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PostPosted: Mon December 23rd, 2013, 18:07 GMT 

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Four are keepers. In this order:

1. Oh Mercy. Very strong. A significant Dylan album.
2. Infidels. "Coulda been a contender," but as it is merely pretty good.
3. Saved. Strong for what it is; nothing wrong with this one.
4. Shot of Love. Although this one takes a sympathetic ear, it does give us a good number of appealing pop songs, even if they aren't recorded or sung very well. A borderline case, but I wouldn't trade gems like "Property of Jesus," "Watered Down Love" and "In the Summertime," to say nothing of the two Big Songs on there.

The rest is dreck.

Even if UTRS had been a 1980s production, I'm surprised it was ranked so low by early posters in this thread relative to obvious disasters like "Groove." Of all of Bob's albums, that's the one that had the most potential to be something interesting even as it was ruined by horrendous production, lack of willpower and clear vision by Dylan, and the total absence of sympathetic collaborators. It's a sad orphan of a record, not a grotesque mess like KOL or DITG.


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PostPosted: Mon December 23rd, 2013, 20:14 GMT 
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Wow; you all really have me excited to check out Saved again. I always mentally filed it as one of his major duds, but perhaps I need to listen more closely...


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PostPosted: Mon December 23rd, 2013, 20:59 GMT 
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Ha ha. It's your life son.

If you like crappy songs performed with backup singers and a lot of "passion" Saved is for you.

Are you ready? I hope you're ready.


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PostPosted: Mon December 23rd, 2013, 21:02 GMT 

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They're all crap mostly, apart from Oh Mercy, which is mostly good.


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PostPosted: Mon December 23rd, 2013, 21:12 GMT 
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Saved should just be a bonus disc with the superior Slow Train album. I revisited Down in the groove recently. Whew. Won't do that again.


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PostPosted: Mon December 23rd, 2013, 21:27 GMT 
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DITG deserves the scorn it gets.
KOL is unfairly slagged on. It's big problem it's that it feels like an album for which sessions were abruptly terminated and it was just thrown out to release anyway.


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PostPosted: Mon December 23rd, 2013, 21:31 GMT 

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Ain't Talkin' wrote:
DITG deserves the scorn it gets.
KOL is unfairly slagged on. It's big problem it's that it feels like an album for which sessions were abruptly terminated and it was just thrown out to release anyway.


Come off it. Knocked Out Loaded is drek. This is from the same guy who did Highway 61, John Wesley Harding, Blood On The Tracks. Always need to keep this in mind.


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PostPosted: Mon December 23rd, 2013, 21:39 GMT 
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lostinspace wrote:

Come off it. Knocked Out Loaded is drek. This is from the same guy who did Highway 61, John Wesley Harding, Blood On The Tracks. Always need to keep this in mind.


You come off it, bud. There's such a thing as an opinion. Always need to keep this in mind.


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PostPosted: Mon December 23rd, 2013, 21:41 GMT 
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Best: Oh Mercy and Infidels....Shot of Love running close with them.

In Between: Empire Burlesque and Down in the Groove

Worst: Saved and Knocked Out Loaded.


None of his albums from the 80's are in my Top 15 of his all time albums though. It's the worst decade of his career in my opinion. Even though it still has it's gems and classic songs.


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PostPosted: Mon December 23rd, 2013, 22:07 GMT 
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Harry Truman wrote:
Ha ha. It's your life son.


Ha... Well honestly I was surprised to see how many here seem to rate Saved relatively highly. But maybe that just speaks to how dire some of the other albums are.

Quote:
Are you ready? I hope you're ready.


Frankly I'm a little scared :o


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PostPosted: Mon December 23rd, 2013, 22:15 GMT 
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jefpar wrote:
Harry Truman wrote:
Ha ha. It's your life son.


Ha... Well honestly I was surprised to see how many here seem to rate Saved relatively highly. But maybe that just speaks to how dire some of the other albums are.

Quote:
Are you ready? I hope you're ready.


Frankly I'm a little scared :o


Saved has some quality songs on it, but it also has the absolute worst song Dylan ever did. "Are You Ready" is just torture to me. One of the few Dylan songs that I just can't tolerate at all.


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PostPosted: Tue December 24th, 2013, 00:47 GMT 
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I think Infidels and Oh mercy are two fantastic albums :) fantastic lyrics, fantastic arrangements, great sound. musically I think Infidels and Oh Mercy may be some of the best stuff he's done. But that's what I think right now.... Brownsville Girl is great, but knocked out loaded is probably my least favourite Bob-album. Listening to the bootleg "1986 soundboard Collection" which has lots of outtakes from 84-86. pity he didn't realese some of that stuff : /


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PostPosted: Tue December 24th, 2013, 00:48 GMT 
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Slow Train is much more successful at it's implied intent.


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PostPosted: Tue December 24th, 2013, 03:59 GMT 
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Brian Hamilton Smith wrote:
I would say 'Saved' is by far Dylan's greatest album of the 1980s. I can only say to those that have it at the bottom of their lists that well, basically you are wrong. Not wrong in your opinions - there is no such thing as an opinion that is wrong because by the very nature of opinions they hold no water as truth beyond the minds that contain them - but in your appreciation of the record.

All I can suggest is that you go back to it and listen again. It's Dylan best collection of songs in the decade by a country mile.

Worst is a tough one to call as I rarely listen to any of the others, at least all the way through. All I see and hear after 'Saved' is lack of focus from Dylan. Hearts of Fire is probably the nadir, but watching his performance with Tom Petty on the Hand To Handle video last night, I was embarrassed to be a fan. Everything about it was excruciating.

People talk about Oh Mercy being his comeback album, but I find that record massively overrated. I would argue Dylan never really found himself again on record until Good As I Been To You, well into the 90s.


I'll second most of this. I'm not quite as negative about Oh Mercy, and I think Infidels has a couple interesting tracks, but for the most part this is my take. KoL is beyond awful and Groove is almost that bad. I admit Night after Night has become a guilty pleasure because that's how you do a disco track, just many years too late to matter. Plus the vocal is execrable.


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PostPosted: Tue December 24th, 2013, 04:34 GMT 

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Quote:
Saved has some quality songs on it, but it also has the absolute worst song Dylan ever did. "Are You Ready" is just torture to me. One of the few Dylan songs that I just can't tolerate at all.


As it happens, I made a point of listening to "Are You Ready" today. I can't fathom thinking it's either especially bad or Dylan's worst. Are people just offended by the content? I'm not remotely religious, but it doesn't bug me. It's a good gospel song. Saved overall is fine. I have a hard time seeing as one of his best, as some seem to, nor as this dreadful thing others do.

As for the rest... Oh Mercy and Infidels are the best, in that order, and they're both very good to great albums. Shot of Love is enjoyable (but I think it suffers more for the lack of "Caribbean Wind" and/or "Yonder Comes Sin" than Infidels does without "Blind Willie McTell" or "Foot of Pride"). I no longer have my copies of Empire Burlesque, Knocked Out Loaded, or Down in the Groove - this may seem like a judgment in itself, but in fact I don't think I ever listened to them; I bought them just to have them, took it on faith they were bad, figured I'd listen to them at some point, then unloaded them in a purge, a bit hastily I might add, since I want to hear them now.


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PostPosted: Tue December 24th, 2013, 10:10 GMT 

Joined: Sat October 3rd, 2009, 13:47 GMT
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P.Jekk wrote:
Shehandoah, Dead End street, Rank Strangers are all good songs

Great performances imo.
Death is not the end ain't bad too.

Oh Mercy (without doubt the album of the 80s)
Infidels (two third of the album makes it to no.2 of the 80s, the rest should be forgotten)
Empire Burlesque (great one only because of Dark Eyes, I'll Remember You)
Shot Of Love (great because it contains Every Grain Of Sand, The Groom's Still Waiting At The Altar)

Knocked Out Loaded (Only because of Brownsville Girl - but I like some other bootlegged versions better)
Saved is for me an album from the 70s, although it surfaced in the 80s (sometimes great music, but too much of one-dimensional preaching for me, so hard to listen to more than one time a year)

But to tell the truth, there are days I like those albums which I didn't like the day before.

Down In The Groove is the album, I ususally don't want to listen to completely, I even don't try it.
It's the only Dylan-album I remmber without any connecting idea for the 40 album-minutes (but the last three songs fit together, they could have been a nice mini-cd).


Last edited by HopE on Tue December 24th, 2013, 10:17 GMT, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue December 24th, 2013, 10:16 GMT 

Joined: Fri July 4th, 2008, 15:47 GMT
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Lone Pilgrim wrote:
Four are keepers. In this order:

1. Oh Mercy. Very strong. A significant Dylan album.
2. Infidels. "Coulda been a contender," but as it is merely pretty good.
3. Saved. Strong for what it is; nothing wrong with this one.
4. Shot of Love. Although this one takes a sympathetic ear, it does give us a good number of appealing pop songs, even if they aren't recorded or sung very well. A borderline case, but I wouldn't trade gems like "Property of Jesus," "Watered Down Love" and "In the Summertime," to say nothing of the two Big Songs on there.

The rest is dreck.

Even if UTRS had been a 1980s production, I'm surprised it was ranked so low by early posters in this thread relative to obvious disasters like "Groove." Of all of Bob's albums, that's the one that had the most potential to be something interesting even as it was ruined by horrendous production, lack of willpower and clear vision by Dylan, and the total absence of sympathetic collaborators. It's a sad orphan of a record, not a grotesque mess like KOL or DITG.


Exactly this.


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PostPosted: Tue December 24th, 2013, 12:26 GMT 

Joined: Sat October 3rd, 2009, 13:47 GMT
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Lone Pilgrim wrote:
Even if UTRS had been a 1980s production, I'm surprised it was ranked so low by early posters in this thread


Under The Red Sky is a 80s album in every respect, except of its release date.
And it's not bad at all.
It is the weaker brother of Oh Mercy and contains some great songs.
Another production would have shown that better.


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PostPosted: Tue December 24th, 2013, 12:30 GMT 

Joined: Sat November 30th, 2013, 07:16 GMT
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Under The Red Sky is utterly crap. Stop defending it - it's embarrassing.


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PostPosted: Tue December 24th, 2013, 12:41 GMT 

Joined: Tue October 22nd, 2013, 10:03 GMT
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Under the Red Sky is quite decent throwaway fluff. It's not a bad album, and not an especially good one either, but quite enjoyable once in a while. The best '80s album is Oh Mercy, but I find it somewhat overrated; I far prefer his second Lanois collaboration, Time Out of Mind. The worst is doubtlessly Down in the Groove. There's nothing redeemable about that album; it's even worse than Dylan and the Dead and KOL.


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PostPosted: Tue December 24th, 2013, 12:45 GMT 

Joined: Sat October 3rd, 2009, 13:47 GMT
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lostinspace wrote:
Under The Red Sky is utterly crap. Stop defending it - it's embarrassing.


never again, Sir!
How could I do this!
A disgusting album, crap, shit, nonsense, awful, into the fire with it, let's shredder it immediately!
Not only the album, I was so embarrasing too.
I feel ashamed! Thanks for leading me back on the right way!
It feels better to share your opinion

(btw: What is a "Killer Snark"?)

To make a complete fool out of me: I love Handy Dandy (the album version, the bootleg version, the live version). It swings, my hips move foreward and backwards - whatever the lyrics may express!


Last edited by HopE on Tue December 24th, 2013, 13:01 GMT, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue December 24th, 2013, 13:01 GMT 
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I like everything Bob released in the '80s and much of it, not only for what it is but the way he released it. I can't say that about any decade previous to the '80s. Some of his '80s work could have been better. All of it could have been worse, significantly worse. That it isn't like what came before should be a compliment to the artist and the art.

Best of Dylan's '80s albums: Difficult choice and certainly depends on the criteria. Infidels and Oh Mercy ares up there because they are fantastic albums. Saved, Shot of Love, and Empire Burlesque fit their niches quite well. Knocked Out Loaded ranks well because it is such a unique assortment of songs and arrangements... it reveals the artistically fearless side of Dylan as perhaps no other album of his career does and has to be considered top shelf for that alone.

Worst of Dylan's '80s albums: That really hurts the head to think about. There isn't a "bad" one in the bunch. When the lowest score of the semester is 99 percent, does it make much sense to ask about "worst"? I guess I probably listen to Down In the Groove less frequently than any other '80s album but it still gets plenty of attention. Admittedly, it is incredibly hard to consider it a "worst" just for that. :(


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PostPosted: Tue December 24th, 2013, 14:27 GMT 

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The '80s was the worst decade ever. When futuristic archaeologists unearth the 1980s they will no doubt hang their heads and weep for humanity's follies, silent tears making dayglo clay of the neon earth.


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PostPosted: Tue December 24th, 2013, 16:53 GMT 
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lostinspace wrote:
The '80s was the worst decade ever. When futuristic archaeologists unearth the 1980s they will no doubt hang their heads and weep for humanity's follies, silent tears making dayglo clay of the neon earth.


I think the 80's had it's charms, even with all the embarrassing stuff. A lot of the artist's from previous decades did embarrassing stuff in the 80's, but there was some pretty cool stuff going on. I think the 80's overall was a better decade for music than the decades that have come since.


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PostPosted: Tue December 24th, 2013, 18:16 GMT 
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People slag on the 80's too much. There's plenty good there if you make the effort to find it.


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