18

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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10

154: Laura Nyro, ‘Save the Country’

And yet again my city is being bombarded by Hamas missiles, half a dozen since last night. Thanks to the IDF’s Iron Dome for watching over me physically and to Laura for watching over me spiritually.

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8

050: The Rolling Stones, ‘Gimme Shelter’ (Kent State)

51 years ago, I walked onto my deserted campus and experienced a musical hallucination. That terrible time when American soldiers killed American citizens.

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9

111: The Byrds (David Crosby), ‘Everybody’s Been Burned’

David Crosby’s best songs with The Byrds employed a psychedelic sensibility – floating, meandering, precious, delicate, shimmering, as unfettered and fragile as a soap bubble wafting in a marijuana cloud above a Tribal Gathering. ‘Everybody’s Been Burned’ is one of his finest. It has the weight of melody and lyric content and meaning and emotion and passion, and yet it still floats.

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10

274: Tim Hardin, ‘Reason to Believe’

“The Perfect Song” and some indulgent navel-gazing. Do I choose the music, or has the music formed me? My personal existentiality as reflected a 2-minute paragon of restraint.

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15

267: Boz Scaggs, ‘Lowdown’ (“Fade Into Light”)

What a singer. What a musician. What a cool guy.

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3

265: Dion DiMucci, ‘Abraham, Martin and John’

Dion, from doo Wop to Dylanizer.
More swagger than Jagger.

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5

263: Lovin’ Spoonful (John Sebastian), ‘Summer in the City’

In which John Sebastian confesses how The Spoonful’s urban heat hit was influenced by a pastoral Israeli folk song. I kid ye not. Back o’ my neck gettin’ dirt and gritty.

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