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PostPosted: Sat April 7th, 2018, 21:26 GMT 
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Listening to Dylan’s version of ‘He’s Funny That Way’ and the Lisbon show, I was wondering what people thought of the ‘Sinatra period’ and its effect on his art in retrospect. Maligned by some, a late-career triumph for others. Personally, I thinks it's brought great freshness, experimentation & certainly reviving Bob’s sense of humour. Any thoughts?


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PostPosted: Sat April 7th, 2018, 21:31 GMT 
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As for me, in cold numbers ten keepers from the trilogy is a success.


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PostPosted: Sat April 7th, 2018, 21:44 GMT 
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effort wrote:
As for me, in cold numbers ten keepers from the trilogy is a success.
Agreed, effort, but I see the 'Devil-may-care', throw it all out there attitude as a plus for an artist of his years...


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PostPosted: Sat April 7th, 2018, 21:56 GMT 
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^Sure thing, life rolls around and about...


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PostPosted: Sat April 7th, 2018, 22:22 GMT 
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Very glad to see Bob doing what he likes.
And, these covers most likely, brought some
focus that spilled some quality improvements
into the other songs & shows.

So, overall, quite positive! But...gotta be honest:

- Purchased ‘Shadows’ & immediately chucked it into the
“yikes, that was a mistake” pile with the Xmas album.

- Foolishly bought ‘Fallen,’ just in case. Nope.

- ‘Triplets’ is the only official Bob release not pursued, ever!
Won’t even accept it as a gift.

- No need to see/hear these crooners anymore, but will continue to tolerate.
Some are OK, but mostly just snoozy, boring, energy sappers, IMHO.

So glad for those that love this stuff. Really wish I did.

The current shows are really tight & strong, in-person.
Will always try to attend one to three gigs per year, regardless.

Nice to see the Fall ‘17 rearrangements & hear about the
recent Highwater upgrade.
Looking forward to a new Bob Period, period.
It seems we may be on the brink of something soon(?).


Last edited by Still Go Barefoot on Sat April 7th, 2018, 22:32 GMT, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat April 7th, 2018, 22:32 GMT 
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Shadows In The Night was refreshing at the time, with his best voice in years and some great atmosphere that I really enjoyed. When Stay With Me kicked out Blowin' for the encore spot in concert, that was the icing on the cake. Fallen Angels and Triplicate were much weaker and soured me on the whole thing.


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PostPosted: Sat April 7th, 2018, 23:06 GMT 
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Thanks for your thoughts barefoot & nightingale. I must be one of a few who really enjoy this stage (with some reservations). It's great to see him having fun at his age and his use of his beloved music is not short of genius :P


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PostPosted: Sun April 8th, 2018, 04:36 GMT 

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I think it's been really fantastic, a wonderful period that I never would have thought would happen. That moment when I heard the first track on 'shadows' (I'm a fool to want you) was probably one of the most thrilling sounds in terms of new Dylan recordings since my first play of 'time out of mind' in '97 and 'love and theft' in 2001.

With respect to the three albums, 'fallen angels', for me is the weakest, for some reason. And while not every moment on every album 'works', so much of it does, and so well. These are not easy songs to sing, both from a melodic perspective (sophisticated chord changes and rangy, interesting melodies) and in a way that gets 'inside' the songs, in a non-schmaltzy way, and with a minimum of artifice. Bob, to me, hits it out of the park much of the time, and that focus and energy has carried over to his much more thought-out singing and arranging of some of his original material. His band has hit a new high in translating those Nelson Riddle or Billy May or Gordon Jenkins arrangements to a small string band in a credible and organic way.

I do wish he was doing a wider selection of his older stuff these days, if for no other reason then I think his current voice has so much more control then he had , say, ten years ago. That being said, the 'Sinatra standard' material has been big highlights in the three or four "Sinatra period" live shows of his that I've seen in the last few years. Older stuff has been great, too, but hearing him do 'stormy weather', or 'once upon a time' live has been a special thrill.

These songs will live on, long after so much else has fallen away, and its great to see Bob exploring them. I hope those heady and sophisticated melodic changes make their way to a new set of originals, the way the essence of those two folk albums 'good as i been to you' and 'world gone wrong' informed the creative rebirth of 'time out of mind', but i guess we'll see.....


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PostPosted: Sun April 8th, 2018, 06:33 GMT 

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Shadows is an outstanding record and a serious artistic statement: a cogent, self contained work that sweeps me away to another Bob universe as all his special albums do. Fallen Angels has charm but is a much less substantial affair. Triplicate is patchy but there are moments of worth (disc 1 in particular). It could have been culled down to one disc of material that would go close to Shadow's heights. Overall, the post Shadows works would have arguably been better off being released a lot later in Bootleg Series format.


An interesting era with some committed live performances (feeding into an improved vocal period all round) and one suberbly realised album.

But time to move on....six years since Tempest is too long a gap without original material!


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PostPosted: Sun April 8th, 2018, 07:58 GMT 

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I've enjoyed this phase a lot, especially for the effect it's had on Bob's voice. It's also introduced me to the music of Frank Sinatra and his contemporaries, which I now enjoy as well.


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PostPosted: Sun April 8th, 2018, 08:27 GMT 

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mikesnyc wrote:
I think it's been really fantastic, a wonderful period that I never would have thought would happen. . . I hope those heady and sophisticated melodic changes make their way to a new set of originals, the way the essence of those two folk albums 'good as i been to you' and 'world gone wrong' informed the creative rebirth of 'time out of mind', but i guess we'll see.....


Fantastic post, beautifully articulated. Agree with every word.


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PostPosted: Sun April 8th, 2018, 08:44 GMT 
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The first one was ace, the shock of the new. The next 12 were arse, like a knock from a shoe.


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PostPosted: Sun April 8th, 2018, 11:23 GMT 
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I'm a huge fan of this period.... there's been some fantastic recordings, arrangements and singing throughout it...

Fallen Angels is the cover version equivalent of Together Through Life, for me, a charming side road....

Shadows is absolutely fantastic, but finally, Triplicate might actually be my favourite of the bunch.... the arrangements are stellar, the vocals mostly brilliant, the interpretations always brilliant, and the horns being added gives the whole thing a little more heft and depth.

No reason to choose, really. I think Shadows In The Night and Triplicate are both rich, brilliant records, with many layers to them.


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PostPosted: Sun April 8th, 2018, 12:17 GMT 
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To be polite let's just say it has been an artistic cul-de-sac.
At this point, Bob can do whatever he wants.


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PostPosted: Sun April 8th, 2018, 14:22 GMT 
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Believe me, as you get older, 'nostalgia' tends to become more appealing.

I really enjoyed SITN and FA, but passed on Triplicate.

It was a fun detour, but 3 albums too many , I believe.

But hey it's Dylan, and he's earned the right for some self indulgence.


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PostPosted: Sun April 8th, 2018, 14:26 GMT 
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mikesnyc wrote:
I think it's been really fantastic, a wonderful period that I never would have thought would happen. That moment when I heard the first track on 'shadows' (I'm a fool to want you) was probably one of the most thrilling sounds in terms of new Dylan recordings since my first play of 'time out of mind' in '97 and 'love and theft' in 2001.

With respect to the three albums, 'fallen angels', for me is the weakest, for some reason. And while not every moment on every album 'works', so much of it does, and so well. These are not easy songs to sing, both from a melodic perspective (sophisticated chord changes and rangy, interesting melodies) and in a way that gets 'inside' the songs, in a non-schmaltzy way, and with a minimum of artifice. Bob, to me, hits it out of the park much of the time, and that focus and energy has carried over to his much more thought-out singing and arranging of some of his original material. His band has hit a new high in translating those Nelson Riddle or Billy May or Gordon Jenkins arrangements to a small string band in a credible and organic way.

I do wish he was doing a wider selection of his older stuff these days, if for no other reason then I think his current voice has so much more control then he had , say, ten years ago. That being said, the 'Sinatra standard' material has been big highlights in the three or four "Sinatra period" live shows of his that I've seen in the last few years. Older stuff has been great, too, but hearing him do 'stormy weather', or 'once upon a time' live has been a special thrill.

These songs will live on, long after so much else has fallen away, and its great to see Bob exploring them. I hope those heady and sophisticated melodic changes make their way to a new set of originals, the way the essence of those two folk albums 'good as i been to you' and 'world gone wrong' informed the creative rebirth of 'time out of mind', but i guess we'll see.....


Thanks for your thoughts, mikesynch, very well-put & pretty much the way I feel myself...


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PostPosted: Mon April 9th, 2018, 05:55 GMT 

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I agree with many of the positive comments posted here. Regarding Triplicate, I believe it's helpful to think of it as a single disc (disc 1, which is tremendous) with the other discs as outtakes, which I'm so glad he recorded and released. As mentioned previously, most of the songs on these three albums are musically and vocally challenging, and to me, so many of them (too numerous to mention) represent regular highlights from the consistently excellent performances of the past four years.


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PostPosted: Mon April 9th, 2018, 06:09 GMT 

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Rimshottbob wrote:
I'm a huge fan of this period.... there's been some fantastic recordings, arrangements and singing throughout it...

Fallen Angels is the cover version equivalent of Together Through Life, for me, a charming side road....

Shadows is absolutely fantastic, but finally, Triplicate might actually be my favourite of the bunch.... the arrangements are stellar, the vocals mostly brilliant, the interpretations always brilliant, and the horns being added gives the whole thing a little more heft and depth.

No reason to choose, really. I think Shadows In The Night and Triplicate are both rich, brilliant records, with many layers to them.
This is my take, too.


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PostPosted: Wed April 25th, 2018, 21:30 GMT 
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Nightingale's Code wrote:
Shadows In The Night was refreshing at the time, with his best voice in years and some great atmosphere that I really enjoyed. When Stay With Me kicked out Blowin' for the encore spot in concert, that was the icing on the cake. Fallen Angels and Triplicate were much weaker and soured me on the whole thing.

My feelings exactly. When Shadows In The Night was released I bought it on the day it was released. I thought it was a fine tribute to Sinatra, released in the year of the 100th anniversary of his birth. Fallen Angels I bought some time after the release date but I had to have Melancholy Mood as it is one of my favourites of those songs he plays live. I'm afraid that when Triplicate came out I just thought it was huge overkill - (30 songs), a lot of the songs he played live from it I didn't like and I still haven't added it to my collection - the only album of originals by Dylan that I don't own! Enough is enough I say, however I know loads of fans who love 'em all and that's fine with me.


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PostPosted: Thu April 26th, 2018, 03:16 GMT 

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Enjoyable albums, but they do feel very similar. It's also coinciding with a period of very static live shows (setlist wise). I guess musically it doesn't feel like things have changed in a while.


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PostPosted: Thu April 26th, 2018, 05:53 GMT 
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I think these albums will be reassessed like other Bob albums that were slagged off when they first came out and then people warmed to them especially when we lose Bob and there is no new music from him. How they should be assessed is in a positive way because it proved even in his seventies Bob was still taking risks and leaving fans scratched their heads. While its been controversial these albums never sunk to the depths of Knocked out loaded or down in the groove and Triplicate was the best of the three.


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PostPosted: Thu April 26th, 2018, 07:28 GMT 

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My only nagging doubt about Triplicate is the inclusion of "There's a Flaw in My Flue". When Sinatra recorded it, it was very consciously as a deliberate piece of crap. He included it in the test pressings of an otherwise immaculate album in order to prove his theory that the Columbia bigwigs wouldn't even be able to tell the difference between good and bad music. He was right, they never even noticed. Point proven, he dropped it from the released album, and it didn't come out until many years later as an outtake. Now I'm damn sure Bob knows this story, so I wonder what his motivation was in including it in Triplicate?


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PostPosted: Thu April 26th, 2018, 08:13 GMT 
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Nightingale's Code wrote:
Shadows In The Night was refreshing at the time, with his best voice in years and some great atmosphere that I really enjoyed. When Stay With Me kicked out Blowin' for the encore spot in concert, that was the icing on the cake. Fallen Angels and Triplicate were much weaker and soured me on the whole thing.


Yes, the proverbial 'series of diminishing returns'. I don't have a massive problem with Fallen Angels - there's some nice tracks there, nice singing, up-tempo jollity, but it's all so slight, so...aimless.

I do have a problem with 'Triplicate' but not only because of the music, which is dull, plodding and with some of the most dreadful vocals the man's put out there (I'm sorry to say, especially considering the strength of Shadows in the Night, in that respect), but also because those damn liner notes, written in this sickening sycophantic style which tries to convince you of the albums' worth.

It's one thing writing in retrospect with praise regarding the archival releases (i.e. Bootleg Series), but it's a totally different matter to wax lyrical in liner notes how great 'Triplicate' is without even having heard it first. I can make up my own mind on that count.

Whoever commissioned those liner notes on 'Triplicate' needs sacking - as I say, the shameless sycophancy and self-promotion just irks me a lot and isn't what we've come to expect with any Dylan release.

All this makes me question my own enjoyment of that first album - something else which I find frustrating. Is this whole situation analogous to Nashville Skyline/Self-Portrait? Dylan releases an unexpected country album which receives good reviews, and then follows this up with the (fun) but slipshod Self-Portrait to try and ruin the legacy of Skyline? Feels like that with Shadows - Fallen Angels/Triplicate.


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PostPosted: Thu April 26th, 2018, 12:42 GMT 

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Not really my type of music, but you can condense the five albums down to ten or fifteen tracks that fit a certain mood; mainly late at night if you want to unwind. I don't find this music 'exciting' in any way, but then that's not what it's designed for. The main effect for me was that it improved his live shows. I gave up in 2009, after years of following Dylan's vocal idiosyncrasies the upbarking finally did for me; I still find 2008-2012 unlistenable. The introduction of the Shadows material at least found Dylan engaging with the material and producing sympathetic, and moving, performances.
That seems to have run its course now and I haven't been impressed by what I've heard from 2017 or 2018. Certainly I think we're on a decline performance wise.


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PostPosted: Thu April 26th, 2018, 13:20 GMT 

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Leonard wrote:
But hey it's Dylan, and he's earned the right for some self indulgence.


Agreed, although I am not overly fond of the Sinatra albums I can’t say I am at all bothered, it’s not like we are deprived of Dylan originals to choose from so if he enjoys doing it fair play to him. I also found that the songs are much better live.

I can’t really view it in the way that he’s choosing to do this over another original album, as the two are not mutually exclusive. For all we know he hasn’t written a new song in the last five years or at least enough to put a decent album together. He has more than earned the right to retire. If another original album does surface I will just see it as an extremely pleasant surprise.


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