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PostPosted: Tue November 17th, 2009, 04:52 GMT 

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One of a favorites of The MEZ. What is not to like about this classic? Anyone have any defintive versions, in their estimations, to note for others here. There are so many to choose from! comments, posts, dates etc etc. MEZ


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PostPosted: Tue November 17th, 2009, 07:05 GMT 
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Location: Maybe it isn't a tour, maybe he's just lost.
The Live 66 version of that never ceases to astonish me. Those people were hearing it for the first time - there's absolutely no little burst of recognition applause at the start. What could they have thought as that song washed over them? And how can he remember all those words and be THAT high at the same time?

The pleasure in the song for me is in the tension created in each verse as you wait to find out if he can keep up the rhymes. And he's so loose within a pretty tight structure, stretching and bending lines, playing with syllable count but always keeping that 3-4-2 structure:

Ain't it just like the night to play tricks when you're tryin' to be so quiet?
We sit here stranded, though we're all doin' our best to deny it
And Louise holds a handful of rain, temptin' you to defy it
Lights flicker from the opposite loft
In this room the heat pipes just cough
The country music station plays soft
But there's nothing, really nothing to turn off
Just Louise and her lover so entwined
And these visions of Johanna that conquer my mind.


"Quiet" "deny it" "defy it" followed by "loft" "cough" "soft" "off" followed by "entwined" and "my mind." Three, four and two.

In the empty lot where the ladies play blindman's bluff with the key chain
And the all-night girls they whisper of escapades out on the "D" train
We can hear the night watchman click his flashlight
Ask himself if it's him or them that's really insane
Louise, she's all right, she's just near
She's delicate and seems like the mirror
But she just makes it all too concise and too clear
That Johanna's not here
The ghost of 'lectricity howls in the bones of her face
Where these visions of Johanna have now taken my place

Now, little boy lost, he takes himself so seriously
He brags of his misery, he likes to live dangerously
And when bringing her name up
He speaks of a farewell kiss to me
He's sure got a lotta gall to be so useless and all
Muttering small talk at the wall while I'm in the hall
How can I explain?
Oh, it's so hard to get on
And these visions of Johanna, they kept me up past the dawn


And so on. Even if you're not consciously counting, the rhythm sinks in and you expect it. When he drags out a line, suggesting he's going to abandon the structure, it's downright riveting.


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PostPosted: Tue November 17th, 2009, 07:57 GMT 

Joined: Thu August 30th, 2007, 22:44 GMT
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There have been many great performances over the years, but this is one of my favorites if only because of Bucky Baxter's pedal steel riff and the stellar soundboard quality of the recording. This was the first performance of the song after almost two years out of rotation. It was among the performances released for download through the official site a long time ago, but this is a better quality lossless version obtained from a boot.

1999-02-25 Portland, ME (FLAC):
http://www.sendspace.com/file/k33qux


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PostPosted: Tue November 17th, 2009, 12:56 GMT 

Joined: Wed July 30th, 2008, 01:43 GMT
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Location: on the scene missing
Long Johnny wrote:
The Live 66 version of that never ceases to astonish me. Those people were hearing it for the first time - there's absolutely no little burst of recognition applause at the start. What could they have thought as that song washed over them? And how can he remember all those words and be THAT high at the same time?

The pleasure in the song for me is in the tension created in each verse as you wait to find out if he can keep up the rhymes. And he's so loose within a pretty tight structure, stretching and bending lines, playing with syllable count but always keeping that 3-4-2 structure:

Ain't it just like the night to play tricks when you're tryin' to be so quiet?
We sit here stranded, though we're all doin' our best to deny it
And Louise holds a handful of rain, temptin' you to defy it
Lights flicker from the opposite loft
In this room the heat pipes just cough
The country music station plays soft
But there's nothing, really nothing to turn off
Just Louise and her lover so entwined
And these visions of Johanna that conquer my mind.


"Quiet" "deny it" "defy it" followed by "loft" "cough" "soft" "off" followed by "entwined" and "my mind." Three, four and two.

In the empty lot where the ladies play blindman's bluff with the key chain
And the all-night girls they whisper of escapades out on the "D" train
We can hear the night watchman click his flashlight
Ask himself if it's him or them that's really insane
Louise, she's all right, she's just near
She's delicate and seems like the mirror
But she just makes it all too concise and too clear
That Johanna's not here
The ghost of 'lectricity howls in the bones of her face
Where these visions of Johanna have now taken my place

Now, little boy lost, he takes himself so seriously
He brags of his misery, he likes to live dangerously
And when bringing her name up
He speaks of a farewell kiss to me
He's sure got a lotta gall to be so useless and all
Muttering small talk at the wall while I'm in the hall
How can I explain?
Oh, it's so hard to get on
And these visions of Johanna, they kept me up past the dawn


And so on. Even if you're not consciously counting, the rhythm sinks in and you expect it. When he drags out a line, suggesting he's going to abandon the structure, it's downright riveting.


Except of course, as I'm sure you know, in the last verse where he does abandon the structure and goes 3 - 7 - 2.


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PostPosted: Tue November 17th, 2009, 13:41 GMT 
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A great song, I always prefer the live '66 version to the album version though, his BoB vocal is strong but the Band don't add much for me and Dylan performs the song better when he's alone on guitar and harp in complete control of the music.


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PostPosted: Tue November 17th, 2009, 13:56 GMT 
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My favorite performances are from 2001 and 2002.


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PostPosted: Tue November 17th, 2009, 15:26 GMT 

Joined: Fri March 6th, 2009, 01:56 GMT
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The Mighty Monkey Of Mim wrote:
There have been many great performances over the years, but this is one of my favorites if only because of Bucky Baxter's pedal steel riff and the stellar soundboard quality of the recording. This was the first performance of the song after almost two years out of rotation. It was among the performances released for download through the official site a long time ago, but this is a better quality lossless version obtained from a boot.

1999-02-25 Portland, ME (FLAC):
http://www.sendspace.com/file/k33qux



THANK YOU for the Flac of my favourite VOJ performance of the 90's. I only had a low quality MP3 before.

As for the 00s, you could do a lot worse than Rochester 04 or Dublin 05.


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PostPosted: Tue November 17th, 2009, 15:34 GMT 

Joined: Mon July 6th, 2009, 21:29 GMT
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Long Johnny wrote:
And how can he remember all those words and be THAT high at the same time?


Long Johnny, master of the Dylan cliché.


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PostPosted: Tue November 17th, 2009, 17:19 GMT 
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CShoe wrote:
Long Johnny wrote:
And how can he remember all those words and be THAT high at the same time?


Long Johnny, master of the Dylan cliché.


CShoe, just run of the mill Dylan masturbater. :lol:


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PostPosted: Tue November 17th, 2009, 18:00 GMT 

Joined: Mon July 6th, 2009, 21:29 GMT
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Did Warren write that one for you?


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PostPosted: Tue November 17th, 2009, 18:10 GMT 
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Location: Maybe it isn't a tour, maybe he's just lost.
You know, I began by looking for your post on the topic since I was certain it would be little more than a series of linked cliches on par with "you could put someone's eye out with that" and "the children are the hope for the future." But I realized that you didn't actually have anything to say about the song being discussed. So I looked a bit more and guess what I discovered?

You almost never have anything to say that contributes to an actual discussion. :shock:

Instead, I find that you're a crank (a sub-par curmudgeon) which, from what I can tell, is the same thing as an adolescent troll (troll + acne).

Realizing this, and that life is indeed brief, I've added you to my list of people whose posts automatically get removed before i can read them. I regret that I won't be able to see the fantastically witty and urbane comeback you will undoubtedly post here, but what can I say.

You sir, are nothing but a useless jag-off. Bye. :)


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PostPosted: Tue November 17th, 2009, 18:31 GMT 

Joined: Mon July 6th, 2009, 21:29 GMT
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A guy who posts 27 times a day here--mostly stuff like the above "Dylan masturbator" (?) comment--is concerned about the brevity of life, and the notion of wasting it?

If I may:

:shock: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

I guess the 26 "useless jag-off" posts he makes per day are justified by the one sprawling, pontificating screed he usually manages to produce--you know, the one that's wholly reliant on the most banal cultural clichés and tropes you can imagine, padded with quotes from people who actually have something original to say? Everybody always loves those.


As far as the song goes, the live versions from 1966, as great as they are, can't top the album version. It's a sloppy mess, but it's friggin glorious.

The only thing I'm not crazy about is the mention of harmonicas--too self-referential, a drop of hokey at the worst possible moment (the song's climax). I guess it wouldn't have been as bad if it had been squeezed into, say, the second verse.


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PostPosted: Tue November 17th, 2009, 18:39 GMT 
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CShoe wrote:
As far as the song goes, the live versions from 1966, as great as they are, can't top the album version. It's a sloppy mess, but it's friggin glorious.
And neither one reaches the beauty and majesty of the NET versions from 1999 through 2002.


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PostPosted: Tue November 17th, 2009, 18:54 GMT 

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The one that was posted from early 1999 is pretty good, but most of the Visions from that period are disasters of upsinging, blown lines, etc.

The "Larry arrangement" that begins with Larry playing that descending cadence--I dunno, that arrangement didn't do a lot for me. The exaggerated major key tonality and Larry's "flowery" playing turned the whole thing on its head. It makes me think of cooking breakfast sausages on a sunny Sunday morning in the country.

Like, please do something to this song to take it (and me) back to 2AM in Manhattan.


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PostPosted: Tue November 17th, 2009, 19:03 GMT 

Joined: Sat March 28th, 2009, 10:21 GMT
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I love the studio version... here's a late-great performance of this song back from 2000 (Münster). there's some nice guitar-picking goin' on... STARK!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FEPbnc4eQ_Y


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PostPosted: Tue November 17th, 2009, 19:05 GMT 
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I can kind of understand. Whenever I hear the Live 1966 performances or the studio version, I ask, "Please, somebody find a NET version for that, right away!!!."

By 2002, most of the upsinging for Visions of Johanna was gone.


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PostPosted: Tue November 17th, 2009, 19:07 GMT 

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Untrodden Path wrote:
I can kind of understand. Whenever I hear the Live 1966 performances or the studio version, I ask, "Please, somebody find a NET version for that, right away!!!."

By 2002, most of the upsinging for Visions of Johanna was gone.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FEPbnc4eQ_Y


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PostPosted: Tue November 17th, 2009, 19:12 GMT 
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Mr Ripley wrote:
here's a late-great performance of this song back from 2000 (Münster). there's some nice guitar-picking goin' on... STARK!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FEPbnc4eQ_Y
While I have often noted that Bob's NET versions of songs from the 60s are typically 1000 times better than they were on the studio album or any of the 60s performances, in terms of Visions of Johanna, most of the NET versions come in at around 1178 times or better. They're just that good.

The Munster performance is no exception. Thanks Mr. Ripley for sharing the link. :D

(The entire Munster show 2000 is incredible.)


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PostPosted: Tue November 17th, 2009, 19:35 GMT 
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This is the song that showed me what a 'crime' music videos can be. The first time I heard it and every other time I hear it my mind is flooded with imagery. Without drugs, I literally take a little trip every time its played. And no music video could hold a candle to what my own imagination dredges up. The images are so sweet, warm, and sometimes a little eerie. They are so powerful for me that it is almost as if they are a real part of my experience. I feel like I was actually in that loft. I can see, as if from memory, the night watchman with his flashlight, muttering to himself. I seem to remember the emotional distance between Louise and I, as well as a longing for a woman that exists only in my imagination (Johanna).

This probably sounds insane, I know, but such is the effect this song has on me. I'm thankful to Dylan for sharing it with me.


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PostPosted: Wed November 18th, 2009, 01:11 GMT 

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The Mighty Monkey Of Mim wrote:
There have been many great performances over the years, but this is one of my favorites if only because of Bucky Baxter's pedal steel riff and the stellar soundboard quality of the recording. This was the first performance of the song after almost two years out of rotation. It was among the performances released for download through the official site a long time ago, but this is a better quality lossless version obtained from a boot.

1999-02-25 Portland, ME (FLAC):
http://www.sendspace.com/file/k33qux

mm mim , this sounds great ! ......which boot ?...... thanx for the d-load


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PostPosted: Wed November 18th, 2009, 01:27 GMT 
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"I'm not going to be playing anymore concerts here, in England, and I just wanted to say... this is a typical example of what your English music newspapers would call a drug song" - The Royal Albert Hall, London, 27 May 1966.


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PostPosted: Wed November 18th, 2009, 02:38 GMT 

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conal0102 wrote:
THANK YOU for the Flac of my favourite VOJ performance of the 90's. I only had a low quality MP3 before.
hwy612008 wrote:
mm mim , this sounds great ! ......which boot ?...... thanx for the d-load

You're both welcome! I believe the boot was this one, and I'm no expert on all the permutations but I must take exception to some of what is written in that review. While many of the tracks streamed on the official site were indeed audience recordings, these certainly don't sound like audience recordings to me. (Not that audience recordings can't sound as good or even better than soundboards, but generally they don't sound alike and a careful listener can readily distinguish between the two.) Also, whether "master tapes" is an accurate description of the sources used or not, they certainly don't sound like they're sourced from the lossy website streams, either. There is an audible improvement in quality if you compare them.


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PostPosted: Wed November 18th, 2009, 02:51 GMT 
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I always preferred the run up versions - like the band rehearsal - to the released one, and the stoned out acoustic versions from 66 are just incredible, I think perhaps melbourne or dublin beat the rest, but I love the nightingales code studio version. I'd really like to hear the one Paul Williams goes on about where he changes it to visions of madonna if someone would be kind enough to provide a link??? just for the humour of it... it must rank amongst the greatest songs ever written surely? Hard to believe a single human could come out with it, an argument for alien intervention if ever I heard one...


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PostPosted: Wed November 18th, 2009, 03:50 GMT 

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Maybe my favorite song, certainly way up there, especially Live '66. Those moments where he's singing alone on the stage surrounded by darkness create the illusion of intimacy necessary to fully appreciate this song. It should only be listened to late at night, alone or with one other person.


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PostPosted: Wed November 18th, 2009, 04:07 GMT 
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it is without doubt a real argument for the use of the word genius.


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