Dylan re-imagined: Dylan’s live versions of “On my mind”, “Frankie Lee” and “In the doorway”

By Paul Hobson and Tony Attwood

There is an index to this series at https://bob-dylan.org.uk/dylan-re-imagined

 Mama you’ve been on my mind

This recording “Mama you’ve been on my mind” comes from the late 1990s.


This is an approach to the song which retains the clarity of the lyrics and the simplicity of the accompaniment, leaving the way Dylan sings as the method of giving new insights into the lyrics.

Somehow the fact that the Mama who has been on his mind, is now from much further back in the past comes across because of the style and approach.  Certainly the guitar solos help enormously to give that feeling of distance in time, and we are carried through those instrumental breaks perfectly until without warning… Bob turns to the harmonica.

The performance on the harp is limited for most of the time emphasising the sameness of the situation – he’s now looking back.

Frankie Lee and Judas Priest


Sometimes – not that often but sometimes – I find Dylan songs that only come to life for me in the live performance, having not given me that sense of “oomph” in terms of the original recording.

This is certainly true of Frankie Lee.   And it is intersting that this version works for me given the simplicity of the arrangement here, and the fact that some of the lines are sung on a single note.

Maybe I have mellowed over the years, or maybe it is simply, to my ear, what this song needed.  I even like the instrumental break which mostly consists of the band continuing as it has been right the way through the song.

The problem with the song is that it consists of just the same three chords over and over, and many of the vocal lines over the top have the same melody.   It isn’t that I need to hear to lyrics, but rather I need to appreciate the overall sound.  At least that is how it seems to me.

Standing in the doorway

In this version of Standing in the Doorway, Dylan makes the expression of the lyrics as clear as he possibly can – although some members of the audience want to add their own sounds for some reason during the performance.

This really is one of those performances that really does make one go back to the originial with fresh insights simply because the lyrics are now so clear and meaningful.

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.

We also have a discussion group “Untold Dylan” on Facebook which mostly relates to Bob Dylan today.  Just type the phrase “Untold Dylan” in, on your Facebook page or follow this link 

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.


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