Dan Mitchell (mitchell) Tue 31 May 05 05:54
I like Tight Connection OK, and really liked "Has Anybody Seen My Love." On the other hand, "When the Night Comes Falling" was far inferior on E. Burlesque, compared to the original, which was great. Funny: Empire Burlesque is the album that came out just as I was becoming a true devotee (I grew up with Blood on the Tracks, but the Lyrics book that came out in 85, along with EB, really opened me up to everything else). I really liked EB, but picked it up recently on CD, and found the production too much to bear on most tunes. Some real gems on there, though. Besides the aforementioned: "Emotionally Yours," and, especially, "Dark Eyes" -- one of Dylan's best ever. And I really like the "Keys" entry on that one. I'm not a tape collector mostly because it would just take too much time and effort.
Howard Levine (hll) Tue 31 May 05 08:23
I feel the same way about Empire, a lttile too overproduced (funny noone is given credit for producing the album), but also agree that some of the songs are among the best. When the Night Comes Falling is to me in the genre of Watchtower and is one I really like.
Dan Mitchell (mitchell) Tue 31 May 05 11:26
Yep, but the original version (which is on the first bootleg series) is vastly superior to the one on EB. The two versions of "Has Anybody seen my love/Tight Connection" -- on Bootleg and EB, are both great, but they are really two different songs.
John Ross (johnross) Tue 31 May 05 19:39
At the Folklife Festival in Seattle last weekend, there was a panel discussion with the curators of the current "Bob Dylan's American Journey" exhibit at the Experience Music Project museum. Mostly a discussion of the early-sixties Greenwich Village musical scene (in Dave Van Ronk's words, "there was a period of about a year and a half when you could be arrested for walking down MacDougal Street without a guitar case."). Have you seen the EMP exhibit? Any opinions about either the exhibit or the importance of the folklies in both Minneapolis and later New York on Dylan's underlying rock & roll sensibility?
Oliver Trager (oliver-trager) Wed 1 Jun 05 03:35
Empire Burlesque could stand as Exhibit A for an album that really served as a blueprint for material that, mostly, really grew hair in performance. Both EB and his earlier effort Infidels signaled a bit of comeback for Dylan in the public eye after the gospel albums (though the too often overlooked Shot of Love -- one of absolute favorites -- was not really a gospel album). Arthur Baker, a producer of some hot notable dance records was, for whatever reason, hired to produce EB to give it that creepy sheen. By the time Dylan hit the road with Tom Petty (and the girls) in '86, those songs began to sound a lot better. Still, despite what some of the more respected, scholarly critics contend, I think they are both fine, underrated albums. "When the Night Comes Falling" is a compelling song that does feel as though it is trying to capture some of the ominous spirit of "Watchtower." Yet it is, obviosuly, a very personal song sung to what I'm guessing is an estranged lover. And, yes, Dark Eyes a real dusky masterpiece. Anybody heard and of the versions he did with Patti Smith back in the mid-1990s? Killer stuff. Emotionally Yours may be might least favorite song on the album but Something is Burning and I'll Remember You (I think the only song from the collection that he still semi-regualry performs). EB was really his last good album for many years until Oh Mercy and two of my faves: Good As I Been to You and World Gone Wrong. And, of course, the Bootleg Series Vol. 1-3 came out in there too but that doesn't really count. I do recommend starting some sort of Dylan field recording collection. One doesn't need too much to get the sweep of his career through the concert recordings and they had so much to one's appreciation of the man's power as an artist. I know he's always introduced as "Columbia Recordings Artist, Bob Dylan" but I think of him more as a performing artist or, as he put it once, a song & dance man. No, I didn't see the Seattle EMP. Sounded good from what I heard. My only beef with those type of museum retrospectives is that they can render the living subject a bit irrelavant -- like their best days are behind them. SOme may argue that Bob'd best days are right now. The Dinkytown Minneapolis and NYC folkies undoubtedly had a major impact on the young Bob Dylan and his discussion of his epipanies during that period is one of better part of his memoir Chronicles. It must have been pretty exciting. I even have some very dim memories of being taken to Greenwich as a very young child and hearing people play guitar near the arch in Washington Sq. Park.
outside the law and honest (tbessoir) Wed 1 Jun 05 22:39
Oliver, how did you decide which of the many cover versions Dylan has performed live over the years to include? Was your aim to be as comprehensive as possible? Did some get cut due to space limitations?
Oliver Trager (oliver-trager) Thu 2 Jun 05 06:40
I believe there is an entry for every song (original or cover) Dylan had every performed and/or officially released. Are there omissions of which you are aware?
Life Is Easy When Considered From Another Point Of View (dam) Thu 2 Jun 05 07:29
Who could blame you if you missed a couple!
It's a new sun to me (nukem777) Thu 2 Jun 05 08:14
Oliver, thank you for your valuable contribution to the Dylan catalogue. One of the cultural myths about him, that circulated in the late 70's was that he used to hang out in pubs and such, in disguise, somewhat like Strider in LOTR, to try and get a fix on the subculture. The spin on it was that he had lost his mojo and was trying to get it back. I did not get any sense of truth to that myth when I read Chronicles. Would you please speak (write) to that? Sorry I'm so late to this topic. It will go down in Inkwell.vue archival history, next to the Dead I'm sure. Someone should do Stephen Stills next.
outside the law and honest (tbessoir) Thu 2 Jun 05 08:42
You did an excellent job compiling the songs considering how many shows Dylan has played and projects he contributed to. I've been looking up songs as I listen to shows or records. So far I've only found a couple of covers not included in the book. When he played with Levon Helm at The Lone Star in May 1988 he did "Nadine" which is in the book, but they also performed "The Weight." When he played in June 1989 with Van Morrison in Athens, Greece, recorded for a BBC TV show, they performed three songs together. "One Irish Rover" is in the book, "Crazy Love" and "Foreign Window" are not.
Dan Mitchell (mitchell) Thu 2 Jun 05 10:01
Maybe I dreamed that he had done "I can See For Miles" at some point, but I could have sworn I heard it somewhere.
Howard Levine (hll) Thu 2 Jun 05 17:48
there's a great set of bootleg discs - Complete Dylan Covers 1988-2000. Moon River, I'm in the mood for love, Van songs, GD songs among them. Fairly comprehensive. The real treats are the little intro that Bob does before many of the songs.
Oliver Trager (oliver-trager) Fri 3 Jun 05 04:15
tbessoir: re: the songs you mention. I didn't include songs Dylan performed at impromptu situations. Along with the Levon gig at the Lone Star there have been many more with an equally odd ball assortment of songs. The unreleased material from the Basement Tapes would seemt to rate as highly if not more so. I forget the decision-making process that went into excising the two Van songs from consideration. Were they done in concert or merely filmed? And if they were done in concert, was Dylan's contribution to the performance a lead, shared lead or minimal backing. I know I didn't include Touch of Grey because he basically just stood on the stage with the Dead and strummed. Seemed a bit of a stretch to include. Howard: I think we dicussed that boot collection previously. Yes! Amazing stuff. An important touchstone and enormously helpful to me in writing my book. More importantly, its inspiring. I really go for the old Child Ballad type stuff. And the blues.
Oliver Trager (oliver-trager) Fri 3 Jun 05 09:06
Nukem77: I've heard those disguise stories. Who could blame him? Stephen Stills? Not for me. I'm thinking someone should do a Kesey biography. Hey, maybe me!
outside the law and honest (tbessoir) Sat 4 Jun 05 12:01
The three Athens tracks with Van were duets with no other musicians. I only have an audio recording. I do not hear any audience but I don't know for sure whether there was one or not.
David Gans (tnf) Sat 4 Jun 05 15:10
Bob's cover of "Friend of the Devil" had one very small but vast change: instead of "Ran down to the levee but the devil caught me there," he sand "Ran down to the crossroads but the devil caught me there." I just fuckin' love that, because in one compact stroke he invoked the enormous specter of Robert Johnson, thereby expanding the universe of that song hugely.
Low and popular (rik) Sat 4 Jun 05 17:23
Fabulous!! Uh, how does Hunter feel about it?
David Gans (tnf) Sat 4 Jun 05 17:46
I never heard a peep from him about it. I can't imagine he'd be too offended, though.
Uncle Jax (jax) Sun 5 Jun 05 08:46
> "Ran down to the crossroads but the devil caught me there." I just fuckin' > love that, because in one compact stroke he invoked the enormous specter of > Robert Johnson, thereby expanding the universe of that song hugely. I beg respectfully to differ with the esteemed Mr. Gans in finding the aforementioned poetic device typical of the sophomoric side of His Emincence the Bob.
Dan Mitchell (mitchell) Sun 5 Jun 05 11:12
Did he say anything like that? He said he introduced Robert Johnson into it and vastly expanded the scope of the song. And that's all he said.
Uncle Jax (jax) Sun 5 Jun 05 11:40
It's cut and pasted from post #91. If we're talking about the same thing?
Dan Mitchell (mitchell) Sun 5 Jun 05 12:12
I fear this will turn into more effort than it's worth giving to it, so I promise not to drag it out if I can help it, but where is there even a hint of tnf "finding the aforementioned poetic device typical of the sophomoric side of His Emincence the Bob?" He doesn't say anything like that, at all.
Uncle Jax (jax) Sun 5 Jun 05 12:39
No. *I* SAID THAT in contrast to <tnf>'s rave review of the line in question. *I* find cutesies like that the dark side of Dylan.
Uncle Jax (jax) Sun 5 Jun 05 12:40
I.e., "... my difference of opinion consists in finding ..."
Dan Mitchell (mitchell) Sun 5 Jun 05 12:40
Oh, OK. Well, whatever.
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