, 55 tweets, 28 min read Read on Twitter
The neverending tour that is #BD969 now enters the 1990s with a new thread. Backstory: I'm listening to all 969(ish) officially released Bob Dylan songs in chronological(ish) order. If you're just joining us here's an unrolled version of Part 1: 1961-1964: threadreaderapp.com/thread/1097693…
For whatever reason this thread seems to break @threadreaderapp so Part Two: 1965-1969 is itself in two parts. Here's #BD969 Part 2a:
#BD969 Part 4: 1979-1989 is particularly fun. Interesting stuff about Bob's Christian era up top and then a lot of wtf late 80s garbage at the end! threadreaderapp.com/thread/1108185…

A JUNIOR is listening to OH MERCY with some friends.

JUNIOR: I'm telling you guys, Dylan is back for good! He's never gonna release another terrible album again!

Sorry for the delay. I put on Under The Red Sky and immediately fell asleep for two days. #BD969
I'm not sure Red Sky is Dylan's worst album but it is his most low energy. I can hear electric guitar, drums and other signifiers of musical activity but something about the production renders it all an indistinct hum. Pretty sure someone added this to Wikipedia as a joke. #BD969
As an extra insult, there's a little keyboard trill at the beginning of the title track that's lifted from Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues. It's close enough to remind anyone actually listening closely of how far we are from songs like that. #BD969 play.google.com/music/m/T2yocw…
Mystery solved. The version on Under The Red Sky is garbage like everything else on the album. I stand by the Oh Mercy outtake though. #BD969
After Under The Red Sky there was a second Traveling Wilburys album. Compared to the first one, it's a pretty shoddy affair. I listened to it and I suppose I could talk about the Dylan songs on it, but honestly I got nothing to say, 'specially about whatever it was. #BD969
Under The Red Sky has a number of songs that are influenced by nursery rhymes, but are not actually children's songs. A year later Bob recorded This Old Man for a children's benefit album but he also doesn't treat it like a children's song exactly. #BD969
Good As I Been To You finds Bob, now 50, willing himself into the role of wise old bluesman. 30 years earlier, on his last album of traditional folk & blues, his voice had clarity and bite. Now it has depth, but could use a little clarity and bite. #BD969 open.spotify.com/album/4OIFBxR5…
I like the spacious guitar sound, and the technical flaws that give his playing a natural air, like you're listening to someone playing on his front porch, but the defining feature of this album--for better and worse--is Bob's voice. #BD969
I wouldn't describe Bob's voice on GAIBTY as mumbly, but it is (in addition to being unavoidably nasal) intentionally soft and indistinct, prioritizing emotion over comprehension. This undermines ballads like Arthur McBride, where any sense of story is completely lost. #BD969
But it's quite effective on You're Gonna Quit Me and Hard Times. That's a song I love--it's been done very sweetly by Emmylou, Nanci Griffith, James Taylor, but Bob makes you feel the hard times, with an interpretation that would only by topped by Johnny Cash 10 yrs later. #BD969
Oddly, the song where Dylan makes most effort to enunciate is Froggie Went a Courtin' which is, whatever its folk origins, basically a silly kids song (stay for the twist ending!) BTW: Why do fleas & ticks get invited, but mosquitos are on the menu?#BD969 open.spotify.com/track/5sEiHlDv…
Some miscellaneous tidbits before #BD969 gets to the next album. Heartland, a Dylan song he recorded with Willie Nelson is nice, if overly literal, but the duet really highlights that Bob's voice at this time is not the best vehicle for his own material.
A better duet for showcasing Bob's voice (and I'm a little out of chronology here) is Lonesome River with Ralph Stanley--a fantastic recording I didn't know about. Yes, Ralph is 77 while Bob is only 56 but they come off as kindred ancient spirits. #BD969
I've always lumped Good As I Been and World Gone Wrong together in my memory but listening back to back there are subtle differences that make World the better album. Bob's voice is clearer, the sound more intimate & the song choices more interesting open.spotify.com/album/6lfZX6OF…
World Gone Wrong also has a more coherent them, dripping as it is with blood, violence and murder. Even the love songs are ominous. Absolute highlight: Blood In My Eyes, a heartbreaking song of desire for a reluctant prostitute. #BD969
MTV Unplugged was huge back in the day. Dylan's didn't make a big splash bc what mostly got attention was loud electric bands reworking their songs in acoustic mode, but he acquits himself more than adequately. In fact it may be my fave live album. #BD969 vimeo.com/248636563
Bob's voice has mellowed and coarsened but he's singing with feeling and clarity. At middle age, The Times They Are A-Changin' is no longer a defiant rallying cry so much as a contemplative observation, and it works. #BD969 dailymotion.com/video/x2zrp0g
There are hours of audio and video recordings out there of performances that were never released as well as rehearsal footage. I don't do a lot of bootlegs but I may download these. #BD969
And then...mumbly Bob is back to close out the 30th Anniversary Concert. Maybe the smaller MTV venue was his friend. But Bob's own appearance at the end of the night aside, this concert is truly epic and worth a watch if you've never seen it. #BD969 dailymotion.com/video/x2fmsa9
Of course, the concert wasn't without its problematic moments (i'm not sure but maybe edited out of the DVD?) #BD969
#BD969 It's 1997. I'm 28 & not the rabid Dylan fan I once was. After all it's 8yrs since his last original album--his only good one in 13 yrs. I know better than to count Bob out. I hope he has another 2nd tier album in him--something to stand alongside Oh Mercy or even Desire...
...But if you told me his next album would be one of the greatest of his 35 year career, a work that would hold its own alongside Blonde on Blonde or Highway 61... no, I would not have believed that. #BD969 open.spotify.com/album/185DHT5S…
Time Out of Mind is a journey through dark heat, unfolding in a liminal space, a prison, where everything is unknown and unknowable. It is sketches from memory of a disintegrating past on a slow march toward an undiscovered country that promises and threatens a final rest. #BD969
What strikes me relistening to TOOM* is not only how many great songs there are but how powerfully certain images and themes re-occur across songs. I have some examples. Give me a minute, let me get it together. #BD969

*Huh. "Tomb". Obviously a coincidence, but still neat.
Sure this was a nifty bit of Twitter music crit poetry but why? It came out of patterns that I noticed as I listened to Time Out Of Mind. See what you think... #BD969
Of course the dominant theme of TOOM is death and dying. I didn't pull out every signpost in that direction, but you'll see it cropping up repeatedly among these other tropes. Starting with the Journey - slow, hard, meandering, but inexorable. #BD969
How's the weather on this Journey? Cloudy with a chance of ominous! #BD969
We set off at sundown and travel by night. #BD969
It's obvious where were headed, but where are we coming from, and why is it so hard to get out? #BD969
The map is unreadable. Nothing can be known for certain. Everything is in doubt. #BD969
Oh, and the Journey is taking quite the physical toll as well. Almost as if your body is decomposing. #BD969
As for why the Journey began. Your memory is a little hazy on that -- which may be on purpose. #BD969
All around you are sounds you can't quite make out or understand. #BD969
At least we put together a good travel playlist of classic rock and blues...

These are references to songs and musicians that I happened to notice, but there are probably many ore. Feel free to add others if you've spotted them. #BD969
I hear 2 types of songs on TOOM: down in the swamp blues (Love Sick, Can't Wait), and eerie ballads hanging over them like delicate but dense fog (Not Dark Yet, Doorway). What they share is a resignation about a lost past and fixation on death and whatever comes after it. #BD969
All these songs culminate in the masterly Highlands. Dylan played around with dream stories quite a bit in his early albums, but here the disorienting format is a vehicle not for clever humor and pointed observation but profound, soulful insight. #BD969
I should have said not *just* clever humor. Obviously that's pretty funny 👆. More important, Highlands is the destination we've been headed on this whole journey, and the beginning of a new adventure. Remember all those setting suns & bleeding eyes? Highlands flips that. #BD969
By the way, I have to wonder if sometime back in October 1997 @MollyJongFast called up @EricaJong like, "So, uh, have you heard this new Dylan song, mom?" That must have been a pretty wtf experience. #BD969
There's one song on TOOM not like the others. Make You Feel My Love looks forward to life rather than death. A break in the fog, it shows a "wild and free" world of "no doubt". Though more simple than the rest of the album it's a moment of relief that perfects the whole. #BD969
Meanwhile this is remarkable sleuthing from @scottwarmuth1. Time Out of Mind is one of Dylan's richest albums. If you're the kind of person inclined to go down literary, musical and psychological rabbit holes it could probably occupy you for years. #BD969 swarmuth.blogspot.com/2011/02/bob-dy…
Is this really on the table though? #BD969
The outtakes from Time Out of Mind on the Tell Tale Signs Bootleg are astonishingly good. There are two versions of Mississippi (which Bob would later re-record wonderfully for Love & Theft). This one has a different vibe than other TOOM tracks. #BD969 open.spotify.com/track/4Jp5rwQ2…
Dreamin of You could easily have been on TOOM if not for the fact that elements of it got reworked into Standing in the Doorway. The video with Harry Dean Stanton as Dylan collector is a treasure trove of easter eggs for people following #BD969!
And for one last time (I think?) Bob leaves a song off an album that would have been one of the best songs on that album. #BD969 vimeo.com/233167417
Before #BD969 calls a wrap on the 90s I'm breaking my rule of only listening to officially released songs because after this amazing stretch I really want to revisit one of the greatest live shows I've ever been to: Dylan at Tramps in 1999. Capacity ~300 wolfgangs.com/music/bob-dyla…
Actually it seems weird to talk too much about a not widely available bootleg on #BD969. All I'll say is that since the (not entirely unearned) rap on Dylan is that since the 80s he's been an incoherent mess live, Tramps proves he was capable of great performances (and still is!)
And that's it for the 90s. New century, new #BD969 thread...
Missing some Tweet in this thread?
You can try to force a refresh.

Like this thread? Get email updates or save it to PDF!

Subscribe to Daniel Radosh
Profile picture

Get real-time email alerts when new unrolls are available from this author!

This content may be removed anytime!

Twitter may remove this content at anytime, convert it as a PDF, save and print for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video

1) Follow Thread Reader App on Twitter so you can easily mention us!

2) Go to a Twitter thread (series of Tweets by the same owner) and mention us with a keyword "unroll" @threadreaderapp unroll

You can practice here first or read more on our help page!

Follow Us on Twitter!

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just three indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3.00/month or $30.00/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!