bob Dylan which have fantastic moments but aren't as good as Freewheelin'. Finally, Bringing It All Back Home, which was an introduction to what would come next.

Dylan goes electric
Highway 61 Revisited and Blonde On Bonde...two superb albums and two of the best 60's albums FULL STOP. Blonde On Blonde in particular has something about it I just can't put my finger on. It's amazing, just amazing. Two great albums!

Post motorcycle accident
This could well be my favourite period of Dylan's. John Wesley Harding, Nashville Skyline, Self Portrait, New Morning are all fantastic. Then you've got Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid, Dylan and Planet Waves which are no more than ok. But then Dylan is back to his best with...

Brilliant again
...Blood On The Tracks. I mean...does this album have a bad song on it? I don't think so. Tangled Up In Blue, Simple Twist Of Fate, Meet Me In The Morning and Buckets Of Rain are four songs from the album that are some of his best ever songs. Perfection! The follow up, Desire, was pretty good too although not on the same level. However Hurricane is a fantastic track that everyone needs to hear. Isis and One More Cup of Coffee (Valley Below) are great songs too. This album of course saw Dylan tour as the Rolling Thunder Revue with a number of musicians, almost like a circus. I have a number of bootlegs from this tour and it was a great period for him.

Christian period
The one period I haven't listened to properly yet. I have all of Dylan's albums but this Christian period is yet to do anything for me. Perhaps I need to sit down and go through them, something I'm yet to do. In fact...I'll make a start tomorrow.

The eighties and early nineties
The 80's albums, like the Christian albums, don't do much for me. A few decent songs here and there but overall a period I usually skip although I should probably give them another listen. But his early 90's albums Good As I Been To You and World Gone Wrong are superb! Dylan on acoustic guitar once again almost like he never went electric back in the mid-60's. I really do love those two acoustic albums.

Renaissance
Well...what can I say? A superb run of albums, maybe his best run overall or at least since the mid-late 60's period. Time Out Of Mind, Love And Theft, Modern Times, Together Through Life, Tempest. Every one of these albums is sublime, perfect even. Think of it this way...Dylan hasn't made an album that ISN'T GREAT since the 1997. And of course he's released two cover albums in this period too, Christmas in the Heart and Shadows in the Night.
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Re: Bob Dylan Thread

Post by Mallard No. 22 » 16 May 2015, 06:50

I like the 'goes electric' period best.

'Lay Lady Lay' is also an atmospheric song, and Sandie Shaw did a great cover version in the same year.

Re - a Sinatra covers album - might buy it if he does 'I Will Drink The Wine'.... :)
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Re: Bob Dylan Thread

Post by AdvertBreak » 16 May 2016, 16:19

Like Pet Sounds, Blonde on Blonde is 50 years old today too.

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Re: Bob Dylan Thread

Post by TristramShandy » 16 May 2016, 16:56

... and new album Fallen Angels is out on 20th May. :)

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Re: Bob Dylan Thread

Post by tom_cas1 » 14 Jul 2016, 02:23

Fallen Angels was pretty good, betters than Shadows In The Night. That's two albums on the bounce though without any new Dylan material. Hopefully the next one is all original!
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Re: Bob Dylan Thread

Post by KingLouieLouie76 » 16 Jul 2016, 16:08

I really love every era of Robert Zimmerman's legendary career...especially when he made the bold move to become electric... Although my fave all-time Dylan song is "Tangled Up In Blue".....
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Re: Bob Dylan Thread

Post by tom_cas1 » 16 Jul 2016, 16:22

^ From Blood On The Tracks, superb album. I know it's highly praised among Dylan circles but it should get more wider recognition. It's one of his finest albums in my opinion. The songs Tangled Up In Blue, Simple Twist Of Fate, Meet Me In The Morning and Buckets Of Rain are FAULTLESS. Dylan at his very best.

I've seen Dylan twice over the years, the last time in 2011 at Shepherds Bush Empire. What a show, and supported by Mark Knopfler. FANTASTIC SHOW. I also saw him at the NIA in Birmingham in 2009 but that wasn't as good, awful venue and the sound just disappeared as soon as it left the stage.
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Re: Bob Dylan Thread

Post by KingLouieLouie76 » 16 Jul 2016, 16:44

tom_cas1 wrote:^ From Blood On The Tracks, superb album. I know it's highly praised among Dylan circles but it should get more wider recognition. It's one of his finest albums in my opinion. The songs Tangled Up In Blue, Simple Twist Of Fate, Meet Me In The Morning and Buckets Of Rain are FAULTLESS. Dylan at his very best.

I've seen Dylan twice over the years, the last time in 2011 at Shepherds Bush Empire. What a show, and supported by Mark Knopfler. FANTASTIC SHOW. I also saw him at the NIA in Birmingham in 2009 but that wasn't as good, awful venue and the sound just disappeared as soon as it left the stage.

First, I must see him live...I still cannot believe in the fall he will be sharing a bill w/Sir Paul, the Who, Rolling Stones, Roger Waters, etc....

Yes, "Blood on the Tracks" is so dynamic in every sense.... If I had to compile my list of top-10 Dylan songs, what would follow "Tangled Up In Blue" definitely would be "Like A Rolling Stone" (it's definitely high on everyone's list, such a defining moment in the 60s), "Knocking On Heaven's Door", "Positively 4th Street, " "Blowin' in the Wind" , "The Times They Are a-Changin'", "Lay Lady Lay", "My Back Pages", "Subterranean Homesick Blues", and, "Rainy Day Women #12 & 35".

Lord, so difficult to rank/rate, but probably standard among all of us fans. I obviously also love "Mr. Tambourine Man", "Quinn the Eskimo", "It Ain't Me Babe", and "All Along the Watchtower" (obviously all covered so well).....
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Re: Bob Dylan Thread

Post by tom_cas1 » 16 Jul 2016, 17:16

Top 10 Dylan songs? Argh, that's tough. I'll have a go:

1] Meet Me In The Morning
2] Simple Twist Of Fate
3] Sign On The Window
4] Thunder On The Mountain
5] Lay Lady Lay
6] It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry
7] One Too Many Mornings
8] Don't Think Twice, It's All Right
9] Dear Landlord
10] Buckets Of Rain

I found that pretty tough. I just want to note that I actually prefer the version of Sign On The Window from Bob's Bootleg Series Vol. 10: Another Self Portrait. The orchestral overdubs on it are simply breathtaking, sadly they didn't make the finished album when it was released. I'm glad it was included on the Bootleg Series release though.

I love Like A Rolling Stone too, makes my top 15. I prefer the Hendrix version from Monterey though. :mrgreen:
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Re: Bob Dylan Thread

Post by KingLouieLouie76 » 17 Jul 2016, 02:25

tom_cas1 wrote:Top 10 Dylan songs? Argh, that's tough. I'll have a go:

1] Meet Me In The Morning
2] Simple Twist Of Fate
3] Sign On The Window
4] Thunder On The Mountain
5] Lay Lady Lay
6] It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry
7] One Too Many Mornings
8] Don't Think Twice, It's All Right
9] Dear Landlord
10] Buckets Of Rain

I found that pretty tough. I just want to note that I actually prefer the version of Sign On The Window from Bob's Bootleg Series Vol. 10: Another Self Portrait. The orchestral overdubs on it are simply breathtaking, sadly they didn't make the finished album when it was released. I'm glad it was included on the Bootleg Series release though.

I love Like A Rolling Stone too, makes my top 15. I prefer the Hendrix version from Monterey though. :mrgreen:
I must admit that I never really got into Dylan's post 1975 work, but perhaps it's about time I check out those albums even further that I have. Perhaps "Infidels" is the only 80s Dylan album I grew to love over the years....
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Re: Bob Dylan Thread

Post by tom_cas1 » 17 Jul 2016, 12:57

I tend to avoid his 80's output if I'm honest, very hit and miss. However his 90's-present day has been SUPERB on every level in my opinion. The albums in question (I've left out the Christmas album and the two Sinatra albums, however they are very good also):

Good As I Been To You
The first of two pure folk albums featuring Dylan on acoustic guitar. Fantastic stuff, back to basics in many ways.

World Gone Wrong
The second folk album.

Time Out Of Mind
The first in a long line of albums that sees Dylan return to his very best. The song Standing In The Doorway is stunning.

Love And Theft
Along the same lines as Time Out Of Mind but even better.

Modern Times
IMO his BEST post 80's album. The opening track, Thunder On the Mountain, is exquisite. 10/10 album for me.

Together Through Life
VERY cool album, great cover art too. My Wife's Home Town is my favourite track, very dark and moody and Dylan's vocals are UNREAL, especially the opening lyric. Spine tingling!

Tempest
I remember getting this album in 2012 when it came out just before I went with friends to Croatia and Italy. Listened to it all the time and as a result I now think of that trip when I listen to it today. Fantastic tracks. The opening song Duquesne Whistle is superb and Narrow Way is another highlight.

If you're going to get into these albums I also recommend getting The Bootleg Series Vol. 8: Tell Tale Signs: Rare and Unreleased 1989–2006 which features a SHED LOAD of unreleased tracks, outtakes and the like. Probably the best Bootleg Series release alongside Vol. 10. Check out the song Mississippi from the 2nd disc, an outtake from Time Out Of Mind. In fact the song features on the album Love And Theft but this is a re-worked version, maybe one of the best Dylan songs of ALL TIME. That's my opinion anyway. :)
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Re: Bob Dylan Thread

Post by KingLouieLouie76 » 18 Jul 2016, 02:09

Yes, I haven't listened to much of his 90s material or anything since.... I finally plan on doing so....probably really missing out on a quite a bit there.... But sometimes I must be in some type of mood to listen to him, it's really hard to explain though.
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