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PostPosted: Tue August 18th, 2009, 02:07 GMT 

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This is one The MEZ never fully appreciated I think. I like it but I'm not crazy about it. It's got to be considered a classic. I am not sure about live renditions either, as I'd probably skip them, for the most part. Send the MEZ along one that'll make me fully appreciate the Gates of Eden. What are others thoughts on this track? MEZ


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PostPosted: Tue August 18th, 2009, 03:02 GMT 

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Mez, Gates of Eden went beyond music...one of those spiritual masterpieces only the young can write, and only Dylan in his day. Short of a personal discourse line by line, which I could wrap up in about ten days, I think, let me off the hook with a simple, "That's one song I will drop everything I'm doing to enjoy, whenever it pops up." Kid was channeling, then and now. Just my opinion.


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PostPosted: Tue August 18th, 2009, 03:12 GMT 
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A phenomenal song that stands in the same league as other Dylan classics like its partner It's Alright Ma. The live versions from '88 are very good... but my favorite has to be the one that's on the Bootleg Series halloween show from '64.


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PostPosted: Tue August 18th, 2009, 06:44 GMT 
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From the first part of his "lets adopt French surrealist poetry to folk music" phase.

“Gates of Eden” and “It’s Alright, Ma (I’m Only Bleeding)” seem to me cut from the same cloth as “A Hard Rain.” I’ve long suspected The Doors got the idea of ending their records with their own epic songs (“The End” “When the Music’s Over”) from this and the next couple records. And what better way to announce “This is an epic” than to begin with a reference to the mother-of-all epics.

“Of war and peace the truth just twists / its curfew gull just glides.”

The lines that end “the gates of Eden” are interesting too for the choice of “inside” “outside” etc. It seems like a precursor to “Desolation Row” in that regard. “Mail them from (not “too”) Desolation Row… etc.” By the next record the rather stern, foreboding – I always imagine them made of wrought iron – gates of Eden get transformed into the run-down funky neighborhood of “Desolation Row.” Creatively, it’s a move that suggests an Old Testament story rewritten as a John Steinbeck novel.

“Gates of Eden” is stuffed full to bursting with a tableau of characters that leap forth from Dylan’s inflamed imagination. The curfew gull, the cowboy angel, a lamp post that stands with folded arms and iron claws; the savage soldier, shoeless hunter, utopian hermit monks… the list expands throughout the song as these vague, half-formed images root around in your mind, reaching one of its peaks is the fourth from last verse:

“The motorcycle black Madonna, two-wheeled gypsy queen
And her silver-studded phantom cause the gray flannel dwarf to scream
As he weeps to wicked birds of prey who pick up on his bread crumb sins
And there are no sins inside the Gates of Eden”


That dichotomy is one that I think Dylan borrows from the Beats – the hip outsider world versus the square gray flannel world – and it’s clear which side Dylan prefers (remember too how the gray flannel world continually tries to capture that icon of resistance and co-opt it. See: the Fonz).

One of Dylan’s strongest 1990s songs is the outtake “Series of Dreams” and I think many of the songs from 1965 can be approached as series of dreams. The closing verse here sort of supports that idea:

“At dawn my lover comes to me, and tells me of her dreams
With no attempts to shovel the glimpse into the ditch of what each one means
At times I think there are no words but these to tell what's true
And there are no truths outside the Gates of Eden.”


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PostPosted: Tue August 18th, 2009, 09:15 GMT 

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Gates of Eden penetrates deep into his and our discovery that the pursuit of that Paradise of wisdom and knowledge does not lead to righteousness, that the forgiving God is not really forgiving and that Hell is all that you see around you. It's the Book of Revelation written by B.D., Dylan at his most blasphemous. Like It's Alright Ma after it, the song subverts our ideas of earthly riches and spiritual ones, of the mind and the soul, of good and evil, and by the finish all we're left with is our own lonely perception which in essence means nothing at all. There are no kings, sins, or trials inside the Gates, just as there are no laughs or truths outside of them. And it all leads to those obtuse last lines:

"At times I think there are no words but these to tell what's true
And there are no truths outside the Gates of Eden.”

Here we're forced to accept that all that's come before in the song must be examined again to determine what is real and what is not.

The performance of this song on the album is equally bitter. The tension of the song is conveyed perfectly by Bob's voice and punctuated after each verse with a bitter flash of harmonica. It's a solitary and lonely song in lyric but defiantly singular and rebellious in performance, as is all of Side 2.

Personally, I've always been especially fond of the 1965 tour versions. Substituting the harmonica with a more pretty sounding acoustic arrangement than even the album, they become lovely and terrifying nightmares. Bob has never come close to this song after 65. Here's a brilliant, deeply focused version from Manchester:

May 7 1965
http://www.sendspace.com/file/fn0341


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PostPosted: Tue August 18th, 2009, 13:13 GMT 

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I always skip it.


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PostPosted: Tue August 18th, 2009, 13:15 GMT 

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One of the great live versions of this is from Youngstown 1992.


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PostPosted: Tue August 18th, 2009, 13:24 GMT 
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It applies image after poetic image very quickly . I have always felt it was similiar in style to Desolation Row. I had never heard it until I bought the Album. It was awesome hearing it the first time.


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PostPosted: Tue August 18th, 2009, 16:24 GMT 
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oldmanemu wrote:
It applies image after poetic image very quickly . I have always felt it was similiar in style to Desolation Row. I had never heard it until I bought the Album. It was awesome hearing it the first time.


It is and it isn't. "Gates" is stern where "Desolation" is funky. "Desolation Row" has a humor to it - audiences laughed during early versions - nobody's chuckling during "Gates." The gates of Eden are black, iron, pointed at the top, you could impale yourself on them. Desolation Row is a line of wooden ramshackle houses with porches that are ready to fall off. Behind the gates of Eden people are parched and looking for a little water; on Desolation Row, the people on the porches sip cheap wine.


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PostPosted: Tue August 18th, 2009, 22:51 GMT 
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Long Johnny wrote:
oldmanemu wrote:
It applies image after poetic image very quickly . I have always felt it was similiar in style to Desolation Row. I had never heard it until I bought the Album. It was awesome hearing it the first time.


It is and it isn't. "Gates" is stern where "Desolation" is funky. "Desolation Row" has a humor to it - audiences laughed during early versions - nobody's chuckling during "Gates." The gates of Eden are black, iron, pointed at the top, you could impale yourself on them. Desolation Row is a line of wooden ramshackle houses with porches that are ready to fall off. Behind the gates of Eden people are parched and looking for a little water; on Desolation Row, the people on the porches sip cheap wine.

I agree . I just meant in the writing style. Many would disagree but I once read an article in Isis where the writer described Desolation Row as the comedy routine of the show. I thought it was an apt description .
However as you say Gates of Eden is very stern.


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PostPosted: Tue August 18th, 2009, 23:46 GMT 
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A time rusted compass blade, through the past, darkly...:

Gates Of Eden - 6/8/65 recording for BBC Radio: http://www.sendspace.com/file/hvk8lu

Gates Of Eden - 9/3/65 Hollywood Bowl: http://www.sendspace.com/file/1nscga

Gates Of Eden - 1/31/74 MSG New York, Tour '74: http://www.sendspace.com/file/wz423n

Gates Of Eden - 7/15/78 Blackbushe: http://www.sendspace.com/file/lqz90f

Gates Of Eden - 10/25/95 Rockford town: http://www.sendspace.com/file/y7z5bx

Gates Of Eden - 5/11/00 Cologne: http://www.sendspace.com/file/794hqb


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PostPosted: Wed August 19th, 2009, 01:14 GMT 

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Thanks guys for the posts! Great renditions!! I enjoy the song much more now. MEZ


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PostPosted: Wed August 19th, 2009, 05:30 GMT 

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Yeah thanks a lot Muleskinner. That 95 version is stunning. I've been listening all day. It's very strong and certainly gives the 65 versions a run. His control is perfect there, and the acoustic interplay is really a wonder to listen to.
I stand corrected.

That 2000's not bad either...


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PostPosted: Wed August 19th, 2009, 18:55 GMT 
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I've always felt the 95 - present era versions of this song are more cryptic than earlier versions. It has to do with Bob's aged voice, the guitar interplay and the murkiness of the bands sound. I saw a bunch of great performances when I followed his tour around '00. Denver 2000-04-06 is particularly good to my ears.


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PostPosted: Fri August 21st, 2009, 07:22 GMT 

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From the Don't Look Back Outtakes:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JMkuI4BxRQ0


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PostPosted: Sun February 5th, 2012, 14:39 GMT 
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GATES OF EDEN

Robert Shelton

The quest for salvation. Ultimately, the promise or dread of heaven and hell faces everyone. In The Orphic Vision, Gwendolyn Bays, “A barrier between the rhelm of sleep and waking was perceived by both Homer and Virgil – both made a distinction between the two kinds of visionary experiences. In the celebrated imagery of the gates of ivory and the gates of horn they represented this fundamental poetic insight – through the portal leading into the realm of the dead, came nothing but truth, whereas through the gate “of gleaming ivory” false dreams often came to men. Thus, the ancients wisely saw that dreams can be the bearers of both truth and error.”

Gabrielle Goodchild, “He is not really talking about Eden, but about what is not Eden. He is talking about “this” world, a lying illusion of destructiveness, savagery, false promises, prophets and pimps, false security. The only comfort is that “It doesn’t matter inside the Gates of Eden”. It will all end and oblivion will come. If oblivion is the only thing to hope for, what a terrible world this is.”

The crowning glory of Gates Of Eden is that heaven is more and less than we have been taught to believe. In Dylan’s hands, belief in a life after death without worry or care is the ultimate myth because it takes us past the ugliness of life. When we are there, we are dead, and what is more restful than eternal sleep? Carolyn Bliss, “Eden is inside. Any other paradise is a sham, and pursuit of it is potentially deadly to the spirit.”

In verse two, the metallic, mechanical city covers the cries of babies, the longing for Eden’s silence. Verse three, savage soldiers and deaf hunters await their mythic boat ride. In verse four, the magic of Alladin and the magic of cloistered monks promise a paradise that no one laughs at until he is in Eden. Verse five portrays the Marxists whispering from the wings, awaiting one king-leader to succeed another, while their audience escapes the political-philosophical struggle, knowing that there are no kings in Eden. Verse six finds the motorcycle hipster and his antonym, the gray-flannel businessman-mental midget, equally appauling and equally concerned with sin, which is nonexistent in death and in Eden. History, implies cynical verse seven, does not teach us all that much, for Blakean “kingdoms of experience” just rot in the wind. The poor battle for what other paupers have, while nobility talks on – none of it matters, in Eden. More gloom as “friends and other strangers” try futilely to change their fates. No matter, inside the Gates of Eden. Finally, even his lover’s dreams should not be scanned for meaning or truth. No truth but in Eden, in sleep, in death.

In 1793, Blake issued a series of pictorial emblems titled The Gates Of Paradise. In 1818, he reworked many of the plates and added a text called The Keys Of The Gates. The emblems traced man from cradle to grave, through various states of the soul’s desire and mortal frustration. To Blake, the grave was not a place of death, but of spiritual mystery, echoing the Bible, Spenser, Shakespeare, Milton and Swedenborg. Is Gates Of Eden both a Blakean song of innocence and of experience? Coleridge said the best way to know poems is to make them “generally, but not perfectly understood”. Compare “the ships with tattooed sails” to the timeless metaphor of a ship as the vehicle to death. The monks sitting side-saddle on a golden calf recall that ancient Hebrews worshiped a golden calf until Moses delivered the ten commandments.

Clinton Heylin

Published lyrics: Writings And Drawings; Lyrics 1985; Lyrics 2004; {draft: The Bob Dylan Scrapbook].
First known performance: Philharmonic Hall, New York, 31 October 1964 [L64].
Known studio recordings: Studio A, New York, 15 January 1965 – 1 take [BIABH]; Studio B, New York, 1 May 1970.

Dylan told Nat Hentoff, the week after the Another Side Of Bob Dylan session, “I've been getting freer in the songs I write, but I still feel confined. That's why I write a lot of poetry.” Stretching at the very bounds of song itself, he could sense the line between poetry and song starting to dissolve. As his page-bound poems became little more than speed-screeds, the songs became so much more, lateral and linear, literary yet lyrical. The all-important Gates Of Eden appears to have been composed at the same time as he was tapping out a number of rambling, non-rhyming, vers libre poems for the jacket of his fourth album, circa late-June and July 1964.

Given that a complete draft resides among the Another Side Of Bob Dylan papers, Gates Of Eden presumably predates It's Alright, Ma, (I’m Only Bleeding) even though its live debut came later. With it Dylan finally ventured beyond the “haunted, frightened trees / far from the twisted reach of crazy sorrow.” Sidelining songs about Suze, he willingly embraced that intensely creative nexus in which he may “not really know exactly what it is all about, but I do know the minutes and the layers of what it's all about,” a sentiment he voiced in 1965.

Perhaps the prosaic process by which he tapped out every crazy thought that came to him that summer, hoping to deliver a literary masterpiece of speed-writing – and perhaps trump Richard Farina's Been Down So Long It Looks Like Up To Me – played its part in attuning his hand to a chemically enhanced mind's eye. However, this “naturalistic” approach to composition was not adopted for Gates Of Eden or It's Alright, Ma (I’m Only Bleeding) two songs far beyond their rightful time.

The frustratingly clean draft for Gates Of Eden gives the briefest glimpse of the writing process, suggesting that the song came with the dawn, and with a great deal more ease than either Mr Tambourine Man or Chimes Of Freedom. Eight of the nine verses are wholly realized. Just two verses change before the song arrives at its final form. In verse six, “All men are kings inside the gates of Eden” becomes “There are no kings”; while in the eighth he ultimately prefers, “And there are no trials inside the Gates Of Eden,'” rather than the foreboding, “There's nowhere t hide inside the gates of Eden” – a presentiment, perhaps, of the later dystopia, Desolation Row.

Just the final verse requires completion, comprising two lines, both brimming with ideas. “At dawn my lover comes t me / an tells me of her dreams,” is one train of thought he completes easily enough. However, the suggestion that “there are no words, but these t tell no truths,” needs unravelling. Eventually he arrives at, “There are no words but these to tell what's true / And there are no truths outside the gates of Eden,” a couplet that suggests time spent with the I Ching had not been wasted.

Though the song seems to have been written in time for his annual Newport appearances, the last week in July 1964, he kept it back until his next New York showcase, on Halloween 1964. On a night when he was struggling to focus on that sure vision of his, Gates Of Eden is the standout performance. He also effortlessly unravelled the song in the studio the following January 1965, recording it in a single take, while continuing to make it an exemplar of his new creed in live performance, when he nightly stirred the melting pot.

It would take the introduction of the Blonde On Blonde songs in the winter of 1966 for Dylan to feel he had moved beyond this particular “kingdom of experience.” After which it would take him another 22 years to return to this Eden – perfunctory acoustic versions in 1974 and 1978 notwithstanding. Only at the start of the Never Ending Tour, partnering an equally electric My Back Pages with an arrangement of heart-stopping intensity, would Gates Of Eden come back into its own. Disappointingly, this dramatic reinterpretation was dropped after just a handful of performances. Thankfully, in the spring of 1995, it returned to join Mr Tambourine Man and It's All Over Now, Baby Blue in laser-precise acoustic sets that acted as a crash course in the compositional quantum leap achieved three decades prior.

Andy Gill

Dylan admitted to Nora Ephron and Susan Edmiston that his writing style was influenced by William Burroughs ("a great man") and claimed that, like the beat author, he too collected photographs which illustrated his songs. "I have photographs of Gates Of Eden and It's All Over Now, Baby Blue," he said. "I saw them after I wrote the songs. People send me a lot of things and a lot of the things are pictures, so other people must have that idea too."

It is hardly surprising that Gates Of Eden should inspire visual responses, as the song contains some of Dylan's most vivid, unsettling dream imagery, and may itself have been inspired by William Blake's pictorial sequence The Gates Of Paradise. Like A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall, each verse – virtually each couplet – stands on its own as a discrete tableau, combining to offer a devastating evocation of societal entropy. The song sets up hopeful expectations with the title Gates Of Eden, but it is actually about an Eden from which paradise has been eroded – there is a terrible stench of decay and corruption about the imagery, and Dylan's portentous delivery of each verse's closing line offers a warning rather than a welcome. This Eden is a place to be avoided, where the best that can be expected is oblivion.

When he debuted the song at his New York Philharmonic Hall concert on 31 October 1964, Dylan introduced the song as "a sacrilegious lullaby in G minor," a light-hearted description nevertheless borne out by the depiction of "Utopian hermit monks" sharing a saddle on the Golden Calf with "Aladdin and his lamp." Religion, he seems to be suggesting, is composed of equal parts piety and magic, an unhealthy combination of morality, smoke and mirrors, whose protagonists' "promises of paradise" raise only hollow laughter from Eden's inhabitants.

Elsewhere in the song, small-minded, gray-flan-neled citizens are shocked by biker molls, impotent paupers chase materialist goals, industrialized cities remain impervious to babies' cries, secretive kingmakers determine power relations and "friends and other strangers," in an elegant twist on the notion of resignation, "from their fates try to resign." Throughout, the catalogue of hardship and debasement is recurrently wiped clean at the end of each verse, rendered meaningless by the looming specter of the Gates Of Eden.

Finally, the narrator is woken from his nightmare visions by his lover, who, like the beatific woman of Love Minus Zero / No Limit, reports her own dreams without trying to decipher them; perhaps, he thinks, that is the best way to deal with his own visions, which seem somehow truer, more revealing of life, than strict narrative interpretations. After all, as he concludes, "there are no truths outside the Gates Of Eden."

With its ponderous delivery, methodical strumming and bare arrangement—the only embellishment is a single windswept wheeze of harmonica planting a full-stop at the end of each verse – Gates Of Eden is the closest Dylan had come to an outright sermon since The Times They Are A-Changin'; but compared with the clarity of that song's well-targeted attack, this one offers only a troubling perception of general unease, a glimpse of a hell which we may already inhabit.

At almost six minutes long, the song was the perfect B-side partner for Like A Rolling Stone, adding extra layers of dense imagery to the A-side's oblique character-assassination, and making it, at nearly 12 minutes in total, by far the longest single that had ever been released – a factor which added to the perception of Dylan as a serious young man with a lot to say.

Paul Williams

The lyrics of Gates Of Eden go over the edge into the impenetrable a number of times (shadows metal badge?), but the music and overall mood of the song are so moving it does not matter; in fact Dylan seems to address this issue directly in the last verse when he says,

At dawn my lover comes to me
And tells me of her dreams
With no attempts to shovel the glimpse
Into the ditch of what each one means.

We are forewarned, in effect, that it is uncool to analyze or be concerned with "meaning." More helpfully, he suggests that what he is working with here is dream imagery, and the idea that perhaps it takes the unselfconscious perception and communication that occurs in altered states to cut through the illusion of everyday reality:

At times I think there are no words
But these to tell what's true
And there are no truths outside the Gates of Eden.

The phrase Gates Of Eden might be a sort of free-form, not-to-be-pinned-down combination of Huxley's "doors of percep¬tion" with the biblical myth of a perfect state from which we are all fallen, plus some other things I can't identify. (Am I shoveling glimpses into ditches yet?) The essence of the song lies in the feeling of the lyrics rather than their specific content, and in the mood evoked by the odd droning accompaniment and by the way Dylan's voice wraps itself around selected words. Somehow he does in fact create a dream-state that seems keenly relevant to our emerging common awareness of the way the world really is (and is not); and again individual phrases emerge to dazzle the listener: "the motorcycle black madonna two-wheeled gypsy queen" and "upon the beach where hound dogs bay at ships with tattooed sails / heading for the Gates of Eden." The repetition of the title phrase has a particularly hypnotic effect.

Note, please, the cameo appearances Dylan-the-singer makes in each of these epic songs – as a clown in Mr Tambourine Man, "And if you hear vague traces of skipping reels of rhyme (those four words make a perfect description of this particular song) / to your tambourine in time, it's just a ragged clown behind / I wouldn't pay it any mind...", as a sort of demagogue in It's Alright Ma (I’m Only Bleeding), "one who sings with his tongue on fire...cares not to come up any higher / but rather get you down in the hole that he's in," and as a minstrel in Gates Of Eden, "I try to harmonize with songs / the lonesome sparrow sings." Like many of our finest visual artists, Dylan enjoys including a little caricature of himself, often ironic, somewhere in each of his energetic portraits of the carnival of life.

50 Cult Dylan Classics – Q Magazine 2006

He caused earthquakes by going electric on its parent album, but this all-acoustic track quietly hypnotised with its meandering structure and surreal lyrics.

Mojo 2005 Readers Poll #76

Marc Carroll – Mojo 100 Greatest Dylan Songs #69

I was initially struck by the sheer weightiness of the song, the biblical imagery and incessant rhythm. The whole song is so powerful it is actually unsettling, almost frightening. Dylan often refers to the imperfect human state, the fall from grace and exile from Eden. Here, it on centre-stage. When he sings about the “motorcycle black Madonna, two wheeled gypsy queen”, it is such a powerful, sexy image. Dylan is a very sexy writer who empowers the listener, which is why women love him.

Oliver Trager

Dylan once introduced this song as “a sacrilegious lullaby in D minor” and that is about as apt a description as any of Gates Of Eden. An epic with Blakean overtones (the visionary poet and artist’s sequential painting The Gates Of Paradise is pointed to as an influence) and discomforting William Burroughs-esque spleen, Gates Of Eden concerns itself with salvation (or what salvation is not) and, untimately, the universal promise and lies of dreams of heaven and hell.

A vision of a vision postponed – man’s expulsion from paradise – Gates Of eden still stands as a powerful example of Dylan as a reluctant prophet in his sad-eyed peak at the highlands. The musical accompaniment is spare, embellished with a sour harmonica flourish at the end of each verse as if to emphasise the distaste for what he has to say. In Gates Of Eden, Dylan declares that blind belief in a forgiving afterlife is the ultimate lie because it creates complacency in this one. This compendium of harsh imagery flows brittle and surreal from the blue-eyed son who was caught in a hard rain on Rue Morgue Avenue and came back with a cosmic weather report – no kings, no sins, no trials inside the gates of Eden; no laughs, no truths outside the gates. Oblivion is the only logical destination for all mortal souls, so get used to it, Dylan suggests upon his return from the portal the ancients claimed provided poetic wisdom. And that horrifying revelation is no less than a glimpse of the hell we may already partially occupy.

But Dylan is not the only one searching for the truth on this barren, threatening landscape of entropy – a cloud-riding cowboy angel uses a black wax candle to ferret out the sun; babies wail in a vacuum; a savage soldier makes like an ostrich with his head in the sand, oblivious to the baying hound dogs and freedom-seeking ships; Utopian hermit monks ride the golden calf side-saddle and, with Aladdin (his dormant lamp close by), promise paradise; the narrator tries to sing with a lonesome sparrow in a world with no leaders, as a motorcycling black Madonna and her phantom henchman torment a gray-flanneled, bread-crumb-sinning dwarf and the local vultures spy their prey. At the song’s end, the narrator is awakened by his lover, who tells him of her dreams. But he knows that the words he has to describe his night visions are the only truthful ones.

A nice portrayal of Dylan performing Gates Of Eden from his 9 May 1965 concert in London can be seen in the film Don’t Look Back. While not a common song in Dylan’s onstage repertoire, Gates Of Eden has, nonetheless, appeared with a certain degree of regularity since its debut in 1964. While Dylan’s previous concert presentations of Gates Of Eden came in the form of a solo acoustic display, his early Never Ending Tour renditions had a martial, heavy-metal edge worthy of Guns ‘N’ Roses. Dylan returned to an acoustic-band adaptation of the song by the mid-1990s, when he delivered some stunning, Django Reinhardt-style performances of this dark fever dream.

Roger Ford

The mono mix has a quite different guitar sound for this song. It is mostly pounding mid-range, but there are some delicate high frequencies too, which the mono Mr Tambourine Man lacks.

The stereo LP mix sounds as though it was produced by a different engineer than the other acoustic tracks. When compared with the mono mix there is the same thin sound to both guitar and vocal, but the stereo LP gives no lateral separation of voice and guitar; in fact it barely sounds stereophonic at all. Only the slightest hint of ambience is detectable when switching the playback amplifier from mono to stereo.

On the old CD edition the guitar sounds just as monophonic, but the vocal has noticeably more ambience; presumably this was added as part of the remixing for CD.

The new SACD mixes give the guitar a lot more depth and clarity than on any of the earlier releases, and also reveal textures in Dylan's vocal that just weren't discernible before. In the stereo mix the guitar is once again resolutely central, right behind the vocal and harmonica; but in 5.1 its ambience gets spread around a just a little more.


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PostPosted: Sun February 5th, 2012, 15:13 GMT 

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2000-03-26 Casper, WY
sourced from LB-4007
http://www.sendspace.com/file/abbvzc (FLAC)
http://www.sendspace.com/file/6x5xc5 (Apple Lossless)


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PostPosted: Mon February 6th, 2012, 05:21 GMT 
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Bennyboy wrote:
Dylan's use of a 'cowboy angel' riding on 'four legged forest clouds' clearly conjures Ginsberg's memorable beat juxtapositions in Howl, "angelheaded hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly connection to the starry dynamo in the machinery of night,".

The man made religious frontiers so brilliantly sketched by Dylan in this line - the heavens patrolled and herded by the angel cowboys - is thus masterfully counterposed to the internal Eden that Dylan has staked his claim on. Society looks skyward for answers, but 'the truth' is twisted between artificial notions of war and peace, and the hope for enlightenment symbolized by the candle's glow does not act as a beacon but rather the opposite. From such confusing heights, Dylan brings us back to earth and posits an alternative. Can't see the wood (forest) for the trees? Step inside the gates I've opened, he says....

This technique of pushing two seemingly unconnected images or objects together in prose or poetry, to effectively jumpcut and shortcut, was a key Beat movement marker and Dylan picks it up and runs with it from 64 through to 66. Even a cursory listen to Bringing It All Back Home, or indeed a cursory glance at the lyrics, should tell you that.


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PostPosted: Mon February 6th, 2012, 20:26 GMT 
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The two best versions of this song - ever - both come from 1988, and are radically different from each other. The first is the wild electric take from Berkeley 6 / 10, the other the stark, haunting acoustic take from Radio City 1988.


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PostPosted: Mon February 6th, 2012, 20:53 GMT 
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That's a good citation of superior concert versions, RG, especially the electric version. The song is suitable for a wild electric ride into the sublime.

The lyrics are Dylan at his unhinged visionary best, combining Ginsberg's syntax and Blake's rhythms with relentless improvisational fervor. The edits were very smart. The song is a bit long, a bit ugly in places, and these challenges to what a contemporary folk song might be are signs of the song's enduring genius. Ginsberg was fond of quoting the "motorcycle black-madonna" line, partly because it sounds most like his own poetry.


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PostPosted: Mon February 6th, 2012, 21:28 GMT 
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This along with It's Alright Ma, are the two songs that probably get the most spins for me on the Bringing It All Back Home album. One of Dylan's true acoustic masterworks!!!


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PostPosted: Mon February 6th, 2012, 21:34 GMT 
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It's actually a very straightforward song even it may take one years to get a glimpse.

I was struck by how in a thread not that long ago someone questioned the 'meaning' of 'the lamppost with folded arms' stanza.

Just peek out of your window 'hole' at the nearest big brother lamppost lighting up the sidewalk and know that modern, empty street's too dead for dreaming.


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PostPosted: Wed May 28th, 2014, 03:02 GMT 
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Gates is one of those "keep finding nuggets in plain view" songs.
Top of the line stuff.

There's an acoustic Berzerkeky version out there that knocks my socks off every time.

Someone just reminded me that the last Gates was played in Australia.
For whatever that connection has to current Down-Under tour announcements.

March 31, 2001
Kingsford Smith Park
Ballina, Australia


Duncan And Brady
My Back Pages
Desolation Row
Crash On The Levee (Down In The Flood)
I Want You
Seeing The Real You At Last
Tomorrow Is A Long Time
Gates Of Eden
It Ain't Me, Babe
Watching The River Flow
The Wicked Messenger
Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat
Country Pie
Like A Rolling Stone
If Dogs Run Free
All Along The Watchtower
I Shall Be Released
Highway 61 Revisited
Blowin' In The Wind
Not Fade Away
Rainy Day Women #12 & 35



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PostPosted: Wed May 28th, 2014, 10:17 GMT 
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and now for something completely different

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UNeRZbmIylE


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PostPosted: Wed May 28th, 2014, 21:23 GMT 
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Posts: 257
I just wanted to add 2 things...

the harmonica to me is reminiscent of those clarion tribunal calls by Roman Centurions lined up on the big wall.

and to only play it & It's All Right is to me a sad thing...this is the greatest "side" ever - play all 4!!!!

only excuse for not doing all 4 is when one comes on the radio....


- nate


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