Author Archives: Tony Attwood

Mr Tambourine Man: early thoughts and the wonderful 1964 festival version

By Tony Attwood This is the first review of Tambourine Man on this site.  For reasons that I now cannot properly recall I decided to do a second review a few years later, which you can find here.   This article … Continue reading

Posted in Bringing it all Back Home | 6 Comments

On the road again: Bob Dylan’s forgotten post-modernist 12 bar. Its origins, its re-invention

By Tony Attwood This review re-written July 2018 with links to the original “On the road again” and  the Nas and Jack White revival of that, plus videos from other artists who have re-worked Dylan’s song. Having delivered a straight … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Bob Dylan’s “It’s alright, ma (I’m only bleeding)”. The masterpiece of the era

by Tony Attwood You cannot be a Dylan fan without knowing this song inside out, and all the way round again.  But perhaps what many of us have not done is listened to the version on “Before the Flood” and … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 11 Comments

Bob Dylan: The perfect “Like a Rolling Stone” recording. Energy and aggression.

By Tony Attwood We have all heard Like a Rolling Stone so many times on recordings, and of course at the end of the Never Ending Tour gigs, that it is hard to go back and get a new perspective … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 13 Comments

What was it you wanted? Bob Dylan’s song and a version by Willie Nelson

What was it you wanted Reviewed and analysed by Tony Attwood A slow introduction, and from line one we go; a song in a minor key packed with minor chords, revealing once more the lost and bemused individual. If you … Continue reading

Posted in Oh Mercy | 15 Comments

Dylan’s “Everything is Broken.” How a short track transmuted into post-modernist chill.

By Tony Attwood This review updated July 2018 with the addition of live videos and further thoughts on the song itself.  I’ve also added links at the end to various articles from Untold Dylan which explore the theme of the … Continue reading

Posted in Oh Mercy, Uncategorized | 6 Comments

“The Man in the Long Black Coat.” Bob Dylan reaches the depths, and then descends some more.

By Tony Attwood This review updated 28 May 2018 with addition of examples of Dylan’s song and of the folk song that was said to have inspired it, plus additional commentary on the timing and meaning.  This song in 12/8 … Continue reading

Posted in Oh Mercy | 18 Comments

Bob Dylan’s “Political World”: How to get hit by reality (& the 6 missing verses)

Review by Tony Attwood This review updated July 2018, with some commentary on the missing verses, and three videos: the official release vid, the full song with the 6 missing verses from the outtakes of the album session, and a … Continue reading

Posted in Oh Mercy, Uncategorized | 7 Comments

Tell Ol’ Bill: Dylan digs deep into the song’s origins to create a brilliant film song

By Tony Attwood This review has been revised multiple times since it was first published.  This update 16 July 2017.   Copies of outtakes from the Tell Ol Bill sessions appear and vanish – if the ones listed are not … Continue reading

Posted in Tell Tales Signs | 14 Comments

Dylan’s “John Brown”: not just the song it is the staggering performance

by Tony Attwood It is not the song “John Brown” that works so perfectly within its own context – the story of the mother proudly telling everyone her son is fighting in the war and then coming back shot to … Continue reading

Posted in MTV Unplugged (Live), The Songs | 5 Comments

Dylan’s “Series of Dreams” complete with the missing verse & a brilliant alternate version.

by Tony Attwood Updated July 2018 with 3 recordings added include the version with the “extra” verse. According to Wikipedia Series of Dreams is “One of Dylan’s most ambitious compositions.”   It is difficult to see quite why such a claim … Continue reading

Posted in Bootleg Series volume 3 | 17 Comments

Neighborhood Bully: how not to write a song in praise of something

By Tony Attwood There is something I really don’t like about Neighbourhood Bully, despite Dylan’s assertions that it is not about Zionism.  Maybe it is not.  Maybe it is just about the state of Israel.  I would always appreciate that … Continue reading

Posted in Infidels | 29 Comments

Foot of Pride: Bob Dylan’s rambling masterpiece which tears us limb from limb

By Tony Attwood The original review of Foot of Pride was written in 2009, one of the early reviews on this site.   I’ve come back to in 2017 largely because in between we’ve created a list of all the … Continue reading

Posted in Bootleg Series volume 3, The Songs | 34 Comments

Standing in the doorway: a work of solemn genius from Bob Dylan

Review by Tony Attwood.  Updated May 2018 with addition of this extraordinary live version of the song, and the opening verse at the end. “Time out of mind” starts just about as low as you can imagine – “Love Sick” … Continue reading

Posted in The Songs, Time out of mind | 5 Comments

“When the ship comes in.” Bob Dylan as a prophet of vengeance and a better life to come.

By Tony Attwood This review updated July 2018, with the addition of one of Dylan’s rare outings for the song, and two totally different renditions linked at the end. Amidst all the moral relativism of Dylan, all the references to … Continue reading

Posted in Bootleg Series volume 3, No Direction Home, The Songs, Times they are a changing | 7 Comments

Spanish Harlem Incident: The meanings behind Bob Dylan’s extraordinary song

By Tony Attwood This is one of Dylan’s unsung masterpieces – an extraordinary piece of music to the accompaniment of lyrics about a visit to a fortune teller / possible lover.   (She’s one or the other, or both, possibly at … Continue reading

Posted in Another Side | 4 Comments

Bob Dylan’s “Highlands”; its origins in Burns poetry, and a beautiful rare reworking in concert

By Tony Attwood This review updated 26 June 2018, with addition of this live version – I really would recommend a listen to these, particularly this one below Also now included are references back to the origins of the song … Continue reading

Posted in The Songs, Time out of mind | 5 Comments

Lay Lady Lay: Three Bob Dylan transformations of his song & a look at the meanings.

By Tony Attwood In returning to this song I didn’t really feel I wanted to change any of the original commentary, but I did want to add a couple of live recordings as they show the power of Dylan’s reinvention. … Continue reading

Posted in At Boudakan, Essential Bob Dylan, Greatest Hits Volume 2, Nashville Skyline, The Songs | 14 Comments

See that my grave is kept clean

It is strange to think that all those years ago, my feeling about the very first Dylan album (“Bob Dylan”) was that the producer of the album had made a very odd choice as to the order of the songs. … Continue reading

Posted in Bob Dylan | 2 Comments

Bob Dylan’s Maggie’s Farm. 3 very different versions; but why play it so often?

By Tony Attwood (revised March 2013 and again June 2018) Between 1965 and 2009 Bob Dylan performed Maggie’s Farm 1051 times on stage – often as an opening song; an interesting outcome for a song that was a last minute … Continue reading

Posted in At Boudakan, Bringing it all Back Home, Essential Bob Dylan, Greatest Hits Volume 2, Hard Rain, No Direction Home, The Songs | 9 Comments