Author Archives: Tony Attwood

Outlaw Blues, On the Road Again, and Bob Dylan’s 115th Dream

By Tony Attwood When I began writing reviews of Dylan’s songs I had no thought that I would reach a situation in which it would be necessary to review a whole group of songs together to make sense of them … Continue reading

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Leopard skin pill-box hat

By Tony Attwood Some 45 years on, working through the first LP of the original Blonde on Blonde album is a bemusing and confusing affair.  There’s the knock about Rainy Day Women as an opening track – a scene setter, … Continue reading

Posted in Blonde on Blonde | 7 Comments

Stuck inside of Mobile with the Memphis blues again: Dylan visits WC Handy

by Tony Attwood There are two ways to interpret a song like this: by trying to find a meaning in the words, or by trying to link the title to something that may be significant about. Our normal third route … Continue reading

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“If not for you” – a simple love song of distinction

“If Not for You” was released in 1970.  The Dylan version comes from “New Morning”.  Shortly after that George Harrison released a version.  It is a song that Dylan also recorded with George Harrison, and which he has often performed … Continue reading

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One of Us Must Know (Sooner or Later)

By Tony Attwood First, a confession.  When I bought Blonde on Blonde on its release, I ran through the songs and then settled down to play tracks three and four of side one, over and over and over again.  I … Continue reading

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Knocking on heaven’s door

By Tony Attwood How many Dylan songs can you name which have a chorus consisting of the title sung over and over again?  “How does it feel?” comes up twice on “Like a Rolling Stone”, but for the moment I … Continue reading

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You ain’t going nowhere

Why? What’s the point? Well we can speculate, but they were just songs that came out from Dylan during a very fruitful period of songwriting, and not everything can be Desolation Row. The lyrics change from version to version.  Dylan … Continue reading

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I’ll be your baby tonight

By Tony Attwood “I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight” was recorded in the autumn of 1967 by Bob Dylan and released on the John Wesley Harding album. Before we get anywhere near the analysis of the song it is worth noting … Continue reading

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Rainy Day Women #12 & 35

By Tony Attwood Can you perform a 12 bar blues using a trombone, tuba, piano, bass, percussion, and a constant tambourine sitting on each and every beat?  And a load of extras shouting interruptions and comments too? Well, yes, here … Continue reading

Posted in Blonde on Blonde | 4 Comments

Quinn the Eskimo (Mighty Quinn)

By Tony Attwood By no means Bob Dylan’s only nursery rhyme, but probably the only one to get to number one in the charts when re-recorded. Nursery rhymes (and it was Bob who called it a nursery rhyme remember) can … Continue reading

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Just like a woman

By Tony Attwood From as early as 1963 Dylan was highly engaged in writing “lost love” songs with an extra edge. “Lost Love” was defined by the English academic Professor Keith Swanwick of London University Institute of Education as one … Continue reading

Posted in Essential Bob Dylan, Uncategorized | 4 Comments

One too many mornings (original recording)

By Tony Attwood One of the many reasons why “One too many mornings” stands out is that its original release placed it straight after that questioning, probing, aggressive song, “With God on Our Side.” Two songs could hardly more different.  … Continue reading

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I want you

By Tony Attwood In a 1966 interview Dylan said, “It’s not just pretty words to a tune or putting tunes to words… [It’s] the words and the music [together]—I can hear the sound of what I want to say. And … Continue reading

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It’s all over now, baby blue

By Tony Attwood Bob Dylan’s third farewell ending, in as many albums.  Restless Farewell, It Ain’t Me Babe, and now It’s all over, written early in 1965. Utterly amazingly it seems that Baby Blue, Tambourine Man, Gates of Eden and … Continue reading

Posted in Bringing it all Back Home | 19 Comments

90 miles an hour down a dead end street

By Tony Attwood It is strange where research can take you. Let me start from a simple observation: I think Dylan’s recording of this song is awful.  If you are going to take a song very slowly and have a … Continue reading

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“Can you please crawl out your window?” The meaning of the lyrics and the music

By Tony Attwood Updated 2 May 2017 Dylan has a history of writing about the intellectually, socially and metaphorically lost, and when he does so he can be utterly vicious.    The person to whom “Like a Rolling Stone” is sung … Continue reading

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Maybe Someday – the forgotten masterpiece. (Knocked out loaded)

By Tony Attwood If I could be given something impossible, just once, I would ask for the studio tape of Maybe Someday, and the opportunity to remix it.  Maybe it is just me, but this is a stunning masterpiece, spoiled … Continue reading

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Silvio

By Tony Attwood Silvio is one of those rarities – a Dylan song in which the lyrics were not written by Dylan.  In this case they were written by Robert Hunter (of Grateful Dead fame).  In fact Robert Hunter has … Continue reading

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Shelter from the storm

  by Tony Attwood This is Dylan playing with images, showing us that lyrics can paint any picture, even against the simplest of musical textures.  It is not that all you get is three chords – you get those chords … Continue reading

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Tangled up in blue. The meaning of the lyrics and the music

“You’ve got yesterday, today and tomorrow all in the same room, and there’s very little you can’t imagine not happening”. So said Dylan of this song, and to add to the mix he has performed and recorded many different versions: … Continue reading

Posted in Blood on the Tracks | 29 Comments