Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Beyond The Horizon...The Bob Dylan Story Part Two...Show # 210

Bob Dylan's next album would be released 1969, it would be titled Nashville Skyline. It was recorded in Nashville with a collection of Country sessions musicians. This album was meant to be a country album, it also featured at duet with Johnny Cash. The two recorded a considerable number of covers and songs together, but their version of the Bob Dylan song "Girl From the North Country" was the only one to be featured on Nashville Skyline. The album also featured Bob Dylan altering his voice into a mellow, deeper tone; It is best described as a Country Crooning voice. Nashville Skyline was successful it featured the top ten single "Lay, Lady, Lay". Dylan then appeared on Johnny Cash's TV show performing a few songs and appeared at the Isle of Wight Festival (Dylan would not really tour except for a few performances from 1968-1974). Despite the good sales, Nashville Skyline was criticized and had mixed reviews. The result of this would be apparent in Self Portrait, Bob Dylan's 1970 release. The album was a double and was a collection of folk and pop cover songs, live tracks (featuring The Band), and instrumental recordings. Bob Dylan later admitted the album as something as a joke, and something to get all the people off of his back, who were giving him labels. The album confused fans and even inspired a Rolling Stone critic to open his review of this album with "What is this shit?". Dylan's next release would be much better than the compositions on Self Portrait.

New Morning was released in 1970, four months after Self Portrait. The album featured a return to a more classic Dylan song writing style and went to #7 in the US and #1 in the UK. The album was actually recorded while Self Portrait was getting ready to be released. The album featured songs such as "If Not For You" (a song later covered by George Harrison and Olivia Newton-John), "A Day of the Locusts" inspired by an experience at Princeton University, and "Went to see the Gypsy" inspired by Dylan's first meeting with Elvis Presley. Other interesting tracks include the song "New Morning", the bluesy "One More Weekend" and "The Man in Me" a song that would later be featured in the movie The Big Lebowski; It was also covered by The Clash during the London Calling Sessions. Next Dylan would appear at the Concert for Bangladesh in 1971, write the soundtrack and appear in the movie Pat Garrett and Billy The Kid in 1972 and the album Dylan would be released; The soundtrack featured the hit single "Knockin' on Heaven's Door". Dylan would be a collection of outtakes from Self Portrait, which was released in 1973. In 1974, Bob Dylan released the album Planet Waves. The album featured The Band as his backing band and would feature the song "Forever Young". Dylan also signed a new contract around this time with Asylum a division of Geffen Records. Bob Dylan also returned to touring around this time. The tour to support Planet Waves, featured The Band and is one of the most successful tours in the history of rock music.

Blood on the Tracks came next, in 1975. The album featured a return to Bob Dylan's acoustic/folk roots; It was also inspired by his difficulties with his marriage. It also had David Zimmerman (Bob's brother) producing. Dylan also returned to Columbia Records at this time. The album would feature excellent tracks such as "A Simple Twist of Fate", "Idiot Wind", and "Tangled Up in Blue". The album went to #1 in the US and #4 in the UK. Dylan then embarked on a large on again off again tour called the Rolling Thunder Revue. During this time he also released the album Desire in 1976. The album has more of a world music feel, but features the song "Hurricane". "Hurricane" is a song over 8 minutes written about the boxer Rubin "Hurricane" Carter. The song is a song of protest dealing with the murder trial Carter went through. Carter went to jail, but was released 20 years later. Other interesting songs include "Isis", "Mozambique", "One More Cup of Coffee", and "Romance in Durango". Desire reached #1 on the US Billboard charts. A majority of the songs on Desire were co-written with Jaques Levy. Dylan then embarked on another large tour in 1976.

Assembling yet another backing band, he also appeared at The Band's farewell concert which was documented in the film, The Last Waltz. Street Legal came in 1978, it was very different than any of Dylan's previous efforts. It featured a large big band, pop sound, with lots of female backing vocals. The album was seen as disappointment when it first came out. It would later be remixed and re-released in 1999. After a tour in 1978, Bob Dylan became a born again Christian and recorded a series of religious, Christian inspired albums. Slow Train Coming came in 1979, Saved in 1980, and Shot of Love in 1981. After a trip to Israel Bob Dylan recorded the album Infidels (he did not record the album in Israel) which would be released in 1983. He then toured in 1984 (he hadn't really toured since 1978, but he did tour in 1980-1981), released a live album of that 84 tour, Real Live and would release a comprehensive boxed set tiled Biograph in 1985. Bob also released another album titled Empire Burlesque in 1985. It was a mix of dance songs and rock songs.

Knocked Out Loaded was released in 1986 and in 1988, Bob Dylan was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Bob Dylan finished off the 80's by releasing an album titled Oh Mercy in 1989. The album was produced by Daniel Lanois known for his work with Peter Gabriel and U2's Joshua Tree. Dylan met Lanois in September of 1988 when he started his Never Ending Tour. This tour was a series of shows that was on and off through out the 80's and still continues today because Bob Dylan said he refuses to be a nostalgia act. He has reworked several of his older songs for the numerous concerts he has played since this tour began. In 1991 Under The Red Sky was released. The album received poor reviews, but featured several guest musicians such as George Harrison, Slash, Elton John, Stevie Ray Vaughn, and David Crosby. After this album Dylan would not release an album of original material until 1997.

Good As I Been To You was released in 1992, it was a collection of folk cover songs. World Gone Wrong was released in 1993, it was also a collection of acoustic folk covers. In 1994 Bob Dylan appeared on MTV Unplugged and in 1997 Time Out of Mind was released. Time Out of Mind was an album produced by Daniel Lanois and was the first album of original Dylan songs since 1991's Under The Red Sky. The album generated new interest in Bob Dylan, it got three Grammy nominations, and was #10 on the US and UK charts. Prior to the release of the album (but after it was recorded, mixed, and completed) Bob Dylan was hospitalized with Pericarditis, which made him seriously ill. As a result his 1997 tour was cancelled, but Bob Dylan recovered and was healthy once again within a year. Love and Theft came in 2001. This album was actually produced by Bob Dylan himself, under the named Jack Frost. The album was another chart topper (#5 in the US, #3 in the UK), it mixed styles of rockabilly, jazz and western swing music. The album also generated a bit of controversy because some of the lyrics on the album were similar to words found in the book Confessions of a Yakuza by Junichi Saga.

In 2003, Dylan made his own film titled Masked & Anonymous. Co-written Larry Charles, the movie featured many big name actors such as John Goodman, Jeff Bridges, Penelope Cruz. In October of 2004, Bob Dylan released his own autobiography titled Chronicles Volume One. The book was not in chronological order and instead focused on different aspects of his career. He devoted chapters to his arrival to New York City in 1961, but also to albums such as New Morning (1970) and Oh Mercy (1989). The book is excellently written and I recommended it to anyone, whether you are a Bob Dylan fan or not. The book was a best seller in the Non-fiction category. Currently Bob Dylan is working on volume two of Chronicles.

In September of 2005, Martin Scorsese released No Direction Home a documentary about the music of Bob Dylan. In August of 2006, Bob Dylan released Modern Times. The album debuted at #1 on the US Billboard Charts. In 2007, I'm Not There was released, it was a movie with six different actors portraying six different aspects of Bob Dylan's career. The soundtrack to the film featured several musicians covering Bob Dylan songs such as Willie Nelson, Tom Verlaine, The Black Keys, Eddie Vedder and more. Bob Dylan also began doing a radio show in 2006 titled Theme Time Radio Hour. The show, hosted by Bob Dylan features a different theme every week, he plays different types of music such as blues, to country, folk, rock, and pop. Bob Dylan is currently working on an album based on lost Hank Williams lyrics. The album is to feature collaborations with Jack White, Norah Jones, Willie Nelson, and more.

Bob Dylan still continues his Never Ending Tour and has had numerous compilations released. His Bootleg Series are excellent collections of rare Bob Dylan material from different points of his career. Bob Dylan is a musician that has lyrically and musically tore down the borders of music and created new styles of music that still influence artists today. While my favourite period of Bob Dylan is his mid sixties period, he also has interesting albums such as New Morning, Desire, Love and Theft, and Modern Times. Bob Dylan is truly an interesting musician that you should not ignore.

Part one of my Bob Dylan radio show special and musical history can be found in my post titled Ballad of A Thin Man.

Bob Dylan Playlist:

1. Thunder on the Mountain (Modern Times 2006)
2. You're No Good (Bob Dylan 1962)
3. Drifters Escape (John Wesley Harding 1967)
4. Day of the Locusts (New Morning 1970)
5. One Too Many Mornings (The Times They Are A-Changin' 1964)
6. Girl From the North Country (Nashville Skyline 1969)
7. Million Dollar Bash (The Basement Tapes 1975)
8. You Ain't Going Nowhere (The Basement Tapes 1975)
9. Where Teardrops Fall (Oh Mercy 1989)
10. Idiot Wind (Blood On The Tracks 1975)
11. The Man in Me (New Morning 1970)
12. From a Buick 6 (Highway 61 Revisited 1965)
13. Under Control (Tree With Roots 1967)
14. Can You Please Crawl Out Your Window (Biograph 1985)
15. Baby, Let Me Follow You Down (The Bootleg Series Vol.4: Bob Dylan Live 1966)
16. Hurricane (Desire 1976)
17. New Morning (New Morning 1970)
18. I'm Not There (Tree With Roots 1967)
19. Isis (Desire 1976)

Bob Dylan Videos:

Live on The Johnny Cash Television Show (I Threw It All Away, Livin' The Blues, and Girl From North Country)
Tangled Up in Blue
Oh Sister (Live 1975 John Hammond Tribute)
A Simple Twist of Fate (Live 1975 John Hammond Tribute)
Hurricane (Live 1975 John Hammond Tibute)
Visions of Johanna (Live 1966)
Thunder on the Mountain
Someday Baby
1965 Press Conference (San Francisco)
60 Minutes Interview Part 1
60 Minutes Interview Part 2


Bart said...

Check out these hand-signed bob Dylan harmonicas!

isksp said...

Great blog you have... thanks for sharing such great albums...

and i got a new blog that maybe you'll like it (posting only old school punk), if you could visit it and give our opnion i'll apreciate


isksp said...

just added you in my favorites


neville said...

Well I tried to read your Blogg, but first of all is#t is not barierefree yellow (or green) letters on a black background. Maybe you could change this.

In your Blogg are some minor mistakes :

Bob Dylan claims to have met Jesse Fuller, but nobody could know if this is true. In the early time of his life Dylan told us numerous stories about his upbringing and traveling as a child.

I believe it is in need to use the correct names an titles

His Idol was Woody Guthrie, who not died until 1967.

The 1992 album of Blues Covers is called "Good As I Been To You".

It is untrue that Dylan did not tour between 19788 and 1984

There are various bootlegs from is riligous tours in 1980 abd 1981. And in 1983 he make a stint at the Peace Sunday.
And Infidels was not recorded in Israel.

Dave said...


Thanks for your feedback. I double checked the things you mentioned and corrected the minor errors.

I meant to imply that Bob Dylan did not tour consistently during the early 80s. You may have overlooked that point, but I made it clearer. Other than that thanks for visiting my site.