• May 24, 2016 at 1:07 pm #48075
    trumplefingers
    Participant

    Bob Dylan turns 75 on Tuesday, which means the onetime Robert Zimmerman has now spent the better part of a quarter-century on a musical journey characterized by a relentless – some might say “reckless” – commitment to his own vision and consistent refutation of audience expectations. Such a milestone birthday seems a good excuse to take a look back at the long, strange trip Dylan has taken over his 54-year, 37-album recording career. May we present, then, some of the wildest left turns in the man’s back pages. Happy birthday, Bob.

    Uh-oh, Bob’s a rocker

    Dylan’s first and arguably still most contentious stylistic switch-up was heralded in March of 1965 by the release of “Subterranean Homesick Blues,” the first single from that year’s raucous Bringing It All Back Home album. No longer interested in the semi-traditionalist American folk of his first four albums and sick of being labeled a protest singer, he brought a new rock ’n’ roll edge to his songwriting and turned the entire purist-folk community on its ear by adopting – horror of horrors! – the electric guitar. The act of plugging in infamously got him booed at the Newport Folk Festival in 1965, although some dispute that legend. Nevertheless, you can still hear an angry fan shouting “Judas!” on a live recording from Manchester featured on The Bootleg Series, Vol. 4: Bob Dylan Live 1966. Dylan’s response: “Play it f—ing loud.”

    Bob Dylan, country boy

    After further refining the caustic folk-meets-rock attack introduced by Bringing It All Back Home on the classics Highway 61 Revisited and Blonde on Blonde, Dylan – recovering from a 1966 motorcycle accident – retreated into the creative netherworld that would eventually yield the acclaimed collection The Basement Tapes in 1975 and emerged dabbling in rootsier material again on 1967’s John Wesley Harding. If country music was a creeping influence on that record, it was the influence on 1969’s Nashville Skyline. True to the title, it was cut in Music City with a bevy of local session cats and presented Dylan’s polished take on the mainstream Nashville country sound of the day. Johnny Cash even turned up for a duet on “Girl From the North Country.”

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    Everything, all in one place

     

    After testing the patience of even his most devoted fans with 1970’s ill-received double-LP disaster Self Portrait, Dylan spent the next few years in an on-again/off-again country-rock holding pattern. A bit of the old, mad spark would return on 1976’s Desire, however, sending him back to the top of the Billboard album chart and serving notice to critics that, 17 albums in, Bob Dylan wasn’t quite finished being interesting just yet. Recorded with the Rolling Thunder Revue, Desire “careens between surging folk-rock, Mideastern dirges, skipping pop and epic narratives,” notes All Music. “Really, there’s no other place where Dylan tried as many different styles, as many weird detours, as he does here.”

    Bob meets Jesus

    The late 1970s brought Dylan’s abrupt declaration that he’d become a born-again Christian and he dove headlong into the evangelical duties demanded by his new spiritual calling. Slow Train Coming in 1979 and its tellingly titled 1980 sister, Saved – which actually featured the hand of God descending from the heavens on its cover – were full-on, unapologetic modern-day gospel albums. For a time, too, Dylan would even excise all the non-religious material in his vast back catalogue from his live shows and took to talkin’ ’bout the Lord between songs from the stage. Once again, even the die-hards found their patience being tested. Rolling Stone at the time called Dylan “a perfect caricature of a Bible-thumping convert.” Who knows? That might have been the point.

    MC Bobby D

    Synthesizers, sequencers and Afrika Bambaataa/New Order collaborator Arthur Baker crept into the mix on 1985’s Empire Burlesque, but that album’s dated-sounding attempts at keepin’ up with the kids, production-wise, are entirely forgivable when stacked against the horror to come: a guest “rap” verse from Dylan on Kurtis Blow’s “Street Rock,” the opening track on the Harlem MC’s 1986 album Kingdom Blow. One could argue that Dylan had been “rapping” in his own way as far back as “Subterranean Homesick Blues,” but his guest appearance here is just a half-unintelligible smear of slurred rhymes about Ethiopia, the media and the rich getting richer “while the needy’s gettin’ needier” with a woeful lack of flow. Painful.

    Wait? Bob Dylan, folk singer?

    His 1989 collaboration with producer Daniel Lanois, Oh Mercy, met with raves, but generally the mid-1980s onward represent perhaps the most listless and critically reviled phase of Dylan’s recording career. Indeed, one reviewer has deemed 1989’s Dylan & the Dead “quite possibly the worst album by either Bob Dylan or the Grateful Dead.” Dylan turned the tables on everybody, however, by unplugging just like the old days for an album of rough-hewn, acoustic-folk traditionals on 1992’s warmly received Good As I Been To You. He would follow up with another in the same vein, World Gone Wrong, the next year, ushering in a creatively fertile period mining American folk, blues, swing and rockabilly history for inspiration that would continue through 2012’s Tempest.

    Dylan does Sinatra

    Not once in the 50-odd years he’s been active as a recording artist has anyone confused Bob Dylan with a “crooner,” but on 2015’s Shadows in the Night he dove into the Great American Songbook on an album of familiar evergreens by the likes of Irving Berlin, Rodgers and Hammerstein and Frank Sinatra – who, curiously enough, recorded each of the songs featured here at one point or another during his own career. Dylan played coy at the suggestion Shadows was an album of “Sinatra covers” at the time, but this past Friday he released another album of standards entitled Fallen Angels, which counts 11 tracks also recorded by Frank back in the day on a track listing of 12. Clearly, there’s some kind of fixation going on. Only Bob Dylan knows where it will lead next.

    https://www.thestar.com/entertainment/music/2016/05/24/happy-75th-birthday-bob-dylan.html

     

    May 24, 2016 at 3:16 pm #48077
    munichhilton
    Participant

    This doesn’t matter outside the gates of Eden…

    May 24, 2016 at 3:24 pm #48078
    Breath
    Participant

    I can’t believe this doesn’t mention the left turn he took at the north pole a few years ago.  best left turn ever!

    May 24, 2016 at 3:35 pm #48079
    Marianita
    Participant

    Was he into powder back in the days?

    Don't you think it's sometimes wise not to grow up?

    May 24, 2016 at 3:40 pm #48080
    Marianita
    Participant

    Waldorf Astoria Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction 1988

    Bob Dylan, Mick Jagger 1988  NYC.jpg

    Don't you think it's sometimes wise not to grow up?

    May 24, 2016 at 3:50 pm #48082
    Breath
    Participant

    ‘Nita:  didn’t I read somewhere the other day that you are a fan of Street-Legal?  That’s a personal fave of mine…that’s when I first really got into bobby.  First time I saw him live, too.  Been a mega-fan ever since, although I’ve been somewhat disappointed with his lack of change the past few years/albums/tours…he’s fallen into a rut….

    Bob and the Stones have always been my fave two acts to love and hate…I hate to love them and love to hate them.

    May 24, 2016 at 4:19 pm #48083
    Marianita
    Participant

    ‘Nita: didn’t I read somewhere the other day that you are a fan of Street-Legal? That’s a personal fave of mine…that’s when I first really got into bobby. First time I saw him live, too. Been a mega-fan ever since, although I’ve been somewhat disappointed with his lack of change the past few years/albums/tours…he’s fallen into a rut…. Bob and the Stones have always been my fave two acts to love and hate…I hate to love them and love to hate them.

    Oh yes. Remember the first time i heard Senor. Kaboom. Went out and bought the album (late 90s) and played it to pieces. Street legal got me into Dylan and i have loved him ever since. I saw him for the first time in concert only a couple of years, in Norway. It was a good show. I prefer dylan in the 1970s but of course im also into his lovely songs from the 60s. dylan is iconic. He is easily an artist to love and hate 🙂

    Don't you think it's sometimes wise not to grow up?

    May 24, 2016 at 4:27 pm #48084
    Breath
    Participant

    ‘Nita: didn’t I read somewhere the other day that you are a fan of Street-Legal? That’s a personal fave of mine…that’s when I first really got into bobby. First time I saw him live, too. Been a mega-fan ever since, although I’ve been somewhat disappointed with his lack of change the past few years/albums/tours…he’s fallen into a rut…. Bob and the Stones have always been my fave two acts to love and hate…I hate to love them and love to hate them.

    Oh yes. Remember the first time i heard Senor. Kaboom. Went out and bought the album (late 90s) and played it to pieces. Street legal got me into Dylan and i have loved him ever since. I saw him for the first time in concert only a couple of years, in Norway. It was a good show. I prefer dylan in the 1970s but of course im also into his lovely songs from the 60s. dylan is iconic. He is easily an artist to love and hate 🙂

    Street-Legal was kind of an odd album – recorded in the middle of his world-tour with his touring band…done with very little production. featured the brilliant sax of Elvis’ longtime saxman…and unusual instrument in the Dylan sound…many thought he was paying homage to Elvis, who had died the year before…with the big Elvis/Vegas band.  But, it was one of his most dynamic periods, I think.  His vocals were incredible at times in those days. He literally brought me to tears at that first show in ’78 during his passionate singing on Forever Young.  got goosebumps.   And loved his lead guitar player on that tour/album…a rockabilly-oriented guy with some serious chops, Billy Cross.

    May 24, 2016 at 4:29 pm #48085
    Marianita
    Participant

    <h1>Paul McCartney And Mick Jagger Said No To Bob Dylan’s Idea For A Beatles/Stones Album</h1>

    That’s one takeaway from “Sound Man,” a memoir by legendary producer Glyn Johns.

    Rolling Stone’s Andy Greene reviewed the book:

    Dylan then dropped a bomb. “He said he had this idea to make a record with the Beatles and the Stones,” John writes. “And he asked me if I would find out whether the others would be interested. I was completely bowled over. Can you imagine the three greatest influences on popular music in the previous decade making an album together?”Johns quickly began working the phones. “Keith and George thought it was fantastic,” he writes. “But they would since they were both huge Dylan fans. Ringo, Charlie and Bill were amicable to the idea as long as everyone else was interested. John didn’t say a flat no, but he wasn’t that interested. Paul and Mick both said absolutely not.”

    Needless to say, the plan didn’t go forward. “I had it all figured out,” writes Johns. “We would pool the best material from Mick and Keith, Paul and John, Bob and George, and then select the best rhythm section from the two bands to suit whichever songs we were cutting. Paul and Mick were probably, right, however I would have given anything to have given it a go.”

    Rg3n4wxwsnrwtxud99lq

    Don't you think it's sometimes wise not to grow up?

    May 24, 2016 at 4:37 pm #48086
    Marianita
    Participant

    ‘Nita: didn’t I read somewhere the other day that you are a fan of Street-Legal? That’s a personal fave of mine…that’s when I first really got into bobby. First time I saw him live, too. Been a mega-fan ever since, although I’ve been somewhat disappointed with his lack of change the past few years/albums/tours…he’s fallen into a rut…. Bob and the Stones have always been my fave two acts to love and hate…I hate to love them and love to hate them.

    Oh yes. Remember the first time i heard Senor. Kaboom. Went out and bought the album (late 90s) and played it to pieces. Street legal got me into Dylan and i have loved him ever since. I saw him for the first time in concert only a couple of years, in Norway. It was a good show. I prefer dylan in the 1970s but of course im also into his lovely songs from the 60s. dylan is iconic. He is easily an artist to love and hate 🙂

    Street-Legal was kind of an odd album – recorded in the middle of his world-tour with his touring band…done with very little production. featured the brilliant sax of Elvis’ longtime saxman…and unusual instrument in the Dylan sound…many thought he was paying homage to Elvis, who had died the year before…with the big Elvis/Vegas band. But, it was one of his most dynamic periods, I think. His vocals were incredible at times in those days. He literally brought me to tears at that first show in ’78 during his passionate singing on Forever Young. got goosebumps. And loved his lead guitar player on that tour/album…a rockabilly-oriented guy with some serious chops, Billy Cross.

    nice info. I also like the backup singers on street legal. And yes me also think his live performances in the 70 was great. Often rough and good rocknroll. I know many people dont like live at budokan but i dont care. Me like some of that one too. But of course there are better live records of Dylan live performances in the 70s than budokan imo

    Don't you think it's sometimes wise not to grow up?

    May 24, 2016 at 4:45 pm #48087
    Marianita
    Participant

    ‘Nita: didn’t I read somewhere the other day that you are a fan of Street-Legal? That’s a personal fave of mine…that’s when I first really got into bobby. First time I saw him live, too. Been a mega-fan ever since, although I’ve been somewhat disappointed with his lack of change the past few years/albums/tours…he’s fallen into a rut…. Bob and the Stones have always been my fave two acts to love and hate…I hate to love them and love to hate them.

    You saw Bob Dylan in the 1970s ? OMG. i think CE  saw the stones at el mocambo. Ok, i confess, im a newbee he he

    Don't you think it's sometimes wise not to grow up?

    May 24, 2016 at 4:46 pm #48088
    Marianita
    Participant

    Don't you think it's sometimes wise not to grow up?

    May 24, 2016 at 4:48 pm #48089
    Breath
    Participant

    ‘Nita: didn’t I read somewhere the other day that you are a fan of Street-Legal? That’s a personal fave of mine…that’s when I first really got into bobby. First time I saw him live, too. Been a mega-fan ever since, although I’ve been somewhat disappointed with his lack of change the past few years/albums/tours…he’s fallen into a rut…. Bob and the Stones have always been my fave two acts to love and hate…I hate to love them and love to hate them.

    Oh yes. Remember the first time i heard Senor. Kaboom. Went out and bought the album (late 90s) and played it to pieces. Street legal got me into Dylan and i have loved him ever since. I saw him for the first time in concert only a couple of years, in Norway. It was a good show. I prefer dylan in the 1970s but of course im also into his lovely songs from the 60s. dylan is iconic. He is easily an artist to love and hate 🙂

    Street-Legal was kind of an odd album – recorded in the middle of his world-tour with his touring band…done with very little production. featured the brilliant sax of Elvis’ longtime saxman…and unusual instrument in the Dylan sound…many thought he was paying homage to Elvis, who had died the year before…with the big Elvis/Vegas band. But, it was one of his most dynamic periods, I think. His vocals were incredible at times in those days. He literally brought me to tears at that first show in ’78 during his passionate singing on Forever Young. got goosebumps. And loved his lead guitar player on that tour/album…a rockabilly-oriented guy with some serious chops, Billy Cross.

    nice info. I also like the backup singers on street legal. And yes me also think his live performances in the 70 was great. Often rough and good rocknroll. I know many people dont like live at budokan but i dont care. Me like some of that one too. But of course there are better live records of Dylan live performances in the 70s than budokan imo

    agree. before the flood (with the Band), and the Rolling Thunder (bootleg series) release were great…but I have a gazillion boots of shows from the 70’s that are even better…

    May 24, 2016 at 4:51 pm #48090
    Breath
    Participant

    ‘Nita: didn’t I read somewhere the other day that you are a fan of Street-Legal? That’s a personal fave of mine…that’s when I first really got into bobby. First time I saw him live, too. Been a mega-fan ever since, although I’ve been somewhat disappointed with his lack of change the past few years/albums/tours…he’s fallen into a rut…. Bob and the Stones have always been my fave two acts to love and hate…I hate to love them and love to hate them.

    You saw Bob Dylan in the 1970s ? OMG. i think CE saw the stones at el mocambo. Ok, i confess, im a newbee he he

    yeah, but we’ll all be long dead years before it’s your time. everything has a trade-off..

    May 24, 2016 at 5:14 pm #48092
    stonehearted
    Participant

    Speaking of strange left turns, here’s some outtake footage (May 27, 1966) from Eat The Document — only a snippet of which was actually used in the film. John Lennon and Bobbie D are driving into London from John’s house in Weybridge. Before the drive they imbibed “something”, something that causes Dylan to becoming pukingly ill as they are driving into London. Stones connection: the driver is none other than future Stones chauffeur and “minder” Tom Keylock.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZU7vuUIDyfE

     

    May 24, 2016 at 5:43 pm #48093
    Marianita
    Participant

    Awesome Stonehearted. What are Lennon saying about Jagger at 6:00. Dylan is in another world btw he he right to put in dr. robert at the end of the clip he he John Lennon was a badass lovely guy 🙂

    Don't you think it's sometimes wise not to grow up?

    May 24, 2016 at 5:48 pm #48094
    Marianita
    Participant

    ‘Nita: didn’t I read somewhere the other day that you are a fan of Street-Legal? That’s a personal fave of mine…that’s when I first really got into bobby. First time I saw him live, too. Been a mega-fan ever since, although I’ve been somewhat disappointed with his lack of change the past few years/albums/tours…he’s fallen into a rut…. Bob and the Stones have always been my fave two acts to love and hate…I hate to love them and love to hate them.

    You saw Bob Dylan in the 1970s ? OMG. i think CE saw the stones at el mocambo. Ok, i confess, im a newbee he he

    yeah, but we’ll all be long dead years before it’s your time. everything has a trade-off..

    he he or my lifestyle nowadays aint giving good odds in terms of getting very old 😉

    Don't you think it's sometimes wise not to grow up?

    May 24, 2016 at 6:02 pm #48095
    Marianita
    Participant

    Don't you think it's sometimes wise not to grow up?

    May 24, 2016 at 6:08 pm #48096
    stonehearted
    Participant

    Awesome Stonehearted. What are Lennon saying about Jagger at 6:00. Dylan is in another world btw he he right to put in dr. robert at the end of the clip he he John Lennon was a badass lovely guy 🙂

    Yes, they were on heroin, and I believe that this was Dylan’s first experience with that drug — but notice how well Lennon is handling his dose. Amazing to think that John was already into the heavy stuff that early. Here’s what is mentioned about Mick Jagger at 6:00:

    Dylan: No, man, they didn't tell me. Someone said, You wanna be on Northern
           Sons and you laughed and Paul McCartney looked the other way and
           talked to Ringo...
    
    Lennon: ...and Mick Jagger...
    
    Dylan: ...blew shit from his nose...
    
    Lennon: ...and Rob Roy leapt into the room with a big kilt on and said, Hey,
            Bobby, have you heard this one?

     

    And here is the link to the transcript:

    http://www.recmusicbeatles.com/public/files/bbs/etd.html

     

     

    
    
    

     

    May 24, 2016 at 6:11 pm #48097
    Marianita
    Participant

    Thank you, Stonehearted. Youre a true rocknroll detective 🙂

    Don't you think it's sometimes wise not to grow up?

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