Today: Bob Dylan recorded master version of “Isis” in 1975

Isis, oh, Isis, you mystical child
What drives me to you is what drives me insane
I still can remember the way that you smiled
On the fifth day of May in the drizzlin’ rain

Location: Studio E, Columbia Recording Studios – NYC

What:  5th Desire session, produced by Don DeVito.

Master versions recorded: Isis, SaraAbandoned Love

  • Isis & Sara released on Desire 16 January 1976
  • Abandoned Love released on Biograph 28 October 1985
Bob Dylan (guitar, vocal), Scarlet Rivera (violin), Sheena Seidenberg (tambourine & congas), Rob Stoner (bass), Howie Wyeth (drums).
More detalis from: Olof’s Files 
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From Wikipedia:

This song is in a moderately fast 3/4 time, in the key of B-flat major. The arrangement is based on rhythm chords played on acoustic piano, accompanied by bass, drums, and violin. The harmonic progression consists of an ostinato using the chords I-♭VII-IV-I (B♭-A♭-E♭-B♭) throughout. The lyrics are all verses; there is no chorus. The melody is in the style of a modal folk song, emphasizing the tonic and dominant notes in the scale, with leaps of a fifth in between them. The mode is Mixolydian with a major third in the harmony, but Dylan’s delivery of the melody uses a flatted third as in the blues.

The song was written and recorded during a time of separation and reunion in Dylan’s own marriage; consequently, for fans and critics the temptation to interpret it as an allegory of Dylan’s own marital difficulties is irresistible, especially since the Desire album contains the song “Sara” which is openly about their marriage and separation. Since Dylan was known to include autobiographical hints in his previous songs, this interpretation cannot be considered farfetched. “Isis” draws upon mythological themes of a male hero separating from his wife, going on adventures, and returning to the marriage, going back to the Odyssey.

Dylan did an up-tempo live version of this song with the Rolling Thunder Revue, a performance of which was included in the film Renaldo and Clara. A live Rolling Thunder version of the song was included on the compilation album Biograph, which Dylan introduces as “a song about marriage”. Coupled with the name of the album, this introduction further insinuates that the song documents Dylan’s marital tribulations.

Live from Rolling Thunder 1 – Plymouth:

Spotify playlist – Isis, Sara & Abandoned Love:

Album of the day:

Other July-31:

  • Ahmet Ertegün ( July 31, 1923 – December 14, 2006) was a Turkish American musician and businessman, best known as the founder and president of Atlantic Records, and for discovering or championing artists like Eric ClaptonPhil CollinsGenesisthe Rolling StonesLed ZeppelinCrosby, Stills, Nash, and YoungAretha FranklinRay CharlesYes, and more. He also wrote classic blues and pop songs and served as Chairman of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and museum. Ertegun has been described as “one of the most significant figures in the modern recording industry.”
  • James Travis “Jim” Reeves (August 20, 1923 – July 31, 1964) was an American country and popular music singer-songwriter. With records charting from the 1950s to the 1980s, he became well known as a practitioner of the Nashville sound (a mixture of older country-style music with elements of popular music). Known as Gentleman Jim, his songs continued to chart for years after his death. Reeves died at age 40 in the crash of a private airplane. He is a member of both the Country Music and Texas Country Music Halls of Fame.
  • Kenneth Earl “Kenny” Burrell (born July 31, 1931) is an Americanjazzguitarist. His playing is grounded in bebop and blues; he has performed and recorded with a wide range of jazz musicians.

-Egil

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