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 Post subject: Track talk 500 Tempest
PostPosted: Sat February 10th, 2018, 00:34 GMT 
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I like this one. Not my favorite Bob Dylan song but I am very fond of it. It seems to be either very liked or hated. It is Bob Dylan Marmite (or Vegemite if you are from Australia).

The melody is straight from a Carter family 1940s song about the Titanic. Bob Dylan reworked alot of lyrics from that Carter family song into his song too. His Titanic song was 45 verses long, theirs was 6 verses long.

Tempest retells the Titanic story with a few Dylanesques adjustments; a storm instead of an iceberg, a bare handed man to man battle to survive, a sleeping watchman when the watchman was really alert and he did give a warning. There are lots of Biblical references. And Leoardo DiCaprio gets a mention too.

Leo took his sketchbook
He was often so inclined
He closed his eyes and painted
The scenery in his mind

A Manchester Guardian newspaper review of this song in 2012 is entitled ' Bob Dylan's song about the Titanic makes you wish you were on board'.

Well I think the Tempest haters have missed the point. Yes the lyrics do fit rigidly into the metre, without the usual variation in delivery that are a joy to listen to in any Bob Dylan rendition. But that is the style of the song. It is in 6/8 time (a jig). Many Bob Dylan songs are in that time but do not stick the lyrics as rigidly to the rhythm as in this one. But I find that the metre and rhythm and very long lyrics do work really well here.

The first time I heard this song I had a strange reaction. I had just been given the album as a gift in 2012, I didn't know a thing about it. The Tempest the song made me laugh and laugh and I just wanted to listen go it again and again, but in the dark! I loved the musical arrangement because it reminded me of all those flabby manned but very tight Irish hybrid Ceili bands that I had danced to in dance halls as a youngster. You could have any mixture of instruments from fiddles only to full drum kit with fiddles, accordians, saxaphones, anything. And they loved nothing but getting into a long swaying jig that would go on and on. And we would love it.

I think I like to listen to the lyrics with the lights out because of the biblical and threatening dark tone. It suits. I have never tried to make the story a linear progression in my mind, I just like that the different images float into mind when listening to it.

That it is 14 minutes long is even more delicious for me. Nothing like an epic folk disaster songs that goes on and on. That's what they are meant to do. Of course I am sad for l those who died on the big ship and don't mean to glorify the tragedy. It's just that I really enjoy Mr. Dylans retelling of it.

And wonderful that he references older folk songs, that's just the way it should be too. It's the way it has always been. Ralph Brown a 1920s bluesman sang a Titanic song with the words 'It was early Monday morning, just about the break of day.' So that old bluesman get a nod here too. Wonderful!


So I like it!!


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PostPosted: Sat February 10th, 2018, 09:24 GMT 

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I'm with you. It could easily be trimmed by 5 mins or so but it's a fine track overall and an important part of that epic 3 track finale to the album which a lot of people feel bogs the work down but personally speaking, I think helps lend it its cinematic character. I love Bob's vocal delivery of the title track too, something that doesn't get enough credit imho.

As an interesting aside, the critic Michael Gray seems to despise the album (I'm the polar opposite), but the title track is the one song he singles out for praise.


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PostPosted: Sat February 10th, 2018, 09:36 GMT 

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I must be the anti-Michael Gray, then, as I like the whole album EXCEPT the title track.


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PostPosted: Sat February 10th, 2018, 10:15 GMT 
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mjmooney wrote:
I must be the anti-Michael Gray, then, as I like the whole album EXCEPT the title track.

You and me both, mj.
Actually, Early Roman kings bores me equally


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PostPosted: Sat February 10th, 2018, 10:27 GMT 

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wormington wrote:
mjmooney wrote:
I must be the anti-Michael Gray, then, as I like the whole album EXCEPT the title track.

You and me both, mj.
Actually, Early Roman kings bores me equally
Oh, I quite like ERK. I usually stop after Tin Angel, thus sparing myself Tempest and Roll On John.


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PostPosted: Sat February 10th, 2018, 14:20 GMT 
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This one was admittedly difficult to get into out of the starting gate.
It snuck up and grabbed me one day and I found myself dipping back to it.

Haven’t listened to the studio album or this track in quite some time.
Letting it age, maybe?

Would love to have him plow through Tempest live
sometime to see how the audience reacts.
Guessing most wouldn’t have a clue.

He did it with Highlands. Why not?


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PostPosted: Sat February 10th, 2018, 16:54 GMT 
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I've listened to this song all the way through about 2 times (maybe 3). Both times I just wound up waiting for it to be over. This is not the mark of a good song.

I like every other song on the album better.


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PostPosted: Tue February 13th, 2018, 12:39 GMT 
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I definitely don't think it should have been trimmed, its best qualities lie in its grandiose failure; like The Fool with his eyes to the sky whilst his feet head for a cliff drop, or the double disc presentation of Self Portrait, or the sinking of the Titanic.

Also, it's probably Dylan's most straightforward attempt at adhering to traditional poetic devices of syllable and metre; it rolls off the tongue like it does from the pages of Robbie Burns and the early balladeers.


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PostPosted: Wed February 14th, 2018, 01:28 GMT 
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I find it to have a really majestic feel and it bouys the album so nicely. Very uncynical in its presentation of all characters and scenarios, encapsulating the doomed humanity of much of his work with grace and empathy. Only a heavyweight can pull this off, especially without mentioning the iceberg.


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PostPosted: Wed February 14th, 2018, 04:00 GMT 

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Without a doubt one of his weirdest songs. I am decidedly IN.


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PostPosted: Wed February 14th, 2018, 04:19 GMT 
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Loose Fur wrote:
I find it to have a really majestic feel and it bouys the album so nicely. Very uncynical in its presentation of all characters and scenarios, encapsulating the doomed humanity of much of his work with grace and empathy. Only a heavyweight can pull this off, especially without mentioning the iceberg.


I agree. I just don't want to listen to it very often. I like the overall construction, and watchman gambit, and it has some great lines and images...but the performance never quite takes off and there are stanzas that just don't seem as well put-together as most of Dylan's. A song this long might need more help than this one gets. If he did it a few times live I bet he'd nail something quite brilliant, because I think that's in there somewhere. But I don't quite hear it on the record.

My favorite part is the guy trying to hold back water with a pair of pistols.


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PostPosted: Tue February 27th, 2018, 20:18 GMT 
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I usually listen to the Tempest song for a few verses and then turn it off which I have done tonight but I've had the melody going around in my head for the last hour following....probably better to listen to the whole song :lol:

moab


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PostPosted: Tue February 27th, 2018, 22:47 GMT 
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Fight the temptation MOAB! You can do it!


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PostPosted: Wed February 28th, 2018, 09:44 GMT 
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I think like a lot of songs in Bobs cannon because we have so many songs to dig into, it will be overlooked by many as a great song.

I think its a mood song too, sometimes its completely majestic and completely draws you in and other times you think should he have cut a few lines out. But you could maybe say the same of Highlands...

When Im in the mood Im completely drawn in by the tale.


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PostPosted: Wed February 28th, 2018, 23:29 GMT 
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I wouldn’t want this, or Highlands, or any of the other long
ones any other way really.
I’d even vote to bring back the full Tangled live.
(If there were a poll! ... no, wait. Just kidding. No more polls please!)

Changing lyrics, sure.
Dropping verses, no thanks.


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PostPosted: Wed February 28th, 2018, 23:47 GMT 
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There will be no more polls from me, I was surprised when other people started some...


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PostPosted: Thu March 1st, 2018, 00:25 GMT 
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Desolation Row wrote:
There will be no more polls from me, I was surprised when other people started some...

You’re ok, Des & the rest too.
No worries.


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PostPosted: Thu March 1st, 2018, 01:33 GMT 
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Desolation Row wrote:
But you could maybe say the same of Highlands...


I've never once said that about Highlands or Sugar Baby or Nettie Moore. I'm glad it works for you, though, maybe it just takes a mood I don't get to very often to go the distance and stay fully tuned in. Again, I implore our man Bob to do it live, so that it may live and breathe among us.


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PostPosted: Thu March 1st, 2018, 01:47 GMT 
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smoke wrote:
Desolation Row wrote:
I implore our man Bob to do it live, so that it may live and breathe among us.


I second that!


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PostPosted: Thu March 1st, 2018, 03:23 GMT 
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Tempest live is there a gig scheduled for the fourteen day of April?

And can he debut Narrow Way at the same gig?


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PostPosted: Thu March 1st, 2018, 08:04 GMT 
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To me it is one of Dylan’s finest epics.
Actually I like every song on the album.
I do not know if anyone else has mentioned this here , but I suspect so.
So at the risk of re inventing the wheel , I find it interesting that Shakespeare’s last major work was his play Tempest and to date almost 5 years on Tempest remains Dylan’s last album of original songs.


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PostPosted: Thu March 1st, 2018, 08:19 GMT 
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oldmanemu wrote:
To me it is one of Dylan’s finest epics.
Actually I like every song on the album.
I do not know if anyone else has mentioned this here , but I suspect so.
So at the risk of re inventing the wheel , I find it interesting that Shakespeare’s last major work was his play Tempest and to date almost 5 years on Tempest remains Dylan’s last album of original songs.


There were posts recently saying Bob needed another album of new material urgently, truth is its us that would all want one.


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PostPosted: Thu March 1st, 2018, 08:45 GMT 
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I like the album Tempest as an album but to be perfectly honest the title track is way too long and I rarely listen to the whole thing. Has he ever played even a trimmed down version live? I don't think so - speaks volumes!


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PostPosted: Fri March 2nd, 2018, 07:52 GMT 
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Desolation Row wrote:
oldmanemu wrote:
To me it is one of Dylan’s finest epics.
Actually I like every song on the album.
I do not know if anyone else has mentioned this here , but I suspect so.
So at the risk of re inventing the wheel , I find it interesting that Shakespeare’s last major work was his play Tempest and to date almost 5 years on Tempest remains Dylan’s last album of original songs.


There were posts recently saying Bob needed another album of new material urgently, truth is its us that would all want one.

It has been a very long time.


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PostPosted: Fri March 2nd, 2018, 08:58 GMT 
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There were posts recently saying Bob needed another album of new material urgently, truth is its us that would all want one.[/quote]
It has been a very long time.[/quote]

If you think 6 six years is a long time you would hate to be a Roger Waters fan, they waited over 30 years for last years solo album


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