Category Archives: Music Calendar

June 10: Empire Burlesque by Bob Dylan was released in 1985


empire1

June 10: Empire Burlesque by Bob Dylan was released in 1985

Empire Burlesque is singer-songwriter Bob Dylan’s 23rd studio album, it was released by Columbia Records 10 June 1985. The album peaked at #33 in the US and #11 in the UK.

Allmusic (Stephen Thomas Erlewine):

“Say what you want about Empire Burlesque — at the very least, it’s the most consistent record Bob Dylan has made since Blood on the Tracks, even if it isn’t quite as interesting as Desire. However, it is a better set of songs, all deriving from the same place and filled with subtle gems — the most obvious being “Tight Connection to My Heart (Has Anybody Seen My Love?),” but also “Emotionally Yours” and “Dark Eyes” — proving that his powers are still there.”

I’ll Remember You (my favorite version from the movie Masked and Anonymous):

Bob Dylan fans and music critics continue to debate the album’s merits, especially when compared to the styles he pioneered in the 1960s and 1970s. It is one of Dylan’s most discussed albums in terms of quality, having a distinct “80s style” production to the songs. There are some really great songs on this album, but they seem hidden under the “80s sound”.

The sessions for Empire Burlesque were held in New York and Hollywood from July 1984 to April 1985.

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June 8: Bob Dylan released Self Portrait in 1970 46 years ago

 

June 8: Bob Dylan released Self Portrait in 1970

Please read our post on Bootleg Series 10: Another Self Portrait from 2013 to get some more details and a more insightful description of what it could have been.

I fuckin’ hope so, man, because it’s a great album
Ryan Adams
(in 2002, when asked if he didn’t fear burning out and ending up making albums such as “Self Portrait”)

Maybe not Bob Dylan’s proudest moment, but there are good songs on the record.

Here are our 6 best songs from the album:

  • Copper Kettle (The Pale Moonlight)
  • Days of’ 49
  • Early Mornin’ Rain
  • Let It Be Me
  • Living The Blues
  • In Search of Little Sadie
  • Like a Rolling Stone (great with the re-mastered sound!)

“Well that was a joke, that album was put out at a time I didn’t like the attention I was getting. I never did want attention. At that time I was getting the wrong kind of attention for things I hadn’t done. So we released that album to get people off my back, so they would not like me anymore, that’s the reason the album was put out, so people would stop buying my records, and they did. “ – Bob Dylan (press conference 1981, Germany)

I think he was playing tricks with the journalists, there are interviews that tells about why he released the album to pay tribute to songwriters that he liked. But he also repeated the need he had to get away from “the fandom”. Last year it got re-released with better sound, that helped a lot. The one to buy is the box-set, Bootleg series vol.10: Another Self Portrait. You get outtakes, the Isle of Wight concert and the re-mastered album.

“I said: “Well, fuck it I wish these people would just forget about me. I wanna do something they can’t possibly like, they can’t relate to. They’ll see it and they’ll listen and they’ll say: “Well let’s go on to the next person. He ain’t sayin’ it no more. He ain’t givin’ us what we want,” you know? They’ll go on to somebody else.” But the whole idea back-fired. Because the album went out there, and the people said, “This ain’t what we want”, and they got more resentful. “ – Bob Dylan (Rolling Stone Magazine, 1984)
Continue reading June 8: Bob Dylan released Self Portrait in 1970 46 years ago

June 8: Boz Scaggs covers Bob Dylan – Happy Birthday Mr. Scaggs

Boz-Scaggs

Birth name William Royce Scaggs
Born June 8, 1944 (age 72)
Canton, Ohio, United States
Genres Blue-eyed soul, rock, blues rock,soft rock, jazz rock
Occupations Singer, songwriter, guitarist
Instruments Guitar, vocals
Years active 1963–present
Labels Columbia, Atlantic, Virgin, 429 Records
Associated acts Steve Miller Band, Toto
Website BozScaggs.com

William Royce “Boz” Scaggs (born June 8, 1944) is an American singersongwriter and guitarist. He gained fame in the 1960s as a guitarist and sometime lead singer with the Steve Miller Band, and in the 1970s with several solo Top 20 hit singles in the United States, including the well-known hits “Lowdown” and “Lido Shuffle” from the critically acclaimed album Silk Degrees, which peaked at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100. Scaggs continues to write, record music and tour.

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May 30: Bob Dylan released Down In The Groove in 1988

Bob_Dylan_Down_In_The_Groove

“Bob’s bad stuff is better than other musicians’ best”

Down in the Groove is singer-songwriter Bob Dylan‘s 25th studio album, released by Columbia Records 30 May 1988. Egil here at Johannasvisions rate it as maybe Dylan’s lowest point. Me? I’m not so sure anymore…

It got pretty terrible reviews upon it’s release. Many reviewers compared it to his previous album, Knocked Out Loaded, and not in a favourable way.

Wikipedia:
“A highly collaborative effort, it was Dylan’s second consecutive album to receive almost unanimous negative reviews. Released during a period when his recording career was experiencing a slump, sales were disappointing, reaching only #61 in the US and #32 in the UK.”

How is it in hindsight? Was it unfairly slated? I think it’s better than reported and as usual Dylan’s standards were expected to be higher than anybody else’s. We cannot expect a masterpiece every time. Can we?

The album was delayed for more than six months and the track listing changed at least three times. The tracks that made the final album come from many different recording sessions spread out over a long time (six years?).

Rick Griffin Down in the Groove
Rick Griffin was asked by Dylan’s management to come up with a cover design for what was to be the ‘Down In The Groove’ album. Rick produced many designs and, apparently, became somewhat exasperated as his ideas were rejected and changed. This seems to have reflected the overall situation surrounding the album at the time (bonhams)

I’ve always thought of it as a strangely confusing album, but it gets less confusing with each listen session. It has some very good cover songs. Let’s Stick together opens the record in an energetic way, I would love to hear it live!

The comes the song I think is not very good at all, the cover When did you leave heaven. Very eighties drum sound, strange production, it just sounds a bit off, I don’t think the song suits Dylan, and it ends kind of funny.

Sally Sue Brown, the third track is another rockn’roll/soul standard that gets a good run through. I prefer Arthur Alexanders classic, but it is not bad at all.

The last three songs on the album are also cover songs (Ninety Miles an Hour (Down a dead end street), Shenandoah and Rank Strangers To Me, and they are all quite good actually.
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Eric Burdon covers Bob Dylan

bob dylan eric burdon

Like with the Animals and Baby Let Me Follow You Down, I didn’t worry none about that. I met the Animals over in New York, and we all went out and got scoused. Is that what you say? (Someone behind him suggests “sloshed”.) Oh yeah, that’s it, sloshed. Anyway, the Animals are O.K., I liked their last one, Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood, that was a good one.
~Bob Dylan (Jenny De Yong And Peter Roche Interview, Sheffield, England – April 1965)

Happy 75th Birthday Eric Burdon

Eric Victor Burdon (born 11 May 1941) is an English singer-songwriter best known as a member and vocalist of rock band the Animals and the funk band War and for his aggressive stage performance. He was ranked 57th in Rolling Stone‘s list The 100 Greatest Singers of All Time.

Here are some Bob Dylan covers:

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