Category Archives: Bob Dylans’s best songs

March 23, 1989 Bob Dylan Recorded “Series of Dreams”





bob dylan series_of_dreams

Dreams can tell us a lot about ourselves, if we can remember them. We can see what’s coming around the corner sometimes without actually going to the corner..
~Bob Dylan (to Bill Flanagan in 2009)

“Series of Dreams” is a major Dylan song and an important statement.
~Paul Williams (Bob Dylan: Performing Artist Volume 3: Mind Out Of Time 1986 And Beyond)

#62 on my list of Dylan’s 200 best songs. First recorded on March 23, 1989 during the recording sessions for Oh Mercy. It was overdubbed and first released in 1991 as the final song on “The Bootleg Series 1-3”. It is a great haunting song.. with fascinating lyrics.

1991 version:

Continue reading March 23, 1989 Bob Dylan Recorded “Series of Dreams”

Bob Dylan’s best songs: Can’t Wait





bob dylan time out 1997

I can’t wait, wait for you to change your mind
It’s late, I’m trying to walk the line
Well, it’s way past midnight and there are people all around
Some on their way up, some on their way down
The air burns and I’m trying to think straight
And I don’t know how much longer I can wait

…the version [of Can’t Wait] he finally went with on Time Out of Mind makes a pig’s ear out of a prize-winning sow.
~Clinton Heylin (Still on the Road: The Songs of Bob Dylan Vol. 2, . 1974-2008)

…one day Bob comes in, sits at the piano, and plays this song, ‘Can’t Wait’. And this is a gospel version. Tony starts playing this real sexy groove with him, and Bob is hammering out this gospel piano and really singing. The hair on my arms went up. It was stunning. Luckily, I was recording. We were thinking, ‘If this is going to be anything like this, this record is going to be unbelievable.’
~Mark Howard (Engineer on Time Out Of Mind) about the early version – “Oxnard version”


Time out of mind version:

Continue reading Bob Dylan’s best songs: Can’t Wait

Bob Dylan’s best songs: I’ll Keep It with Mine





You will search, babe
At any cost
But how long, babe
Can you search for what’s not lost?
Everybody will help you
Some people are very kind
But if I can save you any time
Come on, give it to me
I’ll keep it with mine

“I’ll Keep It with Mine,”·a heartbreakingly lovely solo performance on piano and harmonica, did turn up on Biograph, after sitting in the vault for twenty years. How can Dylan record something so beautiful and then let it remain unreleased? This is a question that gets asked again and again, which is why so many ,people collect Dylan tapes or buy boodeg (illegal, unauthorized) Dylan albums.
~Paul Williams (Bob Dylan Performing Artist I: The Early Years 1960-1973)

And what an exquisite song it is. Author Paul Cable once described “I’ll Keep It with Mine” as “possibly the best thing he had written up to that point . . . [while] the lyrics form the least patronizing way I have yet heard of saying, ‘I’m older than you—therefore I know better.’” In just three verses, bound to a three-line refrain, Dylan manages to encapsulate so much of what he had been hoping to say in the trio of songs to Suze. In her case, though, he hadn’t got beyond his tangled feelings long enough to whisper words like, “If I can save you any time / Come on, give it to me / I’ll keep it with mine.”
-Clinton Heylin (Revolution in the Air: The Songs of Bob Dylan, 1957-1973)

Continue reading Bob Dylan’s best songs: I’ll Keep It with Mine

Bob Dylan’s best songs: I Believe In You





bob dylan bw

They ask me how I feel
And if my love is real
And how I know I’ll make it through
They look at me and frown
They live to drive me from this town
They don’t want me around
‘Cause I believe in you.

Here was something he had spent his life dealing with – rejection. But rather than believing in himself and his own judgement in the face of such hostility, he believed in Him. And how. Fusing blues commonplaces like ‘walk out on my own I A thousand miles from home … don’t mind the pain I Don’t mind the driving rain’ to express the kind of treatment meted out to many an accidental martyr, he insists such belief cannot be shaken – not even ‘if white turn to black’. At song’s end, though ‘friends forsake’ him, he knows he ‘will sustain’.
~Clinton Heylin (Still on the Road: The Songs of Bob Dylan Vol. 2, . 1974-2008)

Continue reading Bob Dylan’s best songs: I Believe In You

Bob Dylan: The Gospel Years, Part 4 – Best Song 1979 “Slow Train”





Sometimes I feel so low-down and disgusted
Can’t help but wonder what’s happenin’ to my companions
Are they lost or are they found?
Have they counted the cost it’ll take to bring down
All their earthly principles they’re gonna have to abandon?
There’s a slow, slow train comin’ up around the bend

If I could keep only one performance from the Slow Train Coming album, it would have to be the title song, “Slow Train,” much as I love to listen to “Precious Angel,” much as I am in awe of Dylan’s vocal performance on all of “When He Returns” and pieces of “I Believe in You.” But “Slow Train” is it, the white-hot core of the album, the one track that can and must be listened to again and again and again, inexhaustible, essential.
-Paul Williams (Bob Dylan: Performing Artist, Vol 2: The Middle Years 1974-1986)

Previous posts in this series:

..nothing less than Dylan’s most mature and profound song about America.
– Jann Wenner (Rolling Stone Magazine)

Slow Train:

Continue reading Bob Dylan: The Gospel Years, Part 4 – Best Song 1979 “Slow Train”