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 Post subject: Re: Bob's Vocal Delivery
PostPosted: Wed December 6th, 2017, 23:56 GMT 
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I always get excited when I see these threads and then they inevitably devolve into sniping and attacks on personal taste.
FTR - I am not a skilled singer, I don't have any formal training, and don't consider myself an expert on any kind of musical instrument. But I know that sometimes Bob's voice is just unpleasant.

I love Bob's voice in all/most of it's incarnations.

But I don't really enjoy the wolfman-bark and up-singing featured in concerts of the 2000's. Sure, poor enunciation can occasionally be effective, but often he just mumbles through entire songs, concerts, even tours.

I got used to it, and if that's what his voice is like now - then fine.
I even began to think that it was the stress of constant touring and large stadiums that cause this wear/exhaustion.

But we see time and time again, on albums, and now in the Sinatra era, that this isn't what his voice is like now.
His voice isn't necessarily clear'er at the beginning of a tour.
This is an intentional affectation on Bob's part. But why? To what end?

I've read all the speculations: Polyps, smoking , coke... but I am legit interested in actually hearing an informed perspective.

I'm also not interested in comparing his songwriting to his vocalizing and what he's going to be remembered for more. It's all just fanboy-masterbation and dick measuring really.

I remember another thread about Bob's dramatic voice change in the early 80's. And there were some really interesting observations there. But again the thread seemed to devolve into sniping which is just tiresome.

With that being said, I'd be legitimately interested in hearing an analysis of his vocal quality from someone who actually knows.
(but with out the personal attacks etc).


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 Post subject: Re: Bob's Vocal Delivery
PostPosted: Thu December 7th, 2017, 03:35 GMT 
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No one actually knows.

I just listened to Thunder on the Mountain, NYC Nov 24 (spot recording) and it's full of expression, playfulness and life. As stated elsewhere he is in a period of consolidation, with all his vocal techniques at hand, and his instrument capable and shockingly flexible. In this sense I am reminded of 2000, and a sense of astonishment at how well he was singing. I'm not saying his voice sounds as good as it did 17 years ago, I'm not comparing them to each other but to those "other" periods in his singing history, periods where his willingness to experiment and seeming lack of regard for his audience led many to believe he was finished as a performer, a sad shell of his former greatness. Ending each line an octave higher, ending each line an octave lower, ending each line with a bark, spitting out each line as fast as possible, holding odd notes for extremely long lengths of time, shouting everything, singing everything quietly, singing whole songs on two or three notes with no variation, singing whole songs without repeating a melodic phrase...and on and on and on. Sometimes for what seems like ages. All linked by a common question among listeners: Is this man in his right mind? As though he must not realize what he sounds like or he surely wouldn't do it. But he does know, he's just 1,000% willing to move to his own beat and learn whatever he needs to learn along the way to somehow rejuvenate himself. I'm probably making it sound like those concerts were worse than they really were (I sure like lots of them) or that Dylan was more consciously following an admirable path than is probably true...and I also think some physical issues (probably including vocal surgeries) as well as drugs and drink probably played into things. And boredom, too. All in a complex interplay with the need for self-expression, and maybe wanting to get laid. I think it's ultimately the same instinct that led him to tell Ratso Sloman, upset at Blind Willie McTell being left off Infidels, that it was just an album, that it wasn't written in stone but made of plastic. What must he think of a single concert among thousands? Go to the plate and take a swing at what YOU want to do. What other way is there to approach it?


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 Post subject: Re: Bob's Vocal Delivery
PostPosted: Thu December 7th, 2017, 04:08 GMT 

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smoke wrote:
What must he think of a single concert among thousands? Go to the plate and take a swing at what YOU want to do. What other way is there to approach it?


Well, he could stay home and only perform when he really feels like it, instead of plugging away every night like it's a painful duty. Even during what's considered a good show, you can hear his attention drifting in and out. When I saw him last month, he got bored halfway through "Desolation Row" and started messing around, running up the scale for a few lines, then down again on the next. That's not exploring the words and melody, trying to find something new in the song. That's musical doodling, trying to pass the time until it's over. What's the point, exactly? I don't blame him for being tired of "Desolation Row," but why sing it at all? If he's playing to please himself, then why pander to his audience with half-assed versions of the songs they want? Why not just do a whole show of the damn standards? That's not what I'd want to see, but what do my wishes, or anyone else's, have to do with it?


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 Post subject: Re: Bob's Vocal Delivery
PostPosted: Thu December 7th, 2017, 04:14 GMT 
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I loved reading this thread especially after seeing Bob live at the end of this tour. He clearly used (as he has of late in live shows) different vocal styles (techniques? IDK?) for different songs. I used to think his voice was shot but with Shadows in the Night, I thought, "that trickster!" I do believe his voice is tied with his songwriting as his greatest gift to us. I'm sure folks here have read the Jann Wenner review of Slow Train Coming, and what he says about Dylan's voice. I like what Echo said about 1952 Vincent Black Lightning. Perfectly stated.


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 Post subject: Re: Bob's Vocal Delivery
PostPosted: Thu December 7th, 2017, 04:29 GMT 
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I prefer his Moonshiner voice. Why doesn't he ever use it?


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 Post subject: Re: Bob's Vocal Delivery
PostPosted: Mon December 11th, 2017, 22:27 GMT 
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Wow. Thank you Smoke. That's a very cool post. But I also agree with Mojofilter. Why bother?

My dream is for Dylan to stop the never ending tour and do maybe 50-100 intimate shows every year. I guess something like the Supper Club shows. Maybe 2k-3k people at most. But less if possible.

I'm not trying to dictate which songs he should sing or which voice to use, but he can't do the stadium thing anymore. (whats more, it's clear that he doesn't want to) Even in the 15k theaters it's a mess unless you're in the front few rows.

So why not just make sure that EVERYONE is in the front few rows and focus on a few really strong shows per year, rather than forcing yourself, your band, and everyone else to be bored while you run scales in the middle of D.Row.

Running scales is what rehearsal is for.

I'm being crabby and snarky, but again that's my dream situation for this phase of Bob's career. Because as it is. I probably won't go see him live again.


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 Post subject: Re: Bob's Vocal Delivery
PostPosted: Mon December 11th, 2017, 23:36 GMT 
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HunterRose wrote:
My dream is for Dylan to stop the never ending tour and do maybe 50-100 intimate shows every year. I guess something like the Supper Club shows. Maybe 2k-3k people at most. But less if possible.

Boom. It seems your wish was granted a while ago, then, Rose.
Except for the Supper Club part.


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 Post subject: Re: Bob's Vocal Delivery
PostPosted: Tue December 12th, 2017, 01:55 GMT 
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mojofilter wrote:

Well, he could stay home and only perform when he really feels like it, instead of plugging away every night like it's a painful duty. Even during what's considered a good show, you can hear his attention drifting in and out. When I saw him last month, he got bored halfway through "Desolation Row" and started messing around, running up the scale for a few lines, then down again on the next. That's not exploring the words and melody, trying to find something new in the song. That's musical doodling, trying to pass the time until it's over. What's the point, exactly? I don't blame him for being tired of "Desolation Row," but why sing it at all? If he's playing to please himself, then why pander to his audience with half-assed versions of the songs they want? Why not just do a whole show of the damn standards? That's not what I'd want to see, but what do my wishes, or anyone else's, have to do with it?



HunterRose wrote:

...focus on a few really strong shows per year, rather than forcing yourself, your band, and everyone else to be bored while you run scales in the middle of D.Row.


My opinion on that is: I don't think that's how it works. Dylan can't just put a tour's worth of inspiration into one show any more than a ball player can hit a year's worth of home runs in a single game - especially if the method of doing it is not to bat all year!!!

Des Row these days actually illustrates what I was talking about earlier fairly well. He may alight on some scale runs that displease a person here or there (or even everywhere) but he'll be off of them in a couple lines or a verse. The technique is used knowingly, and sparingly. Contrast this to 5 or 6 years ago, when scale runs would dominate Des Row from about the 2nd verse all the way to the end. On audience tapes you can practically hear the sound of bewilderment. A handful of these are so zesty/demented that I love them, but the scale of indulgence is so much greater than it is now.

Though I'm not sure it's exactly indulgence that we're really talking about when we talk about these vocal "tics" or whatever you want to call them, that term may be correct in the sense of his expecting a paying audience to go along, but (again entering a realm of sheer, unadulterated opinion) I think getting in a certain zone where the expression/release/creativity can happen (leaking out of the unconscious mind while the performer's attention may be elsewhere) is a goal that, for an improviser & performing artist like Bob Dylan, can't really be called indulgent. Especially when there are those periods of culmination where a wide variety of techniques are juggled, and their connection to the lyric content seems obvious, natural and unforced. It makes it easy to assume he was sane all along. At least that's what my ears hear.

Did you think the show as a whole was poor, mojo, or was it just an uninspired Desolation Row?


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 Post subject: Re: Bob's Vocal Delivery
PostPosted: Tue December 12th, 2017, 02:40 GMT 

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smoke wrote:

Did you think the show as a whole was poor, mojo, or was it just an uninspired Desolation Row?


It's hard to say, actually. Things like where you're seated (looking at the back of his head) or the acoustics of the hall (a hockey arena) can affect your perception more than they probably should. I thought he started off pretty strong, pretty focused, but it never seemed to go anywhere. No real highs or lows, just one song after another. And somewhere along the way my mood changed, to the point where I didn't really want to be there. I ended up leaving before the encore. It wasn't a protest or anything, I just had other places to be.


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 Post subject: Re: Bob's Vocal Delivery
PostPosted: Tue December 12th, 2017, 03:49 GMT 
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Quote:
My opinion on that is: I don't think that's how it works. Dylan can't just put a tour's worth of inspiration into one show any more than a ball player can hit a year's worth of home runs in a single game - especially if the method of doing it is not to bat all year!!!


Sorry I left a bit of information out of my rant/wish. It's not that I expect the inspiration to work like a light switch or faucet. But (and I may be way off) the grind of the tour takes it's toll on his voice and attention span.
I'm assuming there's a level of exhaustion involved. There is an argument for quality over quantity.


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 Post subject: 20 Voices +
PostPosted: Tue December 12th, 2017, 07:06 GMT 
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I'm going to try and convey my feelings about his voice in list format re his albums
and number the many different voices Dylan uses;

1962-64 - 1st voice. The Woody Guthrie voice. Dylan could sing better than he let on during this era, but was happy
to ape Guthrie.

1965-66 - 2nd & 3rd voices, the thinner higher pitched voice from 'Bringing It All Back Home' & 'Highway 61 Revisited would be his second voice. The third voice was the lower, more mannered vocal delivery on 'Blonde On Blonde'

1967 - 4th & 5th voices. The summer sessions at the big pink allowed Dylan to explore different ways to deliver
his voice and technically he probably used many dozens of vocal styles during those basement tapes,
but if we think of 'Tears Of Rage' and 'This Wheels On Fire' that's what i'd refer to as his 4th voice. 5th voice was on the amazing JWH album. He wasn't straining as much as he'd been doing, and he combined a little gruffness to that voice.

1968 - His ''affected'' country croon. His 6th voice. This style of singing allowed him a smoother more radio
friendly vocal, and proved that he was the master of his own voice, even if he told a fib by saying the radical
change was due to stopping smoking.

1969 - 5th & 6th mixed. A great example was his take on 'The Boxer' from Self Portrait.

1970 - 7th Voice. New Morning. Dylan seems to be putting a gruffer take on the voice we hear on John Wesley Harding.
Also, in places, it does sound to me like he might have had a cold, but i have no proof of that.

1973 - 8th Voice. Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid. Some would say there was no major change, but upon hearing
the clear, mournful 'Knockin on heavens door' proved that Dylan could shrug the gruffer edge from his voice.
And on the takes of Billy, he seems to be mixing the styles learnt from the big pink with New Morning.

1974 - His first really accomplished vocal style and his 9th voice. Here he uses the JWH and New Morning
sounds but fuses it with i guess what we'd call more conventional singing. He also introduced ''throwing''
his voice on this album. I don't mean shouting, or up-singing, but he on occasion would start at the low
note of a scale then use the emotion of the tracks to go to the higher note of the scale, or at least the higher
note within his range, For example, a low 'E' on Dirge, to an octave up in the higher 'E'.
[that was an example only i don't know what key 'Dirge' was recorded in]

1975 - His 10th voice. Although his 10th was only a mixture of the 3 proceeding albums Dylan injected so much
more emotional range within the BOTT album thus taking him to new paths vocally.

1976 - 11th voice on Desire. His final voice before he began to try and professionally sing like say, Neil Diamond did.
On 'Desire' he shook off the rust and really pushed his then untrained voice to be able to pull off songs like
'One More Cup Of Coffee' etc.

1977 - 12th Voice Street Legal. Somewhere between Desire and the last waltz Dylan had studied ''singers''.
Sinatra, and the afore mentioned Neil Diamond. He wasn't trying to sound like those singers, but he WAS
for the first time attempting to professionally sing. Some say he lost something vocally between 'Desire'
and 'Street Legal', and to those, i'd say have a listen to the first US leg of the 1978 tour. Dylan was now
singing in a way that freed him of his 'blonde on blonde' persona. It's also worth noting how differently
he sounded on Street Legal with backing singers than the New Morning album which also featured backing singers.

1979 - 13th Voice. Mark Knopfler isn't noted for his singing abilities, but what he did do was sing in a low
key, almost monotone, and this was not lost on Dylan. Aside from a few songs where Dylan pushed his voice
as he had in '78, Dylan sang close to a mic that was picking up even a whispery vocal, allowing Dylan to
get the voice we hear on songs like 'Gotta Serve Somebody', 'Man Gave Names...' etc. I've always thought
it odd that Dylan won a grammy for best male vocal that year, but alas he did. On ''I Believe In You'' Dylan
mixed his 13th voice with the 12th Street Legal voice to great effect, but for the purposes of keeping the
count as simple as possible i'm saying the Slow Train album was his 13th voice.

1980 - Back to the 12th Street Legal voice. Not as laid back as on Slow Train but still phrasing in what we'd
associate with a more professional voice. During his live shows in 79/80 and to a greater extent 1981
(Avignon i'm looking at you) Dylan transcended anything he'd done before with his singing either on record
or album, and as much as i'd like to say this was his 14th voice, he never committed this brilliance to record.

1981 - 12th voice again but this time on Shot of Love. I've heard it said his vocals on this album were
poor in comparison to the two previous records, and on that note i have no opinion, i just hear Dylan
using his Street Legal voice, but starting to have a nasal tone, but not by much.

1983 - Infidels 14th voice. An interesting development happened here. We got some of that gruffer sound,
mixed with the professional sound of Street Legal, but Dylan also introduced a slightly shouty element and
using harsh emotional sounds on tracks like 'I And I' & 'Foot Of Pride' making
(in terms of studio albums) a new style for him.

1985 - 15th Voice. High pitched pinched sounding vocal on Empire Burlesque. I have to assume this was
by design because a year later his live shows sometimes had this sound, and often not.
This is perhaps my least favourite of Dylan's many voices.

1986 - 16th voice Knocked Out Loaded. Some may say he's singing just the same as he did on Empire Burlesque,
but he isn't, he's certainly singing in a higher pitch as he did on the prior album, but here he has total
control of how he chooses to handle a vocal, and nowhere is this more apparent than on 'Brownsville Girl'.
Now if you are one of those who still think Dylan wasn't singing differently on KOL listen again to any
of the many ballads on Empire Burlesque & then compare it to 'Under Your Spell', which in my opinion
(and that's all this entire post is) isn't pinched sounding and infuses so much more emotion into the song.

1988 - 16th/17th voices. On the older recorded tracks Dylan's voice still sounds how it did on KOL
but on Down in the groove Dylan's voice has dropped in tone ever so slightly, but this was nothing
compared to what came next.

1988 - 18th Voice. According to studio logs, Dylan was recording Silvio in the same month he was
laying down the vocal for 'Tweeter And The Monkey Man', and the difference is very apparent.
The Wilburys record had Dylan's voice gaining that husk he had on New Morning but added to
that an almost cracked sounding voice. I used to think that it was just Dylan ageing, but i firmly
believe that his 18th voice was affected. How else would the voice sound so different in the same
month when doing sessions for two different albums.

1989 & Beyond 19th, 20th etc
On and after Oh Mercy Dylan utalized that cracked husky voice we first heard properly on the first
Wilbury's album. His voice on under a red sky was even more cracked than the voice of the two
previous records. From this point on i believe Dylan had less control over his voices due to ware
and tare and ageing.

If anyone's actually read all the above i'd love to know if you think i'm talking rubbish or if
you agree in whole or part. Btw great post by the OP.


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 Post subject: Re: Bob's Vocal Delivery
PostPosted: Wed December 13th, 2017, 08:48 GMT 

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I agree with almost all of the above, however the big mystery is always going to be: what happened in '78? Prior to that year, yes Dylan's voice certainly varied/evolved, but there was a consistent sound to it that was recognisably his. Yes, in '78, he may have been studying singers, but the whole timbre of his voice changes. What follows after '78 are variations on the '78 voice, higher pitched, more nasal, more of a thin sound overall. At it's best (1981) the voice is still remarkably flexible, at its worst (the low points of 1987) its beyond parody.
Now you could say all singers voices change over time, but Dylan's is a dramatic change. Van Morrison in 2017 doesn't have the vocal range he had twenty/thirty years ago but his voice is still in remarkably good shape. You could say the same for artists like Neil Young, Paul McCartney, Mick Jagger, Springsteen, all peers from the 60s/70s, to a greater, or lesser extent. You can't make the same claim for post-NET Dylan, with one exception: 1988, when, for reasons unknown, Dylan almost reclaimed his 1974 singing style.
After '89, as you point out, there's another dramatic change. From then, it's swings and roundabouts in terms of Dylan's vocal delivery, but I think it's fair to say, even though there are excellent performances throughout the NET, it was never as flexible as it was up until 1984, parts of 1986. It's certainly the end of what could be considered 'conventional' singing on Dylan's part.


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 Post subject: Re: Bob's Vocal Delivery
PostPosted: Wed December 13th, 2017, 13:31 GMT 
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Bob's Vocal Delivery

Second to none, he is.


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 Post subject: Re: Bob's Vocal Delivery
PostPosted: Wed December 13th, 2017, 14:58 GMT 

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It's been noted that Dylan's voice --or rather the voice in which he chose to sing--changed appreciably after 1961. Listen to the sweet voice of Lang a'Growing, 1913 Massacre and This Land is your Land from the Carnegie Chapter Hall concert. We don't hear that voice again until maybe Nashville Skyline and Self Portrait.


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 Post subject: Re: Bob's Vocal Delivery
PostPosted: Thu December 14th, 2017, 02:06 GMT 
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This was posted by a certain Runicen on the Steve Hoffman forum, in a thread about the artist formerly known hERe as P*** C******:

Not sure if this is entirely relevant, but his autobiography makes it sound like he made frequent use of steroid shots and the like to be able to sing during his heyday. Some of those "treatments" are why he's had so much trouble with his neck and back in recent years. Point being, I've heard plenty of horror stories about those treatment options shredding the voice by bypassing the body's natural healing mechanisms, causing more damage in the process.

I wonder if Dylan had some of those same experiences out on the highway.


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 Post subject: Re: Bob's Vocal Delivery
PostPosted: Thu December 14th, 2017, 09:10 GMT 

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Dylan has a very unusual approach of performing. He is very good yes - but he also allows himself to be very bad in front of an audience.
Normally if you think about a great singer, musician, actor, or sportsman it's someone who is good most of the time. Everyone can make a mistake now and then, and every day can't be the best, but you don't expect a great actor to lose focus in a middle of a play and behave strange for many minutes just to get the inspiration back. I'm sure most actors, musicians or sportsman can lose focus, and have techniques to get the focus back, but these techniques are not allowed to ruin the play. I'm also sure that many artists need to spend hours before a show to get the focus right and be able to deliver. But they do it in advance - not in front of the audience. Part of the thing about being good at something is to have a high low standard.
I have not listened to that many bootlegs, I'm mostly an album man, but have Bob always been like this? If I, for example, listen to Hard Rain, Live 66 or the gospel shows I've heard, then my main impression is of a man with an almost extreme focus. When I read the discussion here, it seems like we are almost talking about a child performing, someone who we can't expect to keep focus for two hours. Strange!


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 Post subject: Re: Bob's Vocal Delivery
PostPosted: Thu December 14th, 2017, 15:26 GMT 

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LillaTrollet wrote:
I have not listened to that many bootlegs, I'm mostly an album man, but have Bob always been like this? If I, for example, listen to Hard Rain, Live 66 or the gospel shows I've heard, then my main impression is of a man with an almost extreme focus. When I read the discussion here, it seems like we are almost talking about a child performing, someone who we can't expect to keep focus for two hours. Strange!


I think what Dylan achieved in his best song and dance man years, 63-66 and 75-6 and maybe 79-80 was achieved by an extraordinary level of intensity, rarely if ever matched by the competition. To me the RTR performances give the impression of being right in the zone. Isn't it a common view that some of Dylan's best concert performances of his best songs were superior to the recorded versions of the same songs? Maybe LARS is the great counter-example where the magic happened in the studio.

What happened in 78? Quite apart from the passage of time, moving into the bulk market like that (64 concerts) makes it far more difficult to maintain that level of intensity. Indeed don't the arrangements of the songs amount to a deliberate lowering of the level of engagement between singer and song? And anyone's voice will suffer from that level of use, probably the point about steroids comes in here. Same again in '84--- stadium rock makes that level of intensity impossible.


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 Post subject: Re: Bob's Vocal Delivery
PostPosted: Thu December 14th, 2017, 16:43 GMT 
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tyke wrote:
LillaTrollet wrote:
I have not listened to that many bootlegs, I'm mostly an album man, but have Bob always been like this? If I, for example, listen to Hard Rain, Live 66 or the gospel shows I've heard, then my main impression is of a man with an almost extreme focus. When I read the discussion here, it seems like we are almost talking about a child performing, someone who we can't expect to keep focus for two hours. Strange!


I think what Dylan achieved in his best song and dance man years, 63-66 and 75-6 and maybe 79-80 was achieved by an extraordinary level of intensity, rarely if ever matched by the competition. To me the RTR performances give the impression of being right in the zone. Isn't it a common view that some of Dylan's best concert performances of his best songs were superior to the recorded versions of the same songs? Maybe LARS is the great counter-example where the magic happened in the studio.

What happened in 78? Quite apart from the passage of time, moving into the bulk market like that (64 concerts) makes it far more difficult to maintain that level of intensity. Indeed don't the arrangements of the songs amount to a deliberate lowering of the level of engagement between singer and song? And anyone's voice will suffer from that level of use, probably the point about steroids comes in here. Same again in '84--- stadium rock makes that level of intensity impossible.


With regard to '78...Dylan's shout-singing style of RTR, where most songs are hollered out at at 100% intensity no doubt made for incredibly compelling performances but most likely wrought havoc on his vocal cords. It's the kind of singing that voice teachers warn you to stay away from if you don't want to damage your cords. AND the effect of cocaine drip (when the powder combines with the mucus from the nasal passages and drips down to the back of the throat) is to swell the cords, making them raspier and more prone to injury. So while we can't be sure, the effects of his singing style in 1975-76 combined with the coke usage made that tour a likely candidate for the damaged voice that would appear after it.


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 Post subject: Re: Bob's Vocal Delivery
PostPosted: Fri December 15th, 2017, 08:56 GMT 

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I must be the only person in the world who doesn't hear this alleged deterioration in 1978. To me the vocals sound just fine, both live and in studio; in fact, they are some of his most expressive, flexible vocals.

Pick any year after '81 and I can hear distinct loss. Nothing at all like that before then.


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 Post subject: Re: Bob's Vocal Delivery
PostPosted: Fri December 15th, 2017, 10:05 GMT 

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Foggy wrote:
I must be the only person in the world who doesn't hear this alleged deterioration in 1978. To me the vocals sound just fine, both live and in studio; in fact, they are some of his most expressive, flexible vocals.

Pick any year after '81 and I can hear distinct loss. Nothing at all like that before then.
I agree. Nothing wrong with '78 at all.


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 Post subject: Re: Bob's Vocal Delivery
PostPosted: Fri December 15th, 2017, 10:20 GMT 

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LillaTrollet wrote:
Dylan has a very unusual approach of performing. He is very good yes - but he also allows himself to be very bad in front of an audience.
Normally if you think about a great singer, musician, actor, or sportsman it's someone who is good most of the time. Everyone can make a mistake now and then, and every day can't be the best, but you don't expect a great actor to lose focus in a middle of a play and behave strange for many minutes just to get the inspiration back. I'm sure most actors, musicians or sportsman can lose focus, and have techniques to get the focus back, but these techniques are not allowed to ruin the play. I'm also sure that many artists need to spend hours before a show to get the focus right and be able to deliver. But they do it in advance - not in front of the audience. Part of the thing about being good at something is to have a high low standard.
I have not listened to that many bootlegs, I'm mostly an album man, but have Bob always been like this? If I, for example, listen to Hard Rain, Live 66 or the gospel shows I've heard, then my main impression is of a man with an almost extreme focus. When I read the discussion here, it seems like we are almost talking about a child performing, someone who we can't expect to keep focus for two hours. Strange!


I think this is due to the sheer scale of the Never Ending Tour. Looking back at Bob's pre-NET touring, his tours were generally much shorter than they are now, and were usually followed by long breaks (the entire Rolling Thunder Revue, for example, only contained 57 shows). This would make it easier for him to be fully engaged for every song, every night. With the NET, however, which currently sees Bob playing around 80 shows each and every year, he must be constantly aware of the need to conserve his energy, especially as he gets older. I think that the current set actually caters for this; the first three songs allow Bob to warm-up, and then there are 'rest songs' peppered throughout the show in between the big 'centrepiece' songs. It's an unconventional approach, but it's probably the only way of maintaining such a heavy touring schedule.


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 Post subject: Re: Bob's Vocal Delivery
PostPosted: Fri December 15th, 2017, 16:21 GMT 
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Location: Madly Across the Sun
mjmooney wrote:
Foggy wrote:
I must be the only person in the world who doesn't hear this alleged deterioration in 1978. To me the vocals sound just fine, both live and in studio; in fact, they are some of his most expressive, flexible vocals.

Pick any year after '81 and I can hear distinct loss. Nothing at all like that before then.
I agree. Nothing wrong with '78 at all.


IF YOU CAN'T HEAR THE DROP IN VOCAL QUALITY BETWEEN DESIRE AND STREET-LEGAL, WHY DO YOU EVEN COME HERE???


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 Post subject: Re: Bob's Vocal Delivery
PostPosted: Fri December 15th, 2017, 23:45 GMT 

Joined: Sat October 4th, 2014, 21:25 GMT
Posts: 46
yopietro wrote:

IF YOU CAN'T HEAR THE DROP IN VOCAL QUALITY BETWEEN DESIRE AND STREET-LEGAL, WHY DO YOU EVEN COME HERE???

Perhaps they come here out of boredom.

I hear a drop between Pretty Saro and The Boxer. Or is it a lift between The Boxer and Pretty Saro? I don't know the recording dates, and I am not bored enough to look for them.


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