Author Archives: TonyAttwood

Hero Blues: the song that almost replaced the magnificent “One to Many Mornings”

by Tony Attwood Hero Blues is, to tell the truth, nothing special, and in my original list of compositions of 1962, I didn’t include it.  It was only because I realised that Dylan had revived it some years later that … Continue reading

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Kingsport Town: Dylan in 1962 looking back to the traditions of the travelling singer

By Tony Attwood It is quite clear that during 1962 Dylan was exploring the various types of folk genre just to see what he could do with them, and included in the range of songs he experimented with he found … Continue reading

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“Walkin Down the Line” by Bob Dylan. Everyone seems to have recorded their own version

By Tony Attwood This is another Dylan song that appears in slightly differently guises on the Whitmark album and on Bootleg 1-3.  A two chord song in which again Dylan manages to play the chords against the melody in a … Continue reading

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Paths of Victory: various versions of Dylan’s song, and a sousaphone

by Tony Attwood There is of course no single agreed set of hymns to sing in Christian services, and so there are hundreds – probably thousands – of hardly used songs that turn up in some hymnals, and not in … Continue reading

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Quit your Lowdown Ways: a major hit for Bob Dylan, although now somewhat forgotten

by Tony Attwood It didn’t take long (once he got to writing full time) for the rest of the world to find out that one could do all sorts of things with Dylan songs, and “Quit your lowdown ways” – … Continue reading

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Bob Dylan’s Rambling Gambling Willie: three versions including one masterpiece.

By Tony Attwood The outsider, the outlaw, the loner, death.  Four concepts that dominated Bob Dylan’s thinking about songs, as he moved away from the first experimental compositions of 1961 into the total flowering of his talent in the following … Continue reading

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Dylan in 1961: the overview

by Tony Attwood The four original songs that stand out from this year (the first in which we can recognise Dylan emerging as a singer/songwriter of note) consist of three humorous pieces and a commentary on the inhumanity of modern … Continue reading

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Hard times in New York Town; Dylan re-writing rural classics for the urban chic.

by Tony Attwood The fourth and final song from Dylan in 1961 is “Hard Times in New York Town” which takes the melody, accompaniment and opening of “Down on Penny’s Farm” and then instead of making it about hard times … Continue reading

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Man on the Street. Bob Dylan’s reworking of the 19th century ballad.

By Tony Attwood Dylan originally called this plaintive two chord song, “Old Man (John Doe”), a title which refers us back to a 19th century song which may have been by Fred J. Mackley or Walter Phoenix – opinion seems … Continue reading

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Talkin Hava Negeilah blues: Bob Dylan being silly? Or making a point?

By Tony Attwood Way back in my younger days, I taught a university undergraduate course “Art and the Environment”. The essence of  the year long course (which covered all the arts) was that although some art work was carefully planned … Continue reading

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Talkin Bear Mountain Picnic Massacre Blues: Dylan’s first song of note?

By Tony Attwood In pulling together all the reviews on this site (getting on for 350 at the time I write this) and putting them into something that I think resembles the order in which they were written, I’ve now … Continue reading

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Got My Mind Made Up: Dylan re-writes Petty, but what does it mean?

By Tony Attwood I often wonder about the songs Dylan performs just once on stage (as with this one on 9 June 1986) and then leaves.   Caribbean Wind, Can you Please Crawl out your Window, Handy Dandy, Lay Down … Continue reading

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I will love Him: Bob Dylan announces the second coming is getting close

By Tony Attwood As I have tried to suggest through the reviews of Dylan’s Christian songs, he had a very particular vision of what it meant to be a Christian, and I am not sure that it is a view … Continue reading

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“Rock em dead”: Dylan and the gang having fun on stage, and well worth a listen.

By Tony Attwood Throughout 1984 and 1985 Dylan had worked on finding a new “voice” – a new way of writing music, another approach to move on to, as he had moved so many times before.  During this period he … Continue reading

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“Sweetheart like you”: deep meanings or general observations inside Dylan’s song?

By Tony Attwood The more I have worked on this series of reviews of Dylan’s songs, the more I have reached the conclusion that while Dylan does often write about ideas and issues that concern him, and while he does … Continue reading

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License to kill: Bob tells us the moon landings were not such a good idea.

By Tony Attwood Why does Bob have this thing against the space exploration programme?  Why does he believe that we are all doomed? While such a belief comes, I guess, out of both the Old and New Testament, when those … Continue reading

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Yonder comes sin: Dylan’s abandoned (but so exciting) extravaganza.

By Tony Attwood Much has been made of the extract from what would be, in a full performance, a 7 minutes 30 seconds epic.  But there seems little certainty as to what was exactly going on here. Take for example … Continue reading

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Need a woman: prepared by Dylan, transmuted by Cooder, as Bob enters his post-Christian world

By Tony Attwood Musically the fun in this song comes with the changing rhythms and line lengths, but for me that is really what it is – a bit of fun playing about with rhythms and line lengths.  The melody … Continue reading

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In the summertime. Is Dylan slowly revealing his movement away from the faith?

by Tony Attwood Shot of Love has always seemed to me the album that opens the door to a return to secular compositions, after two very solidly Christian LPs.  But as I will try and show in this review, it is … Continue reading

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Clean Cut Kid: one of the few anti-war songs by Bob Dylan

By Tony Attwood I have long known that for me, personally, there is something profoundly odd about the world-view of Clinton Heylin, but it was only when I started doing my background reading on Clean Cut Kid that I fully … Continue reading

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