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PostPosted: Tue December 24th, 2013, 19:53 GMT 
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Saved, is the best of the lot, but it could and should have been so much better.
Oh Mercy, is good.

DITG, UTRS, KOL are all fairly bad,
with a few bright spots shining through
the rubble.


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PostPosted: Tue December 24th, 2013, 20:13 GMT 

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'Down In The Groove' is far from a good album, but I still think it's better/more bearable than 'Empire Burlesque'


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PostPosted: Tue December 24th, 2013, 23:19 GMT 

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To be fair, a few great musical artists had an awful '80s, not just Dylan. In fact, Bowie's appalling Tonight (I quite like the first half of Never Let Me Down, mostly hate the second) is only marginally better than DITG and marginally worse than KOL.


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PostPosted: Tue December 24th, 2013, 23:29 GMT 

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Tough call, they're all pretty good. I may skip more tracks on "Saved" than the others, but that doesn't necessarily mean it's the worst album.


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PostPosted: Wed December 25th, 2013, 12:09 GMT 

Joined: Tue October 22nd, 2013, 10:03 GMT
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In fact, Saved is a far better album than either DITG or KOL.


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PostPosted: Wed December 25th, 2013, 13:14 GMT 
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The Killer Snark wrote:
In fact, Saved is a far better album than either DITG or KOL.


with out a doubt.

covenant woman, solid rock, etc. excellent songs


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PostPosted: Thu December 26th, 2013, 11:12 GMT 
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Saved may be the lost GREAT album - listen to the remastered version from 2013 - it is simply brilliant music. Forget about the rhetoric - just LISTEN TO IT. The 2013 sound is astonishing. Nothing wrong with Saved imo.


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PostPosted: Thu December 26th, 2013, 11:59 GMT 

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nellie wrote:
Saved may be the lost GREAT album - listen to the remastered version from 2013 - it is simply brilliant music. Forget about the rhetoric - just LISTEN TO IT. The 2013 sound is astonishing. Nothing wrong with Saved imo.

no chance, because I don't want to buy the collection (and as far as I can see, the remastered album can be downloaded f.e. from amazon but can't be bought without the rest (what is the same nuisance as the fact that the side-tracks can't be bought seperately on cd)


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PostPosted: Thu December 26th, 2013, 18:03 GMT 
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nellie wrote:
Saved may be the lost GREAT album - listen to the remastered version from 2013 - it is simply brilliant music. Forget about the rhetoric - just LISTEN TO IT. The 2013 sound is astonishing. Nothing wrong with Saved imo.


The rhetoric is central to the album. It's nearly impossible to separate the two.

Ok fine. I'll listen to it again.

Thoughts:

Saved sounds like it'd be on the soundtrack of Whoopi Goldberg's SISTER ACT 4 and not in a good way

Satisfied Mind is good. (other than the parts where Bob sounds like he's constipated). It makes you think something's about to happen. Instead the band kicks in with SAVED.

Why is he almost yelling during Covenant Woman? The band sounds ok here, other than the sound of the drums. They sound like a Casio keyboard.

The drums sound crappy. Better than a TOTALLY 80s echo-chamber drum sound, but not good. It’s not easy to ignore.

Bob starts strong with What Can I do, with more understated vocals. Then is gets weird. Yelling again. Come on. Oh, great, the maestro is back on harp. Just what I needed. END ALEADY. That's what you can do. Shouldn't the song end at the harp solo? Wait...what's that about poison again? Oh, ok, the muffled harp is back. Great. Boy, this one just keeps plodding along.

Solid Rock. So far, so good. The main riff wouldn't be out of place on a stones song. I don't like the vocals following the music like a lost dog. still, it's the second decent song.

Pressing on....sigh. Backing vocals are just pissing me off now. NOW! I'm just tired or them singing the last word or two of each line. OF EACH LINE! ....great.....third tempo shift. It's like a Wings outtake now. WINGS OUTTAKE NOOOOW!! Wait, a new tempo is here.....along with a scatting, riffing backup singer. I love when Outros are as long as the songs themselves. VERY ERIC CLAPTON.

In the Garden prompted me to check how many more songs there are. ALMOST THERE. Quiet vocals, slow start. I can feel some yelling coming on........ooooo....saloon fills on piano. I like that....wait. Here's the organ. STEP RIGHT UP! "When HE healed the blind and crippled, did they see?" Well, I'd hope so, or HE's done a poor job of healing.....crap I lost track of the song....It' sounds like he said something about a harem. NAUGHTY NAUGHTY....crap...it's really kicking in. Cacophonous noise all at once....wait..circus is back in town. end already, man.

BREAKTIME!

Saving Grace. Strong start. I bet it goes down the same path as every other song. Let's see, shall we? PINE NUTS FOR ALL ETERNITY? There was a Twilight Zone episode where a guy makes a deal with the devil so that he could live forever. The Devil, ever the trickster, sees to it that the guy gets life in prison. THAT'S GOOD HUSTLE, SATAN! The guy should have wished for Pine Nuts for all eternity.....anyway...Bob definitely did the vocals once and never listened to them again.

Are you Ready? No. Not for this song. Plodding and repetitive, punctuated by a blues solo for some reason, and ARMAGEDDON....then it just fades away....what? Duhn dah dun dun...over and over. “I’m standing here beside the railroad track... and I’m waiting for that train to bring you back.... (bring you
back) if, if, if, if, if she’s not on the the 5:19 then I’m gonna know what sorrow means..... and I’m gonna cry
cry cry all the way home.... all the way home....all the way home..... all the way home....all the way home.....”

The Album cover is the absolute worst of any Bob's put out but a mile.


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PostPosted: Thu December 26th, 2013, 18:22 GMT 
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Hey Harry! Great blow by blow commentary. :lol:

I have to remember to reference this "review" whenever I get around to finally listening to Saved.

Except for Slow Train (Precious Angel is a favorite) I've ignored totally the born again period.

Don't want to be preached to, least of all by Zimmerman.


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PostPosted: Thu December 26th, 2013, 21:58 GMT 

Joined: Tue October 22nd, 2013, 10:03 GMT
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It's objectively a better album, but I think slow Train coming is more frustrating, because so many good songs are let down a tad by thin arrangements and a curiously restrained production. This includes its one truly great track, I Believe in You, which is excellent on album but frankly was more fully performed live. Saved is easier to take on face value; Slow Train should have been much better than it is.


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PostPosted: Sat December 28th, 2013, 20:37 GMT 
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Here's my personal opinion:

1) Oh Mercy
2) Infidels
3) Shot of Love
4) Empire Burlesque
5) Saved
6) Knocked Out Loaded
7) Down in the Groove

If we have to rate even "Real Live" (1984), I'd put it in the five slot, between "Empire" and "Saved".


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PostPosted: Sat December 28th, 2013, 22:01 GMT 
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jimb727 wrote:
Hey Harry! Great blow by blow commentary. :lol:

I have to remember to reference this "review" whenever I get around to finally listening to Saved.

Except for Slow Train (Precious Angel is a favorite) I've ignored totally the born again period.

Don't want to be preached to, least of all by Zimmerman.


Oh really? He's preached the whole way, and you haven't heard any of it? What do you listen to him for?


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PostPosted: Sat December 28th, 2013, 22:12 GMT 
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Harry Truman wrote:

The Album cover is the absolute worst of any Bob's put out but a mile.


No worse than Shot of Love after Lennon's assassination. A total lapse of taste.


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PostPosted: Sat December 28th, 2013, 22:34 GMT 
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I never made any connection between Lennon's death and Shot of Love... I doubt that Dylan or anyone at his record company did either. They can't think of everything. And the song itself isn't about a gunshot, rather chemical (drug/alcohol) "shots" used for various purposes and Dylan's desire for a shot (dose) of love to cure his ills (sin). A great song from a great album in my book.


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PostPosted: Sat December 28th, 2013, 22:58 GMT 
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henrypussycat wrote:
jimb727 wrote:
Hey Harry! Great blow by blow commentary. :lol:

I have to remember to reference this "review" whenever I get around to finally listening to Saved.

Except for Slow Train (Precious Angel is a favorite) I've ignored totally the born again period.

Don't want to be preached to, least of all by Zimmerman.


Oh really? He's preached the whole way, and you haven't heard any of it? What do you listen to him for?



"IF YOU DON'T LIKE BOB, WHY DO YOU EVEN POST HERE?"

:lol:

What was he preaching on Blonde on Blonde?


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PostPosted: Sun December 29th, 2013, 13:54 GMT 
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Best: Shot of Love or Saved (with Oh Mercy a very close second)
Worst: Empire Burlesque

I love the gospel records, and only wish Dylan had done more of them. If Shot of Love had been released with more of its excised content, it would have been his '80s masterpiece. As things are, it's still pretty good. The sound of that record is just so raw and great, something we wouldn't hear again until Good As I Been To You.

Empire Burlesque, on the other hand, is bafflingly bad. It's got a number of good song ideas put through terrible, terrible production. Emotionally Yours, Tight Connection To My Heart and Something's Burning Baby could all be better than they are, though SBB is close to perfect as it is. Dark Eyes is, of course, beautiful, but if he'd sung it just a few years earlier it would have been incredible.

It's worth noting that I've simply never bought Knocked Out Loaded or Down In The Groove, since their song samples on iTunes steered me clear.


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PostPosted: Sun December 29th, 2013, 18:03 GMT 

Joined: Sat October 3rd, 2009, 13:47 GMT
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belleseb32 wrote:
I love the gospel records, and only wish Dylan had done more of them.

I could begin to sing a gospel that he didn't.
For me too much of them are very very self-confident and self-satisfied. Good lyrics as good song-lyrics bear doubts in themselves (otherwise they are propaganda). So the best songs from the gospel-era are those, which aren't to sure that the sermon is completely right.
Hallelujah, that there are some doubting songs on the albums from those days (at least you can interprete some in this way - and when this is so, I am full of praises for them)!
I know, that some of the songs I don't like too much, are sung very well, they sound very heart-felt - but that doesn't make good songs - you can use them for services in a church, not for something else.
Astonishing to see how many ER-members love the gospel-era-songs than other songs!
For me Bob is usually the master of doubts and the enemy of too much self-confidence - at least in his songs!


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PostPosted: Mon December 30th, 2013, 17:41 GMT 
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belleseb32 wrote:
I love the gospel records, and only wish Dylan had done more of them.

I know my prayers were answered when he moved on


HopE wrote:
Astonishing to see how many ER-members love the gospel-era-songs than other songs!


Me too. Shocking, really. Ring Them Bells is a perfect example of how to focus on a Religious theme. Bob's vocal performance on that song is better than any song from the Gospel period. It's one of Bobs all-time great singing performances. Yet we still have to hear about the gospel dreck being better.

What planet are you people on? I want to avoid going there.


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PostPosted: Mon December 30th, 2013, 21:04 GMT 
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Best: Oh Mercy
Worst: Knocked Out Loaded


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PostPosted: Tue December 31st, 2013, 09:57 GMT 

Joined: Mon January 9th, 2006, 09:01 GMT
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The best collection of Dylan songs from the eighties is Bootleg Series Vol 3. The stuff on there blows away the official releases - and by some considerable distance.

After that:

1. Oh Mercy - good album. Songs have all been performed much better live, with the exception of Most of the Time.

2. Saved - good album but songs were far better live. Dylan needs to release a Gospel era show.

3. Shot of Love - this album has grown on me over the years. With Every Grain of Sand and Groom's Still Waiting At the Altar it has two great songs. Most of the rest is listenable.

And then.....

4. Infidels - I guess Infidels comes next. Jokerman is good. Some of the rest is bearable, but so much drivel. Some of the lyrics seems to have been written by an idiot ("first step was touching the moon") and others by a bigot (Neighborhood Bully).

5. Down in the Groove - nothing good, but not physically painful.

6. Knocked out Loaded - Brownsville Girl is great, but the rest is so irredeemable this would be the worst studio album Dylan has ever made, except for the existence of...

7. Empire Burlesque - the pits. The musical equivalent of having boiling corrosive acid poured into your ears. What on earth happened here? While Infidels and Shot of Love were damaged by perverse decisions in song selection, Empire Burlesque was decimated by perverse song selections and the worst production on any album.


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PostPosted: Thu January 2nd, 2014, 15:27 GMT 
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Harry Truman wrote:
henrypussycat wrote:

Oh really? He's preached the whole way, and you haven't heard any of it? What do you listen to him for?



"IF YOU DON'T LIKE BOB, WHY DO YOU EVEN POST HERE?"

:lol:


What was he preaching on Blonde on Blonde?


That he wanted his trumpet attended to without strings attached


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PostPosted: Sat January 4th, 2014, 14:12 GMT 

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Hmmm.... I'm not prepared to try and search out Dylan's good stuff from the 80s. I've got Brownsville Girl and Dark Eyes on I-Tunes. Both great songs but that'll do.

Oh Mercy is the obvious stand-out from this period and I remember the excitement when we first heard it. Dylan is back, some of us muttered, hoping that Oh Mercy might be the first signal in a sustained career renaissance. Then I remember the bitter disappointment when Under The Red Sky appeared a couple of years later. Bollocks, we muttered, he's gone back to being shite again!

Back in those days Dylan's reputation was built almost entirely on his sixties oeuvre and Blood On The Tracks. Those were the records that counted. Nothing much has changed.


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PostPosted: Sat January 4th, 2014, 14:58 GMT 

Joined: Sat October 3rd, 2009, 13:47 GMT
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Williamson wrote:

Back in those days Dylan's reputation was built almost entirely on his sixties oeuvre and Blood On The Tracks. Those were the records that counted. Nothing much has changed.


Thanks God this is not true for me.
I wouldn't be no longer interested in Bob, if the only counting oeuvre would be from the sixties.


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PostPosted: Sat January 4th, 2014, 16:54 GMT 
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Williamson wrote:
Hmmm.... I'm not prepared to try and search out Dylan's good stuff from the 80s. I've got Brownsville Girl and Dark Eyes on I-Tunes. Both great songs but that'll do.

Oh Mercy is the obvious stand-out from this period and I remember the excitement when we first heard it. Dylan is back, some of us muttered, hoping that Oh Mercy might be the first signal in a sustained career renaissance. Then I remember the bitter disappointment when Under The Red Sky appeared a couple of years later. Bollocks, we muttered, he's gone back to being shite again!

Back in those days Dylan's reputation was built almost entirely on his sixties oeuvre and Blood On The Tracks. Those were the records that counted. Nothing much has changed.


I recall reading all the "Dylan's back" stuff when Oh Mercy came out. I think it benefitted from the dreariness of the previous 2 or 3 albums where he could barely be bothered to write songs. When I listened to it I was really unimpressed. It had Lanois' production, a big plus, but the material was mostly cramped and grumpy. Long Black Coat struck me as Hollywood gimmicky. The best I could say was that it was consistent and showed some effort. The lyrics were careful. I've warmed up to it a little but prefer the zanier UTRS.

To his credit, Dylan has improved some of the songs in concert arrangements, particularly Long Black Coat and What Good am I.


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