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Track 14: Positively 4th Street
https://www.expectingrain.com/discussions/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=39318
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Author:  Mez [ Sun May 24th, 2009, 02:26 GMT ]
Post subject:  Track 14: Positively 4th Street

This song holds a special meaning for The MEZ. This song was when the genius of dylan hit me as a young teen in the mid 1980's. My fav live rendition is from the boot f...k The Play List. This song is genius personified! Does this song hold any special meaning to you all? Do you think its a classic, a bit overrated etc. Would you post some fav killer versions or nominate a few that may beat the f..k the playlist boot version. Thanks MEZ

Author:  i'm_not_about_to_argue [ Sun May 24th, 2009, 02:34 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: Track 14: Positively 4th Street

This song is as pure Dylan as Dylan gets. It came out as a single around the same time as Highway 61 Revisited, and I was struck most by how straighforward it was compared to the more surreal and abstract (but just as brilliant) stuff on the album. I'll take the studio verson over anything else. I always loved how it played off into the sunset.

Author:  JustMe [ Sun May 24th, 2009, 02:38 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: Track 14: Positively 4th Street

I'm a bit like you there - my older brother bought Greates Hits Vol 2. It must have been around 1976 I think, I was 12 or so. I was into the Beatles Big Time.

And my brother played that album up and down relentlessly all day every day for a while. At first I HATED it - but bit by bit, I started to "get it". And that was one of the first songs I "got".

He bought the "Bangladesh" concert next - wow, now you had the solo Beatles AND Dylan - that was great. The first "Dylan" album I bought myself was the "Last Waltz" actually. I still love all of that to this day. So yeah, that brings back great memories.

Author:  conal0102 [ Sun May 24th, 2009, 02:51 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: Track 14: Positively 4th Street

I'm one those annoying people who love modern Dylan live but I have to admit I've never heard a live rendition that could match the majestic simplicity of the original. An incredible song... the line "you'd rather see me paralysed" is made all the more powerful knowing what came next.

Author:  marker [ Sun May 24th, 2009, 03:07 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: Track 14: Positively 4th Street

From Paul Williams Performing Artist (Vol. 1):

Four days after Newport, Dylan got his revenge on the "folk crowd" who rejected him (and who had been attacking him, baiting him, condescending to him since the release of Another Side of Bob Dylan twelve months earlier), by recording "Positively Fourth Street" as his single to follow "Like a Rolling Stone." The song functions as a kind of universal put-down, "the perfect squelch," but it also speaks quite specifically to Dylan's critics in the folk community (Dylan lived on West 4th Street in Greenwich Village in his folk days), particularly Irwin Silber, editor or Sing Out!, who wrote a piece in the November 1964 issue of Sing Out! called "An Open Letter to Bob Dylan": "Dear Bob . . . I'm writing this letter now because some of what has happened is troubling me. And not me alone. Many other good friends of yours as well..." And so forth. Dylan over the years has had to put up with an endless succession of public admonitions from "friends" and strangers telling him what he should be doing; this song serves as his permanent, all-purpose reply (especially for those who think "Maggie's Farm" and "It Ain't Me Babe" aren't addressed to them). On the videotape of the December 1965 press conference, someone tells Dylan he's hard on people in a lot of his songs -- "Rolling Stone," and "Fourth Street" -- and asks, "Are you hard on them because you want to torment them, or because you want to change their lives and make them know themselves?" Dylan screws up his face into a very serious and rather demonic grin and says, "I want to needle them."

Excellent follow-up to I & I Mez.
A great song. I love the studio version a lot.
I also really love this one from 66, Sydney Australia.
It's like the really angry drunk brother of the single:
4/16/66

http://www.sendspace.com/file/ob3fcl

I also like to listen to the Beatles play around with it during the Get Back session.
It's not much, but if they had recorded it....
George's guitar alone send chills...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cdeTPdeq ... re=related

Author:  Mez [ Sun May 24th, 2009, 03:35 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: Track 14: Positively 4th Street

That 66 post beats my fav live rendition thus far. Thanks! MEZ

Author:  Mr. Pink [ Tue July 21st, 2009, 18:08 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: Track 14: Positively 4th Street

Driving to Woodstock with Bob Dylan

Author:  Untrodden Path [ Tue July 21st, 2009, 18:36 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: Track 14: Positively 4th Street

At one time the opening lines were the "request" for leaving a voice message on my answering machine.

You've got a lot of nerve,
to say you are my friend,
When I was down,
you just stood there grinning!


It was a rough time in life...

I didn't get many voice mails either. :lol:

Author:  MatchStriker [ Tue July 21st, 2009, 18:47 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: Track 14: Positively 4th Street

I actually always thought this song is a bit underrated, although it's been discussed ad infinitum. All his best "put down" songs are the only flashpot glimpses at the real man, I believe, and the anger is a tissue-thin veil covering a deep sense of pain and betrayal. From childhood on he's been a person of fragile ego, and his (often) self righteous anger has served him, and us, very well through the years.

What marks this one for me is the incongruously happy-go-lucky melody coupled with the scathing lyrics. There aren't many worse things you can accuse someone of than their wishing to see you paralyzed. Add to this his visits at the time to his paralyzed friend Larry Keegan and you know this was the absolute worst thing he could lay on anyone. Talk about digging deep.

He's a smart guy. He had everyone he knew running around New York wondering if it was about them :lol:

Author:  Long Johnny [ Tue July 21st, 2009, 19:06 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: Track 14: Positively 4th Street

Long Johnny thinks the song is highly overrated and is more an expression of adolescent arrogance and nastiness than anything else and makes it even more of a mystery why somebody never bitch-slapped the little wanker when he was in his pissy punk period.

Author:  MatchStriker [ Tue July 21st, 2009, 19:23 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: Track 14: Positively 4th Street

We need a raspberry-blowing smiley forthwith!

Edit: Matchstriker thinks we need a raspberry-blowing smiley forthwith!

Author:  Street Beagle [ Tue July 21st, 2009, 19:27 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: Track 14: Positively 4th Street

Street Beagle thinks people who refer to themselves in the third person are spazmos.

Image

Author:  Bennyboy [ Tue July 21st, 2009, 19:31 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: Track 14: Positively 4th Street

Street Beagle wrote:
Street Beagle thinks people who refer to themselves in the third person are spazmos.

Image


Joey Deacons, more like.

Author:  MatchStriker [ Tue July 21st, 2009, 19:32 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: Track 14: Positively 4th Street

Matchstriker would tend to agree except that she likes The Mez's Track Talks.

Author:  Street Beagle [ Tue July 21st, 2009, 19:34 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: Track 14: Positively 4th Street

Bennyboy wrote:
Street Beagle wrote:
Street Beagle thinks people who refer to themselves in the third person are spazmos.

Image


Joey Deacons, more like.


Word.

Image

Author:  Dead Eternity [ Tue July 21st, 2009, 20:35 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: Track 14: Positively 4th Street

outstanding. one of those where the verse on verse on verse structure is at most sweeping and powerful.
absolutely dreadful live generally, mistreated like a dreary ballad. the recent rearrangement was a long needed miracle according to me.
killer versions? what's that 2008 recording praised to immortality called again?
66 and from late 07 on it's definitely under consideration, anyhow.

Author:  harmonica albert [ Tue July 21st, 2009, 20:59 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: Track 14: Positively 4th Street

I always heard this song as merely a commercial vehicle to establish his brand after the very successful impact of Like a Rolling Stone. I liked it plenty upon its release and for years after that. It's one of his stronger vocal efforts of that year.

The content, and Dylan's personal genre of the "put-down" song, leaves me wondering if he had the best judgement of companions, since he seems to need to humiliate them in song periodically. These songs are only marginally more interesting than Van Morrison's anti-music industry tirades. Anthony Scaduto's early (and very good) bio also notes Dylan's penchant for slighting others in his social circle as some kind of sadistic game. I can't help but wonder if there is some long-term karma at work--and Longjohn is its messenger.

Author:  cuth [ Tue July 21st, 2009, 21:41 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: Track 14: Positively 4th Street

FACT: A painting of the lyrics of Positively 4th Street hangs on the wall of the reception of the UK Financial Services Authority in Canary Wharf.

Author:  marker [ Tue July 21st, 2009, 21:57 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: Track 14: Positively 4th Street

When you're as famous as he was, how does one know who's a good friend? It reminds me of Dave Chappelle's reasoning to disappear after he quit the Show. For a paranoid person such as he was at the time, no one's your friend. And Bob didn't have a band that he grew into this with, so trust was not something that flowed from him freely. The interesting thing for me is how everyone interprets this as his being aimed at his insider actual friends namely his old folkies which of course may be childish. But I've always had the impression that it's aimed at a bigger target, namely audiences in general as well as the press. Dylan's so-called "conversion" to electric and its overblown media-driven reaction had to be responded to somehow in a song. It's probably the most healthy way one may stay sane in a situation like that. The hypocrisy and stupidity of some of these people seem dated & funny now to me in NDH, but in real life it must have been absurdly infuriating, which is a good way to sum up the song. The so-called "friends" encompass all that accepted his music 6 months ago as genius and now call him a hack because he now sounds differently...which of course has happened to him many many times throughout his career to this day on this here website.

Author:  Mister.Jones [ Tue July 21st, 2009, 23:04 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: Track 14: Positively 4th Street

I am intrigued by the use of the word ''it'' in this song:

''Do you take me for such a fool to think I'd make contact
with one who tries to hide what it don't know to begin with''

Why doesn't he sing ''he'' or ''she''?

Maybe it is addressed to a group of people or the coffee table?.

Author:  Untrodden Path [ Wed July 22nd, 2009, 00:07 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: Track 14: Positively 4th Street

Mister.Jones wrote:
I am intrigued by the use of the word ''it'' in this song:

''Do you take me for such a fool to think I'd make contact
with one who tries to hide what it don't know to begin with''

Why doesn't he sing ''he'' or ''she''?

Maybe it is addressed to a group of people or the coffee table?.
I have often thought that about this song and others...that is, Dylan is singing to a coffee table.

Why do we (falsely???) assume angry, venomous songs are always directed to or are about people?

Author:  Long Johnny [ Wed July 22nd, 2009, 00:32 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: Track 14: Positively 4th Street

Mister.Jones wrote:
I am intrigued by the use of the word ''it'' in this song:

''Do you take me for such a fool to think I'd make contact
with one who tries to hide what it don't know to begin with''

Why doesn't he sing ''he'' or ''she''?

Maybe it is addressed to a group of people or the coffee table?.


He doesn't sing "it" he sings "he."

Author:  mjeff [ Wed July 22nd, 2009, 01:42 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: Track 14: Positively 4th Street

This is in my top 3 dylan songs ever.

Author:  Untrodden Path [ Wed July 22nd, 2009, 02:17 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: Track 14: Positively 4th Street

Long Johnny wrote:
Mister.Jones wrote:
I am intrigued by the use of the word ''it'' in this song:

''Do you take me for such a fool to think I'd make contact
with one who tries to hide what it don't know to begin with''

Why doesn't he sing ''he'' or ''she''?

Maybe it is addressed to a group of people or the coffee table?.


He doesn't sing "it" he sings "he."
The coffee table is a "he"? :?

Damn, that gender stuff always seems to get me. :lol:

Author:  Bennyboy [ Wed July 22nd, 2009, 07:14 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: Track 14: Positively 4th Street

Long Johnny wrote:
Long Johnny thinks the song is highly overrated and is more an expression of adolescent arrogance and nastiness than anything else and makes it even more of a mystery why somebody never bitch-slapped the little wanker when he was in his pissy punk period.


I agree. Someone shoulda decked the midget.

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