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What is your favourite 10 minute-plus Bob Dylan song?
Desolation Row 52%  52%  [ 67 ]
Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands 21%  21%  [ 27 ]
Joey 3%  3%  [ 4 ]
Brownsville Girl 7%  7%  [ 9 ]
Highlands 12%  12%  [ 16 ]
Tempest 5%  5%  [ 6 ]
Total votes : 129
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PostPosted: Wed September 19th, 2018, 04:50 GMT 

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I think none of these songs need editing.

I love it when you encounter one of these songs on the first listen and you wonder how long it is going to last and smile to yourself that Bob throws us one of these "epics" once in a while. Some of them go on a bit too long, but that's OK.

BTW I can see the idea of "Joey" trying to show how legend is made with a modern gangster take. I mean Jesse James, Robin Hood and the like were probably not the heroes that history has made them out to be. Unfortunately there are too many contemporary reports of what a thug he was to create some kind of working-class hero of the man.


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PostPosted: Wed September 19th, 2018, 12:07 GMT 

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Desolation Row, Brownsville Girl, Tempest, Sad Eyed Lady, Highlands, Joey.


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PostPosted: Thu September 20th, 2018, 00:03 GMT 
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We should have a poll about his pithiest songs.

'Oxford Town' is a good length.


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PostPosted: Thu September 20th, 2018, 00:18 GMT 
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panther wrote:
We should have a poll about his pithiest songs.

Many of the songs on John Wesley Harding are a master class in expansive, yet concise songwriting.


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PostPosted: Thu September 20th, 2018, 00:27 GMT 
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TheBoiledGutsofBirds wrote:
BTW I can see the idea of "Joey" trying to show how legend is made with a modern gangster take. I mean Jesse James, Robin Hood and the like were probably not the heroes that history has made them out to be. Unfortunately there are too many contemporary reports of what a thug he was to create some kind of working-class hero of the man.


I like Scarlet on Joey. What confuses me about Joey, besides the meandering quality, is that it seems to me to be completely obvious what made them want to come and blow him away.


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PostPosted: Thu September 20th, 2018, 00:30 GMT 
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Ghost Of Lectricity wrote:
What confuses me about Joey, besides the meandering quality, is that it seems to me to be completely obvious what made them want to come and blow him away.

That's the point, isn't it? I've always enjoyed the chorus on an ironic note (the entire song actually applies to this for me). "What in the world would people ever want to kill this man for??"


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PostPosted: Thu September 20th, 2018, 01:10 GMT 

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Nightingale's Code wrote:
Ghost Of Lectricity wrote:
What confuses me about Joey, besides the meandering quality, is that it seems to me to be completely obvious what made them want to come and blow him away.

That's the point, isn't it? I've always enjoyed the chorus on an ironic note (the entire song actually applies to this for me). "What in the world would people ever want to kill this man for??"


Exactly.

Man, if Lily, Rosemary and the Jack of Hearts was only a little longer it'd be a serious contender in this list.


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PostPosted: Thu September 20th, 2018, 01:55 GMT 
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Sad Eyed Lady of the Highlands


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PostPosted: Thu September 20th, 2018, 01:57 GMT 
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ShotofMercy wrote:

Man, if Lily, Rosemary and the Jack of Hearts was only a little longer it'd be a serious contender in this list.

One of the acoustic NY takes on BS14 may well be. Only a few weeks left!


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PostPosted: Thu September 20th, 2018, 20:51 GMT 
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Joey> tempest imo " I'm around to many children he'd say, they should never know"!!


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PostPosted: Thu September 20th, 2018, 20:55 GMT 
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Oakshallis wrote:
Joey> tempest imo " I'm around to many children he'd say, they should never know"!!

Agreed. Desolation, Sad-Eyed Lady, Joey, Tempest, Highlands, Brownsville Girl for me.


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PostPosted: Sat September 22nd, 2018, 13:30 GMT 
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Voice With Restraint wrote:
I'm tempted to choose Joey, not because it's actually the best of them (far from it) but because so many people seem to miss the point of the song entirely -- narrated by one of the gang who sees God as just another gang leader who will give Joey's killers "what they deserve". Not that that makes it a winner. At best 5= with Tempest.
Great theory but what tipped you off that it's 'narrated by one of the gang'?

thunderized version of joey
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HUu0HVjOc9c


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PostPosted: Sat September 22nd, 2018, 14:39 GMT 
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AndoDoug wrote:
Voice With Restraint wrote:
I'm tempted to choose Joey, not because it's actually the best of them (far from it) but because so many people seem to miss the point of the song entirely -- narrated by one of the gang who sees God as just another gang leader who will give Joey's killers "what they deserve". Not that that makes it a winner. At best 5= with Tempest.
Great theory but what tipped you off that it's 'narrated by one of the gang'?

thunderized version of joey
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HUu0HVjOc9c



This is interesting, because it's always felt obvious to me that the whole point of Joey is that it's told from the perspective of one of his friends/gang. Someone who loves/respects the man, someone who's part of the same life.

I've never understood the theory that Dylan was trying to deify a thug. Pretty much all of Desire is story songs told from the perspective of someone other than Dylan, from the perspective of a character (and then, by the time we get to Sara, Dylan is the character. Anyway...)

I've always thought Joey to be a fantastic song, with a fantastic performance on Desire. I've never understood all the hate and scorn it gets. Is it as good as Desolation Row or Highlands or Sad-Eyed Lady? Probably not, although Sad-Eyed Lady has always been a bit of a trudge for me to get through.


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PostPosted: Sat September 22nd, 2018, 16:27 GMT 
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^Good post. I agree with most of it, although personally I think Joey is far better than Highlands.


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PostPosted: Sat September 22nd, 2018, 20:35 GMT 
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Rimshottbob wrote:
it's always felt obvious to me that the whole point of Joey is that it's told from the perspective of one of his friends/gang. Someone who loves/respects the man, someone who's part of the same life.

I made this point months ago on this very forum and got shit for it.

I don't see how else to interpret the song. I don't think Dylan was being ironic.


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PostPosted: Sat September 22nd, 2018, 20:47 GMT 
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Ghost Of Lectricity wrote:
Rimshottbob wrote:
it's always felt obvious to me that the whole point of Joey is that it's told from the perspective of one of his friends/gang. Someone who loves/respects the man, someone who's part of the same life.

I made this point months ago on this very forum and got shit for it.

I don't see how else to interpret the song. I don't think Dylan was being ironic.

There's a lot of confused people here who only see the song as surface level praise for a gangster. They're missin' out!


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PostPosted: Sat September 22nd, 2018, 20:53 GMT 
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Brownsville Girl and Desolation Row are undoubtedly superior songs but Highlands is just such an incredibly rambling lo-fi masterpiece, it just fits in perfectly as a closer to TOOM, I just enjoy it so much.


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PostPosted: Sun September 23rd, 2018, 00:03 GMT 

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Is Joey really over 10 minutes? I thought Lilly, Rosemary and the Jack of hearts was longer. In that case I would have voted for that one instead of DR. I in some way have to comment on Tempest too. It's not his best long song, but by far one of his strangest songs. It's about a very well known story, brings little new, and strangest at all, has a melody and a performance that makes you smiling and humming along to a very sad story. I really like it, but it's also completely crazy.
P.S. I really love Highlands too. The other contenders too.


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PostPosted: Sun September 23rd, 2018, 00:19 GMT 
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sunset wrote:
Is Joey really over 10 minutes? I thought Lilly, Rosemary and the Jack of hearts was longer. In that case I would have voted for that one instead of DR. I in some way have to comment on Tempest too. It's not his best long song, but by far one of his strangest songs. It's about a very well known story, brings little new, and strangest at all, has a melody and a performance that makes you smiling and humming along to a very sad story. I really like it, but it's also completely crazy.
P.S. I really love Highlands too. The other contenders too.

Agree about the strangeness of Tempest. The lyrics by themselves aren't great, and the music is plodding and uninteresting, but I can't help but somehow find joy in hearing the song in the context of the album.


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PostPosted: Sun September 23rd, 2018, 00:23 GMT 

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I love "Joey"; one of Dylan's most cinematic songs. Never understood the notion that it must somehow be banished from the back catalogue for its lack of veracity. "Hurricane" is every bit as factually flawed, and it's as close to a consensus favourite as Bob's got. Hell, John Wesley Hardin once shot a man dead for snoring, and Bob evidently found him to be such a swell fella that he named not just a song but an entire record after him.

Playing fast and loose with the facts is basically the bedrock of the musical tradition from which Dylan emerged. Every folk musician, from Woody Guthrie on down, is guilty of the same "crime."

That all said, "Joey" is more of a Jacques Levy creation anyway; at least lyrically. Here's an excerpt from Dylan's interview with Bill Flanagan in 2009:

Quote:
Flanagan: Tell me about Joey Gallo.

Dylan: Tell you what about him?

Flanagan: You wrote a song about him. Some say it takes liberty with the truth.

Dylan: Really? I wouldn’t know. Jacques Levy wrote the words. Jacques had a theatrical mind and he wrote a lot of plays. So the song might have been theater of the mind. I just sang it. Some say Davy Crockett takes a lot of liberties with the truth and Billy the Kid too – FDR in Trinidad. Have you ever heard that?


And here's what Levy himself said (in a 1992 interview with Larry Jaffee):

Quote:
"We started working on a Joey Gallo song [after "Hurricane"]. I remember because I took [Bob] over to meet some friends of mine, who knew Joey. I had known Joey pretty well. Bob had heard of him, but had never met him. He found [Joey] pretty interesting. I had started a song of Joey myself and I showed him what I had. He made some shifts and changes to it and some additions. He could make additions to something . . . [using] the SAME words you had written . . . he'd always astonish me. People just don't realize that one of THE greatest things about Bob is his phrasing. . . ."


Fun fact: At Levy's invitation, Joe Gallo's sister and a bunch of his friends were in the studio as Dylan recorded the song.


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PostPosted: Tue September 25th, 2018, 01:19 GMT 
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Sad Eyed Lady has the most interesting chord progression. It leads to a more adventurous (beautiful) vocal melody.


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PostPosted: Tue September 25th, 2018, 09:38 GMT 

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Desolation Row's a complete masterpiece.
None of the others are to me.


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