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PostPosted: Sat October 7th, 2017, 20:21 GMT 
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Haha. Well. It mostly annoys me. But if you want to follow Stan, it’s where he’s posting.


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PostPosted: Sat October 7th, 2017, 23:47 GMT 
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Location: Chile, Concepción.
On a 'historical' level, JWH opens a completely new trend for Bob - probably the greatest artistic revolution he's ever undergone. Even today, on latest albums like Time Out Of Mind, you can still see faint echoes of the same vibe, dimmed and subdued by the lengthy years, but not spent altogether. JWH was the first album that saw the light of the day after Bob did likewise after his infamous accident, missing the 'Summer Of Love' in the process, and it shows the man completely rejecting his past and adopting an altogether new style: hitting the country. But 'hitting the country' does not imply he adopted the well-known, banal, Band-style country. Just as well this does not mean the slightly cheesy, luvvly country style that Bob developed a year later, with Nashville Skyline, and went on to 'globalize' on Selfportrait. Both of these records were good and charming in their own way, but, after all, straightforward country is just plain straightforward country, independent of the player's originality, professional skills or emotional state. JWH, however, is different.

Difference number one is made by the incredible production of the record. Dylan dismisses all the lush arrangements he excelled in on Blonde and strips everything down, once again limiting himself to plain acoustic guitar and harmonica. And yet, this is not a return to the trusty folkie days of old: there is a rhythm section present on this record, with Charles McCoy on bass and Kenny Buttrey on drums. It might not be a great combo, but it sounds nothing like The Freewheelin', anyway. And when you listen to any selected song, you really get the impression that the guitar doesn't matter all that much: Bob rarely plays any interesting fills like he used to, for the most part sticking to simple, unadorned rhythm. The main accent is placed on his voice and harmonica playing, and this is where detailed attention should be paid. Now I don't know if the motorcycle accident really messed poor Mr Zimmerman's vocal cords, but fact is, he sounds far more whiny and pitiful than he did before - and I don't attribute that exclusively to the style he adopted; his voice was certainly changing, be it due to the accident or heavy smoking. But where it had lost in force and, perhaps, tolerability from the casual listener, it has more than gained in expressivity. With just a single line, any single line that starts any of the tracks on here, he's able to set a unique and mind-blowing mood, whether it be a depressive one, an angry one, a funny one, a romantic one or a preachy one.

And the harmonica? Mark Prindle once complained about its 'ugliness' and the fact that it was mixed way too loud, but I certainly can't share his feelings here, nor would I ever want to. To put it short, Bob's harmonica playing has never been better - before or since. While I always loved his harmonica solos, I must say that this is the first album where a harmonica solo is not treated simply as performing the function of an obligatory instrumental break. Instead, the harmonica sound brilliantly complements the song - it's as if the harmonica were taking on the function of Bob's voice for a while, agreeing to substitute whatever mood he was trying to set with the actual singing while Bob himself was taking a rest. And in that sense, the production is awesome: bringing the instrument out to the same level of loudness as Bob's voice only serves to accentuate the friendly 'competition' between the singer and the instrument.

The second difference is even grander, though: Bob completely changes his attitude. Where he once sang angry, protesting anthems, or brain-muddling, psycho songs that were still rooted in being in complete disagreement with the ways of modern society, he now sings about 19th century America and its problems, churning out most of the songs in a humble, almost self-deprecating, tone. Dylan the Protest Singer and Dylan the Trippy Freak now gives way to Dylan the Humble Preacher. In a certain way, that's the image he's had ever since; but on JWH, he combines it with such important elements as intriguing mystery, compelling storytelling, and visions of the country's past life, so that the preachiness never comes out boring or banal. Instead, it's as addictive as can be.

The soaring anthem 'All Along The Watchtower', you're bound to know this one. Unfortunately, you probably know it due to the Hendrix cover which gets tons of airplay and has already equalled its position as one of the most overplayed 'classic rock' numbers, along with 'Stairway To Heaven' and 'Pinball Wizard' and suchlike. Now don't get me wrong: I like the Hendrix cover good as anybody. But I don't feel it is correct to really compare the two numbers, as Hendrix essentially took a Dylan number and edited the 'Dylan' out of it: the lyrics are the same, of course (if you neglect the fact that Jimi often contended himself with just one verse in concert, forgetting the others), but the overall feel, the message, the mood, everything else is completely different. The Dylan song in question is all built around that soft silky mystical aura that overfills JWH, and the beautiful, almost bewitching harmonica solos in between the verses set a mood full of little medieval charms: it isn't even about America, it's about the Dark Ages. 'Country-goth', I'd call it, a style never reproduced after. The Hendrix version is more of a regular psychedelic tune with wild guitar heroics, quite typical of Jimi; there's nothing mysterious or so vastly compelling there, except the soloing techniques...

GEORGE STAROSTIN


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PostPosted: Sun October 8th, 2017, 09:06 GMT 

Joined: Mon January 9th, 2006, 09:01 GMT
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Location: Manchester UK
John B. Stetson wrote:
Haha. Well. It mostly annoys me. But if you want to follow Stan, it’s where he’s posting.

Okay, but how do you find him?

Typing "Long John" into the search engine doesn't generate very useful results.

And typing "Stan" don't work either.

I tried "Man who really hates Dylan's NET performances", but that had 7.3 million hits....


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PostPosted: Sun October 8th, 2017, 15:01 GMT 
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Stan Denski


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PostPosted: Sun October 8th, 2017, 15:04 GMT 
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I've seen Stan on Facebook. Not the same in that context.
Prefered him pontificating in our little ER world but alas, things have changed. :lol: 8)


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PostPosted: Sun October 8th, 2017, 20:55 GMT 

Joined: Mon January 9th, 2006, 09:01 GMT
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jimb727 wrote:
I've seen Stan on Facebook. Not the same in that context.
Prefered him pontificating in our little ER world but alas, things have changed. :lol: 8)

Thanks Jim


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PostPosted: Mon October 9th, 2017, 06:46 GMT 
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John Wesley Harding is the great album that non-Dylan fans will never think is great (boring, no choruses, no 'hits', too same-sounding).

Conversely, for that exact reason, it's the great Dylan album that Dylan-fans (many of whom are snobs) grossly over-rate.

In fact, I would say it is a great album -- one of his best, by songwriting standards -- but it's not better than 4 of the albums that preceded it (including the 3 immediately prior), and therefore it's a bit disingenuous to call it a "masterpiece" when it's really a slight let-down.

Being Dylan, of course, the whole thing is inexplicable. Bringing... and Blonde on Blonde are really diverse -- JWH is almost anti-diverse, as every song sounds the same (except maybe the last one). 'The Basement Tapes', which almost runs into the start of JWH, was awash with big, catchy choruses on the songs -- JWH has no choruses to any of the songs. 'The Basement Tapes' has mostly throwaway lyrics over big tunes -- JWH started with carefully crafted lyrics over mostly throwaway three-chord melodies. JWH's songs are also mostly played with a capo high on Dylan's guitar, giving it the austere, ringing sound its known for -- something he had never really done before. The voice and highly-mixed harp also make it sound different from everything prior.

Great album, but a little one-note. Not quite the best of the best, but certainly way better than most of them.


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PostPosted: Mon October 9th, 2017, 06:55 GMT 

Joined: Fri January 5th, 2007, 23:38 GMT
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Location: Ireland
It's the three albums that preceded it, apart from the acoustic side of BIABH, that are relatively over-rated. There, I've said it.


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PostPosted: Mon October 9th, 2017, 09:03 GMT 
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Wonderful, intelligent, thoughtful comments and I agree with all of them. JWH is still my favourite album after all these years. :roll: :roll:


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PostPosted: Mon October 9th, 2017, 12:45 GMT 
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Mickvet wrote:
It's the three albums that preceded it, apart from the acoustic side of BIABH, that are relatively over-rated. There, I've said it.

I think Dylan's recordings in general are a bit over-rated by music scribes and Dylanophiles in general. (Dylan's entire ouvre itself is not over-rated, by distinction, but his recording career is patchy.)

As far as JWH and the studio albums go, I'd probably say the really, really good ones are:
1. Bringing It All Back Home
2. Freewheelin'
3A. Blonde on Blonde
3B. Blood on The Tracks
3C. Desire
6. John Wesley Harding
7. The Times They are A-Changin'

On the heels of these would be Another Side, The Basement Tapes (in some form or other), Nashville Skyline, New Morning, Infidels, and Oh Mercy (the latter two destroyed by Dylan's idiotic track selection).


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PostPosted: Mon October 9th, 2017, 17:28 GMT 

Joined: Fri January 5th, 2007, 23:38 GMT
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Location: Ireland
panther wrote:
Mickvet wrote:
It's the three albums that preceded it, apart from the acoustic side of BIABH, that are relatively over-rated. There, I've said it.

I think Dylan's recordings in general are a bit over-rated by music scribes and Dylanophiles in general. (Dylan's entire ouvre itself is not over-rated, by distinction, but his recording career is patchy.)

As far as JWH and the studio albums go, I'd probably say the really, really good ones are:
1. Bringing It All Back Home
2. Freewheelin'
3A. Blonde on Blonde
3B. Blood on The Tracks
3C. Desire
6. John Wesley Harding
7. The Times They are A-Changin'

On the heels of these would be Another Side, The Basement Tapes (in some form or other), Nashville Skyline, New Morning, Infidels, and Oh Mercy (the latter two destroyed by Dylan's idiotic track selection).


I didn't mean to knock the three mid-sixties albums. They are all excellent, but I think he has produced so many other fine albums that I no longer automatically think of them as top of the pile.

All your favourite albums that you have selected above are fine, but I would have more of a predilection for his later material. I put Tempest in my top five, along with BIABH, BOOT, JWH and a variable that can change from one day to the next.


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PostPosted: Tue October 10th, 2017, 11:38 GMT 

Joined: Sat August 5th, 2006, 11:56 GMT
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Mickvet wrote:
panther wrote:
It's the three albums that preceded it, apart from the acoustic side of BIABH, that are relatively over-rated. There, I've said it.

I think Dylan's recordings in general are a bit over-rated by music scribes and Dylanophiles in general. (Dylan's entire ouvre itself is not over-rated, by distinction, but his recording career is patchy.)

As far as JWH and the studio albums go, I'd probably say the really, really good ones are:
1. Bringing It All Back Home
2. Freewheelin'
3A. Blonde on Blonde
3B. Blood on The Tracks
3C. Desire
6. John Wesley Harding
7. The Times They are A-Changin'

On the heels of these would be Another Side, The Basement Tapes (in some form or other), Nashville Skyline, New Morning, Infidels, and Oh Mercy (the latter two destroyed by Dylan's idiotic track selection).


I didn't mean to knock the three mid-sixties albums. They are all excellent, but I think he has produced so many other fine albums that I no longer automatically think of them as top of the pile.

All your favourite albums that you have selected above are fine, but I would have more of a predilection for his later material. I put Tempest in my top five, along with BIABH, BOOT, JWH and a variable that can change from one day to the next.


I would struggle to see how anyone could possibly 'over-rate' that golden mid 60s trio - unless, say, they claimed listening to them could cure cancer.

As for the others, my Top Ten greatest Dylan albums would certainly include JWH, BOTT, and Desire. It would also, without a shadow of a doubt, include "Love and Theft". I'd struggle with TOOM as losing it would mean ignoring the 'Big Four' from that album, songs which are crucial to late period Dylan and, imho, can stand with almost anything he has done post 60s, including BOTT.


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PostPosted: Tue October 10th, 2017, 12:14 GMT 
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This is yhe 2nd time I see someone referring to TOOMs big four. What is this universally accepted big 4, please?
My 4 favorites are probably Love sick, Not dark yet, Trying to get to heaven and Highlands. TTGTH would be replaced by Cant wait if they had included the tell tale signs version


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PostPosted: Tue October 10th, 2017, 12:25 GMT 

Joined: Sat August 5th, 2006, 11:56 GMT
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wormington wrote:
This is yhe 2nd time I see someone referring to TOOMs big four. What is this universally accepted big 4, please?
My 4 favorites are probably Love sick, Not dark yet, Trying to get to heaven and Highlands. TTGTH would be replaced by Cant wait if they had included the tell tale signs version


The Big Four are deemed to be Not Dark Yet, Tryin to get to Heaven, Standing in the Doorway, and Highlands. That has been the consensus since soon after the album came out, and to be fair, I do share that view. Love Sick didn't make the cut, sorry, but personally I always liked it and still do.

When "Love and Theft" came out, it took me a while to start thinking of it as superior to TOOM, but I gradually came to value its consistency. TOOM has the really big songs (only Mississippi would compete, form L&T), but "Love and Theft" is a better album overall. But, really, you need them both.


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PostPosted: Tue October 10th, 2017, 13:52 GMT 
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What? No Love sick?! Down with this Big four! DOWN, I SAY!!


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PostPosted: Tue October 10th, 2017, 14:33 GMT 

Joined: Sat August 5th, 2006, 11:56 GMT
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wormington wrote:
What? No Love sick?! Down with this Big four! DOWN, I SAY!!


Heh. Well, I would argue that, much as I like Love Sick, it cannot compete with the Big Four. Still, it's way better than the album's weakest tracks. The difference with "Love and Theft" is that it doesn't have any weak tracks.


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