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PostPosted: Mon June 19th, 2017, 19:43 GMT 

Joined: Mon March 7th, 2011, 21:11 GMT
Posts: 861
Location: Outside the Gates of Eden
charlesdarwin wrote:
I remember another contributor once saying that Blood on the Tracks wasn't the break-up album, Street-Legal was the break-up album. If there is such a thing as a break-up album, chronologically he was right. There's an underlying desperation to the imagery and a frantic, narcotic fueled velocity to the delivery of some of the songs that hasn't been present in his studio work since the mid 60s.

On Street-Legal Dylan's interest in form comes to the fore. His fascination for rhyme and wordplay are given free rein. I've said before that Dylan's intoxication by the possibilities of rhyme is like Shakespeare's addiction to quibbles (playing on words), they're both happy to follow where ever the compulsion leads them and if the larger work that contains it ultimately loses out they shrug and think it's well lost. Fortunately, given how good both of them are at what they do it isn't often that the larger work suffers - and personally, if it does I tend to shrug along with them and think, "So what, the rhyme's so brilliant and unexpected. The punning is so superbly funny, sly and dirty, it's worth it."

I don't really care what Changing of the Guards means, and anyway there can be no definitive meaning, any meaning could only be provisional and subject to change. I have a vision of a C15th/C16th allegorical painting where something enigmatic yet fraught with significance is happening in the foreground and in the middle distance there's a forest on fire with lots of animals running out of it, this always flashes into my mind when we come to the "Eden is burning" line.



Nicely put.

Re the Springsteen mentions above, iirc, Bob made the point about his band and in particular his sax being far better when they were both touring in 1981. At my age, though, "iirc" comes with a huge scornfully laughing emoticon .....


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PostPosted: Mon June 19th, 2017, 19:47 GMT 

Joined: Mon March 7th, 2011, 21:11 GMT
Posts: 861
Location: Outside the Gates of Eden
Hungryhoss wrote:
Every time I play the album, i grow a porn moustache, a sack of coke and a revolver appear on the table and my wife calls to say she's run off with my best mate.



Sorry about that, but it was you who introduced us - so you've only yourself to blame.


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PostPosted: Tue June 20th, 2017, 09:12 GMT 

Joined: Wed November 20th, 2013, 09:18 GMT
Posts: 182
Changing Of The Guards - 10/10
New Pony - 6/10
No Time To Think - 6.9/10
Baby Stop Crying - 5/10
Is Your Love In Vain? - 8/10
Senor - 10/10
True Love Tends To Forget - 7/10
We Better Talk This Over - 8/10
Where Are You Tonight? - 10/10

one of my favourite albums, i think "no time to think" would work a lot better with a different tune, there is defiantly a cracking song in there,


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PostPosted: Tue June 20th, 2017, 09:52 GMT 
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I've always wanted to hear the original Street-Legal. I feel like a muddier mix would suit the material, compared to the slick 2003 remaster. However, it's proved to be difficult to find. If only the gods were so kind to place it in my lap or compel the graciousness of a stranger to PM a yearning fellow with it's contents...


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PostPosted: Tue June 20th, 2017, 11:54 GMT 

Joined: Tue April 3rd, 2007, 14:49 GMT
Posts: 165
Location: Norway
I'm from Norway and here the release day in 1978 was June 23 - midsummer eve. I have never been so much taken by any Dylan LP when first hearing it as I was when I was listening to Street Legal for the first time. I'm sure I played it at least 5 times in a row that evening. I had lot of trouble in a serious relationship at the moment and so much in the lyrics went directly to my brain and heart. I loved all the songs very much (except New Pony) and I still love them today. As a long time huge Dylan fan from around 1970 and attending 232 Dylan-concerts since 1978, I have of course a lot of time been asked the question "what is your favourite Dylan LP?". It is of course a very difficult question. But, most of the time I have answered something like this: "It's almost impossible to pick just one, but if I have to answer just one, it must be Street Legal in hard competition with Blonde On Blonde, Blood On The Tracks, Desire and Time Out Of Mind. And what's strange is that very often the persons who asks or other Dylan-fans being there at the moment also tell that their No. 1 album is Street Legal. BUT, that's always when this thing happens in Europe. If the same happens in USA (I have seen 62 concerts there in 47 different cities in most parts of the country) no one agrees with me. They look like question marks in their face when I name Street Legal, and tell me that's a "worthless" or a "Las Vegas style" LP. It's really really strange. I love it and always will.

P.S. 1: I know my hearing is not as good as it could be, but I have never understood "the difference" between the original recording and the later remaster. They both sounds great to me.

P.S. 2: If the question has been "what's your favourite live version of any Dylan song?" "Where Are You Tonight?" or "Changing Of The Guards" are for sure among the contenders.


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PostPosted: Tue June 20th, 2017, 13:22 GMT 

Joined: Sat August 25th, 2007, 21:54 GMT
Posts: 1726
mystic garden wrote:
I've always wanted to hear the original Street-Legal. I feel like a muddier mix would suit the material, compared to the slick 2003 remaster. However, it's proved to be difficult to find. If only the gods were so kind to place it in my lap or compel the graciousness of a stranger to PM a yearning fellow with it's contents...


a digital copy? Vinyl is still available in used stores. I'll have to look around because I think I kept the first digital release. Biggest difference I recall was fixing the dropout in Stop Crying and bringing out detail in Senor which I thought was a good repair. And there was an extra unwished for repetition on the Changing of the Guards runout.


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PostPosted: Wed June 21st, 2017, 22:18 GMT 

Joined: Wed May 31st, 2017, 00:56 GMT
Posts: 99
My first introduction to Dylan's work was with 2001's Love and Theft mixed in with Blonde on Blonde and Blood on the Tracks, so when I was a kid I thought that he could do pretty much anything and make it interesting. Still, years later when I found out about Street Legal I was surprised, but in a good way. I think after listening to it a lot recently it's found it's way in my top 10 Dylan albums, with John Wesley Harding, L&T and World Gone Wrong. Songs like Changing of the Guards, Senor and Where are You Tonight are as good as anything he's written in my opinion. I have a soft spot for No Time to Think and New Pony as well. The other songs may be closer to Pop songs than anything else, but they're very enjoyable. I forget how good those '78 shows could be too.


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PostPosted: Thu June 22nd, 2017, 02:15 GMT 
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monklover wrote:
mystic garden wrote:
I've always wanted to hear the original Street-Legal. I feel like a muddier mix would suit the material, compared to the slick 2003 remaster. However, it's proved to be difficult to find. If only the gods were so kind to place it in my lap or compel the graciousness of a stranger to PM a yearning fellow with it's contents...


a digital copy? Vinyl is still available in used stores. I'll have to look around because I think I kept the first digital release. Biggest difference I recall was fixing the dropout in Stop Crying and bringing out detail in Senor which I thought was a good repair. And there was an extra unwished for repetition on the Changing of the Guards runout.

Yes, seeking a digital copy.

I tend to listen to the original John Wesley Harding compared to the remaster, I'm hoping it's generally perceived inferiority will likewise enhance the material for me.


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PostPosted: Sat June 24th, 2017, 04:48 GMT 

Joined: Mon April 6th, 2009, 20:28 GMT
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Location: I was there for a party once
Bob took such a dive after this, he never fully recovered.

The album wove a magical spell on me at the age of 16--enchanting tunes, mesmerizing rhymes, in one of his most authoritative voices.

The only album since that even approaches this kind of richness is perhaps Tempest.


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PostPosted: Sat June 24th, 2017, 05:07 GMT 

Joined: Tue February 3rd, 2015, 19:05 GMT
Posts: 494
One of my favorites. I love New Pony. Hell, I love the complete album.


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PostPosted: Sat June 24th, 2017, 17:45 GMT 
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Location: in the land where dreams are made....
John B. Stetson wrote:
Where are you Tonight is heartbreaking. god have I been there. I have always found Street-Legal to be as under-rated as it is over-rated.

Charles' post is wonderful and echoes how I feel about a lot of it.

I always got a kick out of Eddie's thoughts on Changing of the Guards.

http://www.expectingrain.com/discussion ... ds#p491169

Hope you're well, Eddie

I have popped open this Eddie post and re-read it off and on for a week. It really is right up there on the list of best ever ER post 8)


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PostPosted: Sat June 24th, 2017, 19:55 GMT 
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I became a Dylan fan in '75, after Desire was out. So Street-Legal was the the first new album for me. I didn't like the sound of the band, the sax, the backup singers and his voice. I listened a lot and it grew on me, but there's just too much about it that I don't like. Three or four good songs, the rest is annoying.

I've heard the remaster/remix and it's definitely an improvement. But I think I figured out the real problem:

The sessions were rushed. A couple more takes for most of those songs might have made all the difference. You hear on the bootleg release from 65-66. The earlier versions of songs were good but they didn't quite get it right until the take that was used. In Street-Legal, they stopped before any of the songs really sounded good.

Also, that voice. He has such a great thing going with the BOT, Desire and RTR voices. Why did he trade it in for the burned pretzel sound?
Someone or something got Bob into the idea of having three female gospel styled singers as part of the band. I think they rubbed off on him during the Rundown rehearsals. In the span of a couple weeks his voice went from RTR/Last Waltz voice to the Street Legal voice. You can hear it happening on those recordings.


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PostPosted: Wed July 26th, 2017, 05:07 GMT 
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Seeing that someone asked whether the album as a whole work was a 'classic' - this is how people here rated the individual songs.


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PostPosted: Wed July 26th, 2017, 10:28 GMT 

Joined: Tue January 6th, 2015, 15:03 GMT
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I don't hear much, if any, difference between Bob's voice on RTR and Street-Legal.


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PostPosted: Fri August 18th, 2017, 10:35 GMT 
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Joined: Thu August 17th, 2017, 20:00 GMT
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Location: Manchester England
I first heard this on a cassette from my fathers music collection back when i was around 8 or 9 years old.
I remember loving the album back then. I was born in 1980, so it was 87, 88 that i was starting to get
into Dylan. Then the 'Hard To Handle' concert was shown on TV (a show called Arena) and i taped that
and watched it over and over. I remember wondering why no songs from Street Legal were played at
that concert, and now all grown up, still think this album is very underrated by Bob himself in regards
to live airings of the tracks.
Reviewers tend to all say ''nearly a good album, marred by poor production'' etc.
I just can't agree, i think the original mix was fine, and the remastered version was fantastic.
I'm just wondering what real Bob Dylan fans think of the album, reviewers tend to go with
a general trend, and i've always thought that outside of the Dylan fan community the album
gets totally overlooked.


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PostPosted: Fri August 18th, 2017, 19:51 GMT 
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Joined: Thu August 17th, 2017, 20:00 GMT
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Location: Manchester England
Nightingale's Code wrote:
Street-Legal is fantastic. It goes by like a drug induced fever dream. It has a hot sound to it that makes it sound desperate. I agree with Kuddukan that the bookends are definitely the best, but what's between them ain't too bad either


I completely agree with this, when i hear it, it brings to mind the colour red,
added to that is the heat you mention, and a claustrophobic feeling with a desperation
in the singing. I notice whilst reading through that many people dislike 'New Pony',
and 'No Time To Think', which i always liked.
'New Pony' isn't Bob trying to play the blues & the song isn't about an actual pony
ploughing. The metaphor is in there if you seek it.


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