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PostPosted: Sat September 9th, 2017, 06:58 GMT 

Joined: Wed May 31st, 2017, 00:56 GMT
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It seems like there are people on ER who either consider it a masterpiece or one of Dylan's worst (I know there's some people in the middle, but for the sake of this post). I was introduced to Dylan post Time Out of Mind, so not only did I hear the albums that he was known and loved for in the past (Blonde on Blonde, Blood on the Tracks, etc.), but his then current output was given almost unanimous praise as well. I never experienced a time when a current Dylan album was under any real scrutiny. But 1990 was definitely a different time, so that being said I was wondering about ER members' opinions on his new album at the time.

Here's just a few questions I was thinking about. I don't want to make this post look like a quiz, but they were just some things I was thinking of while typing.

- If you bought the album when it came out in 1990, what did you originally think of it?
- Did the previous album Oh Mercy influence your opinion? Did anyone consider it a disappointing follow up or an improvement?
- If it isn't a favorite album, how does Under the Red Sky compare to your favorite Dylan albums?
- (To anyone who likes the album) when Time Out of Mind was released, what was your reaction to a new album of original songs?
- (To anyone who dislikes the album) was Time Out of Mind was released, was it the "return to form" you were hoping for after UTRS?
*to anyone who just recently found the album, what are your thoughts?


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PostPosted: Sat September 9th, 2017, 07:00 GMT 
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Also like you, I wasn't into Dylan at the time (probably because I wasn't alive when the album was released), but it's an album I don't care for. Hardly ever play it and when I do I'm always disappointed.


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PostPosted: Sat September 9th, 2017, 07:10 GMT 

Joined: Thu May 7th, 2009, 00:23 GMT
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actually, always been a fav...i saw it as talking perhaps an obtuse view of the world...
from the birth of the world ( wiggle wiggle wiggle) to birth, and rebirth and Born In Time
songs of war(10000 men)
and songs of escape(2x2)
its UNBELIEVABE(strange but true)...!
GOD KNOWS, perhaps again, a look at this world we live in
and TV TALKN SONG, a bit of all the news all the time
HandyDandy always has confused me, but one of my favs....but WHO i ask WHO
had Dandy MR Dylan ?
and perhaps one of his best parting words to end ..
good night my love, my the lord have mercy on us all


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PostPosted: Sat September 9th, 2017, 07:49 GMT 
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It's shite. Next...


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PostPosted: Sat September 9th, 2017, 08:20 GMT 

Joined: Fri January 5th, 2007, 23:38 GMT
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Location: Ireland
I'm one of those who would place the album somewhere in the middle of the hierarchy.

I think it deserves to be judged in the context of Dylan's intentions-an album of nursery rhymes. Looked upon that way, the lyrics are more meaningful than they first seem. The album consists mostly of ominous 'world gone wrong' songs. Even 'Wiggle Wiggle' carries that theme.

I've always liked the sound of it, listen to it fairly frequently compared to other of his albums and always felt that the songs come across well in concert.


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PostPosted: Sat September 9th, 2017, 12:48 GMT 
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Ive never bought this nursery rhyme stuff.
It's biblical, 'under a red sky' the album title and main song to me is adam and eve, plus listen to the lyrics ..
''God knows there's gonna be no more water, but fire next time''...the fire being the next coming of christ, fire from the sky,
ie under a red sky.
Most if not all the songs have a religious backdrop.
I think the album was dedicated to Gabby Goo or some name Bob had for one of his
children at the time, but 'TV Talkin Song', 'God Knows', 'Under A Red Sky', 'Born In Time',
how people can determine these songs to be nursery rhymes is beyond me.
And even the track that comes under the most flack on the album is pretty dark,

''Wiggle, you can raise the dead''
''Wiggle till you're high, wiggle till you're higher
Wiggle till you vomit fire''
''Wiggle, wiggle, wiggle, rattle and shake
Wiggle like a big fat snake''

To me anyway, this album is a biblical end of days album, and whether Dylan has
dismissed that idea (no idea what he has or hasn't said about the album, if anything)
it is clearly written in words, its no album for children that's for sure, and way darker
than 'Oh Mercy' lyrically.


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PostPosted: Sat September 9th, 2017, 13:32 GMT 
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Its a grand album for sing-a-longs with your children which is what I think he intended by dedicating it to his daughter, Gabby. This is a roll down the windows and sing at the top of your lungs while driving with your children album.

With my children grown I don't listen to it as often as I used to but it always brings a smile. And the video for Unbelieveable is one of the funniest videos ever produced for MTV.

Reading the acknowledgements and credits is a bit heartbreaking though. I think I may be the only person in the U.S. at the time the album was released that he didn't mention by name. I've forgiven him for it because I considered I must be one of the unnamed people in the generic "and others" or however the liner notes put it.


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PostPosted: Sat September 9th, 2017, 14:50 GMT 
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Nobody considers it a masterpiece. It's an album of throw away songs.

Oh Mercy was a masterpiece. Finally, Bob Dylan was good again after all those crappy 80's albums. Lanois got him to be serious about the singing. The album had such a great vibe to it, like Dylan was back on track and ready to put out some great albums. Then - he puts out the Red Sky nonsense. What a disappointment. The songs from that album fit right in with the Trio of Dreck (Loaded/Burlesque/Groove)


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PostPosted: Sat September 9th, 2017, 15:40 GMT 
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Winter Lude wrote:
Nobody considers it a masterpiece. It's an album of throw away songs.

Oh Mercy was a masterpiece. Finally, Bob Dylan was good again after all those crappy 80's albums. Lanois got him to be serious about the singing. The album had such a great vibe to it, like Dylan was back on track and ready to put out some great albums. Then - he puts out the Red Sky nonsense. What a disappointment. The songs from that album fit right in with the Trio of Dreck (Loaded/Burlesque/Groove)


Yeah, After, Oh Mercy, it was a big disappointment. I saw him right around the time it was released.
I don't think he did any of the songs off it. Maybe he did, "God Knows" that is about my favorite on there.


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PostPosted: Sat September 9th, 2017, 16:27 GMT 

Joined: Wed May 31st, 2017, 00:56 GMT
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Winter Lude wrote:
Nobody considers it a masterpiece. It's an album of throw away songs.

Oh Mercy was a masterpiece. Finally, Bob Dylan was good again after all those crappy 80's albums. Lanois got him to be serious about the singing. The album had such a great vibe to it, like Dylan was back on track and ready to put out some great albums. Then - he puts out the Red Sky nonsense. What a disappointment. The songs from that album fit right in with the Trio of Dreck (Loaded/Burlesque/Groove)


So before he released Time Out of Mind, did you think that UTRS would be his last album of originals? I really love the two accoustic albums, World Gone Wrong especially, but I imagine it was an interesting time for some fans.


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PostPosted: Sat September 9th, 2017, 16:56 GMT 
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Winter Lude wrote:
Nobody considers it a masterpiece. It's an album of throw away songs.

Oh Mercy was a masterpiece. Finally, Bob Dylan was good again after all those crappy 80's albums. Lanois got him to be serious about the singing. The album had such a great vibe to it, like Dylan was back on track and ready to put out some great albums. Then - he puts out the Red Sky nonsense. What a disappointment. The songs from that album fit right in with the Trio of Dreck (Loaded/Burlesque/Groove)


My thoughts exactly, and to make matters worse some years later Cat's In The Well returned to the set and outstayed it's welcome. Having said that I always quite liked the title track.


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PostPosted: Sat September 9th, 2017, 16:57 GMT 

Joined: Sat August 25th, 2007, 21:54 GMT
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Till I attended a 1994 show I figured Dylan was a goner. I'd been told he'd returned to some form in late 1992 but wasn't inclined to believe it. So TOOM was a pleasant shock to put it mildly. I considered it far better than Oh Mercy and still do. On first listen UTRS seemed awful, more because of the singing than the songs although I disliked most of the songs on the first side. The instrumental cameos were fine and I thought the complainers absurdly fussy music hating twerps (and still do). Wiggle was bizarre because Dylan hadn't previously hated sex. Unbelievable was maybe a step above Trouble (c'mon Bob, you won, remember?). The stripes and plain line was a howler in Born in Time. TV Talkin' Song was as loose a conceit as License to Kill. Second side was better once I got past 10,000 Men. These days I thoroughly enjoy the title cut and the second side. It has the same effect as Shot of Love, kind of side-saddled comedy from a singer who's not quite on top of his game. I never did really warm up to Oh Mercy, most of which seems cramped and stilted (Ring Them Bells and Most of the Time being exceptions). Best I could say about Oh Mercy was that it was a step up from the previous couple "efforts."


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PostPosted: Sat September 9th, 2017, 17:21 GMT 

Joined: Fri January 5th, 2007, 23:38 GMT
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Location: Ireland
LibraChild1980 wrote:
Ive never bought this nursery rhyme stuff.
It's biblical, 'under a red sky' the album title and main song to me is adam and eve, plus listen to the lyrics ..
''God knows there's gonna be no more water, but fire next time''...the fire being the next coming of christ, fire from the sky,
ie under a red sky.
Most if not all the songs have a religious backdrop.
I think the album was dedicated to Gabby Goo or some name Bob had for one of his
children at the time, but 'TV Talkin Song', 'God Knows', 'Under A Red Sky', 'Born In Time',
how people can determine these songs to be nursery rhymes is beyond me.
And even the track that comes under the most flack on the album is pretty dark,

''Wiggle, you can raise the dead''
''Wiggle till you're high, wiggle till you're higher
Wiggle till you vomit fire''
''Wiggle, wiggle, wiggle, rattle and shake
Wiggle like a big fat snake''

To me anyway, this album is a biblical end of days album, and whether Dylan has
dismissed that idea (no idea what he has or hasn't said about the album, if anything)
it is clearly written in words, its no album for children that's for sure, and way darker
than 'Oh Mercy' lyrically.


I don't think we essentially disagree. The only difference between us seems to be our opinion of nursery rhymes. Most are quite dark, at least the classic ones by the Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Anderson.


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PostPosted: Sat September 9th, 2017, 18:05 GMT 

Joined: Wed May 31st, 2017, 00:56 GMT
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monklover wrote:
Till I attended a 1994 show I figured Dylan was a goner. I'd been told he'd returned to some form in late 1992 but wasn't inclined to believe it. So TOOM was a pleasant shock to put it mildly. I considered it far better than Oh Mercy and still do. On first listen UTRS seemed awful, more because of the singing than the songs although I disliked most of the songs on the first side. The instrumental cameos were fine and I thought the complainers absurdly fussy music hating twerps (and still do). Wiggle was bizarre because Dylan hadn't previously hated sex. Unbelievable was maybe a step above Trouble (c'mon Bob, you won, remember?). The stripes and plain line was a howler in Born in Time. TV Talkin' Song was as loose a conceit as License to Kill. Second side was better once I got past 10,000 Men. These days I thoroughly enjoy the title cut and the second side. It has the same effect as Shot of Love, kind of side-saddled comedy from a singer who's not quite on top of his game. I never did really warm up to Oh Mercy, most of which seems cramped and stilted (Ring Them Bells and Most of the Time being exceptions). Best I could say about Oh Mercy was that it was a step up from the previous couple "efforts."

What about the 94 show did it for you? I wish I was around then, some of the shows from that year I really love. When I was really young I really thought he had only made a few albums prior to TOOM. As a kid I heard the The sixties albums and Blood on the Tracks, but not much else. Then I heard TOOM and his albums coming out at the time and thought he took an extended break after BOTT. Shortly after I learned that he made tons of albums between them. Oh Mercy is special to me, but I get why it doesn't click for some people.


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PostPosted: Sat September 9th, 2017, 18:21 GMT 
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Mickvet wrote:
LibraChild1980 wrote:
Ive never bought this nursery rhyme stuff.
It's biblical, 'under a red sky' the album title and main song to me is adam and eve, plus listen to the lyrics ..
''God knows there's gonna be no more water, but fire next time''...the fire being the next coming of christ, fire from the sky,
ie under a red sky.
Most if not all the songs have a religious backdrop.
I think the album was dedicated to Gabby Goo or some name Bob had for one of his
children at the time, but 'TV Talkin Song', 'God Knows', 'Under A Red Sky', 'Born In Time',
how people can determine these songs to be nursery rhymes is beyond me.
And even the track that comes under the most flack on the album is pretty dark,

''Wiggle, you can raise the dead''
''Wiggle till you're high, wiggle till you're higher
Wiggle till you vomit fire''
''Wiggle, wiggle, wiggle, rattle and shake
Wiggle like a big fat snake''

To me anyway, this album is a biblical end of days album, and whether Dylan has
dismissed that idea (no idea what he has or hasn't said about the album, if anything)
it is clearly written in words, its no album for children that's for sure, and way darker
than 'Oh Mercy' lyrically.


I don't think we essentially disagree. The only difference between us seems to be our opinion of nursery rhymes. Most are quite dark, at least the classic ones by the Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Anderson.


Have a word with yourself - you're a grown man talking about Bob Dylan making a shite album of embarrassing songs and pretending it's somehow a concept work about nursery rhymes. Sad.


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PostPosted: Sat September 9th, 2017, 19:24 GMT 
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Under the red sky, was kind of my first Bob Dylan album unless you counted the wilburys.

I was a huge beatles album and was really interested through watching some documentaries how and why this guy inspired the group to change direction, when it was announced that he was in a supergroup with George Harrison, god I almost typed George Michael, I started listening to all the other Wilburys.

Now I think I bought lots of Bob Dylan albums in one week, and this was down to the Wilburys and Under the red sky although when you worked back through his catalogue you realised it wasnt one of his better efforts. It did have a charm about it which made you forgive him for it and still find it listenable.

Years later I find a lot of the flak aimed at Bob for his recent cover albums a little unfair I think that you even read people defending efforts like Knocked out and Loaded and UTRS but aiming for the jugular when criticising Triplicate. You might hate what hes doing but for me they are sung sincerly and he is making an effort, I dont think on things like Under the red sky, knocked out or Down in the groove he really cared about what he was doing.

Bobs a songwriter primarily and of course im not here telling you Triplicate or shadows is better than Blood on the tracks or Desire but Im genuinely more glad he made them than Under the red sky and that doesnt mean im not partial to the odd wiggle wiggle wiggle.


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PostPosted: Sat September 9th, 2017, 20:16 GMT 

Joined: Fri January 6th, 2006, 05:56 GMT
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I really began to get into Dylan during the "World Gone Wrong" era, a time when it wasn't irrational to wonder if UTRS was Bob's swan song to songwriting--the Madison Square Garden Bobfest came off as a wake, Dylan turned in a, um, questionable performance on a Letteroman anniversary show, and "Greatest Hits Vol. 3" was hyped as containing one new song.

As a follow-up to "Oh Mercy", UTRS seemed a disappointment; as Bob's final studio album, it seemed depressing. Listening to it now, free of all of this baggage, I don't think necessarily it's a bad album...I just don't find it especially interesting?

Maybe I should play it again...


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PostPosted: Sun September 10th, 2017, 23:22 GMT 
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mickvet said-I don't think we essentially disagree. The only difference between us seems to be our opinion of nursery rhymes. Most are quite dark, at least the classic ones by the Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Anderson.

McG said-Have a word with yourself - you're a grown man talking about Bob Dylan making a shite album of embarrassing songs and pretending it's somehow a concept work about nursery rhymes. Sad.

Oh no, i do understand that the Hans Christian Anderson tales are dark, the dark referrence
was in comparison to the lyrics on Oh Mercy.
McG i'm not sure which quote you're referring to, but if the album failed you musically,
and you don't like it, that's ok, but try and not over state your wafer thin case of 'have a word'
and some such retort, the facts remain that the lyrics on Under A Red Sky are doom ridden and
perhaps the clean rock sound of the album didn't appeal to you but to me, i enjoy the album
for what it is, a hastily recorded album, with end of world type themes & a lotta guests popping bits of overdubs on, and
the whole thing was probably off Dylan's mind by the time he was back on the road on the first
few dates after finishing his parts on the record.
In partial answer to the OP, it's a strong album musically, but very clean sounding, and Dylans
vocals sound rougher and harsher than on Oh Mercy, plus given Oh Mercy's high praise,
Under A Red Sky was never going to be given a fair review at the time of release.


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PostPosted: Mon September 11th, 2017, 01:30 GMT 
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Clearly influenced by his grandkids (nursery rhyme themes) and his apocalyptic leanings.

Disappointing after Oh Mercy (which I happen to rate higher than most around here) but nothing more or less than a minor work in amongst an amazing lifetime of creation.


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PostPosted: Mon September 11th, 2017, 03:57 GMT 

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Very underrated. Two great songs and several others that are very good. And what's not to like about Wiggle Wiggle....


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PostPosted: Mon September 11th, 2017, 07:03 GMT 

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McG wrote:
Mickvet wrote:

I don't think we essentially disagree. The only difference between us seems to be our opinion of nursery rhymes. Most are quite dark, at least the classic ones by the Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Anderson.


Have a word with yourself - you're a grown man talking about Bob Dylan making a shite album of embarrassing songs and pretending it's somehow a concept work about nursery rhymes. Sad.


Yes. I am. And for all your self-perceived smartness, you have a very poor sense of irony.

Personal insult is the last resort of those who have nothing to say. This isn't quite you-you essentially say the same one thing, over and over and over...


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PostPosted: Mon September 11th, 2017, 07:46 GMT 
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Mickvet wrote:

Yes. I am. And for all your self-perceived smartness, you have a very poor sense of irony.

Personal insult is the last resort of those who have nothing to say. This isn't quite you-you essentially say the same one thing, over and over and over...


Thanks Mick, hope you're well and the vet business is blooming. Or maybe that's floristry.

An American educating a Brit about irony! Oh the delicious ironing.


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PostPosted: Mon September 11th, 2017, 17:29 GMT 
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McG do you like any of the Under A Red Sky songs in a live setting?
Thing is, imagine if 'Oh Mercy' hadn't been released, (i know it was just for the sake of a point)
then surely it'd have been viewed more keenly by fans and those people who
get paid for writing about other peoples achievements.
I'm just trying to gauge where you're at with the dislike, is it total and complete
and purely based on the recorded music and lyrics, or do you reckon that
maybe the two albums of original material that went before and came after
Under A Red Sky, that maybe you're judging it against those very strong albums
and not judging it on its own merits? I'm not being facetious i'm just keen
to get where you're coming from with a little more definition, i know you don't
rate that album, just have the a-fore mentioned questions in mind is all.


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PostPosted: Mon September 11th, 2017, 19:38 GMT 
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LibraChild1980 wrote:
McG do you like any of the Under A Red Sky songs in a live setting?
Thing is, imagine if 'Oh Mercy' hadn't been released, (i know it was just for the sake of a point)
then surely it'd have been viewed more keenly by fans and those people who
get paid for writing about other peoples achievements.
I'm just trying to gauge where you're at with the dislike, is it total and complete
and purely based on the recorded music and lyrics, or do you reckon that
maybe the two albums of original material that went before and came after
Under A Red Sky, that maybe you're judging it against those very strong albums
and not judging it on its own merits? I'm not being facetious i'm just keen
to get where you're coming from with a little more definition, i know you don't
rate that album, just have the a-fore mentioned questions in mind is all.


What's to explain? All you have to do is play it - it's piss poor. How can you not hear that?

Stop making excuses for the man, it demeans his actual good stuff.


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PostPosted: Mon September 11th, 2017, 19:40 GMT 
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Born in Time is undeniably a great song - albeit greatly inferior to the Oh Mercy version.


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