Performances selected by Paul Hobson, commentary by Tony Attwood
This series takes live performances of Bob Dylan, in which he has re-worked three of his songs to give them a new direction or new meaning, or simply a new sound or feel.
Unfortunately in this case all the songs that Paul chose have now been deleted from the the internet. I’ve left the article here waiting for a chance to go back and find new recordings.
This time we start with Subterranean Homesick Blues from 2002 complete with what seems to be a false start, and judging by the looks and grins I think Bob has decided to change it there and then on stage.
It is one of those recordings of a song we know so well that anything done to it is going to be a bit of a surprise, but here Bob and the band are just taking us along a different path to the same end result, rather than giving us a totally new journey.
We also have Bob playing lead guitar and quite a decent lead guitar it is too. And maybe all that bit at the start was deliberate for the guys certainly have learned the new ending. A great rollicking bit of fun in my estimation.
Second today, I Believe In You from 1995
There’s no mistaking this song from its introduction, no matter what Bob has decided to do to the arrangement.
For me though there is a disappointment. I always feel that the great highlight of this lovely song is the second section, “I believe in you even through the tears and laughter” and here, for me, the rearrangement doesn’t work. Listening to the album version I can still get goose pimples at
Oh, when the dawn is nearing
Oh, when the night is disappearing
Oh, this feeling is still here in my heart
But probably that is just my problem – I like the original so much that any messing with the version I love tends to be inferior. But for sure, not everyone agrees with me. It is well worth a listen.
However this feeling of disappointment is certainly not true with the version of Tweedle dee & Tweedle dum from the 1990s selected as the final song of this section. There was a time when Dylan always started the shows with this song, and that is understandable; all bands need something established and well rehearsed to get the band and the audience going. But it got to be a bit of a drag in the end.
But this one goes further. A lot further. Even if you a firm believer that this song isn’t up to much I do hope you will stay with this recording.
And if you are still just not convinced by the song at all, you might care to have a look at Jochen’s review of it on this site – both to give an understanding of what it is all about, and to hear Francesco de Gregori‘s version. Tweedle in Italian.
However for now here is Bob doing something new with the song.
There is an index to some of the articles in this series here.
What else is here?
An index to our latest posts arranged by themes and subjects on the home page. You can also see details of our main sections on this site at the top of this page under the picture.
There is an alphabetic index to the 550+ Dylan compositions reviewed on the site which you will find it here. There are also 500+ other articles on different issues relating to Dylan. The other subject areas are also shown at the top under the picture.
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And please do note The Bob Dylan Project, which lists every Dylan song in alphabetical order, and has links to licensed recordings and performances by Dylan and by other artists, is starting to link back to our reviews.