haha! YouTube recommended that interview to me just last night - I obliged. It must have noticed I'm on a Dylan kick. I even took up Spotify on its $9.99 for 3 months offer, just so I could have easier access to his entire discography. Expect many Dylan posts in the near future.
What was the reason why Dylan left Columbia for Asylum in the first place? Simply money?
I'm not sure, but did a little quick digging around. UltimateClassicRock said:
"Feeling the company was doing less than it could, Dylan decided it was time to move on from the label he called home since the start. There were offers flying from Atlantic and Warner Bros., but after much courting, he signed with David Geffen's Asylum. It was also around this time that he severed ties with manager Albert Grossman."
What is interesting is, there are a lot of stories from the time of his return to Columbia a few years later. One example is this Rolling Stone story. There is also a NY Times story from 1974 about it. I suspect those few years saw rock and roll go mainstream as the former hippies, etc., were growing up, getting jobs, but still followed their old heroes.
John Hammond was quite the promoter wasn't he. What was the reason why Dylan left Columbia for Asylum in the first place? Simply money?
The deal with Asylum is still a puzzler to me. Sounded like David Geffen made a lot of overtures to Dylan about coming over to his label; then when Bobby took the bait, he ended up disappointed in the sales of his first album for the label, Planet Waves, despite it easily going gold and staying at #1 for a month. In fact, if the stories i've read are true, Bob and The Band almost tried releasing Before the Flood as a tv or mail order album. The fact that the album peaked at #3 in Billboard didn't seem to change Bob's mind, though, about going back to Columbia. And this, despite Columbia having released that "Dylan" album of cover tune outtakes in late 73 as "the new Dylan album". Even that album managed to go gold - i wonder how many fans bought that, thinking this was the long awaited new album?
Post by Sheriff John Stone on Jun 17, 2020 20:27:53 GMT
Those are some interesting additional musicians, but I like how Dylan continues (and has for a long time) to use his live backing band in the studio, too. The new album drops Friday. It's probably Bob's last album in his 70's.
I expect this to be the first in a series of posts where I condense some of Bob's material. I'm starting with The Basements Tapes, but I plan on giving similar treatment to other double albums; such as, Self Portrait, Before The Flood, and Budokan. I also want to condense Good As I Been To You and World Gone Wrong to one album. I'm sure I'll come up with other ideas. We'll see.
Anyway, the basement tapes...any thoughts? Personally, I've never been overly interested. I hadn't even realized it had a dedicated installment of the bootleg series until last night. By the way, check out their take of "Folsom Prison Blues" if you haven't yet (it's on Spotify - which has The Basement Tapes Raw, which is the truncated version of The Basement Tapes Complete). I also enjoyed "Johnny Todd", though it's clearly of lesser quality. Nothing else really jumped out at me, including songs like "I'm Not There", "Santa-Fe", and "Sign On The Cross" which I've seen many fans praise. I guess my ambivalence has to do with: 1) I didn't grow up with the myth 2) The best songs are available elsewhere (and are often superior versions) and 3) I'm at best a casual fan of The Band. To point #2 - I love Dylan's 1971 recordings of "I Shall Be Released", "You Ain't Goin' Nowhere", and "Down In The Flood". I had the first two on The Essential Bob Dylan (along with the 1967 version of "Quinn The Eskimo"), which was my main introduction to Bob's music. Additionally, I loved Gene Clark's "Tears Of Rage" before hearing Bob's version, and so if I had to choose one I'm sticking with Gene's. From there, the song quality of the basement tapes material dips (for the most part). While I find all of Dylan's songs listenable, with each additional mediocre song I start to lose interest. The lyrics, particularly, suffer on certain songs. And, that's not even getting into the sloppy performance, production, and recording quality. Of course, these were all demos, I get that. I'd rather have it than not. The elephant in the room, though, is The Band tracks on the 1975 album that didn't involve Dylan. For the record, I (mostly) like those songs, especially "Katie's Been Gone" and "Ain't No More Cain" but they stick out like a sore thumb. I didn't need to read the backstory to catch on, and with each listen it becomes more and more distracting. It may not be totally fair on my part, but I'm just not interesting in hearing the Dylan songs and non-Dylan songs alternating back and forth. So, I've eliminated all 8 of the non-Dylan songs. Then I needed to eliminate a few more, because I wanted to include "I Shall Be Released" and "Quinn The Eskimo" and wanted to keep this playlist under 45 minutes. The songs I cut were: "Million Dollar Bash", "Clothes Line Saga", "Yea! Heavy and a Bottle of Bread", "Tiny Montgomery", and "Open The Door, Homer". Now, just to be clear, I'm not saying these songs do nothing for me or that I never want to hear them again. But, my aim is create a playlist that I'll "reach for" more often and provides the best 40-45 minute listening experience. I'm really pleased with the flow. All songs are sourced from the 1975 album except "I Shall Be Released" and "Quinn The Eskimo" from The Basement Tapes Raw.
13 songs - 42 minutes
1. Odds and Ends 2. Crash on the Levee (Down In The Flood) 3. Quinn The Eskimo 4. Goin' To Acapulco 5. Lo and Behold! 6. I Shall Be Released 7. Apple Suckling Tree 8. Tears Of Rage 9. You Ain't Goin' Nowhere 10. Nothing Was Delivered 11. Please, Mrs. Henry 12. Too Much Of Nothing 13. This Wheel's On Fire
I enjoy the Basement Tapes material but have never dug into Dylan with the zeal I have the Beach Boys (and can't even say I'd dig into them the same way I did in earlier years; for example, the new copyright releases are moderately interesting to me, but I don't obsess).
The nature of the songs themselves makes me feel even less obligated to REALLY care. They are so much more akin to traditional folk songs (even when mostly originals) that, as with folk songs, I'm not likely to worry so much about this version v that version. And of course there is the issue of not necessarily being intended for release. So not that I don't have preferences that I notice sometimes, but they clearly aren't presented as definitive statements. Thus I end up letting them wash over my ears whether the 1975 album, assorted other renditions, the boot series versions, etc.
But I do enjoy Dylan working with the Band. And I like a lot of this music.
Post by Sheriff John Stone on Jun 19, 2020 1:49:31 GMT
I'm with both of you, B.E. and Kapitan. The Basement Tapes have never been a go-to album for me. It is a great album to chill out to, one of the best Dylan "albums" for that. I know it's not a popular opinion, but I think cherry-picking the strongest songs like you did B.E. might present an album just as strong or better than John Wesley Harding and Nashville Skyline. Knowing the history of the recordings adds to the homey, laid back feeling. It does have that vibe and atmosphere doesn't it? However, The Basement Tapes also has some weaker songs, too.
Again, I like what you did there, B.E., in deleting and assembling tracks to compile a nice representation of The Basement Tapes. My only suggestion would be to add "Million Dollar Bash" to make it an even 14 songs and still clock in under 45 minutes.
Post by Sheriff John Stone on Jun 19, 2020 12:50:58 GMT
B.E., please continue on with your Dylan album series. I'm looking forward to all of your thoughts and posts! And, I don't want to distract from them, but Rough And Rowdy Ways is the current elephant in the room.
I found a site last night that was streaming the new album so I had to tune in. I fell asleep by the fourth song. I'll make this short and sweet...well, short.
I am amazed how Dylan's voice has recovered from what I considered almost unlistenable on Together Through Life, Christmas In The Heart, and Tempest. His vocals and delivery on Rough And Rowdy Ways is very impressive. Dylan delivers his lyrics clearly and and specifically. Oh, and the lyrics? He obviously still has it. Fascinating and thought-provoking stuff. The sound is stripped but tasteful, too. Bob 's band are great musicians.
The bottom line for me is the songs and I find them weak and repetitive. Several times I found myself thinking that I've heard this act before. It's one blues shuffle after another. The ballads drag. I miss Bob Dylan the great songwriter. These are far from great songs. There is constant talk-singing from Dylan. He rarely if ever cuts loose. I kept waiting for a little energy, a little rocking, a little rollin' and tumblin', but I didn't hear any.
After all of the pre-release praise, I was expecting more. But, I should've been wary after hearing the two tracks that preceded the album. The album is basically more of the same. I'm not sure if I'll be purchasing this one.
I'm nearing the end of my initial listen. My first impression is kinder than SJS's, but not so glowing as the hype. I agree that his voice sounds a bit better, more like it did on Modern Times. I'd like to give it a few more listens before I try to say anything too definitive, but there are definitely songs I enjoy here.
I'm sure I prefer it to Tempest (which I didn't like much at all, except "Duquense Whistle," and quite honestly often forget exists at all).
Kapitan: Yes, let's keep it going. If you're not sure which years we've covered, check the first post of the thread: I've edited it to list each year we've touched upon.
Sept 22, 2021 13:10:08 GMT
jk: If no one jumps in soon, I'll go for 1997, which is 13 years back from 2010. Fact is, we haven't had a '90s year yet.
Sept 22, 2021 13:46:32 GMT
Kapitan: No, but we do have a whole '90s thread that covered a lot of that territory. (In fact, that's what inspired the idea, to some extent)
Sept 22, 2021 13:52:28 GMT
Kapitan: Not that I'm opposed to a '90s year, mind you
Sept 22, 2021 13:52:58 GMT
jk: I see where you're coming from, Cap'n. I even did a double-take when looking through 1997 albums and songs (these look familiar!). My next suggestion is that we go back 13 years from 1972 to 1959.
Sept 22, 2021 17:04:34 GMT
jk: OK, it's one of the "doldrum years" but it was crammed full of goodies that even register with folks who weren't born for another 20 years. Of course, if anyone has a better idea, I'm all for it.
Sept 22, 2021 17:05:59 GMT
Kapitan: That would make sense; we also haven't really touched the early to mid 80s, which I'm sure people (mostly) recall. And of course EVERY year in the '60s seems loaded...
Sept 22, 2021 17:06:53 GMT
jk: Yes, the early-ish '80s also came to mind. But let's see who else joins in...
Sept 22, 2021 17:08:04 GMT
Kapitan: So far we've had me, jk, kds, and carllove choosing years. Would love to expand that circle.
Sept 22, 2021 17:13:20 GMT
Kapitan: Which, I guess with four of us so far, is more a square.
Sept 22, 2021 17:13:38 GMT
jk: Ha, yes. Sheriff? B.E.? sockit? The Kid?... We'll see.
Sept 22, 2021 17:16:41 GMT
The Cincinnati Kid: I might come up with something. I love those kind of threads, but am terrible in participating. I still haven't posted anything for 2010.
Sept 22, 2021 19:26:41 GMT
lonelysummer: 1959 is a doldrums year? Hmm....
Sept 22, 2021 19:44:28 GMT
jk: That's what they say... you know, that period from *cough* "the day the music died" to the arrival of the British Invasion. Like you, I couldn't agree less with that notion, hence the inverted commas!
Sept 22, 2021 19:52:30 GMT
Kapitan: I assume he means the stereotype that between early rock and roll and the British Invasion, nothing happened. But that it was in quotes (plus his actual comments) make me think it was an ironic usage.
Sept 22, 2021 19:52:54 GMT
Kapitan: Whoops, near-simultaneous post. But it confirms my suspicion.
Sept 22, 2021 19:53:21 GMT
jk: Great minds and all that!
Sept 22, 2021 19:53:34 GMT
sockit: I would like to showcase the year 1983. That's the year I graduated high school and I was all in on what was current.
Sept 23, 2021 0:07:54 GMT
carllove: I was in College then. Sounds like a good year! Go for it! It’s a group effort!
Sept 23, 2021 4:31:48 GMT
carllove: BTW - I’d be down for 90’s years. I like the years being broken out. Meanwhile we can move to 1983 with sockit’s help. 1972 has ended its interest.
Sept 23, 2021 4:34:56 GMT