Poll

Your favourite Bob Dylan album (not necessarily 'best')

The Freewheelin'Bob Dylan
The Times They Are A-Changing
Another Side of Bob Dylan
Bringing It All Back Home
Highway 61 Revisited
Blonde on Blonde
John Wesley Harding
Nashville Skyline
Blood on the Tracks
The Basement Tapes
Desire
Street Legal
Oh Mercy
Time Out Of Mind
Love and Theft
Other
Dylan Hears A Who (an affectionate tribute to the perennial linguistic inventiveness of Dylan & Dr Seuss you must hear if you haven't)

Author Topic: Bob Dylan  (Read 13857 times)

Offline Kieren

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Re: Bob Dylan
« Reply #15 on: November 24, 2005, 01:49:27 PM »
You don't remember me????  How is this possible????? ;D ;D ;D

Offline Eke

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Re: Bob Dylan
« Reply #16 on: November 24, 2005, 06:32:02 PM »
Am I risking ostracism here by saying I've never particularly enjoyed Dylan? I watched Scorsese's documentary and found it fascinating but that's as far as it goes. I think it goes back to my college years when everyone had Live At The Budokan and I really, really hated it - almost as much as I hated Dire Straits' first album.

Adam

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Re: Bob Dylan
« Reply #17 on: November 24, 2005, 06:36:59 PM »
Adam - have you read 'Chronicles' yet?  Its got quite a long section on how he reconnected with doing live performances again and its directly connected to your observation about allowing the set to 'flow and breathe'.

I read it the week it came out  :) about a year ago and I can't think of a book of any kind that I've enjoyed more.
I remember the part you mention Kieren but I really wasn't thinking about it last night.  I was thinking about all the critics and passers by who had slated him for playing songs in a different arrangement to the one they knew from the records.  By why shouldn't he?  When you see him now, it's so obvious - you're not jolted around the decades, from style to style, the set flows naturally in a jazzy Americana mode, it suits his voice now and it allows his band to react to each other rather than behave like pop-robots.   It really works.

Am I risking ostracism here by saying I've never particularly enjoyed Dylan? I watched Scorsese's documentary and found it fascinating but that's as far as it goes. I think it goes back to my college years when everyone had Live At The Budokan and I really, really hated it - almost as much as I hated Dire Straits' first album.

Well, yes, frankly ::) though you're by no means the only one here.  Budokan is a bad record, Urpal has presented it as evidence for the prosecution already and rightly so, but there's a lot more to work with.  Funny you mention Dire straits, we were talking them about them a bit last night, we could hear a bit of Knopfler in there.  They did work together on 'Slow train coming' and maybe one of the others and it seemed a bit like he magpied the Knopfler guitar sound and kept it for himself.  Though they all nicked it from Chet Atkins anyway I expect.

Offline syd hancock

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Re: Bob Dylan
« Reply #18 on: November 24, 2005, 06:47:40 PM »
Am I risking ostracism here by saying I've never particularly enjoyed Dylan? I watched Scorsese's documentary and found it fascinating but that's as far as it goes. I think it goes back to my college years when everyone had Live At The Budokan and I really, really hated it - almost as much as I hated Dire Straits' first album.

I don't think so.  It ties in with my old theory of artists releasing a right load of twaddle in your most formative years.  Sometimes, they can't get back from that 3-0 at half-time deficit.

And I might say, Dylan released a lot of albums that were 'difficult to love' after Budokan too.  

Or shit albums.  Empire Burlesque?  Under The Red Sky? Knocked Out Loaded?  None of those (and there were more, but memory has drawn a discreet veil over them) would convert a floating voter.

Strangely, Budokan was the first Dylan album I heard, but I still persevered regardless.  Maggies Farm and Shelter From The Storm are great in nearly any form.  Haven't listened to it in 18 years though, so I guess I don't think too much of it.  The Dylan album I've always been confused by is Before The Flood.  

I always found it to be extremely dull, yet, I am assured that it is a fabulous record, highlighting the power of the Rolling Thunder revue.  Really?  What am I missing?  I think my dislike of The B(l)and doesn't help.

Uncut's This Is Americana on VH1 this week showed about 45 minutes of Dylan videos, including Political World from 89's cracking Oh Mercy album.  Do my eyes deceive me, or is Larry David's 'wife' from Curb Your Enthusiasm part of the supper club audience?
How did you turn out to be so lightweight?

Offline syd hancock

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Re: Bob Dylan
« Reply #19 on: November 24, 2005, 06:53:15 PM »
Adam,

Glad to hear he was on fine form.  I saw him at the charming and atmospheric Docklands arena a couple of years ago.  I really enjoyed him, but was mildly frustrated that I couldn't recognise half the set, mainly because the tunes were different and the singing was incomprehensible.

Despite that, he was such a compelling presence and was, at points, outstanding.  He did seem to take a while to heat up the pipes and get into a groove.  Wierd to think about Dylan and Groove, but he definately finds it from somewhere.
How did you turn out to be so lightweight?

Offline vps

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Re: Bob Dylan
« Reply #20 on: November 24, 2005, 06:54:43 PM »
Am I risking ostracism here by saying I've never particularly enjoyed Dylan? I watched Scorsese's documentary and found it fascinating but that's as far as it goes.

I'm afraid I agree with Eke. Don't hate Dylan immensely or anything, it's just that he's never really been my cup of tea (or meat, for that matter).  
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Offline Eke

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Re: Bob Dylan
« Reply #21 on: November 24, 2005, 07:16:26 PM »
So Adam, personal bias required from you here.... Which Dylan album is going to change my mind? Having scoured the other Dylan thread I'll try and find Self Portrait, as Dave rated it, and then I'll take your suggestion (or two if you like) and see how I go.

Adam

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Re: Bob Dylan
« Reply #22 on: November 25, 2005, 08:31:53 AM »
Personal bias...erm, hmmm, that might not work.  Not least because I fear responsibility ;D
Let's try this instead - one then, one now.

1965 - "Bringing it all back home" - contemporary to 'Rubber soul', 'My generation', the beginning of that run of decent Stones singles, the appearance of The Byrds; predating 'Pet sounds', 'Love' and 'Waterloo sunset' by a year.  Listen to it with that knowledge - yeah, dry and academic I know - and you'll realise how far ahead of the game he was.  And it's a wonderful collection of songs whatever the context.

2001 - "Love & theft" - the most recent record and the one that reflects how the live show now works.  You'll dig it if you have any taste for 'Americana' and, I've said this before, it really makes me laugh.  It's a funny record and, as Syd rightly says of Bob in general, it has a real groove to it.  I suspect Nick Cave has listened to this a lot.

I wouldn't really recommend 'Self portrait' until you are a good way into this.  It isn't an easy route in and I think Dave (and robweb) might have been being awkward.  Happy to be shouted down on that though, and on any of this, by any of the 50% of regulars who have their own Dylan thing going on.

Offline Eke

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Re: Bob Dylan
« Reply #23 on: November 25, 2005, 06:37:20 PM »
I got the impression from what glee said that Dave was being contrary with that one. I'll give those two a go then - no recriminations if it all goes horribly wrong I assure you.

Offline geoffm

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Re: Bob Dylan
« Reply #24 on: November 25, 2005, 07:24:33 PM »
try Blood on the Tracks Eke,from mid 70`s.Sublime
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Offline Urpal

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Re: Bob Dylan
« Reply #25 on: November 25, 2005, 07:33:34 PM »
Despite my antipathy verging on prejudice towards his bobness, I can't help liking large parts of Blonde On Blonde (although only Just Like A Woman involves me at an emotional rather than just a toe tapping or word admiring level - well, and Visions Of Johanna and I Want You too).

If it's anything to go by, Nick Cave seems from recent press to have a particular affection for Nashville Skyline and the tracklisting looks quite tempting based on cover version knowledge and knowing the more familiar tracks on it - I suspect you know the Scott Walker version of Threw It all Away, eke, which certainly suggests the possibility of grandness.

Since I am not really acquainted with much else I'm not equipped to comment further.

There seem to be samples links on this web page to get a flavour of Dylan's albums:

http://bobdylan.com/albums/
« Last Edit: November 25, 2005, 07:37:47 PM by Urpal »
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Offline Johan

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Re: Bob Dylan
« Reply #26 on: November 25, 2005, 08:30:05 PM »
Yes, for someone not familiar with his work, Blood on the Tracks is the best way to start. Tangled Up In Blue, You're A Big Girl Now, Shelter From The Storm...

Also, Desire from a year later is amazing. It was my first Dylan-album and it remains one of my favourites. Short and sweet (nearly swept me off my feet).
Best tracks: Hurricane, Isis and Black Diamond Bay.
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Offline syd hancock

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Re: Bob Dylan
« Reply #27 on: November 25, 2005, 10:06:29 PM »
Eke,

I'm with Adam.  There are as many places to start as there are to end with Bobby D.  I think Bringing It All Back Home is a great place to start; it's certainly one of the albums I returned to whenever I needed my faith in Dylan restored.

Love and Theft is, well, I think Adam's right to recommend it, but I haven't quite got there with it yet.  He's like that, Bob.  You can own the albums for years and slowly realise that you get it.  It is the kind of stuff that Uncut wet themselves over; but funny too.

I think that the one element of Dylan that gets conveniently ignored by people (like me) who like to talk about him and his music, is that he was the funniest lyricist imaginable.  In an often cynical, yet often absurdist kind of a way.g

I reckon if he can make you laugh, you could be halfway there.  If you do take to Bringing It All Back Home, the logical next album is Highway 61 Revisted.  It's just as good and in the same vein.
 


 
How did you turn out to be so lightweight?

robweb

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Re: Bob Dylan
« Reply #28 on: November 26, 2005, 12:20:32 AM »
Am I risking ostracism here by saying I've never particularly enjoyed Dylan? I watched Scorsese's documentary and found it fascinating but that's as far as it goes.

I'm afraid I agree with Eke. Don't hate Dylan immensely or anything, it's just that he's never really been my cup of tea (or meat, for that matter).  

Me too I'm afraid. I like the idea of him much more than the reality.

Adam

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Re: Bob Dylan
« Reply #29 on: November 26, 2005, 06:14:15 AM »
Eke,
... If you do take to Bringing It All Back Home, the logical next album is Highway 61 Revisted.  It's just as good and in the same vein.
 

Ah, yes, thanks Syd, these are the points I'd forgotten to make.  BIABH is a useful starting point for two reasons I didn't mention.

Much as I like 'Blood on the tracks', and I really do, it is a standalone work and it sounds like the work of an older and more weary man.  BIABH is a different thing altogether.  It genuinely sounds like a hip young gunslinger kicking over the statues and that is still something by which I reckon we can all still get excited even if only with hindsight.  'Blood on the tracks' is admirable but it isn't really exciting in the same way, it can't be, he knows too much by then.

The other, as Syd says, is that it marks the opening point of the most brilliant unmatched period of creativity in the history of this thing of ours.  BIABH, Highway 61 revisited, Blonde on blonde - all in 18 months. We'll be very lucky if we see the like again.