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PostPosted: Mon June 2nd, 2014, 12:09 GMT 
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I don't think Mr Tambourine Man is a man who plays a tambourine - he's a cross between a tambourine and a man, in the style of Bananaman.


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PostPosted: Mon June 2nd, 2014, 12:21 GMT 
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Oh, I see! Well it seems it is a 100% masterpiece after all. Thanks for putting me right.


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PostPosted: Mon June 2nd, 2014, 12:38 GMT 
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I though Bruce Langhorne was Mr Tambourine Man?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bruce_Langhorne

I was just in a book shop at lunch and picked up the Mammoth Book of Bob and read a short essay bout this song.. as you do, and how long to took to get around to recording it. I'm glad he didn't squeeze it into that 1/2 a day recording session which gave us Another Side.
I love the BIABH version & Newport!

So do we believe that it's not about drugs??
I don't think I'm buying that :?

And can the Byrds version be seen as an improvement in any way? Given that it cuts most of the verses?

I'd say it was a masterpiece, without hesitation! :D


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PostPosted: Mon June 2nd, 2014, 12:50 GMT 
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It's all angelheaded hipster jive, I wouldn't take its meaning too seriously. Best thing is the lovely flowing rhythm of the poetry and the gorgeous rhymes that carry the song bubbling along like water flowing through a brook.


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PostPosted: Mon June 2nd, 2014, 15:44 GMT 
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quantumBob wrote:
carnap wrote:
I think I would put Mr. Tambourine Man ahead of every other song by Bob from 1962 up until Tangled Up In Blue came out. That includes putting it ahead of Like A Rolling Stone. Like A Rolling Stone is fine but it is in fact sort of nasty and you have to be in the right mood to appreciate it, whereas Mr. Tambourine Man can be appreciated any time. It is a really wonderful song, maybe even a masterpiece.


Logically, then (as befits Mr Carnap), since Mr. Tambourine Man is better than every other song between 1962 and Tangled Up In Blue, including LARS, and since "maybe even a masterpiece" leaves it an open question whether Dylan's best song of that period is a masterpiece at all, it's your position that Dylan may possibly have not written a single masterpiece between 1962 and Tangled Up In Blue?

I actually tend to agree that Dylan did not (could not have?) written any masterpieces prior to BOTT. I don't think he truly mastered his own craft until that album.

I would give the title to "Idiot Wind" before "Tangled", myself, though.

Also, I'm not sure it's a requirement for a masterpiece to be appreciable at any time, in any mood. Many, myself included, would say that its "nastiness" is a huge part of what makes LARS such a tremendous song/pop culture event.



Very good, QuantumBob! I have given up finding any flaws in your reasoning, but this morning I have some refinements.

1. My theory is how good a song is depends on the listener and his or her mood, it is how good it is for that person at that time.

Myself being a Chicago Blackhawks fan, since they lost game 7 last night in overtime and are out of the playoffs, this after winning the last two games, means Like a Rolling Stone (the way it is) went from being a good song to being a bad song and is likely to remain a bad song until sometime next season. On the other hand Mr. Tambourine Man (the way it is) remains a good song for all time. Just imagine if I were a Chicago Cubs fan. Like a Rolling Stone would be doomed forever! While Mr. Tambourine Man would be unaffected.

2. On the other hand being a masterpiece depends on the artist, it is a masterpiece for the artist.

When I Paint My Masterpiece tells us this. Bob talks about painting "his" masterpiece not "a" masterpiece. Were Bob to actually paint his masterpiece it would be one of Bob's masterpieces, but it would hardly be one of Picasso's masterpieces had Picasso painted it. Nor would it likely be a masterpiece in and of itself outside of Bob. The fact is I have written office memos that are some of "my" masterpieces, but I would hardly call them masterpieces in and of themselves. Only rarely do we call something a masterpiece in and of itself, for example, Bach's Ricercar a6.

3. On further thought, I have decided that Mr. Tambourine Man and Like a Rolling Stone are two of Bob's masterpieces. However, Mr. Tambourine Man is good all the time while Like a Rolling Stone is only good some of the time. Thus we can sometimes have a bad song that is in fact a masterpiece. :P

4. However I could be wrong and this is all subject to change, depending on my mood. :lol:


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PostPosted: Mon June 2nd, 2014, 22:58 GMT 
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carnap wrote:
I think I would put Mr. Tambourine Man ahead of every other song by Bob from 1962 up until Tangled Up In Blue came out. That includes putting it ahead of Like A Rolling Stone. Like A Rolling Stone is fine but it is in fact sort of nasty and you have to be in the right mood to appreciate it, whereas Mr. Tambourine Man can be appreciated any time. It is a really wonderful song, maybe even a masterpiece.


That's too big of a gap for me. I'm a huge fan of the song and all, but there are plenty of other brilliant songs that I think you're leaving out. For me, at the end of the day I always go back to "I Was Young When I Left Home". To this day it's still my favorite. Simplistic, but heavy at the same time.


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PostPosted: Tue June 3rd, 2014, 00:05 GMT 

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His best song. Period.


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PostPosted: Tue June 3rd, 2014, 03:45 GMT 
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Hard to argue with that. It was one of those gateway Dylan songs for me, a song I'd heard a billion times (via the Byrds) but never realized was a work of art until I heard Dylan do it. I was listening to a lot of instrumental music (I guess I still do) and I remember being startled to hear a song with lyrics which seemed to flow and capture me the way an instrumental improvisation did. I also remember a friend saying the key to it was "there is...no...place...I'm...going...to..." which has always resonated with me, and I was quite lonely when I first heard it, too, on a borrowed Greatest Hits cd.


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PostPosted: Wed June 4th, 2014, 19:11 GMT 
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I always liked the last verse:

Then take me disappearin' through the smoke rings of my mind,
Down the foggy ruins of time, far past the frozen leaves,
The haunted, frightened trees, out to the windy beach,
Far from the twisted reach of crazy sorrow.
Yes, to dance beneath the diamond sky with one hand waving free,
Silhouetted by the sea, circled by the circus sands,
With all memory and fate driven deep beneath the waves,
Let me forget about today until tomorrow.

In particular, I enjoy the similarity to Dante Alighieri's Divine Comedy. In this book, Dante travels through hell, purgatory, and paradise. While he's traveling through hell, he meets a lot of sinners/souls who are suffering in what can only be called "crazy sorrow". Eventually, he ends up in that level of hell where the suiciders end up. Those souls are trapped inside of trees and wild animals are rushing through the thicket, causing branches to break and causing a lot of pain for these "haunted, frightened trees". Well, eventually Dante leaves hell and comes to the a beach (the circus sands) which leads to purgatory. The funny thing is, before he can enter paradise, a couple of angels wash his head in the river Lethe which causes people to forget their past ("the memory and fate drive deep beneath the waves"). I know, it's pure coincidence, but I still like that interpretation.

Image


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PostPosted: Wed June 4th, 2014, 20:08 GMT 

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I always have a chuckle when I listen to Kirk's version.


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PostPosted: Wed June 4th, 2014, 21:11 GMT 
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A very long time ago, relatively speaking, there was a group of us that met Tuesday nights on the internets, on Yahoo, and sang Bob songs & stuff. The place was called Small Talk At The Wall, or STATW for short. One year one of our Brazilian participants started an idea to tag us to write up an explanation/interpretation/story of a Bob song. When the turn got to me, I was tagged with Tambourine Man. I was not of very good frame of mind then and kinda cheated. Here is what I wrote back then:

(takin the safe way out)

so i'm hangin around one night with a few of my buddies & we
Suddenly Decide to go to new orleans. we warnt thinkin too
hard at the time, fortunately, & so this idea just takes us over
lock stock & barrel, no buts about it, we gotta go. the Hunk,
now he's shakin up & down crazy. whatever sanity might've been
lingerin in our small student heads is banished to the winds
as we join him in unabashed excitement. but the problem hits
us quickly that we only got one car & it aint got no Brake One.
then this Condition hits us instead as an extreme advantage!
of course, in no time at all we tumble on out the door & tumble
on over to the said vehicle, belonging to our youngest buddy,
Harley, who agrees to drive. we make sure to load up on all
manner of hazardous chemicals & musical weaponry that we can
bring to bear upon such a scheme. then we tumble on in & make a
screech outta the driveway with a dangerous gleam in our eyes.

...[lots of descriptive text about how the various setbacks we
encountered along the way were utterly futile in their lofty & noble
attempts to discourage our merry band, now escalating to
Full-Strength Voltage, are mercifully DELETED here to save some
electrons * ]...[cut to the ARRIVAL on 2 flat tires from some really,
really intense curb-rubbing, no headlights due to a certain ambitious
tree limb in a convenient field of tall momentum-killing grass & a
crumpled trunk held shut with coat hanger wire, but now missing a
guitar]....

Harley switches off the engine & it takes several minutes of gaspin
& chokin & wheezin to finally die & stop shakin the car all over.
we slowly creak open the doors and cautiously step out with a smirk.
the rain had stopped a few miles back, but the sky is still overcast.
Bourbon Street lies in front of us, lookin so strangely empty
somehow. far off, a couple of blocks away, a faint jinglin sound.
then it's rudely interrupted by an empty beer can fallin out of our
car. the Hunk whirls around at us with a glare & goes "SSShhh!!"
& soon we can all hear it again, about 2 blocks down & hidden from
our sightline. just a faint jinglin....

then, the Hunk - he sings out:

Hey! Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me,
I'm not sleepy and there is no place I'm going to.
Hey! Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me,
In the jingle jangle morning I'll come followin' you.

we all turn to look at him like he's suddenly become some
dangerous murderous psychopath, but he aint done yet:

Though I know that evenin's empire has returned into sand,

damn! we missed some Dream Party!...the street's empty. they
all gone home long ago. how did the Hunk kneaux? we blame
it on the chemicals. some kinda sandcastles in the air...
bits of trash blowin softly along the curb.

Vanished from my hand,
Left me blindly here to stand but still not sleeping.

we rub our eyes, but - with all them hazardous chemicals
steadily a-pulsin through our veins - we just aint a-gonna
do no sleepin now, either. hard to stand up though.

My weariness amazes me, I'm branded on my feet,
I have no one to meet
And the ancient empty street's too dead for dreaming.

now, hey, wots inta that Hunk now? he turnin all sing-songey on
us. the jinglin seems now to have moved away, leavin us standin
in the middle of the street like uncaged whiskey bottles. we
step towards the last known jangle, drawin even with a street
heading towards the levees. the Hunk is pickin up the pace,
turnin down the street with us in tow. again! a jingle
somewhere's ahead. again he calls out:

Hey! Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me,
I'm not sleepy and there is no place I'm going to.
Hey! Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me,
In the jingle jangle morning I'll come followin' you.

we let him get on ahead of us a bit, in case we gotta split fast...

Take me on a trip upon your magic swirlin' ship,
My senses have been stripped, my hands can't feel to grip,
My toes too numb to step, wait only for my boot heels
To be wanderin'.
I'm ready to go anywhere, I'm ready for to fade
Into my own parade, cast your dancing spell my way,
I promise to go under it.

Hey! Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me,
I'm not sleepy and there is no place I'm going to.
Hey! Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me,
In the jingle jangle morning I'll come followin' you.

we start to snicker at the Hunk, not so eager to go dancin
as he appears to be. we all blame the chemicals again. we
pass around another joint & break out into some more laughter.
the Hunk looks back at us, eyes all lit up, runnin up to take a
huge hit, givin it back us with a raised fist - "come on!" he
hoarsly whispers & then he's back up in front, searching deep
in the shadows under porch roofs & down alleys for this guy
none of us seen at all. i hear one of us in back mutterin on
about gettin back t' the car. but, no, we all follow the Hunk
jaggedly down this unknown street. listenin for another jingle,
my ears start playin a trick on me & i hear waves. i look up &
the cloud cover is breakin up. the sun will be coming back soon.

Though you might hear laughin, spinnin, swingin madly across the sun,
It's not aimed at anyone, it's just escapin' on the run
And but for the sky there are no fences facin'.
And if you hear vague traces of skippin' reels of rhyme
To your tambourine in time, it's just a ragged clown behind,
I wouldn't pay it any mind, it's just a shadow you're
Seein' that he's chasing.

Hey! Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me,
I'm not sleepy and there is no place I'm going to.
Hey! Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me,
In the jingle jangle morning I'll come followin' you.

the Hunk is truly spacin out now! leapin up & down, beatin his
chest, pushin on towards the jinglin. any second he gonna break
into some kinda cartwheel or somethin. we aint never seen him
so possessed. we smoke another joint in pursuit and decide we'd
better pass around another round of crossroads. houses drop off
until we're on some dirt road. trees are now hidin the little
jingle still faintly up ahead, then tall grass. this is what we
_think_ we hear him come out with next:

Then take me disappearin' through the smoke rings of my mind,
Down the foggy ruins of time, far past the frozen leaves,
The haunted, frightened trees, out to the windy beach,
Far from the twisted reach of crazy sorrow.

cool man! we've reached some kind of beach. just how long have
we been walkin? the horizon beyond is gettin lighter & lighter.
there's some unfamiliar bird calls. this cant be possible. i've
seen maps. should be mucky mud swamps. above, the cloud layer is
now all broken up into a million pieces. ahead, the Hunk has reached
the water & now he's in over his shoes. then he's back out & headin
west along the foam. we catch little snippets of his words on the
strong on-shore breeze:

Yes, to dance beneath the diamond sky with one hand waving free,
Silhouetted by the sea, circled by the circus sands,
With all memory and fate driven deep beneath the waves,
Let me forget about today until tomorrow.

Hey! Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me,
I'm not sleepy and there is no place I'm going to.
Hey! Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me,
In the jingle jangle morning I'll come followin' you.

then again, on the wind, another snippet, another tiny jingle
from somewhere way up the beach as the dawn arrives.... we watch
the Hunk dance up the western side as we all collapse around some
old logs. then Harley puts his face in his hands. then he takes
them off & slaps his knees. "dang it all. he better have a good
explanation when he gets back."

...[more snippage to save electrons]....

Epilogue:

later on in the day he's back with us at the logs & we're passin yet
another joint around. we'd fetched some guitar & are tryin to play
the Hunk's new song. but none of us can remember a thing. finally,
at some point Harley remembers t' ask him what he was doin out there.

the Hunk holds it in awhile, then slowly exhales,
"aw, nuthin, yunno. i jest needed t' get me some _NEW_ ideas...."

Harley looks away for a second, then looks back up at him,
"yeah, but - but..... _who_ was that guy?!"

the Hunk lets a wry grin cross his face,
"ah, kid - someday i'll let you in on it."

- nate
* some other day


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PostPosted: Fri June 6th, 2014, 21:10 GMT 
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XRaylroad wrote:
I always liked the last verse:

Then take me disappearin' through the smoke rings of my mind,
Down the foggy ruins of time, far past the frozen leaves,
The haunted, frightened trees, out to the windy beach,
Far from the twisted reach of crazy sorrow.
Yes, to dance beneath the diamond sky with one hand waving free,
Silhouetted by the sea, circled by the circus sands,
With all memory and fate driven deep beneath the waves,
Let me forget about today until tomorrow.

In particular, I enjoy the similarity to Dante Alighieri's Divine Comedy. In this book, Dante travels through hell, purgatory, and paradise. While he's traveling through hell, he meets a lot of sinners/souls who are suffering in what can only be called "crazy sorrow". Eventually, he ends up in that level of hell where the suiciders end up. Those souls are trapped inside of trees and wild animals are rushing through the thicket, causing branches to break and causing a lot of pain for these "haunted, frightened trees". Well, eventually Dante leaves hell and comes to the a beach (the circus sands) which leads to purgatory. The funny thing is, before he can enter paradise, a couple of angels wash his head in the river Lethe which causes people to forget their past ("the memory and fate drive deep beneath the waves"). I know, it's pure coincidence, but I still like that interpretation.

Image



I found this interpretation very interesting when I first read it a couple of days ago. I think you could be on to something.

Coincidentally, I ran across this article today about It's A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall where someone offered a similar interpretation of one of it's verses. I wouldn't be at all surprised if it was indeed an inspiration for either or both of the songs, since similar themes run through most of his work. http://www.pophistorydig.com/?tag=bob-d ... rd-randall

The following quote is about half way down the page:

Tim, of Charlotte, North Carolina, offers his view on another “Hard Rain” line: “‘I saw a black branch with blood that kept drippin’– I always thought this was a reference to the Billie Holiday song ‘Strange Fruit,’ which referred to the lynchings of black people in the South…” Bob of Boston has a different take on the same line:With Dylan’s work, like all poetry, “there are a myriad interpretations…” “I believe the line ‘I saw a black branch with blood that kept drippin’ is a reference to Dante’s Inferno where a group of sinners are doomed for eternity to be trapped in black trees. When Dante breaks one of the branches the tree bleeds and cries out…”


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PostPosted: Tue January 16th, 2018, 19:03 GMT 

Joined: Fri October 26th, 2012, 18:10 GMT
Posts: 191
The other day I was reading “The Daybooks of Edward Weston” and was beyond surprised to come across this passage:

“I placed an egg upon my sea-bleached seal bone, in the course of experimenting one rainy afternoon: but this was not at all what I started out to do, I have quite forgotten my primal impulse. I had gathered together shells, bones, eggs, wood, dried kelp, whatnot, as I often do, to see what these things, or one of them, or combinations, *will do to me*: I am the adventurer on a voyage of discovery, ready to receive fresh impressions, eager for fresh horizons, not in the spirit of a militant conqueror to impose myself or my ideas, but to identify myself in, and unify with, whatever I am able to recognize as significantly part of me: the “me” of universal rhythms. Nature must not be recorded with a viewpoint colored by psychological headaches or heartaches: petty personal reactions from everyday situations are not to be exploited, such can be recorded in daybooks,—a good place to evacuate, cleanse the heart and head, preparatory to an honest, direct, and reverent approach when granted the flash of revealment.”

For those who might not know, Edward Weston is one of the most influential fathers of photography as an expressive art form. He photographed from the 1920's to the 40's and his Daybooks were published in 1960. I’m a photographer by passion and trade and he’s been one of the greatest influences on my work (hell, I named my dog Weston). The other great inspiration on my approach to photography is Dylan’s music. I’ve always felt like there is a connection between Weston’s Photography and Dylan’s music and as I read Weston’s Daybooks I found myself musing about how similar their personalities were, but you have no idea how cool it was to realize that Dylan may have actually been influenced by Weston too. Of course I know that it could be coincidence (though it would be QUITE the coincidence, no) or that maybe there is a third source that inspired each to use such similar imagery, but even if Dylan has no idea who Edward Weston is I’m still just as thrilled by the synchronicity:

“I had gathered together shells, bones, eggs, wood, dried kelp, whatnot, as I often do, to see what these things, or one of them, or combinations, will do to me.”

— Nothing more "Dylanesque" than that as far as working habits go.

“I am the adventurer on a voyage of discovery, ready to receive fresh impressions, eager for fresh horizons...”

— "Take me on a trip upon your magic swirlin’ ship... I’m ready to go anywhere..."

(Also, how many times has Dylan said or implied that he sees his songwriting as receptivity moreso than creativity?)

“not in the spirit of a militant conqueror to impose myself or my ideas, but to identify myself in, and unify with, whatever I am able to recognize as significantly part of me...”

— "I’m ready for to fade, Into my own parade"


“The 'me' of Universal Rhythms"

— "Mr. Tambourine Man"


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PostPosted: Tue January 16th, 2018, 22:02 GMT 

Joined: Wed April 22nd, 2015, 18:33 GMT
Posts: 56
Absolute masterpiece My favorite version is from the concert for Bangladesh 1971.Never cared too much for it on the 1966 tour (For me the versions were too long and turgid and didn't think his 66 vocal style suited the song.) I loved a lot of the versions in 1965.Isle of wight 1969 Rolling thunder 75/76 and the 1981 gospel tour European leg. I also liked it in 1995 and the odd version here and there when he didn't stray too far from the original melody line


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PostPosted: Wed January 17th, 2018, 04:12 GMT 

Joined: Fri October 26th, 2012, 18:10 GMT
Posts: 191
greatmate wrote:
Absolute masterpiece My favorite version is from the concert for Bangladesh 1971.Never cared too much for it on the 1966 tour (For me the versions were too long and turgid and didn't think his 66 vocal style suited the song.) I loved a lot of the versions in 1965.Isle of wight 1969 Rolling thunder 75/76 and the 1981 gospel tour European leg. I also liked it in 1995 and the odd version here and there when he didn't stray too far from the original melody line


Thanks for the performances to check out. Of all the recordings I’ve heard my favorite is Royal Festival Hall, May 17, 1964 on the “Fantasy Acetate Bootleg.” This is supposed to be the very first public performance and you can feel it. A perfect example of “tonal breath control,” as Dylan called his style of singing then. The depth, focus and intention in his voice is wonderful. One of my very favorite Dylan vocal recordings.


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PostPosted: Wed January 17th, 2018, 22:16 GMT 

Joined: Wed April 22nd, 2015, 18:33 GMT
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I forgot about the 64 Festival hall performance possibly the first public rendition.Absolutely brilliant thanks for reminding me


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PostPosted: Sun January 21st, 2018, 00:37 GMT 

Joined: Fri April 30th, 2010, 04:34 GMT
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XRaylroad wrote:
I know, it's pure coincidence, but I still like that interpretation.


Very interesting, at least. Thanks.


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PostPosted: Sat June 9th, 2018, 23:42 GMT 
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any standouts from 1988/1989?


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PostPosted: Thu June 14th, 2018, 16:53 GMT 

Joined: Wed May 25th, 2011, 06:21 GMT
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I really love this one:

https://youtu.be/AQUrgtpqhtk?t=2438
(Bloomington, 1995)


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PostPosted: Thu June 14th, 2018, 17:37 GMT 

Joined: Sat April 25th, 2009, 14:58 GMT
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For what it's worth and for those who haven't heard it, I play the 1964 Festival Hall premiere of Mr. Tambourine Man on the latest episode of Definitely Dylan, which you can listen to here. I also offer some thoughts on it in the context of the episode's theme, which is all about the Dancing Spell in Dylan's music.


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PostPosted: Sun June 17th, 2018, 19:56 GMT 

Joined: Mon February 10th, 2014, 22:41 GMT
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i think this:

In the psychedelic “style,” this quest didn’t engender formbecause there was “no doctrine of forms in [their] philosophy” and no attempt “to substitute method for insight.” (Brown 293) There would be no distance between artist and song, song and audience, or audience and artist. Critic Leslie Fiedler, in speaking of the work of poet and musician Leonard Cohen, offered this description of this style:

[his] “Beautiful Losers,” for instance, the sort of vision evoked by psychedelics, or bred by the madness toward which their users aspire, is rendered in a kind of prose appropriate to that vision – a prose hallucination and even, it seems to me, hallucinogenic, a style by which it is possible to be actually turned on.

This style manifested itself quite strikingly in Bob Dylan’s version of “Mr. Tambourine Man” on Bringing It All Back Home. If, on one level, the song could be understood as “an ode to a dope dealer” and embody “a traditional romantic vision,” it became something much more on another more metaphoric level.

Yes, to dance beneath the diamond sky with one hand waving free,
Silhouetted by the sea, circled by the circus sands,
With all memory and fate driven deep beneath the waves
Let me forget about today until tomorrow

If one were to “analyze” the song in the traditional exegetical manner, what emerged would be a picture of “Dylan lilting of absolute liberty in an infinite present time severed from the past; this was the Transcendentalist fantasy of the wholly, abstractly free individual, finally released from the pains and distortions of society’s traps, liberated to the embrace of nature and the wonder of essential thoughts, in an America capable of starting the world again.”

But if one were to experience the performance of the song, he or she would feel the ambiance of the work which “is
unmistakably that of early dawn, the hour of the wolf, when all hangs in an eerie balance, as at the end of a long and difficult LSD trip.” The listener then becomes a partner with the singer on “a mystical journey through ‘the foggy ruins of time.’ ” The song, magically, had become the (drug) experience itself for both listener and performer.


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PostPosted: Sun June 17th, 2018, 21:22 GMT 

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Reached its zenith in '95, along with several other 60s acoustic songs.


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