bob dylan tour 2019 setlist – A Bob Dylan Story By Martin Scorsese

Such an affair as this, naturally, can’t help but be somewhat patchy. Not yet. 1978’s Street-Legal and the following year’s Slow Train Coming found Dylan at a crossroads, depicting a man torn between secular and religious motifs.

bob dylan tour nyc – Bob Dylan Beyond Here Lies Nothin’ The Collection

BOB DYLANIn an alchemic mix of fact and fantasy, Martin Scorsese looks back at Bob Dylan’s 1975 Rolling Thunder Revue tour and a country ripe for reinvention. Track listing: 1) Shot Of Love; 2) Heart Of Mine; 3) Property Of Jesus; 4) Lenny Bruce; 5) Watered-Down Love; 6) The Groom’s Still Waiting At The Altar; 7) Dead Man Dead Man; 8) In The Summertime; 9) Trouble; 10) Every Grain Of Sand.

Now disc two is even weaker. It has a couple more pleasant, but elementary countryish clones of ‘Million Dollar Bash’, like ‘Yea! Heavy And A Bottle Of Bread’, but even these are getting horrendously generic and annoying (‘Tiny Montgomery’, a song that strikes me with its complete pointlessness). So there’s just two Dylan originals on here that I favour – the delicious, gentle ‘You Ain’t Going Nowhere’, which I confess I only started appreciating after hearing the Byrds’ version on Sweetheart Of The Rodeo, and the menacing blues of ‘Long Distance Operator’. Oh, ‘This Wheel’s On Fire’ is considered to be a classic on here, but for some reason I’ve never been able to perceive the deeply-hidden charm of that song, if it ever exists in the first place. Hell, the chorus has almost the same melody as ‘Tears Of Rage’ – a similar, but far superior song, with much more raw emotional power and far less bombast than here.

Coming back to the ‘sincerity’ issue, now. I’m almost certain that The Times is not Bob at his most sincere. The best stuff on Freewheelin’ already showed that he was beyond the straightforward protest stage, and this here record is a clear step back. Even his poems (the so-called ’11 Outlined Epitaphs’) that can be found among the liner notes show just how much he’s interested in waving the flag – for the most part, this is random beatnik poetry, more or less worthless without the music but very demonstrative nevertheless. No, ladies and gentlemen, with Times Bob wasn’t doing much more than paying tribute to all the friendly people in whose environment he’d nurtured and bred himself for the past two years, honest tribute, maybe, but not an inspired one. Pretty soon the friendly people would surprisingly find themselves discarded and abandoned, and Hollis Brown and Hattie Carroll devoid of flowers on their graves.

Whatever the background, the fact remains that Bob suddenly eliminates all of his partners, straps on an acoustic, adjusts his harmonica and reproduces a couple (actually, a dozen) old folk songs – just exactly like he did on his debut album. Indeed, the only stylistic difference from Bob Dylan is the inevitable change in voice (he can’t help being an old geezer, after all) and a slight change in thematics – instead of gospel and blues, these are just straightforward, unabridged folk ditties. Unknown, too. Obscure, if I might get the chance to point out. I don’t know whether he roamed all through North Dakota or the Texas plains with a tape-recorder to fish out these beautiful creations of popular genius, but nobody knows ’em all the same. The major exception is Howling Wolf’s ‘Sittin’ On Top Of The World’ (the only generic blues on here), but the others don’t even come close. Never mind, though – they all sound good.

Established in 1959, the Newport Folk Festival quickly grew into a juggernaut thanks to founder George Wein, who had already built the Newport Jazz Festival into a success. Wein’s work promoting the jazz community had earned him considerable love and respect from the music world, so when he reached out to folk luminary Pete Seeger and Theodore Bikel to help create the event, he found them both eager to help bring the burgeoning genre to the people. Through their efforts, artists like Peter, Paul & Mary, Joan Baez and the artists who had influenced them rose to prominence. Dylan’s own rise in the scene owed no small thanks to his star turns at previous iterations of the fest.

Can’t Wait,” one of a handful of songs he drew from the 1997 album Time Out of Mind,” was an early highlight, as its taut arrangement, driven by Chamberlain’s drums, reflected the lyrics’ restlessness and impatience.

Not that I’m really comparing. The idea behind Love And Theft is essentially simple. What Bob does is take a bunch of old standard melodies and set them to the usual brand of witty lyrics. Wait, what I meant was really old standard melodies. Some primitive boogie-woogie, some generic jazz ballads, a totally uninventive blues pattern or two, and a couple ‘ country ballads stripped right down to the very core. There are a few curious ‘experimental’ twists along the way, like the sudden shift of tempos on ‘Cry A While’, but they’re really all so unserious I needn’t mention them at all. In other words, Bob is going down to the roots of his roots, the only difference being is that he actually writes all the lyrics himself.

Dylan’s initial success arguably came from Peter, Paul & Mary ‘s cover of “Blowin’ In The Wind,” but a favorable The New York Times live review and his performances at the Newport Folk Festival led the way to his breakthrough album, 1963’s The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan. His true mainstream move came with the release of 1965’s emblematic “Like A Rolling Stone,” which peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Meanwhile, the more recent Blood On The Tracks songs are too incomfortable when turned into huge, arena-rock bombastic epics (as opposed to the more quiet, personal treatment on Live 1975), especially ‘You’re A Big Girl Now’. It should be a quiet song, god damn! It should be completely acoustic! Me no like this arrangement. Me like the song, but me suggest the arrangement sucks ass. Did that sound convincing? Probably not, but I hope you get the point anyway. OK, I do admit that ‘Idiot Wind’ with its anthemic sound is convenient for such a treatment, but ‘You’re A Big Girl Now’? Sheez! By the way, I do like ‘Idiot Wind’ on here – a perfect album-closing number despite the length.

Well, on the other hand, you wouldn’t expect Dylan singing about dancing round the mulberry bush. After all, he’d by now gained enough authority to take on these songs and perform them as if his life depended on it. Face it, hearing a young twenty-year old Bob singing about life’s evils on ‘House Of The Rising Sun’ was nice, but it could hardly pass in the same authentic way as it does when we hear a fifty-yeard old Bob singing about life’s misery on ‘Broke Down Engine’.

For the remainder of the ’90s, Dylan divided his time between live concerts, painting, and studio projects. He returned to recording in 1992 with Good as I Been to You, an acoustic collection of traditional folk songs. It was followed in 1993 by another folk record, World Gone Wrong, which won the Grammy for Best Traditional Folk Album. After the release of World Gone Wrong, he released a greatest-hits album and a live record.

Infidels (1983) was less favourably received, but by now Dylan was used to being praised and pilloried by rote, so that when he made Empire Burlesque, which featured various Heartbreakers, reggae stalwarts and rock drum legend Jim Keltner, and was mixed by pioneering hip-hop producer Arthur Baker, one senses he could care less. But the consensus turned back in his favour once the career-spanning box set Biograph reminded us all why we’d loved Dylan in the first place. 1986’s Knocked Out Loaded passed muster with Petty in the mix, but Down In The Groove and Dylan & The Dead were less essential.

Any artist of a different stature than Dylan, had he had a chance to stuff such a gem on an album of his own, would probably have an album consisting of one great song and a swamp of musical midgets around. Not Bob: ‘Like A Rolling Stone’ never threatens to overshadow the rest of the material. There’s the title track, also relatively short, but featuring even more intriguing lyrics, with people still making hypotheses about what it is exactly that ‘highway 61’ should be a symbol of. ‘Highway 51’ is, of course, a symbol of death – see ‘Highway 51 Blues’ on Bob’s debut record; but 61? Is it something worse than death? Or better? Ten to one that Bob cannot answer this question himself, but thanks for posing it, anyway, Mr Dylan.

Dylan’s 1997 album Time Out of Mind reestablished this one-time folk icon as one of rock’s preeminent wise men, winning three Grammy Awards. He continued his vigorous touring schedule, including a memorable performance in 1997 for Pope John Paul II in which he played “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door,” and a 1999 tour with Paul Simon In 2000, he recorded the single “Things Have Changed” for the soundtrack of the film Wonder Boys, starring Michael Douglas The song won Dylan a Golden Globe and an Academy Award for Best Original Song.

Bob Dylan (born Robert Allen Zimmerman; May 24, 1941) is an American singer-songwriter, author, and visual artist who has been a major figure in popular culture for more than fifty years. Much of his most celebrated work dates from the 1960s, when songs such as “Blowin’ in the Wind” (1963) and “The Times They Are a-Changin'” (1964) became anthems for the civil rights movement and anti-war movement. His lyrics during this period incorporated a wide range of political, social, philosophical, and literary influences, defied pop-music conventions and appealed to the burgeoning counterculture.

On the good side, though, he suddenly displays a charming singing voice as if he’s been singing country songs all his life; writes some nice songs with perfectly understandable lyrics; and teams up with a host of Nashville thugs who managed to destroy Ringo Starr’s second solo album the following year, but here they sound quite all right ‘cos old Bob probably controlled the situation and, after all, he’s the only songwriter on here. Out of the twenty nine minutes, there ain’t even a single one that’s not well worth your attention; just like every genre he’d previously engaged in, Bob personifies his country and brings it closer to the listener.

Crowell describes the subjects of his new song Flatland Hillbillies” with affectionate mockery as My brother’s on an offshore rig; my sister’s on the pole at Slick’s. Mama takes in people’s washing; she was widowed by a pipeline man.” Grissom allowed the words to come through clearly then added to both the fondness and the humor with his swaggering guitar solo.

The reception to the first notes of show opener, Maggie’s Farm”, was both instantaneous and intensely divided. Adding fuel to an already burning fire, there were massive issues with the sound mix, particularly Dylan’s vocals. Given that his lyrical prowess was such a large part of his acclaim, the jolt of the rock music backers and garbled words ignited a large portion of the crowd into angry outbursts that rattled Dylan and his impromptu band.


Highlights come a-plenty. ‘My Back Pages’ – you know that one, right? Again, possibly in the Byrds version, which is beautiful, but nowhere near as long in its beauty. Marks yet another first for Dylan: The Pretentious Universalist Nostalgic Anthem, the kind of song you usually write after having a twenty-year experience of artistic ups, downs, highs, lows, freakouts, and pustules. Bob gambled upon melting it down to three years, and won. ‘I was so much older then, I’m younger than that now’ – it’s his usual practice of taking a brilliant line, making perfect sense and allowing quite a few people to identify with it, and surrounding it with all kinds of hallucinatory, “meaningless”, but hypnotizing chaff.

In 2006, Dylan released the studio album Modern Times. After hitting stores in late August, it reached the top of the album charts the next month. A mixture of blues, country and folk, the album was praised for its rich sound and imagery. Several critics also remarked the album had a playful, knowing quality. Showing no signs of slowing down, Dylan continued to tour throughout the first decade of the 21st century, and released the studio album Together Through Life in April 2009.

My voice cracking here and there wouldn’t bother me, bum notes or wrong chords would bother me more. On September of My Years,” I didn’t fix anything. That would be impossible to pull off anyway because we were all in the same room playing together at the same time and there was a lot of leakage into other mics. You only fix things if you overdub the vocals separately and we didn’t do that here. If you mangle a lyric on records like this, you have to go back and start over. It’s a live recording. My voice cracking here or there just might mean it was recorded too early in the day, but it doesn’t hurt the overall effect, it wouldn’t bother me.

The 1963 release of The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan marked Dylan’s emergence as one of the most original and poetic voices in the history of American popular music. The album included two of the most memorable 1960s folk songs, “Blowin’ in the Wind” (which later became a huge hit for the folk trio Peter, Paul and Mary) and “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall.” His next album, The Times They Are A-Changin’, firmly established Dylan as the definitive songwriter of the ’60s protest movement, a reputation that only increased after he became involved with one of the movement’s established icons, Joan Baez , in 1963.

Tom was Harvard-educated but he was street-wise too. When I met him he was mostly into offbeat jazz, but he had a sincere enthusiasm for anything I wanted to do, and he brought in musicians like Bobby Gregg and Paul Griffin to play with me. Those guys were first class, they had insight into what I was about. Most studio musicians had no idea, they hadn’t listened to folk music or blues or anything like that. I think working with me opened up Tom’s world too, because after working with me he started recording groups like The Velvet Underground and The Mothers of Invention. Tom was a genuinely good guy and he was very supportive.


Following the release of Street-Legal, Dylan entered one of his most controversial periods when he declared himself a born-again Christian and subsequently released a trilogy of Christian albums; Slow Train Coming in 1979, Saved in 1980 and Shot of Love in 1981. To the relief of fans, Dylan’s Christian phase was short-lived. Just four years after the release of his first Christian album, Dylan put out the secular Infidels in 1983 to favourable reviews. Dylan’s following ’80s releases were largely panned by critics and rejected by fans. However, in 1989 he made yet another comeback with Oh Mercy which was cheered by many critics as his best release since Blood on the Tracks. Unfortunately, his next album, Under the Red Sky , did not generate the same kind of excitement and praise as Oh Mercy and was largely panned in the same way many of his ’80s releases were.

Not much. I was born in Duluth – industrial town, ship yards, ore docks, grain elevators, mainline train yards, switching yards. It’s on the banks of Lake Superior, built on granite rock. Lot of fog horns, sailors, loggers, storms, blizzards. My mom says there were food shortages, food rationing, hardly any gas, electricity cutting off – everything metal in your house you gave to the war effort. It was a dark place, even in the light of day – curfews, gloomy, lonely, all that sort of stuff – we lived there till I was about five, till the end of the war.

Yeah, I knew he did, but a lot of other people recorded them as well, it just so happened that he had the best versions of them. When I recorded these songs I had to make believe that I never heard of Sinatra, that he didn’t exist. He’s a guide. He’ll point the way and lead you to the entrance but from there you’re on your own.

Bob Dylan – The Rolling Thunder Revue: The 1975 Live Recordings is available for pre-order now in digital, CD and 12″ vinyl formats. Published for the first time in a beautiful collectible edition, the essential lecture delivered by the 2016 recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature, Bob Dylan.

Dylan, who is widely celebrated for his lyricism but often underappreciated as a musician, is a master of melody. When it comes to musicianship, it’s misguided to think of him as a straightforward songwriter; he’s more like a DJ, borrowing sounds from gospel, blues, country, rock, swing and jazz to underscore the themes his music addresses. Through that sonic collage, he creates a backdrop for the characters that he sings about. And his approach to building those characters — shifting from first-, second- and third-person perspectives — spans different cultures and generations. Yet somehow he roots all that in the present.

The second difference is even grander, though: Bob completely changes his attitude. Where he once sang angry, protesting anthems, or brain-muddling, psycho songs that were still rooted in being in complete disagreement with the ways of modern society, he now sings about 19th century America and its problems, churning out most of the songs in a humble, almost self-deprecating, tone. Dylan the Protest Singer and Dylan the Trippy Freak now gives way to Dylan the Humble Preacher. In a certain way, that’s the image he’s had ever since; but on JWH, he combines it with such important elements as intriguing mystery, compelling storytelling, and visions of the country’s past life, so that the preachiness never comes out boring or banal. Instead, it’s as addictive as can be.

Bob Dylan’s career has lasted the better part of fifty years now. That’s pretty remarkable. What is more impressive is that Dylan has remained not only active for almost all of that period, but controversial. He has never gotten by on sentimentality or nostalgia. He has never repeated his successes. For better or for worse, Dylan has always pushed his work ahead.

The idea to paint his face white was pretty ridiculous, I guess, especially considering Bob was the only one among the whole cast to do that – if he wanted the whole shenanigan to have a Felliniesque flavor or something, he could have at least smear the same amount of makeup onto Joan Baez, and besides, all that white paint only makes him even uglier than he already was. But that’s about the only half-serious complaint I can direct at this stuff. The musicianship is certainly beyond any – Bob’s set of three (or was it four?) guitarists, including Mick Ronson, are distinctive and never drown out neither each other nor Bob, Scarlet Rivera delivers the goods on the violin, and whatever else is there is also good (since the songs are taken from different performances, and the Revue was essentially a “revolving door” kind of thing, I guess there’s lost of unannounced people playing here and there).

Another album of original material, Love and Theft, followed in 2001 and went gold. Soon after its release, Dylan announced that he was making his own film, to star Jeff Bridges, Penelope Cruz, John Goodman, Val Kilmer, and many more. The accompanying soundtrack, Masked and Anonymous, was released in July 2003. Dylan opted to self-produce his new studio album, Modern Times, which topped the Billboard charts and went platinum in both America and the U.K. It was Dylan’s third consecutive album to receive praise from critics and support from consumers, and it was followed three years later in 2009 by Together Through Life, another self-produced effort (as Jack Frost) that also featured contributions from David Hidalgo of Los Lobos and Mike Campbell of Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers. He capped off the year with an old-fashioned holiday effort, Christmas in the Heart. Proceeds from the album were donated to various charities around the world.

In 1965, Dylan scandalized many of his folkie fans by recording the half-acoustic, half-electric album Bringing It All Back Home, backed by a nine-piece band. On July 25, 1965, he was famously booed at the Newport Folk Festival when he performed electrically for the first time. The albums that followed, Highway 61 Revisited (1965) — which included the seminal rock song “Like a Rolling Stone” — and the two-record set Blonde on Blonde (1966) represented Dylan at his most innovative. With his unmistakable voice and unforgettable lyrics, Dylan brought the worlds of music and literature together as no one else had.


So no, I’m not condemning the record at all, and probably, if I had been following Dylan’s output chronologically since at least the early Eighties, I would have jumped on my tail at least twenty feet higher when this came out. But in retrospect, this is just a good album. Not better than Selfportrait by any means – and even less diverse than that one, for that matter. But Anglo-Saxons sure write cool tunes.

Not that I’m really comparing. The idea behind Love And Theft is essentially simple. What Bob does is take a bunch of old standard melodies and set them to the usual brand of witty lyrics. Wait, what I meant was really old standard melodies. Some primitive boogie-woogie, some generic jazz ballads, a totally uninventive blues pattern or two, and a couple ‘ country ballads stripped right down to the very core. There are a few curious ‘experimental’ twists along the way, like the sudden shift of tempos on ‘Cry A While’, but they’re really all so unserious I needn’t mention them at all. In other words, Bob is going down to the roots of his roots, the only difference being is that he actually writes all the lyrics himself.

Dylan’s initial success arguably came from Peter, Paul & Mary ‘s cover of “Blowin’ In The Wind,” but a favorable The New York Times live review and his performances at the Newport Folk Festival led the way to his breakthrough album, 1963’s The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan. His true mainstream move came with the release of 1965’s emblematic “Like A Rolling Stone,” which peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100.

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