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PostPosted: Fri March 18th, 2005, 09:46 GMT 

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I love Bob's voice and I particularly love the sound of his voice around the time of 'Desire' and the RT tour. It's rough and warm and flexible; perfectly suited to the songs. Then we come to 'Street Legal' and his voice is more adenoidal than ever. He seems to be straining to find the right timbre. I'm not saying that the singing on SL is bad but there was a definite change. Anyone have any thoughts on this? Perhaps it was something to do with his spiritual state at the time? I think it's true that he never again recaptured the vocal greatness of the Rolling Thunder period. He came very close on 'Slow Train Coming' and 'Saved' but by the time we get to 'Shot of Love' he sounds like it's more of a struggle again.


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PostPosted: Fri March 18th, 2005, 10:19 GMT 

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Quote:
I love Bob's voice and I particularly love the sound of his voice around the time of 'Desire' and the RT tour. It's rough and warm and flexible; perfectly suited to the songs.


yeah, good call. agree 100 percent. I will never forget the first time i heard the album version of "one more cup of coffee"....what an amazing vocal performance, up there with Moonshiner and 'I Believe In You'.


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 Post subject: voice change
PostPosted: Fri March 18th, 2005, 15:28 GMT 
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I think the shift in voice was the result of bellowing out songs on two Rolling Thunder tours (and the preceding tour with the band), smoking cigarettes, plus cocaine use, and perhaps some tape speed manipulation in the mixing of Street Legal.

Bob was 37 in 1978, so age as well as time on the road were factors. But on the 1980-81 tours, his voice sounds somewhat restored, by cleaner living I think. On the 1979 tour, he still has that pinched nasal quality on a lot of tunes.

I spent a lot of time with cokeheads (no longer, thank god), and the vocal shift is fairly distinctive. There was a dj in Boston who used, and you could listen and tell when he'd done a line by the quality of his voice.

The 1965-66 drug voice was of quite different timbre, but he was so much younger then.


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PostPosted: Fri March 18th, 2005, 15:45 GMT 

Joined: Wed December 1st, 2004, 16:02 GMT
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Interesting ideas. Coke is such an artistic drag.


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PostPosted: Sun March 20th, 2005, 07:29 GMT 

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yes all this is so true...i found that big diff between desire and s/l in voice...his voice somewhat melowed with street legal...they said that bob was going elvis with that vagas style big band new voice and also the back up singers...desire yes is a fantastic lp...but to me it was just all that little too comercial...the air waves picked it up and played it to death on the radios...also the ruben carter movie re-serfaced and hurican got lots of airplay...too much of somethin' can make a song freeze...but street legal hmmm i wonder what bob would have gave us after this if he never went gospel on us...


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PostPosted: Sun March 25th, 2012, 03:33 GMT 
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I think by the time Slow Train Coming came out Bob had cleaned up a good bit, rested, and was on top of his game again. Saved, Shot of Love, Infidels, Empire Burlesque, Knocked Out Loaded... basically all his '80s output benefited from the cleaned up lifestyle. Musically, it was a good time for Bob.


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PostPosted: Sun March 25th, 2012, 04:00 GMT 

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There is a wonderful quality to Bob's voice in the "Desire" era, and on the first of the two rolling thunder tours in 75. (the second one, great as it was, has a little more of that 'yell at the top of his lungs like its the 74 tour' stuff.)

in addition to the reasons (substances taken, etc) mentioned by others in this thread, one more reason is that in '75 it was a much smaller band both in the studio and live (especially, again, the fall tour where it was more acoustic)... by 78 he had a larger band and i think some of that vocal intimacy is lost. He did get it back again on the 'slow train' album, tho, where vocals on songs like 'when he returns' and 'i believe in you' are wonderful... and yeah, alot of that 80's sound has that kind of pinched quality that's not as resonant as the 70's stuff.


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PostPosted: Sun March 25th, 2012, 15:02 GMT 
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Dylan affects the Desire voice on "Brownsville Girl" so he could have gone back that way any time until the Never Ending Tour when he truly finished off that voice. Street-Legal was a design choice.

Could he have sung Street-Legal better? Sure, but he has a strange approach to recording at times. It's almost as if the act of delivering one of his very long tunes is so painful that he can only repeat it if he's desperate to get it right. "Street-Legal" was so tossed off that he didn't even listen to the dreadful mixing/mastering job that had to be fixed decades later.

First spins of Dylan records became quite an experience once he wrecked his pipes: each record from Oh Mercy on had me gasping at the change. "Political World", "Wiggle", "Frankie & Albert", "World Gone Wrong", and "Love Sick" were all amazing listens.


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PostPosted: Sun March 25th, 2012, 15:57 GMT 
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henrypussycat wrote:
Dylan affects the Desire voice on "Brownsville Girl" so he could have gone back that way any time until the Never Ending Tour when he truly finished off that voice. Street-Legal was a design choice.

Could he have sung Street-Legal better? Sure, but he has a strange approach to recording at times. It's almost as if the act of delivering one of his very long tunes is so painful that he can only repeat it if he's desperate to get it right. "Street-Legal" was so tossed off that he didn't even listen to the dreadful mixing/mastering job that had to be fixed decades later.

First spins of Dylan records became quite an experience once he wrecked his pipes: each record from Oh Mercy on had me gasping at the change. "Political World", "Wiggle", "Frankie & Albert", "World Gone Wrong", and "Love Sick" were all amazing listens.


Show me where in 'Brownsville Girl' he sings like on Desire.

Ridiculous. Can you not hear that Street-Legal nasality? That's called cocaine abuse mate.


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PostPosted: Sun March 25th, 2012, 17:33 GMT 

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I don't think the street legal songs would make sens being sung the same RTR voice. The voice matches the band and clothes


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PostPosted: Sun March 25th, 2012, 17:58 GMT 
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iamhere wrote:
I don't think the street legal songs would make sens being sung the same RTR voice. The voice matches the band and clothes


No offence, but that is complete arse-babble. I've heard some revisionism in my time but this takes the biscuit.


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PostPosted: Sun March 25th, 2012, 19:53 GMT 

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Drinking household chemicals can destroy you.


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PostPosted: Sun March 25th, 2012, 21:18 GMT 

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henrypussycat wrote:

First spins of Dylan records became quite an experience once he wrecked his pipes: each record from Oh Mercy on had me gasping at the change. "Political World", "Wiggle", "Frankie & Albert", "World Gone Wrong", and "Love Sick" were all amazing listens.


All those records had something going for them, and a voice still with a lot to offer. CITH was the first record that made me really sad about the voice.

Shock, then sadness. An instrument its owner was clearly struggling to control.


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PostPosted: Sun March 25th, 2012, 23:26 GMT 

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I heard Street Legal for the first time after I knew all the other recordings from the 70s already. It was surprising and disturbing. I remember very well the summer afternoon with a new Dylan voice, which I liked, because it sounded so private. Not the hard emphasis as in Desire. An impressive everyday-voice, a voice in a house, not on a stage. More spontaneous as the voice of Desire, but less brilliant.


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PostPosted: Mon March 26th, 2012, 00:39 GMT 
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I'd just like to know why he still tours with the voice he has now. Could someone answer me that?


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PostPosted: Mon March 26th, 2012, 01:03 GMT 

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he´s more interested in mouth than in ears today.


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PostPosted: Mon March 26th, 2012, 01:54 GMT 
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Tim Finnegan wrote:
I'd just like to know why he still tours with the voice he has now. Could someone answer me that?

Because that's what he's passionate about doing. He's committed and has conviction. It's great that he's touring. He's putting all the rest of us on the planet to shame.


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PostPosted: Mon March 26th, 2012, 01:58 GMT 
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Tim Finnegan wrote:
I'd just like to know why he still tours with the voice he has now. Could someone answer me that?
Because he enjoys the benefits... lots of money and adoring women.

And he still has some awesome, inspired moments...


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PostPosted: Mon March 26th, 2012, 02:07 GMT 

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Cocaine, all around my brain...

His singing on SL is awful. And he never really got his voice back after that, although his singing did improve. It's basically a thinning, throaty reed from SL to UTRS when it finally blows out.


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PostPosted: Mon March 26th, 2012, 06:20 GMT 
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Lone Pilgrim wrote:
Cocaine, all around my brain...

His singing on SL is awful. And he never really got his voice back after that, although his singing did improve. It's basically a thinning, throaty reed from SL to UTRS when it finally blows out.


Memo to members of Team ModBob: get this post tattooed on your foreheads backwards.


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PostPosted: Mon March 26th, 2012, 14:03 GMT 
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On the 1976 rehearsal boot "Going Going Guam" the SL voice makes an appearance - listen to "The sun is shining".

In the Dec 30 1979 part of the Rundown Rehearsals his voice still sounds like The Last Waltz and RTR to some extent.

Maybe I hear it differently than others, but it's enough proof for me that both voices were available to him during those years. I think that his new girlfriends, the SL/Budokan back up singers were coaching him on vocals and the SL/Budokan voice is the result. It's too bad he didn't do a studio album in 1977 using his Last Waltz/RTR voice.


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PostPosted: Mon March 26th, 2012, 14:41 GMT 
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Three legged man wrote:
In the Dec 30 1979 part of the Rundown Rehearsals his voice still sounds like The Last Waltz and RTR to some extent.


That's supposed to be Dec 30 1977


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PostPosted: Mon March 26th, 2012, 17:57 GMT 
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This is simple..... women..... plain and simple.....
Women have been the driving force to all the changes in his life...

Yep, simple, women. :wink:


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PostPosted: Mon March 26th, 2012, 18:02 GMT 

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Lily Rose wrote:
This is simple..... women..... plain and simple.....
Women have been the driving force to all the changes in his life...

Yep, simple, women. :wink:

CAN THEY COOK AND SEW, MAKE FLOWERS GROW, DID THEY UNDERSTAND HIS PAIN?*

*Read it as if it is the mewl of a dying cat


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PostPosted: Mon March 26th, 2012, 19:42 GMT 
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Lone Pilgrim wrote:
Cocaine, all around my brain...

His singing on SL is awful. And he never really got his voice back after that, although his singing did improve. It's basically a thinning, throaty reed from SL to UTRS when it finally blows out.


To me, "The Voice" came back and was brilliant throughout Time Out Of Mind. Yes, there is a huskiness, but there is also quite a nice resonance to the voice.
Case in point: Not Dark Yet.


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