Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Together Through Life

Just in case you didn´t hear it somewhere else already: there´s a new Dylan album coming out in late April. It´s called Together Through Life and features a photo by Magnum photographer Bruce Davidson on its cover, while David Hidalgo of Los Lobos is said to play accordeon on every track. Produced by Dylan´s alter ego Jack Frost, the album is supposed to sound like it was recorded for the famous fifties-label Chess. Cool or what? Some intriguing song titles: I Feel A Change Coming On, My Wife´s Hometown and If You Ever Go To Houston...

Dylan´s European tour starts next week (dates here), but it´s been a while since Dylan debuted his new songs live before an album was officially released, so don´t hold your breath. But you can always prove me wrong by predicting Dylan´s setlists over at the Never Ending Pool. Hurry!

On Dylan´s official website you can read part 1 of a rather entertaining interview with His Bobness by Bill Flanagan, who´s known as the author of Written In My Soul, a heartily recommended collection of conversations with songwriters about their art. One fine quote to wet your appetite: "I see that my audience now doesn’t particular care what period the songs are from. They feel style and substance in a more visceral way and let it go at that. Images don’t hang anybody up. Like if there’s an astrologer with a criminal record in one of my songs it’s not going to make anybody wonder if the human race is doomed. Images are taken at face value and it kind of freed me up".

While we´re waiting with bated breath for the follow-up to Modern Times (´06), let´s listen to a relatively obscure Dylan gem called Abandoned Love. Dylan performed the song only once in concert, and when he had apparently just written it at that. Sitting in at a Ramblin´ Jack Elliott gig at New York City´s Other End club on July 3, ´75, he must have surprised everybody in attendance with this intense and biting acoustic rendition of yet another lament about his desintegrating marriage to Sara. ´My head tells me it's time to make a change, but my heart is telling me... I love ya but you're strange.´

Abandoned Love was later recorded in the studio during the sessions for what would turn out to be Desire, and thus features that characteristic drum sound and Scarlet Rivera´s lyrical violin, but was eventually left off the album for some reason or other. Fortunately, it ended up eventually on the Biograph box. ´Won't you let me in your room one time, 'fore I finally disappear...´ Great song.

Bob Dylan - Abandoned Love MP3
Bob Dylan - Abandoned Love (live) MP3


Dave Schipper said...

Great blog... yes that Biograph collection also had a great song that Mary Black ultimately covered, "Lay down your weary tune."

funny tonight I post my parody Hey Mr Tangerine man on my song writing blog.


Matt Groneman said...


Its rumored that Donovan already did that in a Don't Look Back outtake. I know he took the melody, changed tambourine to tangerine and thought it was original.