Expecting Rain

Go to main page
It is currently Wed August 15th, 2018, 22:13 GMT

All times are UTC




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 47 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2
Author Message
 Post subject: Re: Masters of War
PostPosted: Tue January 16th, 2018, 21:29 GMT 
Titanium Member

Joined: Wed February 16th, 2005, 21:50 GMT
Posts: 5211
Location: New Hampshire
pol2jem wrote:


Nice find. Marcus claimed the song was dropped from performances after 1964 but that isn't true. There are many, many electric versions over the years, and the electric ones are the best, by far. The one on "Real Live" is superb, and is a close second to the 1991 awards show he references, as one of his best live songs, ever. It's also one of the few really great, rock and roll, anti war songs. And as another measure of Bob's greatness, it's a song he made great as a folk song, then as a rock and roll song.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Masters of War
PostPosted: Wed January 17th, 2018, 02:48 GMT 
Promethium Member
User avatar

Joined: Fri July 15th, 2011, 02:23 GMT
Posts: 22537
Man on the Street wrote:
Let me ask you one question: is this song the whole time in plural? I'm translating it into my language and I have a problem: ok, the beginning is clearly in plural (masters), but at the end we have a poet, who's telling us that he will "follow your casket". A casket of one man, probably. I don't think all of this masters of war are gonna die at the same time. Any idea?

Look what you started, Man!
Interesting thread of opinions though...

To get back to your original question:
is this song the whole time in plural?

Well, yes, actually, IMHO.
Bob is talking to all of, and each of, the so-called “masters” throughout the whole song.
The intention seems to be for each “master” to interpret it as if they are being spoken to individually.
It’s a collective thought aimed specifically at each individual, all of the bahstahds.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Masters of War
PostPosted: Wed January 17th, 2018, 20:50 GMT 
User avatar

Joined: Fri December 31st, 2010, 12:18 GMT
Posts: 595
Location: Where The Neon Madmen Climb
chrome horse wrote:
pol2jem wrote:


Nice find. Marcus claimed the song was dropped from performances after 1964 but that isn't true. There are many, many electric versions over the years, and the electric ones are the best, by far. The one on "Real Live" is superb, and is a close second to the 1991 awards show he references, as one of his best live songs, ever. It's also one of the few really great, rock and roll, anti war songs. And as another measure of Bob's greatness, it's a song he made great as a folk song, then as a rock and roll song.


Gentle correction: I think you mis-read the paragraph in Greil's essay:-

"Dylan had stopped singing "Masters of War" by 1964. Songs like that were "lies that life is black and white," he sang that year. He brought it back into his repertoire in the 1980s; he was playing more than a hundred shows a year, and to fill the nights he brought back everything. It was a crowd-pleaser, the number one protest song. But nothing in the song hinted at what it would turn into on February 21, 1991, at the Grammy Awards telecast, where Dylan was to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award."

Interestingly enough, I never really cared for the "Real Live" version until the early morning experience in Syria in February 1991 that I wrote about earlier when I witnessed the interception of a Scud missile and momentarily the dark but clear winter sky was lit with intense white light, like when a star explodes in a sci-fi film. The crew vehicles had been lined up to head out of camp for another day's work when the missile collision overhead occurred. For a few minutes the entire crew of 100 souls looked skyward; several wondered out loud whether it was about time we told the oil company to stick their job where the sun don't shine and scarper from that part of the world. Then, from the camp public address system the staccato attack chords of the "Real Live" version of "Masters of War" rang out at full volume. There, on the steps of the recreation trailer, stood my colleague and friend, (I'll call him Declan), punching the air in time to the music with his fist, having first loaded the track into the tape deck. We'd been involved in some scrapes together over the years, including when rebel soldiers attacked our oil camp in Sudan back in 1984; and he had been a "guest" in Iraq for the last four months of 1990. "Masters of War" (any version) had always been a favourite of his. On this morning in Syria, as the embers of the explosion high above us died away, it was an exhilarating experience to watch a dozen or more vehicles head out of the camp into the desert beyond to start work for the day, clouds of dust being kicked up by the tyres, with Bob and the boys providing the soundtrack to their departure.

The "Real Live" version of "Masters of War" became very special for me in that moment and remains so....


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Masters of War
PostPosted: Wed January 17th, 2018, 21:21 GMT 
Titanium Member

Joined: Wed February 16th, 2005, 21:50 GMT
Posts: 5211
Location: New Hampshire
Hey, thanks for the correction there(pol2jem) - I read it too quickly.! Great story too!

The 1991 Grammy show performance is absolutely incendiary. It reminds me of that story about Woody Guthrie's acoustic guitar having a bumper sticker on it that read "This Machine Kills Fascists". Bob was pretty much saying that with his insanely hot lead guitar player and whole sound they were putting out. His singing wasn't that bad and fit the mood. One of his most stunning, and perhaps, strongest political performances ever.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U93ezKkrW6M


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Masters of War
PostPosted: Thu January 18th, 2018, 04:22 GMT 
Promethium Member
User avatar

Joined: Fri July 15th, 2011, 02:23 GMT
Posts: 22537
And probably one of the most fidgety acceptance speeches in history.
I can remember the WBCN D.J.s ragging on him a bit the next day, by
calling him “Mumbles the Clown.”


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Masters of War
PostPosted: Thu January 18th, 2018, 12:12 GMT 
User avatar

Joined: Fri December 31st, 2010, 12:18 GMT
Posts: 595
Location: Where The Neon Madmen Climb
chrome horse wrote:
Hey, thanks for the correction there(pol2jem) - I read it too quickly.! Great story too!

The 1991 Grammy show performance is absolutely incendiary. It reminds me of that story about Woody Guthrie's acoustic guitar having a bumper sticker on it that read "This Machine Kills Fascists". Bob was pretty much saying that with his insanely hot lead guitar player and whole sound they were putting out. His singing wasn't that bad and fit the mood. One of his most stunning, and perhaps, strongest political performances ever.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U93ezKkrW6M


I agree.

I hesitate to say it because I haven't seen or heard every live performance by Bob, but this 1991 Grammy Awards one, as I indicated in the other thread, for me stands head and shoulders above all others, even those from Europe in 1966 or the Rolling Thunder tours. Context is everything of course and this one occurred just a few days after I had seen Bob at The Hammersmith Odeon, a day before flying to Syria, and precisely at a time when I was witnessing, as a civilian, the consequences of the deployment of the machinery of war on my desert camp doorstep. It's not easily forgotten, and it received another airing when I got caught up in the Libyan revolution in 2011. Come to think of it, life would have been a whole lot quieter for me over the last 40 years if the month of February didn't exist.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Masters of War
PostPosted: Thu January 18th, 2018, 16:52 GMT 
User avatar

Joined: Wed December 16th, 2009, 12:57 GMT
Posts: 1094
You guys are surely kidding, right? the 1991 Grammys performance?
Of all the horrendous vocal performances Dylan has ever given this is up there near the top.
OK, the guitar solo is great, but the singing completely ruins the performance


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Masters of War
PostPosted: Thu January 18th, 2018, 17:14 GMT 
Promethium Member
User avatar

Joined: Thu January 24th, 2008, 15:14 GMT
Posts: 18333
Location: Where the swift don't win the race
Is it possible there were two 1991 Grammy performances, one televised nationally and one in select markets? I have read numerous times how horrible the performance was but the only videos I've ever seen from the '91 Grammy's is an incredibly awesome Masters of War. Perhaps the bad performance was only broadcast in a few places?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Masters of War
PostPosted: Thu January 18th, 2018, 19:04 GMT 
Titanium Member

Joined: Wed February 16th, 2005, 21:50 GMT
Posts: 5211
Location: New Hampshire
wormington wrote:
You guys are surely kidding, right? the 1991 Grammys performance?
Of all the horrendous vocal performances Dylan has ever given this is up there near the top.
OK, the guitar solo is great, but the singing completely ruins the performance


"Ruins" it for YOU, as so many things seem to do. Hopefully you'll get better.
Best of luck!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Masters of War
PostPosted: Thu January 18th, 2018, 19:35 GMT 
User avatar

Joined: Fri December 31st, 2010, 12:18 GMT
Posts: 595
Location: Where The Neon Madmen Climb
wormington wrote:
You guys are surely kidding, right? the 1991 Grammys performance?
Of all the horrendous vocal performances Dylan has ever given this is up there near the top.
OK, the guitar solo is great, but the singing completely ruins the performance


In May 2007 I wrote this after attending the Newcastle show the previous month:-


"The highlight of the show for me was the almost funereal Masters of War, with the stage lit like a desert sunset for the only time that night and with a marvellous flurry of notes coming from Bob’s keyboard at the end of each weary line. If you weren’t there you’ll just have to believe me because, like the magical harp solo at the end of Tangled Up In Blue delivered from the same stage nearly seven years earlier, the song doesn’t come across as anything special when you give the disc a spin. It was so much more than just an aural experience.

However, although the memory of this Masters of War will linger on, it didn’t come close to that Grammy Awards performance in 1991, given a few days after the Hammersmith shows. This, I recall, started out as “incomprehensible”, “indecipherable”, “bewildering”, and “possibly sung in Hebrew”, but ended up being elevated by degrees to “notable”, “powerful”, “remarkable”, and “possibly the best
performance of his life”. Now I can’t say for sure that it was the best because I haven’t seen or heard them all, but without a hint of irony or revisionism I’d have told you when I first saw it, on a video tape in Syria a couple of months after the conclusion of Desert Storm, that I’d never seen a better one. And I still haven’t seen a performance quite like it; all at once out on the edge, provocative, and dangerous. Just like 1966."



Greil Marcus, more erudite than I shall ever be, described it thus in his 2006 "Stories of a Bad Song":-

"But nothing in the song hinted at what it would turn into on February 21, 1991, at the Grammy Awards telecast, where Dylan was to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award.

The show came square in the middle of the first Iraqi-American War—a break from round-the-clock footage of the bombing of Baghdad. "Uncle Bobby," Jack Nicholson said, introducing Dylan, as Dylan and his four-piece band came onstage to play one song. In dark suits, with fedoras pulled down over their faces, the musicians looked like small-time hipster gangsters who'd spent the previous ten years in the same bar waiting for the right deal to break and finally said the hell with it; Dylan held himself with authority, like the bartender.

It was an instantly infamous performance, and one of the greatest of Dylan's career. He sang the song in disguise; at first, you couldn't tell what it was. He slurred the words as if their narrative was irrelevant and the performance had to communicate as a symbol or not at all. He broke the words down and smashed them up until they worked as pure excitement, until the appearance of a single, whole signifier—"Jesus," "Guns," "Die"—lit up the night like tracer bullets. The performance was faster, the beat snapping back on itself, then fragmenting as guitar lines shot out of the music as if without human agency—and it might have been a minute, it might have been two, it might have been as long as the performance lasted for the melody to creep out of the noise and the song to reveal itself for what it was."



On the other hand, our friend Andrew "Homer, The Slut" Muir had this to say in his wonderful and highly recommended book, "The Razor's Edge", later updated as "One More Night":-

"Dylan performed his damning anti-war indictment, "Masters of War" - a striking choice given that the Gulf War was still going on and hawkish jingoism was rife. However, since he chose to sing it without a pause for breath, and backed by this hapless/hamstrung band, no one who did not already know the song would have got the message. In fact, many who were familiar with the song did not even recognise it........The tuxedoed crowd looked on in utter bewilderment. The next day's newspapers marvelled how only Dylan had performed a song with any meaning and purpose, but then, being Dylan, he had made it completely incomprehensible."


So, there is no doubt that it's a performance that polarises opinion; it may just depend on context and one's own perception of it, as is the case with plenty of examples of art, performance or otherwise. My opinion of it hasn't altered since February 1991 so, nope, not kidding.

#


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Masters of War
PostPosted: Fri January 19th, 2018, 17:10 GMT 
User avatar

Joined: Wed December 16th, 2009, 12:57 GMT
Posts: 1094
It really baffles me how someone can see greatness in Bob´s performance on that particular event, but hey, enjoy!

Speaking generally about the song, when I said up ahead that Bob stole the melody, I said it only to tease the chromester, even though according to Clinton Heylin it´s true, if I recall correctly, but I don´t remember where he took it from.
Still, that doesn´t bother me. I consider the tune very powerful, especially the original studio version, but the lyrics always bothered me.
I don´t know the first thing about poetry/writing, so I guess I shouldn´t even try to criticize them, but am I the only one to whom the lyrics of MOW (at least in some parts) seem like the clumsy poem of an angry teenager?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Masters of War
PostPosted: Fri January 19th, 2018, 17:26 GMT 
User avatar

Joined: Sun November 18th, 2012, 18:29 GMT
Posts: 3093
Location: Besós River Shore
There is an english folk song called Nottamun Town with the same melody. Probably there are more folk songs with this melody.


:arrow: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pr6qPyfOUhE


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Masters of War
PostPosted: Fri January 19th, 2018, 18:11 GMT 
User avatar

Joined: Wed December 16th, 2009, 12:57 GMT
Posts: 1094
Senyor Timbaler wrote:
There is an english folk song called Nottamun Town with the same melody. Probably there are more folk songs with this melody.


:arrow: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pr6qPyfOUhE

Wow, that´s great!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Masters of War
PostPosted: Fri January 19th, 2018, 20:10 GMT 

Joined: Fri January 5th, 2007, 23:38 GMT
Posts: 2159
Location: Ireland
Still Go Barefoot wrote:
And probably one of the most fidgety acceptance speeches in history.
I can remember the WBCN D.J.s ragging on him a bit the next day, by
calling him “Mumbles the Clown.”


These fools just highlighted to the world their own ignorance.

Technically, the performance of the song should not be considered top-notch, but this is Dylan, so technical considerations are meaningless. The performance, the speech and the contemoraneous world political context all contribute to a unique Dylanesque event.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Masters of War
PostPosted: Fri January 19th, 2018, 20:14 GMT 
User avatar

Joined: Sat September 10th, 2016, 12:46 GMT
Posts: 2004
Mickvet wrote:
Still Go Barefoot wrote:
And probably one of the most fidgety acceptance speeches in history.
I can remember the WBCN D.J.s ragging on him a bit the next day, by
calling him “Mumbles the Clown.”


These fools just highlighted to the world their own ignorance.

Technically, the performance of the song should not be considered top-notch, but this is Dylan, so technical considerations are meaningless. The performance, the speech and the contemoraneous world political context all contribute to a unique Dylanesque event.


For the new members here, 'Dylanesque' means 'bizarrely shite'


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Masters of War
PostPosted: Fri January 19th, 2018, 20:33 GMT 
Promethium Member
User avatar

Joined: Fri July 15th, 2011, 02:23 GMT
Posts: 22537
I just spit out my drink.

Hilarious.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Masters of War
PostPosted: Sun January 21st, 2018, 09:52 GMT 
User avatar

Joined: Fri December 31st, 2010, 12:18 GMT
Posts: 595
Location: Where The Neon Madmen Climb
wormington wrote:
It really baffles me how someone can see greatness in Bob´s performance on that particular event, but hey, enjoy!

Speaking generally about the song, when I said up ahead that Bob stole the melody, I said it only to tease the chromester, even though according to Clinton Heylin it´s true, if I recall correctly, but I don´t remember where he took it from.
Still, that doesn´t bother me. I consider the tune very powerful, especially the original studio version, but the lyrics always bothered me.
I don´t know the first thing about poetry/writing, so I guess I shouldn´t even try to criticize them, but am I the only one to whom the lyrics of MOW (at least in some parts) seem like the clumsy poem of an angry teenager?



Each to his own. I hope you have the opportunity and time to read Greil's essay in which much is revealed...

https://www.threepennyreview.com/sample ... s_w06.html

#


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Masters of War
PostPosted: Sun January 21st, 2018, 13:27 GMT 
Promethium Member
User avatar

Joined: Fri July 15th, 2011, 02:23 GMT
Posts: 22537
Yes, Masters of War bases its melody on the medieval vintage song,
Nottamun Town.
A song that apparently made its way to Appalachia via oral tradition.
Here, done by Jean Ritchie, the Mother of Folk, who passed away recently.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=TsUKApb2gr8


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Masters of War
PostPosted: Sun January 21st, 2018, 13:32 GMT 
User avatar

Joined: Wed December 16th, 2009, 12:57 GMT
Posts: 1094
pol2jem wrote:
wormington wrote:
It really baffles me how someone can see greatness in Bob´s performance on that particular event, but hey, enjoy!

Speaking generally about the song, when I said up ahead that Bob stole the melody, I said it only to tease the chromester, even though according to Clinton Heylin it´s true, if I recall correctly, but I don´t remember where he took it from.
Still, that doesn´t bother me. I consider the tune very powerful, especially the original studio version, but the lyrics always bothered me.
I don´t know the first thing about poetry/writing, so I guess I shouldn´t even try to criticize them, but am I the only one to whom the lyrics of MOW (at least in some parts) seem like the clumsy poem of an angry teenager?



Each to his own. I hope you have the opportunity and time to read Greil's essay in which much is revealed...

https://www.threepennyreview.com/sample ... s_w06.html

#

I´ll try to find a moment to check it out, but I have grown a bit apprehensive of reading Greil Marcus comments on Dylan´s work.
He has already near ruined for me several songs and records :?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Masters of War
PostPosted: Sun January 21st, 2018, 15:53 GMT 
Promethium Member
User avatar

Joined: Fri July 15th, 2011, 02:23 GMT
Posts: 22537
wormington wrote:
I´ll try to find a moment to check it out, but I have grown a bit apprehensive of reading Greil Marcus comments on Dylan´s work.
He has already near ruined for me several songs and records :?

Well, no need to rush it.
I see what Greil is driving at, but his example does tend to drone on & on.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Masters of War
PostPosted: Sun January 21st, 2018, 16:16 GMT 

Joined: Sun April 5th, 2009, 22:01 GMT
Posts: 752
Still Go Barefoot wrote:
Yes, Masters of War bases its melody on the medieval vintage song,
Nottamun Town.
A song that apparently made its way to Appalachia via oral tradition.
Here, done by Jean Ritchie, the Mother of Folk, who passed away recently.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=TsUKApb2gr8


That's the old mummers song,I reckon' I'm right.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Masters of War
PostPosted: Wed January 24th, 2018, 22:17 GMT 

Joined: Mon October 18th, 2010, 03:22 GMT
Posts: 41
wormington wrote:
chrome horse wrote:
Only a blind, probably jealous, fool, would refer to "Masters of War" as a "sophomoric"
project. This song, on Bob Dylan's 2nd album, is part of the psychic musical onslaught
that quickly brought Bob Dylan international recognition as a new poetic deity of immense proportions and forever changed popular songwriting. It also laid the groundwork for his eventual Nobel Prize in Literature. Yes, sophomoric!

And he stole the music from someone else
Stole the music? Masters of War is like 2 chords lmao

Sent from my LG-H820 using Tapatalk


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 47 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2

All times are UTC


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group