Bob’s missing album: “Sheep in Wolves’ Clothing” Track 7.

by Aaron Galbraith and Tony Attwood

Just recently we’ve been engaged in a project listening back to some of the outtakes from the 1986 and 1987 sessions that produced the majority of Bob Dylan’s “Down In The Groove” album, as well as some of the live shows from the era.

And between us we reached the conclusion that, as many people said at the time, the album is, to be fair, not very good. Robert Christgau called the album “horrendous product”.

So we decided to see if we could compile a better album ourselves from the outtakes and live shows from the period. Just in case the guys upstairs fancy issuing a new version when they run out of materials for the Bootleg series. The tracks we have selected so far are listed with links at the end of this review.

(Our charge to the record company for being the researchers on this project will be modest, although Tony is insisting that there is a sleeve credit with his surname spelt correctly.  “Two t’s please,” is the phrase being used.)  (And two “A’s” in Aaron).

The song chosen for track 7 is this cover of “Got Love If You Want It” that Bob and the band recorded in April 1987.  What better way to follow the brilliant take of “That Lucky Old Sun” on the album with another classic track, this time in the blues genre.

The song was written by James Moore (AKA Slim Harpo) in 1957 and was covered by The Kinks and The Yardbirds on their respective debut albums along with many, many other artists.

Dylan’s version was actually officially released on the Argentinian edition of Down In The Groove but has so far failed to appear anywhere else in the world. This edition of “Sheep In Wolves’ Clothing” seems a great place to rectify this and present the track to the wider world.

Here is the version by the Kinks (included by Tony not because it is a particularly fine Kinks record, although it does warm up along the way, but for the shot of the dancing or the era – we’ve come quite a way since then).

The song was written by Slim Harpo (real name James Moore; 1924 to 1970), who led the “swamp blues” movement and was known as a fine harmonica player – which is where his name “Harpo” comes from (with him originally performing as “Harmonica Slim.”)  His song “Baby Scratch My Back” was major hit in the 1960s.

“Got Love if you Want It” was released in 1957 as the “B” side to “I’m a King Bee” – which gained only modest attention.

Reports suggest that a number of his songs were co-written with his wife Lovelle Moore, but she was not credited as a joint composer, which suggests either sexism or an accountant who was not on the ball.

Apart from the Kinks a number of British bands used his material in their acts, such as The Rolling Stones, Pretty Things, Them, the Yardbirds and Pink Floyd.  Slim Harpo also wrote a song called Moody Blues and it is said that this was the source of the band’s name.

Slim Harpo died tragically young of a heart attack, aged 46.  The Slim Harpo Music Awards, awarded annually in Baton Rouge, his home town, are named in his honour. Proceeds from the awards benefit the local “Music in the Schools” programme.

Here are the lyrics…

Got love if you want it, babe
Got love if you want it, babe
Got love if you want it
Got your love if you want it
Got love it you want it, honey

We can rock, awhile
We can rock, awhile

Quit teasin’ me, baby
Quit teasin’ me, baby
A-wit’ yo’ fine bone frame
Wit’ yo’ fine bone frame
If you let me love you, baby

I’ll be yo’ lovin’ man
I’ll be yo’ lovin’ man

Now, here you come, baby
Now, here you come, baby
A-wit’ ya head hung down
A-wit’ ya head hung down
I know ya been followin’

The talks all over town
The talks all over town

Now, the next do’ neighbor
Now, the next do’ neighbor
Peepin’ through the blinds
Peepin’ through the blinds
Don’t worry, nobody

That’s all, they spyin’
That’s all, they spyin’

I love you, little woman
I love you, little woman
Better than, I do myself
Better than, I do myself
But you mistreat me, baby

For someone else
For someone else

The lost Dylan album – the tracks so far

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1 Response to Bob’s missing album: “Sheep in Wolves’ Clothing” Track 7.

  1. We are actively promoting a link to this interesting topic on The Bob Dylan Project at:
    http://thebobdylanproject.com/Song/id/3249/Got-Love-If-You-Want-It

    If you are interested, we are a portal to all the great information related to this topic.

    Join us inside Bob Dylan Music Box.

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