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 Post subject: Redeem the 80s for Bob
PostPosted: Fri February 24th, 2017, 06:14 GMT 
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Empire Burlesque, Knocked Out Loaded and Down In The Groove are some of Bob's weakest records. I believe that this time period can be saved with a single, more concise record. I want to know how you would solve this time period for Bob, please only use songs recorded for or in between Empire, KOL, and DITG. This won't be the perfect Dylan record, but it is better.

Here's how mine goes,

To Fall In Love With You- Band Of The Hand outtake
Tight Connection To My Heart (Has Anybody Seen My Love)- Empire Burlesque. omit the unnecessary overdubs
Silvio- Down In The Groove
Seeing The Real You At Last- Empire Burlesque, omit the unnecessary overdubs
When The Night Comes Falling From The Sky- BLS Vol. 1-3
Brownsville Girl- Knocked Out Loaded, maybe slightly change the overdubs so it fits better with the other songs (I really enjoy the album version but it will not fit well with the stripped down Empire songs)
Dark Eyes- Empire Burlesque


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PostPosted: Fri February 24th, 2017, 07:05 GMT 

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I don't mind those albums. They're better than the last 5, TTL and on. (IMO)


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PostPosted: Fri February 24th, 2017, 08:17 GMT 
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The only way to redeem those albums is to keep the receipts.


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PostPosted: Fri February 24th, 2017, 11:44 GMT 
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goodmeats wrote:
Empire Burlesque, Knocked Out Loaded and Down In The Groove are some of Bob's weakest records. I believe that this time period can be saved with a single, more concise record. I want to know how you would solve this time period for Bob, please only use songs recorded for or in between Empire, KOL, and DITG. This won't be the perfect Dylan record, but it is better.

Here's how mine goes,

To Fall In Love With You- Band Of The Hand outtake
Tight Connection To My Heart (Has Anybody Seen My Love)- Empire Burlesque. omit the unnecessary overdubs
Silvio- Down In The Groove
Seeing The Real You At Last- Empire Burlesque, omit the unnecessary overdubs
When The Night Comes Falling From The Sky- BLS Vol. 1-3
Brownsville Girl- Knocked Out Loaded, maybe slightly change the overdubs so it fits better with the other songs (I really enjoy the album version but it will not fit well with the stripped down Empire songs)
Dark Eyes- Empire Burlesque


In the case of "Down In The Groove" it is important to know Dylan's original version of the album (before the record company changed the album twice) and the sources he used:

1. Let's Stick Together – Wilbert Harrison (released on Bobby Robinson's Fury Records, 1962)
Wilbert Harrison himself re-recorded the song as "Let's Work Together" (Sue Records, 1969). That later version was recorded by many other artists and consequently is well known. Dylan on the other hand faithfully covers the original super-rare 1962 version.

2. When Did You Leave Heaven? – Henry "Red" Allen (Vocalion, 1936)
The original version by Tony Martin from the movie "Sing, Baby, Sing" also came out in 1936. Over the years countless artists have covered the song. Dylan probably knows a large number of those recordings. His vocals and the structure of his interpretation closely follow Henry "Red" Allen's 1936 version. The song is the kind of standard that Dylan has probably been aware of ever since he was a child.

3. (I've) Got Love If You Want It – Slim Harpo (Excello Records, 1957 – the original version) AND Warren Smith (Sun Records, 1957)
A song that I think is essential to understanding the album as it points to two important sounds driving Dylan. The "Excello" sound and the "Sun" sound. He spoke about the importance of a label's SOUND in the 1950s/early 1960s on "Theme Time Radio Hour" # 43. Harpo and Smith have been referenced many times by Dylan over the years. He has covered Smith's "Red Cadillac And A Black Moustache" in concert and on record and played the original on his radio show. Lanois has quoted Dylan as saying that he wanted "Time Out Of Mind" to have the sound of Harpo's Excello records. Dylan's recording of "Got Love" cleverly merges elements of both Harpo's and Smith's version.

4. Ninety Miles An Hour (Down A Dead End Street) – Hank Snow (RCA, 1963)
Hank Snow, an important early influence on Dylan with his song "The Golden Rocket". Dylan also played Snow's "I'm Movin' On" in concert and covered "A Fool Such As I" on record and played it on "Theme Time Radio Hour".

5. Sally Sue Brown – Arthur "June" Alexander (Judd Records, 1960) [Judd Records was owned by Sam Phillip's brother Jud and like Sam's Sun Records operated out of Memphis]
The A-Side of Arthur Alexander's ultra-rare first single. The B-Side "The Girl That Radiates That Charm" is pretty cool, too. Alexander himself released a new version of "Sally Sue Brown" on his great 1993 album "Lonely Just Like Me".

6. Ugliest Girl In The World – Dylan/Hunter original based on Boogie Woogie Country Girl by Big Joe Turner (Atlantic, 1956)
Dylan also covered the Big Joe Turner song on a 1995 tribute album to songwriter Doc Pomus. And Big Joe Turner is mentioned in the song "High Water", of course, "looking east and west from the dark room of his mind".

7. Silvio – Dylan/Hunter original based on Smokestack Lightnin' by Howlin' Wolf (Chess, 1956)
The musical template provided by "Smokestack Lightnin'" also served as the basis of Dylan's song "Isis". The live version of "Isis" from the unreleased Clearwater film of "Hard Rain" vividly illustrates the fact that both songs share the same source.

8. Important Words – Gene Vincent (Capitol Records, 1957, B-Side of "Crazy Legs")
Vincent re-recorded the song in the early '60s. Dylan follows the rare 1957 recording. He probably had it on vinyl ever since it first came out. According to Dylan's Hibbing era friend and sometimes band member John Bucklen Gene Vincent & His Blue Caps were of major importance to them when Dylan started his first bands in Hibbing. At one point they even got blue caps like the ones worn by The Blue Caps on the covers of Vincent's first two albums. The 1994 soundtrack album to the movie "Natural Born Killers" includes a new Dylan recording of Gene Vincent's version of "You Belong To Me".

9. Shenandoah – Spider John Koerner (Red House, 1986)
There are many different versions of the old traditional song "Shenandoah" (aka "(Across) The Wide Missouri"). Most artists do the song as a slow ballad. Dylan took the springy rhythm and the entire set of lyrics straight from Koerner's recording, which came out a year before Dylan recorded "Down In The Groove". It can be found on Koerner's LP "Nobody Knows The Trouble I've Been" (January 1986), which was re-released on CD in 1992. The inclusion of a version of Spider John Koerner's interpretation of the song can be seen as a nod to Dylan's Minneapolis/St. Paul coffeehouse days in 1959/60. It was during that period that Dylan first met and became friends with Koerner who became an important early influence.

10. Rank Strangers – The Stanley Brothers (King Records, 1960)
Dylan of course played MANY Stanley Brothers tunes in concert in 1997–2002 and also recorded "Lonesome River" with Ralph Stanley in 1997.

I think "Knocked Out Loaded" is great as it is. I love how Dylan took songs from a fairly large number of sessions and by adding the female backing vocals and the brass gave them a unity a of sound and a distinct almost Tejano-like atmosphere, which is also reflected by the use of the "Spicy Adventure Stories – Daughters Of Doom" illustration on the front cover.

In the case of "Empire Burlesque" you might want to check out "Outside The Empire", which includes the basic tracks of the songs from the album (+ some outtakes), from before Arthur Baker got involved.

Since you mention "To Fall In Love With You" from the "Hearts Of Fire" sessions it is interesting to note that "Had A Dream About You Baby" from the same sessions is based on Little Walter's "Crazy For My Baby", which also forms the basis of "Clean Cut Kid". Another interesting aspect about the sessions is how Dylan played around with Billy Joe Shaver's "Old Five And Dimers" and then sped it up, changed the words and created "Night After Night". At the same sessions Dylan also demonstrates how "Old Five And Dimers" and "A Couple More Years" are closely related songs.

Do not let anybody tell you that Dylan's work from the 1980s is in any way inferior. Research the sources behind Dylan's work and a whole new world will open up for you to explore. Dylan is one of the greatest teachers you will ever encounter.


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PostPosted: Fri February 24th, 2017, 12:51 GMT 
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My Echo, My Shadow And Me wrote:

Do not let anybody tell you that Dylan's work from the 1980s is in any way inferior. Research the sources behind Dylan's work and a whole new world will open up for you to explore. Dylan is one of the greatest teachers you will ever encounter.


All of that mean squat if the songs are sung by a chipmunk.


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PostPosted: Fri February 24th, 2017, 13:24 GMT 
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My Echo, My Shadow And Me wrote:

In the case of "Down In The Groove" it is important to know Dylan's original version of the album (before the record company changed the album twice) and the sources he used:

1. Let's Stick Together – Wilbert Harrison (released on Bobby Robinson's Fury Records, 1962)
Wilbert Harrison himself re-recorded the song as "Let's Work Together" (Sue Records, 1969). That later version was recorded by many other artists and consequently is well known. Dylan on the other hand faithfully covers the original super-rare 1962 version.

2. When Did You Leave Heaven? – Henry "Red" Allen (Vocalion, 1936)
The original version by Tony Martin from the movie "Sing, Baby, Sing" also came out in 1936. Over the years countless artists have covered the song. Dylan probably knows a large number of those recordings. His vocals and the structure of his interpretation closely follow Henry "Red" Allen's 1936 version. The song is the kind of standard that Dylan has probably been aware of ever since he was a child.

3. (I've) Got Love If You Want It – Slim Harpo (Excello Records, 1957 – the original version) AND Warren Smith (Sun Records, 1957)
A song that I think is essential to understanding the album as it points to two important sounds driving Dylan. The "Excello" sound and the "Sun" sound. He spoke about the importance of a label's SOUND in the 1950s/early 1960s on "Theme Time Radio Hour" # 43. Harpo and Smith have been referenced many times by Dylan over the years. He has covered Smith's "Red Cadillac And A Black Moustache" in concert and on record and played the original on his radio show. Lanois has quoted Dylan as saying that he wanted "Time Out Of Mind" to have the sound of Harpo's Excello records. Dylan's recording of "Got Love" cleverly merges elements of both Harpo's and Smith's version.

4. Ninety Miles An Hour (Down A Dead End Street) – Hank Snow (RCA, 1963)
Hank Snow, an important early influence on Dylan with his song "The Golden Rocket". Dylan also played Snow's "I'm Movin' On" in concert and covered "A Fool Such As I" on record and played it on "Theme Time Radio Hour".

5. Sally Sue Brown – Arthur "June" Alexander (Judd Records, 1960) [Judd Records was owned by Sam Phillip's brother Jud and like Sam's Sun Records operated out of Memphis]
The A-Side of Arthur Alexander's ultra-rare first single. The B-Side "The Girl That Radiates That Charm" is pretty cool, too. Alexander himself released a new version of "Sally Sue Brown" on his great 1993 album "Lonely Just Like Me".

6. Ugliest Girl In The World – Dylan/Hunter original based on Boogie Woogie Country Girl by Big Joe Turner (Atlantic, 1956)
Dylan also covered the Big Joe Turner song on a 1995 tribute album to songwriter Doc Pomus. And Big Joe Turner is mentioned in the song "High Water", of course, "looking east and west from the dark room of his mind".

7. Silvio – Dylan/Hunter original based on Smokestack Lightnin' by Howlin' Wolf (Chess, 1956)
The musical template provided by "Smokestack Lightnin'" also served as the basis of Dylan's song "Isis". The live version of "Isis" from the unreleased Clearwater film of "Hard Rain" vividly illustrates the fact that both songs share the same source.

8. Important Words – Gene Vincent (Capitol Records, 1957, B-Side of "Crazy Legs")
Vincent re-recorded the song in the early '60s. Dylan follows the rare 1957 recording. He probably had it on vinyl ever since it first came out. According to Dylan's Hibbing era friend and sometimes band member John Bucklen Gene Vincent & His Blue Caps were of major importance to them when Dylan started his first bands in Hibbing. At one point they even got blue caps like the ones worn by The Blue Caps on the covers of Vincent's first two albums. The 1994 soundtrack album to the movie "Natural Born Killers" includes a new Dylan recording of Gene Vincent's version of "You Belong To Me".

9. Shenandoah – Spider John Koerner (Red House, 1986)
There are many different versions of the old traditional song "Shenandoah" (aka "(Across) The Wide Missouri"). Most artists do the song as a slow ballad. Dylan took the springy rhythm and the entire set of lyrics straight from Koerner's recording, which came out a year before Dylan recorded "Down In The Groove". It can be found on Koerner's LP "Nobody Knows The Trouble I've Been" (January 1986), which was re-released on CD in 1992. The inclusion of a version of Spider John Koerner's interpretation of the song can be seen as a nod to Dylan's Minneapolis/St. Paul coffeehouse days in 1959/60. It was during that period that Dylan first met and became friends with Koerner who became an important early influence.

10. Rank Strangers – The Stanley Brothers (King Records, 1960)
Dylan of course played MANY Stanley Brothers tunes in concert in 1997–2002 and also recorded "Lonesome River" with Ralph Stanley in 1997.

I think "Knocked Out Loaded" is great as it is. I love how Dylan took songs from a fairly large number of sessions and by adding the female backing vocals and the brass gave them a unity a of sound and a distinct almost Tejano-like atmosphere, which is also reflected by the use of the "Spicy Adventure Stories – Daughters Of Doom" illustration on the front cover.

In the case of "Empire Burlesque" you might want to check out "Outside The Empire", which includes the basic tracks of the songs from the album (+ some outtakes), from before Arthur Baker got involved.

Since you mention "To Fall In Love With You" from the "Hearts Of Fire" sessions it is interesting to note that "Had A Dream About You Baby" from the same sessions is based on Little Walter's "Crazy For My Baby", which also forms the basis of "Clean Cut Kid". Another interesting aspect about the sessions is how Dylan played around with Billy Joe Shaver's "Old Five And Dimers" and then sped it up, changed the words and created "Night After Night". At the same sessions Dylan also demonstrates how "Old Five And Dimers" and "A Couple More Years" are closely related songs.

Do not let anybody tell you that Dylan's work from the 1980s is in any way inferior. Research the sources behind Dylan's work and a whole new world will open up for you to explore. Dylan is one of the greatest teachers you will ever encounter.


Great post Echo. Thanks for taking the time to put this informative list together!


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PostPosted: Fri February 24th, 2017, 15:17 GMT 

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My Echo, My Shadow And Me wrote:
goodmeats wrote:

7. Silvio – Dylan/Hunter original based on Smokestack Lightnin' by Howlin' Wolf (Chess, 1956)
The musical template provided by "Smokestack Lightnin'" also served as the basis of Dylan's song "Isis". The live version of "Isis" from the unreleased Clearwater film of "Hard Rain" vividly illustrates the fact that both songs share the same source.


I'll quibble on this one; don't hear much of a connection to "Smokestack" in either of these songs. The 1976 "Hard Rain" is probably based on Leon Russell's 1971 cover from "The Shelter People"


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PostPosted: Fri February 24th, 2017, 15:33 GMT 

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goodmeats wrote:
Empire Burlesque, Knocked Out Loaded and Down In The Groove are some of Bob's weakest records. I believe that this time period can be saved with a single, more concise record. I want to know how you would solve this time period for Bob, please only use songs recorded for or in between Empire, KOL, and DITG.


Whatever is included, "Night after Night" has to be in there if only for the comedy. The real disco Bob!


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PostPosted: Fri February 24th, 2017, 15:51 GMT 

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Amos wrote:
I don't mind those albums. They're better than the last 5, TTL and on. (IMO)



I actually think that Bob's 80's records done with Jack Frost production would sound infinitely better. Case in point: ill Remember You from M&A and Seeing the Real You and Tight Connection from the NET.


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PostPosted: Fri February 24th, 2017, 16:02 GMT 
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toilandblood546 wrote:
Amos wrote:
I don't mind those albums. They're better than the last 5, TTL and on. (IMO)



I actually think that Bob's 80's records done with Jack Frost production would sound infinitely better. Case in point: ill Remember You from M&A and Seeing the Real You and Tight Connection from the NET.



You have to be joking, right? Both of those versions are pants compared to the studio cuts.


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PostPosted: Fri February 24th, 2017, 16:37 GMT 

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Are pants? I've never heard that expression.


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PostPosted: Fri February 24th, 2017, 16:44 GMT 
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Amos wrote:
Are pants? I've never heard that expression.


http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=pants


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PostPosted: Fri February 24th, 2017, 17:28 GMT 

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If he had been more selective about what he released, starting with Infidels the 80's wouldn't look like a low point at all. If you can take Bob's 80's voice, of course. It does take some getting used to. The problem wasn't a lack of good material. It was that the ratio of good stuff to crap was so bad, and an awful lot of the crap got released.

Those awful 80's mixes are another issue. It would be nice to remix these songs, but I have trouble with that idea. Using rough mixes is one thing; the songs did actually exist in that state at one point, and Bob could have chosen to release them that way. But remixing them means going back after the fact and making them into something they were never intended to be. Maybe we remix them anyway, and pretend we're reconstructing the original mix that Bob suppressed.

Empire Burlesque:

Tight Connection. Not as good as "Someone's Got a Hold of My Heart," but pretty much a different song, and fine in its own right.
Seeing the Real You at Last. When I first heard it, I thought "I'm gonna quit this baby talk now" was Bob admitting that the lyrics weren't that great. I stll like the song. Annie Oakley wasn't much of a rider, by the way, and Belle Starr was a terrible shot. Unless he's making a joke, it makes much more sense the other way around.
I'll Remember You. With a Lanois mix, this would fit right in on Oh Mercy, next to "What Good Am I" and "Most of the Time."
Trust Yourself. A mean-spirited rewrite of "It Ain't Me Babe" (which is already pretty mean-spirited). I have a weakness for misanthropic Bob. And I like the way it brings back the sound of his gospel records for a rather different message.
When the Night Comes Falling. Bootleg Series version, of course. It's Bob Dylan trying to write like Bob Dylan, and a little embarrassing. But it's over the top enough to be pretty enjoyable.
Dark Eyes

Knocked Out Loaded:

You Wanna Ramble
Driftin' Too Far from Sure. Original Empire Burlesque mix.
Maybe Someday. In a proper mix, this would be one his best songs of the decade. Seriously. Fierce delivery, nasty minimalist guitar solo, lyrics obscure, allusive, and brutally direct, all at the same time: "Maybe someday you'll remember what you felt / When there was blood on the moon in the cotton belt."
Brownsville Girl. "New Danville Girl" sounds much better, but the rewritten lyrics are big improvement, and there's nothing wrong with the way he delivers it. What's wrong with it is those damn horns.

Down in the Groove:

Let's Stick Together
Rank Strangers to Me

Other:

Freedom for the Stallion
Sidewalks, Fences, and Walls
Got Love if You Want It
The Usual
Band of the Hand. It's a song preaching vigilante justice, written for an embarrassingly bad movie. Is there anything wrong with that?

That's two albums' worth of songs, recorded over a four-year period. Not too bad, even if six of them are covers.


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PostPosted: Fri February 24th, 2017, 17:29 GMT 
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sacrilege. EB is great songwriting.


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PostPosted: Fri February 24th, 2017, 17:38 GMT 
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Take Dark Eyes and Brownsville Girl from these records and you can chuck the rest.


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PostPosted: Fri February 24th, 2017, 18:03 GMT 
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I have a soft spot for Emotionally Yours, despite of the obsolete 80's keyboard sound... :D


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PostPosted: Fri February 24th, 2017, 18:33 GMT 
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monklover wrote:
My Echo, My Shadow And Me wrote:

7. Silvio – Dylan/Hunter original based on Smokestack Lightnin' by Howlin' Wolf (Chess, 1956)
The musical template provided by "Smokestack Lightnin'" also served as the basis of Dylan's song "Isis". The live version of "Isis" from the unreleased Clearwater film of "Hard Rain" vividly illustrates the fact that both songs share the same source.


I'll quibble on this one; don't hear much of a connection to "Smokestack" in either of these songs. The 1976 "Hard Rain" is probably based on Leon Russell's 1971 cover from "The Shelter People"



I think you misread my post. I was talking about the fact that the songs "Silvio" and "Isis" were based on the same musical template, which was derived from Howlin' Wolf's "Smokestack Lightnin'". In the case of "Isis" this becomes apparent when listening to the version of the song as featured in the unreleased "Hard Rain" concert film (which was filmed in Clearwater). I was not talking about the song "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall" as featured in the official "Hard Rain" TV special as filmed at Fort Collins.


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PostPosted: Fri February 24th, 2017, 18:49 GMT 
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I'm surprised everyone is omitting Death is Not the End. I love that song and think it's easily one of his best from the 80's.


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PostPosted: Fri February 24th, 2017, 19:46 GMT 
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Bob is the only thing that redeemed the 80s, musically speaking.


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PostPosted: Fri February 24th, 2017, 20:02 GMT 
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http://grantland.com/features/bob-dylan ... ute-album/


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PostPosted: Fri February 24th, 2017, 20:07 GMT 
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McG wrote:
The only way to redeem those albums is to keep the receipts.


:lol:


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PostPosted: Fri February 24th, 2017, 21:14 GMT 
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I just meant make a greatest hits of the 80s not argue about it. I want to know if there are better outtakes I am not aware of that someone would add


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PostPosted: Fri February 24th, 2017, 23:41 GMT 

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Something's Burning, Baby, will always be in my top 50 Dylan songs.


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PostPosted: Sat February 25th, 2017, 01:11 GMT 
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Cold Irons Bound wrote:
I'm surprised everyone is omitting Death is Not the End. I love that song and think it's easily one of his best from the 80's.

I've heard so many people refer to that as one of his worst, but I really like it - it would certainly make my 80's Bob collection. I enjoy the melody and the sentiment. There's a earlier mix without some of the overdubs which I think I like even better (on one of the GBS sets).


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PostPosted: Sat February 25th, 2017, 01:28 GMT 

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kuddukan wrote:
Bob is the only thing that redeemed the 80s, musically speaking.


what a bizarre thing to say


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