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Which Version of Blind Willie McTell do you prefer?
Bootleg Series version 66%  66%  [ 71 ]
Unreleased “electric” version 23%  23%  [ 25 ]
NET version (I know one thing, nobody can sing) 10%  10%  [ 11 ]
Total votes : 107
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PostPosted: Wed February 25th, 2009, 04:08 GMT 
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Street Beagle wrote:
Bob Zimmerman wrote:
Dallas 2/22 version.......... yeah 8)


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Haha agreed. I HATE Dallas..... the show on the other hand, was quite good


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PostPosted: Wed July 26th, 2017, 17:02 GMT 
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Reading Clinton Heylin´s Behind the shades he mentioned (If I remember correctly) that Bob dedicated a full day and a half to Blind Willie alone. I only know of 2 studio versions, acoustic and electric, the 1st one the BS 1-3, and the other one circulates in bootlegs around.

anyone here has heard any other takes?


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PostPosted: Wed July 26th, 2017, 17:12 GMT 
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Honestly this song has always been overrated to me. There's no version of this song I regularly listen to.


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PostPosted: Wed July 26th, 2017, 18:02 GMT 

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The Bootleg Series 1-3 version.


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PostPosted: Wed July 26th, 2017, 18:49 GMT 
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^ This.

It's among Dylan's best songs and the acoustic version sets the right tone / mood for it. I just wish I could hear a remix without all that reverb on it. Dryer, starker.


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PostPosted: Wed July 26th, 2017, 19:00 GMT 

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by a landslide the live outings of NET. Particularly, 2002 (Spring-August) 2004 (Spring). Also, if memory serves me well...some 2009 center stage performances worked very well before it became a shell of what it once was.

While the recorded attempts are great. Hard to foil up that lyric. He's far more believable in his tone and expression vocally in NET Mctell's.


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PostPosted: Wed July 26th, 2017, 19:24 GMT 
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Oh, and by the way, it is my very humble opinion that anyone who prefers the electric version to the acoustic is a dangerous mad person who should be locked in a safe place and given regular, strong medication :D


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PostPosted: Wed July 26th, 2017, 20:26 GMT 

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Ain't Talkin' wrote:
^ This.

It's among Dylan's best songs and the acoustic version sets the right tone / mood for it. I just wish I could hear a remix without all that reverb on it. Dryer, starker.


I must be half deaf. I can never hear this reverb or any of such sounds on Dylan songs that other people talk about. I have spent a small fortune on remasters and the like that only leave me feeling conned or inadequate, as I don't know if it's me or the hype that's wrong.

Still, I can hear enough to agree with you that this is one mighty song. I prefer the acoustic version, but I'm glad we have the electric (I can hear the difference). I wish Bob would stop singing it as a Band tribute on the NET and just emulate the studio versions live, just for a change.


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PostPosted: Wed July 26th, 2017, 20:54 GMT 
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Waterboy wrote:
I originally heard it on an oh so cleverly titled bootleg called Outfidels.

Clever enough to take as an internet alias. :wink:

Still, my favorite BWM is the sublime acoustic version on BS1-3.


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PostPosted: Wed July 26th, 2017, 22:02 GMT 

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Gotta be the stripped back version! I always assumed I was in the minority, swear most Dylan articles I've read push for the electric one. Glad ER knows where its at!


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PostPosted: Wed July 26th, 2017, 22:33 GMT 
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Would someone recommend a seriously great NET version, assuming such a beast really exists?


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PostPosted: Wed July 26th, 2017, 22:46 GMT 
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slimtimslide wrote:
Would someone recommend a seriously great NET version, assuming such a beast really exists?

The debut in '97 is the best in my opinion


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PostPosted: Wed July 26th, 2017, 23:02 GMT 
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I actually prefer the 2011 to present arrangement. The harp solos in the Martin Scorsese tribute performance were amazing.


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PostPosted: Thu July 27th, 2017, 00:17 GMT 
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The acoustic version is sublime. This song (and this version of it) gets at what ails this country more than any other song I've ever heard.


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PostPosted: Thu July 27th, 2017, 03:09 GMT 
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The Bootleg Series is perfect, which is why I voted for the electric version.


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PostPosted: Thu July 27th, 2017, 06:09 GMT 

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After all the hype, I was disappointed when I first heard it on BS123, but it grew on me. The electric version is totally ruined by Bob's laugh.


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PostPosted: Fri July 28th, 2017, 12:37 GMT 

Joined: Thu July 27th, 2017, 19:51 GMT
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This land is condemned... It seems like it's coming to the last chapter. It seems now we should be hearing the greatest blues of all times. But I know no one can sing the blues like Blind Willie McTell. The time of the greatest blues is already past. It is as if the end already came. It was in the time of slavery's ships. And we've been sliding down in this dystopian world of denial and delusion ever since. In the somber tone of the Bootleg Series the words spoke for themselves. Accompanied by Clapton Dylan sings the words with great passion, in case the words themselves were not enough to make us hear.


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PostPosted: Fri July 28th, 2017, 14:17 GMT 
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Mark Knopfler not Eric Clapton


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PostPosted: Fri July 28th, 2017, 19:34 GMT 

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Mahx wrote:
This land is condemned... It seems like it's coming to the last chapter. It seems now we should be hearing the greatest blues of all times. But I know no one can sing the blues like Blind Willie McTell. The time of the greatest blues is already past. It is as if the end already came. It was in the time of slavery's ships. And we've been sliding down in this dystopian world of denial and delusion ever since. In the somber tone of the Bootleg Series the words spoke for themselves. Accompanied by Clapton Dylan sings the words with great passion, in case the words themselves were not enough to make us hear.


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Welcome to ER, and what an entrance. A very incisive comment. Although the song can be validly interpreted as being apocalyptic in a general sense, your point is undeniable that it also could be about the decline of the blues, which I had failed to notice myself. Perhaps this song of the death of the blues is also itself a great example of the genre?


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PostPosted: Fri July 28th, 2017, 19:41 GMT 

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Nobody can sing the blues about the blues like Bob Dylan. He has given us a true Apocalyptic blues song!


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PostPosted: Fri July 28th, 2017, 19:48 GMT 

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Like other transcendent Dylan songs, Blind Willie McTell is one of a kind, a genre all on its own


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PostPosted: Fri July 28th, 2017, 20:50 GMT 

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goodmeats wrote:
Mark Knopfler not Eric Clapton


Yeah, Knopfler. But I wouldn't mind hearing Clapton with Dylan on Blind Willie McTell. Clapton gives a nice rendition of "I Dreamed I Saw St. Augustine ".


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PostPosted: Fri July 28th, 2017, 22:28 GMT 

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The very juxtaposition of New Orleans and Jerusalem juxtaposes the thought of the end of the blues and the Apocalypse.


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PostPosted: Sat July 29th, 2017, 11:34 GMT 
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Mahx wrote:
This land is condemned... It seems like it's coming to the last chapter. It seems now we should be hearing the greatest blues of all times. But I know no one can sing the blues like Blind Willie McTell. The time of the greatest blues is already past. It is as if the end already came. It was in the time of slavery's ships. And we've been sliding down in this dystopian world of denial and delusion ever since. In the somber tone of the Bootleg Series the words spoke for themselves. Accompanied by Clapton Dylan sings the words with great passion, in case the words themselves were not enough to make us hear.


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Give this poster a medal - in fact you win the interweb. 8)


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PostPosted: Mon July 31st, 2017, 00:15 GMT 

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Well, the Scorsese version smokes, and is a pleasing example of how Dylan can (still) pull reinventions out of a hat; more New Orleans jazz than blues:

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xnnw9l


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