Expecting Rain
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John Wesley Harding - Masterpiece
http://www.expectingrain.com/discussions/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=91550
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Author:  McG [ Mon January 1st, 2018, 21:23 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: John Wesley Harding - Masterpiece

My ringtone is 'All Along The Watchtower'.

Author:  Matt Blacks [ Thu January 4th, 2018, 13:30 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: John Wesley Harding - Masterpiece

I love this album and its stark-naked, skeleton, wintry feel.
It's probably the only '60s-Bob album that I'm still able to listen to carefully, having already digested the other ones too much.

The only thing that stops me from calling it "perfect", as most people often do, is that the last 2 songs (Down along the cove and I'll be your baby tonight) seem misplaced and have a different feel than the rest of the album, to my ears. They are much more Nashvilleskylesque than the rest of the compositions.
Maybe I could have done with Down along the cove as final song, but IBYBT kinda throws me off. Not because I don't like the song per se but because it does not seem to belong in there.

PS Bob doesn't toil in the realm of perfectionists, so I don't mean that as a bad thing. In almost every album of his there's something I think would have worked better differently, but I still think they're masterpieces.

Author:  brooklyn damsel [ Thu January 4th, 2018, 18:53 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: John Wesley Harding - Masterpiece

Quote:
IBYBT kinda throws me off. Not because I don't like the song per se but because it does not seem to belong in there.

I agree, he was out of his mind to let that one out of the preproduction :lol: someone should've stopped him. must've been no stopping him and oh well meant to be.

Author:  Ghost Of Lectricity [ Sat January 6th, 2018, 06:04 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: John Wesley Harding - Masterpiece

brooklyn damsel wrote:
Quote:
IBYBT kinda throws me off. Not because I don't like the song per se but because it does not seem to belong in there.

I agree, he was out of his mind to let that one out of the preproduction :lol: someone should've stopped him. must've been no stopping him and oh well meant to be.

I've always considered it a preview of the next album. Not part of JWH at all but a teaser for NS.

Author:  man on a bridge [ Sat January 13th, 2018, 14:13 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: John Wesley Harding - Masterpiece

Yes a masterpiece, very earthy. In my top 10 Dylan albums.
Just not sure why The Beatles decided to hide themselves in the bark of the tree on that day? :lol:

moab

Author:  Still Go Barefoot [ Sat January 13th, 2018, 14:24 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: John Wesley Harding - Masterpiece

man on a bridge wrote:
Yes a masterpiece, very earthy. In my top 10 Dylan albums.
Just not sure why The Beatles decided to hide themselves in the bark of the tree on that day? :lol:

moab


From 1968 Rolling Stone magazine article:

Dylan Record Puts Beatles Up a Tree
Are those faces hiding in the foliage?


By Rolling Stone, March 9, 1968

The cover photograph of the new Bob Dylan record apparently contains a variety of small faces hidden in the trees and background foliage. The faces are very small and almost indistinguishable; however, learned observers say that at least four of them are the Beatles.

The most obvious group of faces becomes apparent when the cover is turned upside down; at the top of the tree, in the lighter area, are at least seven faces. By turning the cover in other directions, faces can be spotted near elbows, bushes and in the lining of coats.

John Berg, the photographer who took the picture, said that the original was made by a Polaroid camera because Dylan had asked for something that "looked like a snapshot." When asked about the hidden faces, Berg acknowledged their presence but was reluctant to talk about it.

"It's like Dylan; very mystical," Berg said. He also spoke about the "hand of God," which he said was nestling along the right-hand side of the tree. Berg did not wish to say much more; his implication was "Happy Hunting."



www.rollingstone.com/music/news/dylan-r ... e-19680309

Author:  wormington [ Sat January 13th, 2018, 14:36 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: John Wesley Harding - Masterpiece

Still Go Barefoot wrote:
man on a bridge wrote:
Yes a masterpiece, very earthy. In my top 10 Dylan albums.
Just not sure why The Beatles decided to hide themselves in the bark of the tree on that day? :lol:

moab


From 1968 Rolling Stone magazine article:

Dylan Record Puts Beatles Up a Tree
Are those faces hiding in the foliage?


By Rolling Stone, March 9, 1968

The cover photograph of the new Bob Dylan record apparently contains a variety of small faces hidden in the trees and background foliage. The faces are very small and almost indistinguishable; however, learned observers say that at least four of them are the Beatles.

The most obvious group of faces becomes apparent when the cover is turned upside down; at the top of the tree, in the lighter area, are at least seven faces. By turning the cover in other directions, faces can be spotted near elbows, bushes and in the lining of coats.

John Berg, the photographer who took the picture, said that the original was made by a Polaroid camera because Dylan had asked for something that "looked like a snapshot." When asked about the hidden faces, Berg acknowledged their presence but was reluctant to talk about it.

"It's like Dylan; very mystical," Berg said. He also spoke about the "hand of God," which he said was nestling along the right-hand side of the tree. Berg did not wish to say much more; his implication was "Happy Hunting."



http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/ ... e-19680309

First time I ever heard of this. I just spent a few minutes staring at my second hand vinyl copy of the LP, in different angles.
Can´t see a damn thing

Author:  Nightingale's Code [ Sat January 13th, 2018, 14:49 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: John Wesley Harding - Masterpiece

^I’ve never been able to see the faces in there either

Author:  Senyor Timbaler [ Sat January 13th, 2018, 14:50 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: John Wesley Harding - Masterpiece

Image

Author:  Matt Blacks [ Mon January 15th, 2018, 09:12 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: John Wesley Harding - Masterpiece

The one on the right is definitely Johnny Ramone, circa 1978.

Author:  trevgibb [ Mon January 15th, 2018, 10:27 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: John Wesley Harding - Masterpiece

It's his best album. And yes I say that even in the knowledge it doesn't contain any of what we come to think of as his most lyrical and dreamlike lyrics. It's the stately approach for me that makes it stand out so much.

Author:  McG [ Mon January 15th, 2018, 14:08 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: John Wesley Harding - Masterpiece

trevgibb wrote:
It's his best album. And yes I say that even in the knowledge it doesn't contain any of what we come to think of as his most lyrical and dreamlike lyrics. It's the stately approach for me that makes it stand out so much.


Blonde On Blonde
John Wesley Harding
Blood On The Tracks
Desire

Put that in your ear pipe and smoke it.

Author:  ShotofMercy [ Mon January 15th, 2018, 15:05 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: John Wesley Harding - Masterpiece

McG wrote:
trevgibb wrote:
It's his best album. And yes I say that even in the knowledge it doesn't contain any of what we come to think of as his most lyrical and dreamlike lyrics. It's the stately approach for me that makes it stand out so much.


Blonde On Blonde
John Wesley Harding
Blood On The Tracks
Desire

Put that in your ear pipe and smoke it.


Out of those four?
1. Blood On The Tracks
2. John Wesley Harding
3. Desire
4. Blonde on Blonde (occasionally swaps with Desire)

I guess I'm smoking something a bit different!
John Wesley Harding should really be part of a sixties tetralogy (or quartet?). Non Dylan sites will mention the period of Bringing it all Back Home to Blonde on Blonde, which covers that electric period, but I think JWH could be mentioned in the same breath. He made these three game changing albums, "disappeared" for about a year, then releases a quiet masterpiece of an album that throws everyone off. Possibly my favorite of the Sixties albums

Author:  wormington [ Mon January 15th, 2018, 15:23 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: John Wesley Harding - Masterpiece

All of the above are great, but they are all topped by the one and only H61R.

Sometimes the obvious answer is the right answer

Author:  McG [ Mon January 15th, 2018, 15:50 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: John Wesley Harding - Masterpiece

ShotofMercy wrote:
McG wrote:

Blonde On Blonde
John Wesley Harding
Blood On The Tracks
Desire

Put that in your ear pipe and smoke it.


Out of those four?
1. Blood On The Tracks
2. John Wesley Harding
3. Desire
4. Blonde on Blonde (occasionally swaps with Desire)

I guess I'm smoking something a bit different!
John Wesley Harding should really be part of a sixties tetralogy (or quartet?). Non Dylan sites will mention the period of Bringing it all Back Home to Blonde on Blonde, which covers that electric period, but I think JWH could be mentioned in the same breath. He made these three game changing albums, "disappeared" for about a year, then releases a quiet masterpiece of an album that throws everyone off. Possibly my favorite of the Sixties albums


I listed them chronologically

Author:  JeffreyLeePierre [ Mon January 15th, 2018, 19:05 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: John Wesley Harding - Masterpiece

Senyor Timbaler wrote:
Image

Many thanks, very useful. Now I can clearly see what it was all about.

Author:  slimtimslide [ Mon January 15th, 2018, 19:51 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: John Wesley Harding - Masterpiece

Winter Lude wrote:

A lot of literature relies on knowledge of the bible in order to make sense. I wish I had it. The bible was summer reading before my freshman year in college. I tripped on acid all summer and found the bible unreadable. Summer of 1981. I was trying to dig the new Dylan but it was tough.



I suppose it is a bit ironic, but to me JWH worked incredibly well on acid, perhaps because it made absolutely no effort to try and be 'psychedelic', a thing that is almost impossible to capture on record. So called psychedelic music most often fails to work when one is actually taking psychedelics and seems like a pale imitation of the experience, often performed by pretenders (not always, but frequently). I found JWH to be perfect - it holds the attention and has its feet on the ground even when its head is in the sky. I often jammed along with it in that state. It is certainly not a 'drug' album, but maybe that is what makes it work on that level too.

Anyway, I'm glad I started this thread, it seems many people feel the same way I do about this wonderful record, and I hope those that don't give it another whirl.

Oh, and thanks for pointing out the Beatles! Long Johnny goes on about them only being visible on one release.... I'd never known exactly where to look, and believe me I tried!

Author:  yopietro [ Mon January 15th, 2018, 21:00 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: John Wesley Harding - Masterpiece

slimtimslide wrote:
I suppose it is a bit ironic, but to me JWH worked incredibly well on acid, perhaps because it made absolutely no effort to try and be 'psychedelic', a thing that is almost impossible to capture on record. So called psychedelic music most often fails to work when one is actually taking psychedelics and seems like a pale imitation of the experience, often performed by pretenders (not always, but frequently). I found JWH to be perfect - it holds the attention and has its feet on the ground even when its head is in the sky. I often jammed along with it in that state. It is certainly not a 'drug' album, but maybe that is what makes it work on that level too.


How did that harmonica sound when you were tripping??!

Author:  slimtimslide [ Mon January 15th, 2018, 21:07 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: John Wesley Harding - Masterpiece

Just fine to me - we were made of sterner stuff back in the day, you know! Try hearing John Cippolina at 20 feet, then tell me about piercing treble!

Author:  Alouette [ Mon January 15th, 2018, 21:14 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: John Wesley Harding - Masterpiece

corso wrote:
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


Thanks for this thread & great posts
JWH is my favorite
Found this spectacular performance the other day https://youtu.be/wbmmptZMbOk

Author:  Still Go Barefoot [ Tue January 16th, 2018, 02:43 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: John Wesley Harding - Masterpiece

Alouette wrote:
Found this spectacular performance the other day https://youtu.be/wbmmptZMbOk

That’s a good Wicked Messenger!
Those were the daze.
Thanks Alouette!

Author:  ShotofMercy [ Tue January 16th, 2018, 04:23 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: John Wesley Harding - Masterpiece

Still Go Barefoot wrote:
Alouette wrote:
Found this spectacular performance the other day https://youtu.be/wbmmptZMbOk

That’s a good Wicked Messenger!
Those were the daze.
Thanks Alouette!


Wow! That wasn't just awesome, but he looked like he was having a blast! Must've been a fun show!

I love the rhythm to Wicked Messenger. It always struck me as a good way to go into the last two songs, though I don't know why.

Also, sorry for the confusion McG. If you see this post, I Misread your post. What a nice bunch of albums, though! Makes me happy to be a Dylan fan.

Author:  yopietro [ Tue January 16th, 2018, 16:48 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: John Wesley Harding - Masterpiece

slimtimslide wrote:
Just fine to me - we were made of sterner stuff back in the day, you know! Try hearing John Cippolina at 20 feet, then tell me about piercing treble!


I had to youtube a few of his solos, but I can hear what you're saying!

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