19

087: Bob Dylan, ‘Black Diamond Bay’

Here’s a less-known Dylan masterpiece, ‘Black Diamond Bay’ from the last of his great albums, ‘Desire’ (1976).
It’s a cinematic tour de force, a dreamed narrative from a movie that you’ve never quite seen, hovering just beyond the horizon of your consciousness. You know every cliché, even the ones you’re aware Dylan is inventing as you watch.

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5

262: Bob Dylan, ‘Went to See the Gypsy’ (“Another Self-Portrait”)

In 1970, Dylan was so set on releasing a terrible album that he left out all the good stuff.
Here’s the good stuff.
Welcome to Dylanland.

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5

259: Chris Thile & Brad Mehldau: ‘Marcie’ (Joni Mitchell), ‘Don’t Think Twice’ (Dylan)

You don’t need Thile and Mehldau to justify the standing of Dylan or Mitchell. But their fresh new readings may still amplify and even enhance the originals.

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4

224: Bob Dylan, ‘Motorpsycho Nightmare’

Have you heard the one about the farmer’s daughter and the traveling troubadour?

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0

207: The Beatles, ‘Rocky Raccoon’; and Bob Dylan, ‘Frankie Lee and Judas Priest’/’Lily, Rosemary and the Jack of Hearts’

This is the way the world the world ends, this is the way the world ends. Not with a bang, but with Jeff babbling about the demigods playing ping-pong.
Wishing all of us, everywhere, health and peace of mind.

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7

204: Bob Dylan, ‘Idiot Wind’ (NY Sessions)

Dylan, not as a kid pretending to be a cotton-picker in Greenwich Village; not him embarrassing himself as an Evangelist preacher; not as an old fool croaking standards–this is Dylan at his creative pinnacle.
It’s another side of Bob Dylan — unmasked, naked and vulnerable. We’re idiots, babe, it’s a wonder that we still know how to breathe.

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5

201: Bob Dylan, ‘All Along the Watchtower’

Bob Dylan at his best. Which is to say the art of our time at its best. For time capsules, for satellites to distant universes, for future generations: this is what we had to offer.

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6

190: Bob Dylan, ‘Boots of Spanish Leather’

Kids, be careful! One little romp in the back seat, whoops, you’re a parent forever. One untimely text, you’re limping through the Pearly Gates at 21. Write a Protest Song at 22, you’re a Protest Singer forever.

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