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PostPosted: Wed November 15th, 2017, 14:09 GMT 

Joined: Sat December 27th, 2014, 12:09 GMT
Posts: 70
bobfan wrote:
For me Caribbean Wind is up there with She's Your Lover now in terms of great, 'unfinished' songs. All of the versions have something about them, but are all not quite realised. Biograph comes the closest but is marred by that ridiculous whooshing sound on the track. The unreleased 'Rattlesnake' version is totally ruined by the totally incongruous chord change on 'nearer to the fire'.
The 'live' version is ok but sounds like a song that's only been played once, and the 'slow' version just doesn't have a convincing vocal; not surprising given that it comes from a rehearsal.


Yup. The chorus was supposed to hold the song together but he never quite worked it out. I realise there are other things as well like what was going in the collage.

For me, just on the other side of that line was Chimes of Freedom. Powerful stuff but not far off plain chant. On the melodic side, he just barely gets away with it. Compare Mr Tambourine Man.


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PostPosted: Fri November 17th, 2017, 00:21 GMT 

Joined: Fri June 2nd, 2006, 16:33 GMT
Posts: 259
Jal015 wrote:
Never was a huge fan of the song. Reminds me a lot of "Tight Connection To My Heart".


Exactly why I love it--two of my top 10 Dylan songs of the '80s!


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PostPosted: Fri November 17th, 2017, 00:23 GMT 

Joined: Fri June 2nd, 2006, 16:33 GMT
Posts: 259
slewan wrote:
- the intro to the live version ("this is a twelve string guitar…") is missing
- they didn't (re)mix the live performance but just took it from the soundboard recording which they made on a cassette. Therefore the song sounds very clean but somehow lacks dynamics, energy and power. Thus it sounds very different from what it must have sounded at the concert: whatever comes out of the soundboard only sounds perfect in the venue of the particular shows. Thus the circulating audience recording might come closer to the way Caribbean Wind sounded live.
To my ears the overall sound of the circulating audience recording is superior (even in spite of the limits of 70s amateur reording equipement) - check it out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IWHzEXg7OMM (it has, as I said before, the power, energy and dynamic the mix on BS 13 lacks)
After all I'd say that the liver version that we get on BS 13 is a missed opportunity.

Maybe it's time for some clever rascal out there to create a "matrix" mix of the new soundboard version and the old audience version. Just sayin'...


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PostPosted: Fri November 17th, 2017, 00:25 GMT 

Joined: Fri June 2nd, 2006, 16:33 GMT
Posts: 259
Somebody Naked wrote:
I realise I'm going to get in trouble here, but I think they made the right decision not to release the oft-bootlegged "rattlesnake" take of Caribbean Wind (and we'll have to come up with another name for it, because it's no longer the only version to mention that word in the lyrics). I listened to all three studio takes yesterday (and the live version) and decided that it's a misfire. Sure, it starts wonderfully; but, by the time the first few verses are over, it's unravelling. The chorus sounds hesitant, like Dylan's losing interest; and then the band play something at around 2 minutes in that just derails the song. At exactly the point that the song needs to give in to euphoria, to abandonment (yes, like the Biograph take: like a good pop song does), it sounds like Dylan's about to stop it with "No, that's not it. Let's try it again." Being Dylan, he doesn't - he lets it go on. He picks it up again with singing that seems to betray a real interest. He becomes impassioned, but with a shrug: "We might as well let it be". Again, the chorus. It just sounds wrong. That suspended "nearer to the fire..." and the break that follows it is just horrible. It also, significantly, sounds like an unfinished journey. Which is the best and worst thing about it.

I think it's nearly a great recording. But it also sounds like a song that Dylan has either spent too long on or not long enough. The other two extremes have the qualities that are missing - the Biograph version sounds finished, but it also sounds overcooked. The rehearsal version, newly released on Trouble No More, is an entirely different song. It sounds, to my ears, finished - at least, finished enough: in Dylan's case what counts for finished. But it also has all those qualities that he often gets on an early take and loses - innocence, fragility, tenderness. I'm starting to think that this is the definitive studio recording of the song.

*ducks for cover*


Hold you head up--a perfect summation, couldn't agree more!


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PostPosted: Fri November 17th, 2017, 03:34 GMT 

Joined: Sun November 27th, 2005, 01:09 GMT
Posts: 403
Agreed. The chorus Sounds much much better than any of the others. The rattlesnake I find particularly unlistenable


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PostPosted: Sun November 19th, 2017, 10:45 GMT 

Joined: Fri January 5th, 2007, 23:38 GMT
Posts: 1927
Location: Ireland
Brian_Eire wrote:
Agreed. The chorus Sounds much much better than any of the others. The rattlesnake I find particularly unlistenable


I have to agree with mjmooney. The Biograph version is always going to be the definitive version for me.


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PostPosted: Sun November 19th, 2017, 23:35 GMT 

Joined: Thu December 9th, 2004, 16:38 GMT
Posts: 1539
Location: Canadee-i-o
Having only bought the 2-CD set, I haven't heard the other version on this release - which is a bit of a crushing blow. So I write in partial ignorance.

I will say that I definitely prefer the live cut here to the 'rattlesnake' version, above all because the latter lacks the same rising melody and visionary quality in the chorus. Indeed, any version that drops the lyrical variations present in the chorus in the live cut is unlikely to be as good, to my ear.

Amidst all the comparisons here ('Tight Connection' etc.), I'm surprised the single most obvious analogy hasn't been made: Idiot Wind, which uses the almost identical device in the chorus (wind blowing from X to Y, holding the key to the song). Indeed, I wonder whether part of Bob's catastrophic decision to abandon the song may have to do with an unease that he was repeating himself.

More broadly, I really love these hallucinatory, visionary songs from this period, too many of them left on the cutting room floor: Changing of the Guard, Angelina, Caribbean Wind, Blind Willie McTell, Foot of Pride, Groom, Jokerman, Every Grain of Sand. These things rank with the best stuff he ever did, and are in direct continuity with his 1960s masterpieces in their surreal stream-of-consciousness tone, yet also bring quite a different sensibility from that earlier stuff: sadder, more explicitly confused, more given to evoking a world of enemies and hopelessly lost love and darkness. Bob never seems to have been fully convinced by this material; maybe he felt it was a pale shadow of his 'big' songs from the 1960s, or more likely (judging from interviews) he had gotten to a point of trying to make 'rational sense' out of his own inspired lyrics - a trap if ever there was. And he never really wrote like this again thereafter. You can make a case that 'Brownsville Girl' was the dying fall for Dylan in this particular mode.


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PostPosted: Mon November 20th, 2017, 00:15 GMT 
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bobfan wrote:
All of the versions have something about them, but are all not quite realised. Biograph comes the closest but is marred by that ridiculous whooshing sound on the track.

I know. What that all about anyhow?


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PostPosted: Mon November 20th, 2017, 07:07 GMT 

Joined: Tue January 6th, 2015, 15:03 GMT
Posts: 276
Lone Pilgrim wrote:
Having only bought the 2-CD set, I haven't heard the other version on this release - which is a bit of a crushing blow. So I write in partial ignorance.

I will say that I definitely prefer the live cut here to the 'rattlesnake' version, above all because the latter lacks the same rising melody and visionary quality in the chorus. Indeed, any version that drops the lyrical variations present in the chorus in the live cut is unlikely to be as good, to my ear.

Amidst all the comparisons here ('Tight Connection' etc.), I'm surprised the single most obvious analogy hasn't been made: Idiot Wind, which uses the almost identical device in the chorus (wind blowing from X to Y, holding the key to the song). Indeed, I wonder whether part of Bob's catastrophic decision to abandon the song may have to do with an unease that he was repeating himself.

More broadly, I really love these hallucinatory, visionary songs from this period, too many of them left on the cutting room floor: Changing of the Guard, Angelina, Caribbean Wind, Blind Willie McTell, Foot of Pride, Groom, Jokerman, Every Grain of Sand. These things rank with the best stuff he ever did, and are in direct continuity with his 1960s masterpieces in their surreal stream-of-consciousness tone, yet also bring quite a different sensibility from that earlier stuff: sadder, more explicitly confused, more given to evoking a world of enemies and hopelessly lost love and darkness. Bob never seems to have been fully convinced by this material; maybe he felt it was a pale shadow of his 'big' songs from the 1960s, or more likely (judging from interviews) he had gotten to a point of trying to make 'rational sense' out of his own inspired lyrics - a trap if ever there was. And he never really wrote like this again thereafter. You can make a case that 'Brownsville Girl' was the dying fall for Dylan in this particular mode.
Excellent post. I agree.


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PostPosted: Tue November 21st, 2017, 03:14 GMT 
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Joined: Thu September 3rd, 2009, 23:38 GMT
Posts: 1934
Location: Mount Vernon, Washington, USA
WhatCanIDoForYou? wrote:
I'm sorry, but it's a real shame that everyone has overlooked Disc 2's Watered-Down Love. It's simply amazing. One of the best from the 2-Disc compilation. I'm still waiting on my Deluxe Box Set from Sandbag, but I think it's clear to state that this specific track is among the greatest.

It's pretty great, right? Have you heard the outtake version on the Genuine Bootleg Series? It's far better than the outtake they used on TNM. And there's a great live version from East Rutherford later in '81 with some cool lyric variations. I feel like this song is such an overlooked gem, primarily because of the production on the original recording.


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PostPosted: Tue November 21st, 2017, 13:46 GMT 
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Joined: Sun July 2nd, 2006, 08:09 GMT
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The live version is now the definitive performance of the song now for me, I still love the "Rattlesnake" outtake version, the rehearsal version is pretty nice but lacks the power of the other two and the Biograph version has always been my least favourite, and never truly appreciated the song until hearing the long circulating "Rattlesnake" outtake.


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