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 Post subject: Just Got "Oh Mercy"...
PostPosted: Tue March 15th, 2005, 23:58 GMT 

Joined: Mon February 14th, 2005, 22:12 GMT
Posts: 342
Location: Tasmania, Australia
and I was blown away. Pure And Simple.

What an incredible album.

I had never heard any of the songs before, bar "shooting star".


Why it does'nt get the same respect as an "blood on the tracks" I will never know. Songs like "Ring Them Bells" (reminds me of "chimes of freedom') "shooting star", the haunting "Man In The Long Black Coat" and the classic "Most Of The Time" are just as good as anything on BOTT.

Sure, "disease of conceit", and "where tear drops fall" are below average by Dylan standards but if you replace these 2 songs with "series of dreams" and the brilliant "dignity"(both outakes from the oh mercy sessions) and then you have something truely special.

I find it strange that i rarely hear this album being brought up in "top 5 dylan albums" or stuff like that. What a crime!

"Oh Mercy" is Dylan at his most regretful, vunerable and confused. He and the producer Daniel Lanois (respect!!) manage to capture this mood perfectly, I love it.

anyone disagree/agree?
Im interested to see how people rate this.


Last edited by LoveMinus2 on Wed March 16th, 2005, 00:28 GMT, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed March 16th, 2005, 00:25 GMT 

Joined: Thu March 3rd, 2005, 02:07 GMT
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Location: Scotland
i couldn't agree more. Great Album. 'Most Of The Time' has to be one of his most underated and beutifully sung songs.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed March 16th, 2005, 11:52 GMT 

Joined: Sun November 7th, 2004, 23:02 GMT
Posts: 408
It's a good record, but one that, in the context of the shit its surrounded by, gets undue praise. It is certainly his best album since Slow Train, but it is not in the same league as the full-blown renaissance of Time Out Of Mind.

The best tracks - Ring Them Bells, Man In The Long Black Coat, Most of the Time and Shooting Star are brilliant in their own right, but mono-paced and slightly repetitive in the context of the album.

Most of the others have a very strange structure that hasn't been replicated on any Dylan record before or since - they are based around formulaic repetition - "we live in a political world", broken this, broken that, "what was it you wanted", "whole lotta" things about "the disease of conceit" - of lyrics and it just strikes me as a bit uninspiring.

I like the record a lot, and to be fair i can't possibly imagine how glorious it must have sounded on c.1991 sandwiched between down in the groove and under the red sky, but essentially its a two-trick pony (the brooding ballad and the crescending stream of repetition) and by the middle stages of the record it does start to wear thin.

It's a good, solid record but not the masterpiece it's often made out to be.

In my opinion, anyway.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed March 16th, 2005, 11:56 GMT 

Joined: Sun November 7th, 2004, 23:02 GMT
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Totally agreed about series of dreams and dignity, by the way.

Your point about replacing those two with disease of conceit and where teardrops fall (though the chorus is very sweet i think) would do wonders for the album.

Also, though God Knows (from URS) follows exactly the lyrical formula I've been talking about (as do dignity and series of dreams to an extent), it works far better than, say, political world. And Born In Time would have perhaps added a new layer of emotion to the record. Both are on the Oh Mercy outtakes.

Yes, i thoroughly agree that, much like Infidels, Oh Mercy certainly could have been an even better record.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed March 16th, 2005, 13:49 GMT 
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OH YES, OH MERCY.... But I happen to like Teardrops, its very tender and seems to show a soft vulnerable side of the Man....which is not always out there to see, if you get my meanin'. Women in love like to see that sort of thing form their object of Desire once in awhile. Also, I like the sax on this one, fits it like a glove. The rest of the album, pure genius. I wonder if Bob didn't manipulate the market on this one :wink:


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 Post subject: Oh Mercy
PostPosted: Wed March 16th, 2005, 14:39 GMT 
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I've always loved this album, though I don't think it's quite a masterpiece. It's at least as good as Planet Waves, better than Desire. The outtakes are well worth having, but shop carefully because some of the releases have very inferior sound.

When I saw Bob at the Supper Club, he did a stunning version of Disease of Conceit. I think the song is more of a theatrical performance than the studio version allows. It's somewhat like Sign on the Cross, and the Oh Mercy version doesn't quite establish the preacherly persona in ironic enough terms. In concert, the song worked from the first note.

When Teardrops Fall is a classic structure only half-filled by the lyric. Too bad it didn't go through another draft or six. I think Freddy Fender had a hit of the same title in the 70s. Or maybe that was Where Teardrops Fall. Not a waltz.

Good account of the making of this album in Chronicles.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed March 16th, 2005, 14:52 GMT 
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Wait, I am a little confused here, Bob's song is WHERE Teardrops Fall, right? Not WHEN Teardrops Fall, right. or did something go over my head :?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed March 16th, 2005, 17:33 GMT 

Joined: Sun November 7th, 2004, 23:02 GMT
Posts: 408
Political World
Series of Dreams
Everything is Broken
Ring Them Bells
Dignity
Man In The Long Black Coat
Born In Time
God Knows/What Good Am I?
Most of the Time
Shooting Star

That might have made a better album, both in terms of song quality and in ironing out the more repetitive nature of the record as a whole. Though the second task is slightly more difficult than the first given the type of stuff he was writing at the time.

Any variations?

And while i reckon that would be a better album, i'd hasten to add that it still wouldn't reach the heights of Dylan's best records. Its problem for me lies in the nature of writing, however you rearrange the setlist you end up with two types of tracks - the ballad and this repetitive verse structure he so went for on this record. Over ten tracks that begins to bore. I'd put the album - even as it stands - on a par with planet waves, desire, slow train, love and theft, another side and infidels (probably towards the middle, below desire, slow train and another side but above planet waves and infidels). It's a good record but not a top quality one and it'd be difficult to make it such. For me anyway, the range of compositions is too limited.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed March 16th, 2005, 20:10 GMT 

Joined: Sun December 5th, 2004, 21:41 GMT
Posts: 63
Claudette wrote:
OH YES, OH MERCY.... But I happen to like Teardrops, its very tender and seems to show a soft vulnerable side of the Man....which is not always out there to see, if you get my meanin'. Women in love like to see that sort of thing form their object of Desire once in awhile. Also, I like the sax on this one, fits it like a glove. The rest of the album, pure genius. I wonder if Bob didn't manipulate the market on this one :wink:


right on. teardrops is probably my favorite song on the album


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed March 16th, 2005, 22:02 GMT 
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This is definitely going to be my next Bob CD. With songs like Dignity, Shooting Star and Ring Them Bells how can I go wrong. All this analyzing on what's a great album? Well that's a matter of personal opinion.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed March 16th, 2005, 22:41 GMT 

Joined: Fri January 21st, 2005, 19:33 GMT
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Location: savannah state
ross wrote:
Political World
Series of Dreams
Everything is Broken
Ring Them Bells
Dignity
Man In The Long Black Coat
Born In Time
God Knows/What Good Am I?
Most of the Time
Shooting Star

That might have made a better album, both in terms of song quality and in ironing out the more repetitive nature of the record as a whole. Though the second task is slightly more difficult than the first given the type of stuff he was writing at the time.

Any variations?

And while i reckon that would be a better album, i'd hasten to add that it still wouldn't reach the heights of Dylan's best records. Its problem for me lies in the nature of writing, however you rearrange the setlist you end up with two types of tracks - the ballad and this repetitive verse structure he so went for on this record. Over ten tracks that begins to bore. I'd put the album - even as it stands - on a par with planet waves, desire, slow train, love and theft, another side and infidels (probably towards the middle, below desire, slow train and another side but above planet waves and infidels). It's a good record but not a top quality one and it'd be difficult to make it such. For me anyway, the range of compositions is too limited.



Political World is really a very average Dylan song as is Man In The Long Black Coat. Most Of The Time is one of my all time favorites despite Daniel Lanois doing what he does best, OVER PRODUCiNG. Album could have been so much better w/o Lanois.


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PostPosted: Wed March 16th, 2005, 22:51 GMT 

Joined: Tue November 2nd, 2004, 02:22 GMT
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I like the album. Most of the songs are good and Lanois' swampy, midnight rambler sound I appreciate.

Everything is Broken?

It doesn't get much better than that. Mood elevator every time!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed March 16th, 2005, 23:11 GMT 

Joined: Mon February 14th, 2005, 22:12 GMT
Posts: 342
Location: Tasmania, Australia
Quote:
Political World is really a very average Dylan song as is Man In The Long Black Coat. Most Of The Time is one of my all time favorites despite Daniel Lanois doing what he does best, OVER PRODUCiNG. Album could have been so much better w/o Lanois.




errr.. what?

Ok, i admit "political world" is not great (i think one critic said this song was like Dylan inpersonating Dylan) but it sure aint bad. But "Man In The Long Black Coat" is a brilliant song, as im sure many people will agree.

And to critize Lanois's production of this album really is way too far fetched.

His production brings songs like "Most Of The Time", "Man In The Long Black Coat" and "What Was It You Wanted" to a whole other level, it really is in sync with the lyrics, which are often dark, eerie and at times haunting


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed March 16th, 2005, 23:45 GMT 

Joined: Sun November 7th, 2004, 23:02 GMT
Posts: 408
Lonesome Hobo wrote:
This is definitely going to be my next Bob CD. With songs like Dignity, Shooting Star and Ring Them Bells how can I go wrong. All this analyzing on what's a great album? Well that's a matter of personal opinion.


Dignity's not on it, sadly/ Well worth your cash all the same.

And you're right. If it wasn't subjective we'd have nothing to talk about :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu March 17th, 2005, 09:00 GMT 

Joined: Mon February 14th, 2005, 22:12 GMT
Posts: 342
Location: Tasmania, Australia
Ross said:

Any variations?

sure do.

I have heard from various critics mentioning the song order on "Oh Mercy" does damage to it. I agree so, i decided to incorporate that into
my "revised" version of the album that i burnt to CD, it really works great!

direct order:

1.Political World
2.Series Of Dreams
3.Everything Is Broken
4.Ring Them Bells
5.What Was It You Wanted
6.Dignity
7.Most Of The Time
8.What Good Am I?
9.Man In The Long Black Coat
10.Shooting Star (mtv unplugged version)

I reccomend you give this a try :wink:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri March 18th, 2005, 02:35 GMT 

Joined: Fri February 11th, 2005, 00:43 GMT
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I love this one too- I think it demonstates bob's abilities well- Political World and Everything is Broken seem to have come out of the pen very quickly- the words and rhymes are very natural.
Ring Them Bells really sets the mood- He did this live last May at American U in D.C. it was the most inspiered performance that night.
Some of the songs that people have dissed are fine, well crafted songs.
I also think that this album shows Dylan writing and recording for himslef and not some preconcieved "audiance"(as with Empire B.{Love it also})


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun March 20th, 2005, 19:09 GMT 
rick wrote:
... Political World is really a very average Dylan song as is Man In The Long Black Coat..

I'd agree with you about Political World, but Man in a Long Black Coat is fantastic!

Well, really good anyway! For me that one song was worth the price of the whole CD. A few others on there are alright too.


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PostPosted: Sun April 15th, 2012, 18:19 GMT 
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^I agree with that.


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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Sun April 15th, 2012, 18:28 GMT 
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LoveMinus2 wrote:
Quote:
Political World is really a very average Dylan song as is Man In The Long Black Coat. Most Of The Time is one of my all time favorites despite Daniel Lanois doing what he does best, OVER PRODUCiNG. Album could have been so much better w/o Lanois.




errr.. what?

Ok, i admit "political world" is not great (i think one critic said this song was like Dylan inpersonating Dylan) but it sure aint bad. But "Man In The Long Black Coat" is a brilliant song, as im sure many people will agree.

And to critize Lanois's production of this album really is way too far fetched.

His production brings songs like "Most Of The Time", "Man In The Long Black Coat" and "What Was It You Wanted" to a whole other level, it really is in sync with the lyrics, which are often dark, eerie and at times haunting



lanois did stellar work on oh mercy. such a great album.
political world is a song that has the spirit of truth. a great eye opening track. that series of dreams was left off it still a mystery, that is a major piece of work by bob.


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PostPosted: Sun April 15th, 2012, 18:36 GMT 
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It's not that great, when judged against his best albums.

- too many syrupy trite lyrics. Political World, Everything Is Broken, Where Teardrops Falls, What Was It You Wanted, Disease of Conceit all smell pretty rotten and smack of lazy writing and thinking - too much 'big ideas' stuff and no real earthy point.
- Dylan's voice is better than it had been for a while, and way better than it would degenrate to on UTRS, but coming only 13 years after Desire its still shockingly damaged.
- he left 'Born In Time', 'Series of Dreams' and 'Dignity' off the album. Dickhead.


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PostPosted: Sun April 15th, 2012, 20:06 GMT 
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A lot of the tunes are samey-soundy, but I've grown to love the album. 'Man in the Long Black Coat' is incredible. Good production on this one.


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PostPosted: Mon April 16th, 2012, 01:32 GMT 

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LoveMinus2 wrote:
Why it does'nt get the same respect as an "blood on the tracks" I will never know. Songs like "Ring Them Bells" (reminds me of "chimes of freedom') "shooting star", the haunting "Man In The Long Black Coat" and the classic "Most Of The Time" are just as good as anything on BOTT.

It doesn't get the same respect because BotT smashes it in the face and then kicks it repeatedly in the head. Let's play a game: You can take out any songs you want from Blood on the Tracks and replace them with tracks from Oh Mercy if you believe the O/M tracks are better than the bloody ones. So, now that we've conceptualized this fake game, the question is, are there ANY songs on BotT that you would replace with something from O/M? Outside of "Meet Me in the Morning," no. And even while I'm saying that, I think "Meet Me in the Morning" is a nice track. "Most of the Time," "Shooting Star," and "Man in the Long Black Coat" are all solid songs, but to say they're just as good as "Tangled Up in Blue," "Simple Twist of Fate," etc etc is sort of hard for me to take seriously.


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PostPosted: Mon April 16th, 2012, 02:53 GMT 
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It's a good Dylan album, but not a great one in my opinion. About half the tracks are really good and the other half are forgettable...to me at least.


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PostPosted: Mon April 16th, 2012, 04:48 GMT 
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Shooting Star, Man in the Long Black Coat, and Most of the Time are definitely my favorites from this record. although i like the alternate take of Most of the Time from Tell Tale Signs (the acoustic one- not the second alternate take) tons more than the album version.


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PostPosted: Mon April 16th, 2012, 08:32 GMT 
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Oh Mercy is a wonderfully great album... a masterful beacon of brilliance... it's lyrical beauty shines long and bright, highlighting the complex, intricate tapestry of poetical greatness contained within each song.

These are songs of reflection and contemplation, yet they throb and pulsate with life... with urgency... yes, sometimes it's a fragile, delicate urgency, like three or four lovers writhing in rising erotical desire... per se, urgent need.

This is an album that confronts many issues, and it makes no apologies for questioning those issues... it unashamedly tackles issues about politics of corruption, lost love, broken societies, religion, the spirit world (where dead folk live), self-awareness and self-doubt.

In effect, a challenging album that asks the questions that needed asking... but it is not an album of judgement... no, the narrator does not sit in judgement... he is a merciful narrator... he pleads that mercy, oh... mercy is the answer... not vengeance!

This is nothing short of a masterpiece of an album... maybe Dylan's best... certainly in his top 3 works of importance


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