Sometime back @junior-wells drew our attention to a Spotify playlist with all of Bob Dylan’s recorded material available for streaming, in chronological order of recording date. Well, since then, I have been working my way through it, so you don’t have to it. I admit it’s not exactly a lockdown challenge to rival, for example, reading all of Proust’s ‘A la Recherche du Temps Perdu’. But it’s kept me busy and given me much enjoyment, and I have some observations to make. You may or may not agree with them. Please do let me know. I will make them in the thread below.
Don’t know if this site (below, under the YouTube thing) is kosher, or familiar to everyone here, but somehow it came up in my internet meanderings. These look like excellent prices for recent Bob boxes, but I’m not a ninja expert in these things.
In the meantime here’s an interview from his visit to Sydney in 1986, recorded on my 32nd birthday. At the time I had absolutely no interest in His Bobness, and I couldn’t have afforded to go and see him anyway. I was immersed in jazz at the time. And I was aware of Christian 80’s Bob and was not interested. But y’know, things change, I accept chaos…
Davos depressed me. Too little, too late. But, on reflection, I’ve managed to find a glimmer of hope.
Most millenials I know are environmentally savvy. As consumers, they seem to be moving away from high carbon products to low. If more consumers follow suit, businesses will have to follow. In addition, as employees they are looking to avoid companies who contribute more to climate change. In America, Microsoft have announced itself as a green company that will pay back all the carbon it has generated since coming into being. Investors are also beginning to make a stand. BlackRock, also a U.S. firm, manages $7.4 trillion of funds and it is saying it will move away from ‘high sustainability risk’. Some businesses are at risk of future regulation or the introduction of a carbon tax, others because of extremes in the weather. BlackRock is divesting companies whose revenues are more than 25% dependent on coal. Trump’s Treasury Secretary, Steve Munchin, might have called on Greta Thunberg to take lessons in economics, but it looks increasingly as though he’s the one behind the curve. If I was a businessman, I’d be looking Green. Things might be beginning to move in the » Continue Reading.
Some of you may recall Lucas Hare, who used to post on the old Word site. Luke and I know each other in meatworld, and so I happen to know that he and Kerry Shale (another Word alumnus) have been putting together a new fortnightly podcast, called ‘Is It Rolling, Bob? Talking Dylan’.
The format involves discussions with actors, writers and other interesting creative types about Bob Dylan and what he means to them, and the first one, featuring David Hepworth (oh yes, another Word alumnus) is out now on Apple Podcasts (formerly iTunes Podcasts) and Podbean:
The second episode, with David Morrissey, will be out on Monday next week:
In next week’s podcast episode, we talk to @davemorrissey64 about Bob Dylan and the music that has punctuated his life. Available to download on Monday October 8th. Subscribe so you don’t have to remember. https://t.co/ULYMdonvoI pic.twitter.com/7kDw2ZA9XK
— Is It Rolling, Bob? Talking Dylan (@isitrollingpod) October 1, 2018
They have several recorded and ready to go – Kenneth Cranham, Barb Jungr, Jon Canter, Paul Morley – and many more booked in the next few weeks. Happy listening!
The official announcement is imminent, the SH Forum is alive with excitement, tracklistings of the formats have been posted, and there’s a song up on Spotify, YouTube etc.
One for the Sydneysiders – Bob Dylan is playing the Enmore theatre in a couple of weeks, Sun 19th Aug. Nice small place, tickets correspondingly run from very-expensive to oh-my-god. Goes on sale tomorrow (Mon 6th). I’m not curious enough to justify it, definitely not a fan, and several leagues away from being anywhere near knowledgeable on the catalog. Keep trying to convince myself to buy the albums everyone recommends and never get round to it…
Today is Bob Dylan’s birthday. I don’t consider myself a serious Bob Cat, but even so dozens of songs of his are part of my psyche, and go to the very heart of why I loved music and song in the first place. Once every couple of years I fall into a Bob Dylan (the) rabbit hole, where something clicks and I listen to almost nothing else for a month or so. Then the mood passes, and I may not play a whole album for many months after.
An odd aspect of my fandom is that I didn’t catch on to Dylan until I was about 30. I had the idea that he was somehow ‘difficult’, and didn’t really explore. Then a couple of CDs of Dylan covers issued as cover-mounts on Uncut got stuck on repeat play at mine. Once the songs sank in I looked for the originals and I was away.
It’s hard to pick an absolute favourite, so for no other reason than that today Bob reaches the age of 77, here is 7 Days. Your picks, for whatever reason and whatever level of fandom, welcome.
When it comes to Bob Dylan, I’m a completist. I’ve got all the official albums, and whenever he releases a new one, however awful it is, I know I’ll be parting with my money. Same with Van Morrison. I’ve been invested in his records for so long it’s too late to stop now.
Of course compared to many here I’m a complete lightweight. I’ve never bothered with bootlegs, and even with the Official Bootleg series I’ve restricted myself to the 2CD sets rather than the big shiny box sets. But still, that collection from ‘Bob Dylan’ to ‘Trouble No More’continues to give me a lot of pleasure.
Except there’s been a big Christmas shaped hole in the middle of it. For some reason I’ve never been able to bring myself to buy ‘Christmas in the Heart’. Until today. I finally cracked in HMV today – at £3.99 it would have been rude not to. I listened on the drive home from work. And what a gloriously funny, barmy, joyous record it is. When I wasn’t singing along at the top of my voice (even less tunefully than Bob it has to be said) I was grinning from ear to ear. » Continue Reading.
The nine disc set is now up for pre-order with complete track listing. 2CD and 4LP to be available too.
Out March 31st. It’s another collection of standards…
I’ve always loved this song, I think I heard Leon Russell’s version first and then Bob’s.
This is stunning, and I’m not a Patti Smith fan, don’t dislike her but was never a huge fan.
But wow, her performance, her stuff-ups, the occasion, and the song. Just gobsmacked. Made me cry for all those reasons.
Ozzie Bob fans might like to know that a vinyl version of the Sydney date from the big 1966 set is chalked in for December the 2nd. I think it’s to be released worldwide too, as there are placeholder listings on various amazon sites, but I’ve included the link for JB HiFi. There may be one or two of you who find this of interest, hopefully!
He filled in for Buddy Holly on the 1959 tour after Buddy was killed, Bob Dylan played in his band and The Beatles covered his songs in Hamburg and on their failed Decca audition.
Above all Bobby Vee made some great pre-Fabs pop records.
Around 1960 Dylan lied his way into Bobby Vee’s band under the name Elston Gunnn (with three n’s) claiming he was a piano player and had toured with Conway Twitty. Vee was impressed, but later learned that Dylan could only play in the key of C. They hired him for $15 a night, but the job didn’t last long as Bob wasn’t much of piano player.
It was lightweight pop perhaps, but Take Good Care Of My Baby was a great Goffin & King song.
Wahey! And other good news later in the Rolling Stone article.
On the old blog I wrote a long piece about seeing Bob Dylan live in Sheffield in 1966. After the Afterword site went down the Dylan piece was subsequently picked up by a couple of blog sites and attracted interest from far and wide.
Then I was approached by the BBC to take part in a Radio 4 documentary about the day in question May 16, 1966. It seems that both Blonde and Blonde and Pet Sounds were released on that date.
The documentary goes to air next week.
So Pet Sounds and Blonde On Blonde are half a century old next week. Which one has aged better?
I was listening to the magnificent Goodbye Cream LP today (on vinyl, natch) and as Eric, Jack and Ginger brought the mammoth 9 minute white hot solo of I’m So Glad to a screaming, shuddering halt, steam coming off the brake pads and rivets straining on the engine room boiler, a few people actually began to applaud during the few moments of ensuing silence. Yes APPLAUD. What were they thinking? Didn’t these lightweight fans know that this was just a temporary halt in proceedings before the band launched back into the main theme of the song and the closing vocal verse?
All of which brings me to concert etiquette. Have you ever noticed that there are several levels of gig-going fans? There are those who applaud the instrumental introduction to a song, presumably to show how clever they are. Then there are others who wait until the opening vocal line before the penny drops, at that point it’s safe for THEM to applaud. Still others wait until the very END of the song to clap, which is just as it should be,
Alternatively, some people like to applaud specific passages of a song. For example, Dylan’s It’s Alright Ma, » Continue Reading.
Did you know that @Raymond used to have a thing for Olivia Newton-John?
Or that @todayoutof10 has a thing for George Harrison?
What do Bryan Ferry, Norah Jones, The Isley Brothers, George Harrison, The Foggy Mountain Boys, Manfred Mann, Diana Krall, Miley Cyrus, Roddy Hart and Vonda Shepard have in common?
Is it possible to celebrate the work of Bob Dylan without actually playing any Bob Dylan?
All these questions and more are answered in our latest podcast.
Any more favourite Dylan covers?
He is back in the studio , if you like later period Bob it’s good, if not it’s bad.
It’s another covers album so if you liked Shadows in the night…….
I’ve just bought a battered old copy of this album simply because I love the sleeve so much. An iconic image of a man on the cusp off becoming the biggest thing in the music industry and much more. It’s the ordinariness of it that strikes me- it looks like what it is ie a picture of two young things caught up in each other and blissfully unaware of what is coming
Any other suggestions for great sleeves ?
A friend on FB posted this great clip of His Bobness back in 1979 – back when Bob could still sing the tune and play guitar. He’s always had great bands and this one is fabulous. AFAIK it’s Jim Keltner on drums, Spooner on the Wurly, Fred Tackett on guitar and it looks like Carl Radle on bass but maybe it’s Tim Drummond. And a great vocal quartet.
What I love about this is – well, everything. Great three chord song. Bob in classic voice. Fred Tackett’s rhythm and lead playing is just sublime. the BVs are classic soul. And Spooner gets a solo! AND it’s over seven minutes long on what was presumably prime time TV.
It’s not on YouTube so you’ll have to copy and paste one of these links. It’s worth it.
As you’ll probably know, Boxzilla (The Bob version) contains 379 tracks spread over 18 CDs – everything from the studio recordings in 1965/66. I’ve had it for a few weeks now and it has occupied my waking hours fairly completely. Last night, about an hour after I finally got to the far end, I got an e-mail:
We hope you are enjoying The Cutting Edge 1965-1966: The Bootleg Series Volume 12: Collector’s Edition. Thanks again for your purchase!
The holidays are coming early for you via a special gift from Columbia Records: 208 tracks encompassing more than ten hours of previously unreleased live Bob Dylan performances from his landmark 1965 tours, including 14 complete concerts – both acoustic and electric – and an array of recordings from television shows, hotel rooms, and other live appearances.
These live performances are being offered as a free download (in 320 Kbps MP3 format) exclusively to purchasers of the Collector’s Edition.
To redeem your download …
So, that’s 208 more tracks of Bob downloaded… of variable quality, and obviously in the main a copyright protection trick: but if you were dithering over whether to go for the big box this might » Continue Reading.
I’ve had a shit of a week. Work has been quite unpleasant. Just emerging out of the tunnel after a virus and I’ve got the heater on, it is 16 degrees outside , yesterday was 32 and it is supposedly the start of summer.
So what to put on ? Why not that Bob Dylan bloke? Why not the record you bought and have kept in the current play rack rather than filing in the big box? Yep good idea, and a glass of red too.
So on it goes and it is just the ticket.
Superb song selection, great band ,great recording. AAAHHHH but the voice, I hear you say. Well here is the thing, tonight, I’m not up for some master like Frankie gliding over the notes,making the caper sound oooh so easy. No here is Bob, great phrasing, great diction but just struggling in his life worn, cigarette ravaged voice just struggling to make the notes just get close to them.
Yep croaky melancholy, at certain times, is just the ticket.
On the old site (or more likely the Word blog) there was a debate on Blood On The Tracks – arising from the idea that every great album had to have a clunker on it (an idea I did not concur with). Following on from the suggestion that the superb Lily, Rosemary & the Jack Of Hearts was a clunker, someone posted a Definitive listing for BOTT, drawing from the official version, New York sessions and Biograph. If the person who posted that list is still around in these here parts could you please repost it, or if anyone else remembers the list could they put it down? Thank you, in anticipation.
Meanwhile here is the New York version of Lily…
I heard this “Soft, Safe & Sanitized” version of LARS by The Living Voices earlier today. It’s both terrible and brilliant at the same time. What other corny, cheesy or downright weird Dylan cover versions do you know of?
The recent Bob Dylan ‘The Cutting Edge’ music bomb of his 1965-66 sessions has left me on Desolation Row.
For one of my favourite CDs, a real “game-changer”, inspirational and fascinating is now surplus to requirement. I’m talking about the Spank Records bootleg ‘The Thin Wild Mercury Music’ named after a quote from Dylan about the Blonde ON Blonde material sounding metallic – ““that thin, that wild mercury sound”.
Bringing It All Back Home sessions Studio A, NYC January 13-15, 1965 If You Gotta Go, Go Now She Belongs To Me It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue I’ll Keep It With Mine (instr) Love Minus Zero/No Limit
CBS Music Row, Nashville, TN January 21, 1965 Visions Of Johanna (Seems Like A Freezeout)
Highway 61 Revisited sessions, NYC July 30, 1965 From A Buick 6
Highway 61 Revisited sessions, NYC June 16, 1965 Can You Please Crawl Out Your Window
Hawks sessions (The Band) CBS studios, NYC Nov. 30-Dec. 1, 1965 Medicine Sunday (Temporary Like Achilles) I Wanna Be Your Lover Number One (instr) Jet Pilot Can You Please Crawl Out Your Window Visions Of Johanna (Seems Like A Freezeout)
Hawks sessions (The Band) New York, » Continue Reading.