Author Archives: Tony Attwood

Mr Tambourine Man

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.  I am … Continue reading

Posted in Bringing it all Back Home | 5 Comments

On the road again

By Tony Attwood Having delivered a straight 12 bar blues on track 5 of Bringing it all back home, with Outlaw Blues, Dylan then delivers (in terms of lyrics if nothing else) a post-modern quirky variation on track 6 with … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

It’s alright, ma (I’m only bleeding)

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 the original on … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 8 Comments

Like a Rolling Stone (Before the Flood). Not just the energy: perfect 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 | 10 Comments

What was it you wanted? (Oh Mercy)

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 | 13 Comments

Everything is Broken (Oh Mercy)

By Tony Attwood One of the things you notice with Oh Mercy is how short the tracks are for a Dylan album.    Long gone are the days of the 10 minute track, and Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands seems … Continue reading

Posted in Oh Mercy, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Man in the Long Black Coat (Oh Mercy)

By Tony Attwood This song in standard 4/4 time is sung as if each beat of every bar is an effort to complete.  The start is uncertain, the harmonica plays three tentative fading notes, and off we go, plod, plod, … Continue reading

Posted in Oh Mercy | 8 Comments

Political World (Oh Mercy)

Review by Tony Attwood The musical opening of the recording on Old Mercy is a triumph on its own.  A remarkable opening to the album.   A gentle fade in as each instrument comes in of its own accord – rhythm … Continue reading

Posted in Oh Mercy, Uncategorized | 4 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 | 9 Comments

John Brown

It is not just the song “John Brown” that is a masterpiece – it is the performance that we have of it on MTV Unplugged.  Indeed because that is the only performance I have ever heard of this song, the … Continue reading

Posted in MTV Unplugged (Live), The Songs | 4 Comments

Series of Dreams

According to Wikipedia Series of Dreams is “One of Dylan’s most ambitious compositions.”   It is difficult to see quite why such a claim should be made, and in typical Wiki fashion there is no attempt at all to justify the … Continue reading

Posted in Bootleg Series volume 3 | 14 Comments

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

By Tony Attwood There is something distasteful 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 one is not … Continue reading

Posted in Infidels | 24 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 | 33 Comments

Standing in the doorway

“Time out of mind” starts just about as low as you can imagine – “Love Sick” tells us the singer has had enough – enough not just of love, but of life.  It is the ultimate farewell song.   Except … Continue reading

Posted in The Songs, Time out of mind | 4 Comments

When the ship comes in

Amidst all the moral relativism of Dylan, all the references to the fact that “you are right on your side, and I’m all right on mine”, all the comments about not following leaders, and the commentary that says that everyone … Continue reading

Posted in Bootleg Series volume 3, No Direction Home, The Songs, Times they are a changing | 5 Comments

Spanish Harlem Incident

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 the same time). … Continue reading

Posted in Another Side | 4 Comments

Highlands

For me, to understand of Highlands, there needs to be a view of “Time out of mind”.  While many Dylan songs can stand apart from the albums on which they make the first appearance, most of Time out of Mind … Continue reading

Posted in The Songs, Time out of mind | 1 Comment

Lay Lady Lay

Here’s a simple thought: “What is Lay Lady Lay” about? There’s an oft-repeated story that when the Everly Brothers heard it they mistook it for a song about lesbians, and turned it down. That was based on a mishearing. With … Continue reading

Posted in At Boudakan, Essential Bob Dylan, Greatest Hits Volume 2, Nashville Skyline, The Songs | 12 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

Maggies Farm

By Tony Attwood (revised March 2013) What is it that makes Dylan stay with Maggie’s Farm?  Hardly a tour goes by without it being wheeled out, it has been on over half a dozen albums and it was part of … 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 | 4 Comments