More Bob Dylan on the Brain


“Oh, the tree of life is growing
Where the spirit never dies
And the bright light of salvation shines
In dark and empty skies

When the cities are on fire
With the burning flesh of men
Just remember that death is not the end
And you search in vain to find
Just one law-abiding citizen
Just remember that death is not the end
Not the end, not the end
Just remember that death is not the end” (Bob Dylan)

I’m still on my Bob Dylan kick. By now, I’ve listened to all my Dylan CDs up to Oh Mercy, the Daniel Lanois-produced 1989 album that marked a sort of artistic comeback for him in the eyes of many.

I also know most people consider this a low point in Dylan’s career. If you go to or any other music site, you’ll find that most people revile such albums of his as Empire Burlesque, Knocked Out Loaded, and Down in the Groove.

I don’t think they’re bad albums. I have to admit the songs aren’t quite up to the standards of his amazing output in the 60’s, but I think that if these albums had anybody else’s name on them, they might be looked at differently. I also think that part of the problem is that the CDs are poorly mixed (in this writer’s opinion) and Bob’s vocals get buried in the accompaniments sometimes. I definitely think remastering these albums would help immensely.

But I also think that many of these songs, although they are good, aren’t just that memorable. They don’t linger in my mind like “Blowin’ in the Wind” or “My Back Pages” do.

I’d say that there is still a fair amount of spirituality in these albums. It’s not so overtly stated as in his Christian albums, but it’s there for those who know what to listen for.

Oh Mercy is probably my favorite album he did in the 80’s, largely in part to one Mr. Lanois who knew what he was doing when he produced this album.

I still have eight albums to go. I also must confess that I don’t own every single album of his (gasp!) I’m actually missing albums entitled Self-Portrait, Dylan (not the one with the red cover), one or two live albums, and the newest release– Strangers in the Night, an album of standards made famous by Frank Sinatra and others.

More to come later. Stay tuned.




3 thoughts on “More Bob Dylan on the Brain

  1. I wouldn’t be too concerned about not owning live albums of his – I saw him live and concluded that Bob Dylan is best enjoyed from his albums….. getting drowned by his accompaniments is something I’ve always noticed with Bob Dylan….. 😉

  2. I’m enjoying your material on Bob Dylan. Oh Mercy is such a great album. I’m not sure how much of the Bootleg material you’ve listened to. I like it all but I’ve been particularly fond of Another Self-Portrait.

    Bob Dylan Live — so many different opinions. We saw him in Minneapolis recently and thought it was fantastic.

    Thanks for your posts.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s