Archive for Hard Rain

Great Rock Albums of 1983: Bob Dylan- Infidels

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on July 3, 2016 by 80smetalman

Bob_Dylan_-_Infidels

“Infidels” was Bob Dylan’s first album after his three albums professing his faith as a Born Again Christian. Now I posted about two of those albums, “Slow Train Coming” and “Saved” and like I said at the time, I have no problems with people who want to use music to express their beliefs on anything, within my personal boundaries on decency, which are quite broad. Those two albums were quite good in their own right and I remain convinced that those albums from Bob helped usher in the emerging tide of Christian rock artists that were gaining notoriety in 1983. Anyway, enough about that because it is said that “Infidels” with Dylan’s first secular album since his conversion and in many ways, it is a good album.

The first time I heard the single, “Neighborhood Bully” on the radio, I was duly impressed. To me, that song had a bit of hard rock swagger to it with a very catchy rhythm. In fact, it has taken it’s place as my fourth favourite Bob Dylan song. What also has fascinated me about the song was trying to figure out who was the neighborhood bully he was singing about. My first, thoughts was on account of the political climate at the time, that the bully might have been the Sandinista regime in Nicaragua and Ronald Regan’s determination to make war on it. It could have been a Middle Eastern country and it turns out that I was right. After reading about it, (they didn’t have Wikopedia in 1983), I found out that he was singing about Israel and the persecution of the Jewish people as well as the contributions they have made to the world. The fact that this has mystery has finally been cleared up for me after more than thirty years doesn’t take away the fact that it’s still a brilliant rock tune.

It appears that Bob Dylan realized he stumbled onto something when he decided to go electric with his live “Hard Rain” album way back in 1976. For most of “Infidels,” he uses the electric guitar and his songs sound more rock. “License to Kill” and “I & I” are good examples here. You definitely can not call him a folk singer who sings through his nose on this album. However, I did read back then that some called him that old singer who sounds like Dire Straits. Well, there’s truth in that. The first time I heard Dire Straits, I thought it was Bob Dylan singing with Eric Clapton backing him up on guitar. Maybe it could be true owing to the fact that Dire Straits guitarist and lead singer Mark Knoepfler produced the album and he does a grand job in doing so. I think that on “Infidels,” Dylan sounds the best he has in years. But before anyone goes off and says that Dylan had some how changed, let me say that he still tackles relevant social and political topics of the time just like the Bob Dylan of old. He just makes the music behind his messages much more enjoyable.

Track Listing:

  1. Jokerman
  2. Sweetheart Like You
  3. Neighborhood Bully
  4. License to Kill
  5. Man of Peace
  6. Union Sundown
  7. I & I
  8. Don’t Fall Apart on Me Tonight

bobdylan

Bob Dylan- lead vocals, guitar, harmonica, keyboards

Mark Knopfler- guitar

Clydie King- vocals on “Sundown”

Robbie Shakespeare- bass

Mick Taylor- guitar

Sly Dunbar- drums, percussion

It would be silly of me to say that Bob Dylan was back in 1983 because he never went anywhere. He simply changed what he was singing about and went back to more traditional topics. This was still a brave thing to do in the ever increasing conservative mood of 80s Regan America. Still, he did and he proved that he could rock a bit as well.

Next post: Yes- 90125

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Great Rock Albums of 1979: Bob Dylan- Slow Train Coming

Posted in 1979, Music, Rock with tags , , , , , , on December 10, 2012 by 80smetalman

220px-Bob_Dylan_-_Slow_Train_Coming

In the late part of the 70’s, we had Bob Dylan go electric with his “Hard Rain” and “Street Legal” albums. In late 1979, he went gospel with “Slow Train Coming.” This album was born out of his conversion to Christianity in early 1979. All of the tracks have some form of religious or moral message in them. The fact is listening to the album, the music is still pretty good. I know that many people can’t stomach “Jesus lyrics” and let that put them off listening to what could be a good album. Before this album, Christian Rock was more on the fringe and Dylan, with “Slow Train Coming,” made it more accessible to the masses.

The most notable song on the album is “Gotta Serve Somebody,” which got a lot of airplay on radio and I saw it on many a juke box in bars and restaurants at the time. I also like the tracks, “Precious Angel” and “Gonna Change My Way of Thinking.” As I mentioned earlier, this album celebrates his conversion to Christianity but is nonetheless, a pretty good album.

Track Listing:

1. Gotta Serve Somebody

2. Precious Angel

3. I Believe in You

4. Slow Train

5. Gonna Change My Way of Thinking

6. Do Right to Me Baby (Do Unto Others)

7. When You Wake Up

8. Man Gave Names to All the Animals

9. When He Returns

Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan- guitar, vocals

Barry Beckett- keyboards, percussion

Mickey Buckins- percussion

Carolyn Dennis- background vocals

Tim Drummond- bass

Regina Havis- background vocals

Mark Knopfler- lead guitar

Muscle Shoals Sound Studio- horns

Helena Springs- backing vocals

Pick Withers- drums

I am going to go out on a limb here and say that bands like Stryper partly owe their success to Bob Dylan and this album especially.  Listening to “Slow Train Coming” proved that you could listen to gospel rock and not have an urge to read the bible while still enjoying the music. Bob Dylan brought Christian rock into the mainstream and I think many Christian acts secretly know this.

Next post: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers- Damn the Torpedoes

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London

 

Great Rock Albums of 1978: Bob Dylan- Street Legal

Posted in Music, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on February 3, 2012 by 80smetalman

I am convinced that Bob Dylan took note of going electric on “Hard Rain” and used it in the making of “Street Legal.” This album marked a major departure for Dylan as he used a complete rock style band and included female backing singers. For some, including many critics in the American press, this was too much and many slammed him for it. Some even accused Bob Dylan of selling out. However, I definitely don’t agree with that. Back in 1978, there was disco and there are no disco sounding tracks on “Street Legal.” If anyone went disco that year, it would have been the Rolling Stones with “Some Girls.”

All I know was when I heard the album back then, I liked it. I believed it was a natural progression from “Hard Rain” and his rocking performance in “The Last Waltz.” Furthermore, I did read some good reviews in some good music magazines and others I talked to liked the album as well. Since, I have concluded that critics of this album were stuck in the mind of seeing Bob Dylan standing alone by the microphone, playing an accoustic guitar and singing through his nose. This was a bold change in direction and I think it was good.

Track Listing:

1. Changing of the Guards

2. New Pony

3. No Time to Think

4. Baby, Stop Crying

5. Is Your Love in Vain?

6. Senor (Tales of Yankee Power)

7. True Love Tends to Forget

8. We Better Talk This Over

9. Where Are You Tonight (Journey Through Dark Heat)

Musicians

 

First, Bob Dylan will never don denim and leather and totally rock out, but “Street Legal” shows a different side to him. His willingness to pick up an electric guitar and incorporate it in his songs shows that he could adapt. This album is a good cross for die hard Dylan fans who also love a little rock.

Next post: Wings- London Town

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Great Rock Albums of the 70s: Bob Dylan- Hard Rain

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 5, 2011 by 80smetalman

Whenever anyone thinks of Bob Dylan, the first thought that enters people’s heads is the image of him playing an accoustic guitar, accompanied by his harmonica and singing folk style songs through his nose. It is true that most of his albums sort of fall into this vein and like me, most people who like Dylan, like him for his lyrics than for his music ability.

Then in 1976, I heard the Hard Rain album and upon hearing it, thought the album really rocked. Gone were the slow accoustic songs replaced by much harder versions on electric guitars. Old classics like “Lay Lady Lay,” “Maggie’s Farm” and “Stuck Inside of Mobile With the Memphis Blues Again” were given the rock treatment and in this blogger’s opinion, sound better for it. Unfortunately, most of the critics at the time didn’t share the same views as me and really came down on it. In spite of that, Hard Rain did go gold and peaked at 17 in the charts.

Track Listing:

1. Maggie’s Farm

2. One Too Many Mornings

3. Stuck Inside Of Mobile With the Memphis Blues Again

4. Oh Sister

5. Lay Lady Lay

6. Shelter From the Storm

7. You’re a Big Girl Now

8. I Threw It All Away

9. Idiot Wind

Musicians:

Bob Dylan- lead vocals and guitar

T-Bone Burnett- guitar and piano

Mick Ronson- ~guitar

Steven Soles- guitar

David Mansfield- guitar

Rob Stoner- bass

Howard Wyeth- drums and piano

Gary Burke- drums

Scarlet Rivera- violin

This album was recorded live on Bob Dylan’s Rolling Thunder Revue tour and it shows Dylan in a different light. It also shows that Dylan can rock a little.

Next Post: Kansas

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle