Tag Archives: best songs

August 4: Bob Dylan’s best songs – Desolation Row

bob dylan desolation row colage2

When you asked how I was doing
Was that some kind of joke?
All these people that you mention
Yes, I know them, they’re quite lame
I had to rearrange their faces
And give them all another name
~Desolation Row

Bob, where is Desolation Row?
Bob Dylan: Where? Oh, that’s someplace in Mexico. It’s across the border. It’s noted for it’s coke factory. Coca-Cola machines are… sells -… sell a lotta Coca-Cola down there.
~San Francisco Press Conference – Dec 3, 1965

Bob Dylan: As I look back on it now, I am surprised that I came up with so many of them. At the time it seemed like a natural thing to do. Now I can look back and see that I must have
written those songs “in the spirit,” you know? Like “Desolation Row” – I was just thinkin’ about that the other night. There’s no logical way that you can arrive at lyrics like that. I don’t know how it was done.
KL: It just came to you?
BD: It just came out through me.
~Bob Dylan – Kurt Loder interview, Oct 1987

 “Desolation Row” also focuses on scene, but in a more purposeful way: the images build up powerfully, propelled by the vocal and instrumental performances. The song makes a statement: this scene is important, it needs·to be paid attention to, there is a reality in this life which may not be cheerful but which, once discovered, shows everything else to be a
pose. Desolation Row” is an anthem; it proclaims and forever defines a certain place, certain state of being… ..And finally I can say about “Desolation Row” only that I am in awe of it.
~Paul Williams (Bob Dylan Performing Artist I: The Early Years 1960-1973)

What does one do the month after inventing an entirely new form of popular song? One does it again. With “Desolation Row,” Dylan manages something even he’d never pulled off before—writing a song as long as “Tam Lin” (and in that classic ballad meter) but without any such narrative thread. Instead, Dylan relies almost solely on placing familiar characters
in disturbingly unfamiliar scenarios, revealing a series of increasingly disturbing canvases. Being Dylan, he unravels no ordinary tale.
~Clinton Heylin (Revolution in the Air: The Songs of Bob Dylan, 1957-1973)

Part of the inspiration (and title) might also have come from Steinbeck’s Cannery Row (an early Dylan enthusiasm), and some of it was almost surely derived from Kerouac’s Desolation Angels. But as with Juarez, the New York that the narrator has gone back to for this final song is a city of the mind, one that encompasses all of Dylan’s Highway 61 and the terrain surrounding it, a funhouse America that is everywhere and nowhere.
~Mark Polizzotti (Bob Dylan’s Highway 61 Revisited (33 1/3))

Vime.com:

Spotify:

Continue reading August 4: Bob Dylan’s best songs – Desolation Row

Bob Dylan: His 30 best songs from 2000 – 2012 (poll results)

hop farm day three 14 010712

Back in May 2014:

We again challenge you to put together a top 10 list, or at least 10 songs (if you only provide a top 5 list, they will count as well). Songs 1-5 will receive 2 points each & 6-10 will receive 1 point.

Here is my list:

  1. Mississippi (2001)
  2. Tempest (2012)
  3. High Water (For Charley Patton) (2001)
  4. Roll On John (2012)
  5. Workingman’s Blues #2 (2006)
  6. I Feel A Change Coming On (2008)
  7. Ain’t Talkin’ (2006)
  8. Scarlet Town (2012)
  9. Po’ Boy (2001)
  10. Tin Angel (2012)

Hallgeir’s list:

1. Cross the Green Mountain
2. Mississippi
3. Ain’t Talkin’
4. Tin Angel
5. Forgetful Heart
6. Pay in Blood
7. High Water (for Charley Patton)
8. Scarlet Town
9. Workingman’s Blues #2
10. Beyond here lies nothin’


56 people voted, most of them with a top 10 list. Thanks for the input folks… this is a another GREAT list.

Here are the results of the JV community jury:

1

Mississippi (2001)

65 points

2

High Water (For Charley Patton) (2001)

56 points

3

Cross the Green Mountain (2002)

53 points

4

Workingman’s Blues #2 (2006)

48 points

5

Ain’t Talkin’ (2006)

46 points

6

Pay In Blood (2012)

35 points

7

Nettie Moore (2006)

30 points

8

Forgetful Heart (2009)

27 points

9

Scarlet Town (2012)

26 points

10

Huck’s Tune (2006)

25 points

11

Sugar Baby (2001)

24 points

12

Long & Wasted Years (2012)

23 points

13

Thunder On The Mountain (2006)

23 points

14

Tempest (2012)

21 points

15

Beyond here lies nothin’ (2009)

19 points

15

I Feel A Change Coming On (2008)

19 points

17

Lonesome Day Blues (2001)

16 points

17

Tell Ol’ Bill (2005)

16 points

17

Tin Angel (2012)

16 points

20

Po’ Boy (2001)

15 points

20

Soon After Midnight (2012)

15 points

20

When The Deal Goes Down (2006)

15 points

23

Spirit On The Water (2001)

14 points

24

Honest With Me (2001)

13 points

24

Summer Days (2001)

13 points

26

Duquesne Whistle (2012)

11 points

27

Roll On John (2012)

10 points

28

Tweedle Dum & Tweedle Dee (2001)

8 points

29

My Wife’s Hometown (2009)

6 points

29

Someday Baby (2006)

6 points

Songs with 5 or 4 points: Moonlight, Narrow Way, Cry A While, Early Roman Kings & Waiting For You

16 songs got 3 or less points.

Spotify Playlist:

Mississippi (live 2002):

Spotify:

Cross The Green Mountain:

-Egil

Bob Dylan: 31 best songs from the 1990s (poll results)





bob_dylan

Back in April 2014:

We again challenge you to put together a top 10 list, or at least 10 songs (if you only provide a top 5 list, they will count as well). Songs 1-5 will receive 2 points each & 6-10 will receive 1 point.

Here is my list:

  1. Not Dark Yet (1997)
  2. Red River Shore (1997)
  3. Standing In The Doorway (1997)
  4. Highlands (1997)
  5. Things Have Changed (1999)
  6. Love Sick (1997)
  7. Hard Times (1992)
  8. Tryin’ To Get To Heaven (1997)
  9. Can’t Wait (1997)
  10. Delia (1993)

Hallgeir’s list:

  1. Red River Shore
  2. Not Dark Yet
  3. Love Sick
  4. Cold Irons Bound
  5. Make you feel my love
  6. Standing in the doorway
  7. Can’t Wait
  8. Things Have Changed
  9. Jack-a-Roe
  10. Lone Pilgrim

Use the comments section in this post or move over to our facebook page and comment on my post there.
Now… cast your votes…

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The major issue this time was if “Mississippi” was voteable.. did it count..

I have not set any strict rules for any of these polls, and I’ve counted most songs suggested. So also with “Mississippi”.

As I’ve pointed out in the comments section & in the comments section on Facebook:

Mississippi for me is a 2000s song. Even though it was recorded first in jan 1997 (two versions from these sessions were released on TTS in 2008). The version recorded and released in 2001 is to me the best versions (by far).

If Mississippi would been part of my list, it would have been at the top. It will be on top of the next list.

38 people voted, most of them with a top 10 list. Thanks for the input folks… this is a another GREAT list.

Here are the results of the JV community jury:

1

Not Dark Yet (1997)

59 points

2

Things Have Changed (1999)

51 points

3

Red River Shore (1997)

48 points

4

Standing In The Doorway (1997)

37 points

4

Tryin’ To Get To Heaven (1997)

37 points

6

Love Sick (1997)

29 points

7

Highlands (1997)

26 points

8

Mississippi (1997)

25 points

9

Cold Irons Bound (1997)

20 points

9

Make You Feel My Love (1997)

20 points

11

Lone Pilgrim (1993)

15 points

12

Born In Time (1990)

13 points

13

Can’t Wait (1997)

12 points

14

Delia (1993)

11 points

15

Handy Dandy (1990)

8 points

15

Dreamin’ Of You (1997)

8 points

17

Blood In My Eyes (1993)

7 points

17

Arthur McBride (1992)

7 points

17

Love Henry (1993)

7 points

20

God Knows (1990)

6 points

20

Jim Jones (1992)

6 points

22

Till I Fell In Love With You

5 points

22

Tomorrow Night

5 points

22

Marchin To The City

5 points

22

Dirt Road Blues

5 points

22

Hard Times

5 points

27

Blackjack Davey

4 points

27

Under The Red Sky

4 points

27

The Lonesome River

4 points

27

Two Soliders

4 points

27

Broke Down Engine

4 points

18 songs with 3 points or less.

Spotify Playlist:

Not Dark Yet:

Standing In The Doorway – Live 2000:

-Egil

Bob Dylan: 30 best songs from the 1980s (Poll results)




bob dylan 1987

Back in April 2014 we challenged our readers:


to put together a top 10 list, or at least 10 songs (if you only provide a top 5 list, they will count as well). Songs 1-5 will receive 2 points each & 6-10 will receive 1 point.

Here was my list:

  1. Blind Willie McTell (1983) – electric version
  2. Every Grain Of Sand (1981)
  3. Brownsville Girl (1984/86)
  4. Jokerman (1983)
  5. Most Of The Time (1989)
  6. Caribbean Wind (1981) – Studio 55 version (aka – rattlesnake version)
  7. Dignity (1989) – Touched By An Angel version
  8. Series Of Dreams (1989)
  9. Shooting Star (1989)
  10. Man In The Long Black Coat (1989)

Hallgeir’s list:

  1. Blind Willie McTell
  2. Every Grain Of Sand
  3. Brownsville Girl
  4.  Jokerman
  5. Caribbean Wind
  6. The Groom’s Still Waiting At The Altar
  7. Most Of The Time
  8. Series Of Dreams
  9. Pressing On
  10. Shooting Star

 

———————————————————————————————————————————–

48 people voted, most of them with a top 10 list.… this is a another GREAT list.

Here are the results of the JV/alldylan community jury:

1

Blind Willie McTell (1983)

70 points

2

Jokerman (1983)

65 points

3

Every Grain Of Sand (1981)

59 points

4

Brownsville Girl (1984/86)

40 points

5

Most Of The Time (1989)

38 points

6

Caribbean Wind (1981)

37 points

7

Series Of Dreams (1989)

28 points

8

Ring Them Bells (1989)

27 points

9

Pressing On (1980)

25 points

10

Man In The Long Black Coat (1989)

24 points

11

Angelina (1981)

20 points

12

The Groom’s Still Waiting At The Altar (1981)

19 points

13

I and I (1983)

18 points

14

Foot Of Pride (1983)

15 points

14

Shooting Star (1989)

15 points

16

Dignity (1989)

14 points

17

Dark Eyes (1985)

13 points

18

In The Summertime (1981)

11 points

19

When The Night Comes Falling From The Sky (1985)

10 points

20

Sweetheart Like You (1983)

9 points

21

Solid Rock (1980)

8 points

22

Born In Time (1989)

7 points

22

Heart Of Mine (1981)

7 points

22

What Good Am I? (1989)

7 points

25

Everything Is Broken (1989)

6 points

25

In The Garden (1980)

6 points

25

Tweeter and the Monkey Man (1988)

6 points

28

Don’t Fall Apart on Me Tonight (1983)

5 points

28

What Can I Do For You (1980)

5 points

28

What Was It You Wanted (1989)

5 points

7 songs @ 4 points: Band Of The Hand, Covenant Woman, Emotionally Yours, License To Kill, Political World, Property of Jesus & Shot Of Love

24 songs @3 or less points.

Spotify Playlist:

Blind Willie McTell (electric):

Every Grain Of Sand:

-Egil

‘Cross the Green Mountain by Bob Dylan an analysis

‘Cross the Green Mountain by Bob Dylan

”Memories linger, sad yet sweet/And I think of the souls in heaven who we’ll meet”

‘Cross the Green Mountain was written for the soundtrack of Gods and Generals, a Civil War TV series, in this very well constructed ballad Dylan puts himself in the mind of a Civil War soldier (a dying man). I’m not sure that it was written specifically for the movie or if Dylan had written it earlier and found use for it now, it’s hard to say.  The mood is strikingly brought forward by his band, rolling along like in so many of his long and significant tunes. It is a major work of art, it deserved a better fate than to be tucked away on the bootleg series or on a TV-soundtrack!

I do not pretend to have the complete meaning to the song or found all the references Bob Dylan has used, so please enlighten me in the comments section. When I get enough new information I will update the post.

Check also out:
Analysis of Dylan’s Scarlet Town

Analysis of Pay in Blood

Analysis of Tin Angel

Continue reading ‘Cross the Green Mountain by Bob Dylan an analysis