Spin #35 : Bob Dylan: Bringing It All Back Home
Musicians on Album: Bob Dylan (Harmonica, vocals, guitar and keyboard), Steve Boone, Bill Lee, Joseph Macho Jnr, John Sebastian (bass guitar), Bobby Gregg (drums), Al Gorgoni, John P. Hammond, Bruce Langhorne, Kenny Rankin (guitar), Paul Griffin and Frank Owens(piano/keyboards),
Bob Dylan: Bringing It All Back Home Year Released : 1965 (2015 repress) Produced by Thomas Blanchard Wilson Jnr. Label: Columbia Price Range: $40AUD+ Speed: 33 1/3RPM Album Before : Another Side Of Bob Dylan (1964) Album After : Highway 61 Revisited (1965) Further Listening : Rough and Rowdy Ways (2020) LP : 1 x Black LP Mood for enjoying: When you're happy or sad, angry or mad - there is always something to suit your mood when listening to Bob Dylan across his 39 studio albums (at time or writing). Track Listing:
LP Side A - Electric Side
Subterranean Homesick Blues - 2:17
She Belongs to Me - 2:48
Maggie's Farm - 3:51
Love Minus Zero/No Limit - 2:47
Outlaw Blues - 3:00
On the Road Again - 2:30
Bob Dylan's 115th Dream - 6:29
Side B - Acoustic Side
Mr. Tambourine Man - 5:25
Gates of Eden - 5:42
It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding) - 7:30
It's All Over Now, Baby Blue - 4:13
What's in the Sleeve ? 1 x black LP in a poly/paper sleeve. There is a write up and photos on the back of the record jacket but no lyrics from one of the worlds finest lyricists.
"My weariness amazes me, I'm branded on my feet. I have no one to meet and the ancient empty street's too dead for dreaming" ~ Mr. Tambourine Man -Side B
Welcome to Spin #35 - Bob Dylan - Bringing It All Back Home
Welcome to R'nR With Rylo! It is weeks like this that I wish we had a rumpus room or den with enough space to have a library of books and records. I mention this because this week we are spinning Bob Dylan's, 'Bringing It All Back Home' and we need room for all of his discography alone! There is a running joke in the Rylo family that anything could be the name of a Dylan song and over the years we built quite the list. It wasn't until the other night when Night Kat Kiz and I were laying in bed and she rolled over and said, "Do you, want me to be hugged by you?" and I instantly said "That would make a good Bob Dylan song or album title".
For this Spin I have used our set up in the front sun room and our setup consists of the Audio technica AT-LP60XBT and the Marshall Woburn II speaker. There is nothing better than a bit of Dylan whilst the rain gently hits on our roof. Now it's time to sit back and relax and come along the journey on our Spin #35!
Bob Dylan (Robert Zimmerman)
Drop the Needle (of course means place the stylus nicely on your wax):
I don't pretend to be a Bob Dylan expert, actually I would say I am far from knowing all there is about the man. I first got introduced to his records by my father who would spin - 'The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan', 'Blood on the Tracks', 'Desire' and 'Nashville Skyline' just to name a few. I then made sure to start adding some of his records to our collection over the years and I started with 'Bringing It All Back Home' and 'Blonde on Blonde'. For me, this would be my favourite record of his early outputs because he tried to do something a bit different. After meeting The Beatles briefly in the early '60s, you can hear the mutual respect that they all had for one another come through in Dylan's sound. He created a selection of songs that were split into two categories - an Electric side and Acoustic side. It sounds so simple yet not done by artists at the time (revolutionary you could say).
Before we officially drop the stylus, let me walk you through some of the trivia that might not be known about the cover photograph.
Dylan is holding his pet cat called Rolling Stone and the only photo that the cat looked directly at the camera of Kramer was chosen for the artwork.
Joan Baez gifted Dylan some cufflinks that were later referred to in her song 'Diamonds and Rust'. Also worth checking out is the cover of that song by Judas Priest if you find yourself searching for some new music.
Pile of records that heavily inspired Dylan at the time is shown and there is also a copy of his own album 'Another Side of Bob Dylan'.
There is also a cover of TIME magazine showing Lyndon B. Johnson, President of United States of America after JFK was assassinated.
I'll let you look up the other bits of trivia regarding the artwork as I am itching to spin this one.
'Subterranean Homesick Blues' is the lead single off the album and is also the title of the album in some countries. Although this is the shortest song on the album, Dylan felt that the quickness and punchiness of 'Subterranean Homesick Blues' suited as the album opener. You have to follow along with the lyrics to really get absorbed into the imagery that the song is painting in your mind. I liked the lyrics of ,"Ah get born, keep warm. Short pants, romance, learn to dance. Get dressed, get blessed. Try to be a success". 'Subterranean Homesick Blues' is folk singing at it's finest lyrically with the electric blues that you'd associate with Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble more than Dylan up until this point in his career. This is also the first time our children are listening along to Mr. D and they love the upbeat, quick-fire nature of this song. I can tell because our daughter is bopping along waving around at everyone and our son is pointing to his rear saying, "Hey Dad, I'm wagging my tail".
I like the change in pace when the stylus first hits the second song on the album, 'She Belongs to Me'. I could pick so many lyrics from his songs but I've picked a couple of lines here and there to show you his quality. For example, "She's an artist, she don't look back. She can take the dark out of the night time and paint the daytime black". The calming nature this song has on our children was funny to watch and suited the kind of afternoon that we were trying to have. Night Kat Kiz and I had earned ourselves a rest after getting quite a bit done in the last two days. Today we prepped the new garden beds for the soil delivery that will arrive as soon as it stops raining. We have the 5m, 4m and 3m beds ready to go and wouldn't have been as difficult to build, however having the little ones wanting to "help" adds a bit more time to the task. Anyway, back to the pressing by Columbia, who seem to be up there with Blue Note when it comes to pressing quality.
Before we know it we are filling up the room with the second single that was released from the album, 'Maggie's Farm'. Originally, the only version that I had heard of this song was by the 90's band, Rage Against The Machine on their covers album, Renegades. If you have not heard that version then it's worth checking out here. I read online that Dylan impressively only needed one take to record this song. I'm not sure who was playing what instrument per song other than Dylan and drummer Gregg, who appear on every song on the album. The lyrics on this track are quite funny when you follow along and also confronting at the same time, "No I ain't gonna work for Maggie's pa no more. Well, he puts his cigar out in your face, just for kicks". 'Maggie's Farm' has such a blues jam kind of feeling to it and could really be endless, with the way that the song is constructed, similar to 'Hey Jude' by The Beatles. Once Dylan has run out of people on Maggie's Farm that he doesn't want to work for, the song winds down with subtle harmonica and piano being played.
The third track on Side A is a song called, 'Love Minus Zero/No Limit'. Its much softer lyrically and reminds me a lot of Tom Petty to be honest - If you don't know the supergroup, Travelling Wilburys then you MUST check them out (George Harrison, Tom Petty, Roy Orbison, Jeff Lyne and Bob Dylan). This song title is also designed to be read as a fraction - Love - 0 / No Limit and is another relaxing tune that pairs well with the rainy relaxing day we are having. 'Bringing It All Back Home' has a balanced approach and showcases Dylan's different singing styles throughout. It's not the same style of singing as on his 'Nashville Skyline' album but different from his earlier stuff. This was his catalyst album for change and I know everyone wants their artists to stay the same, but without evolution and creativity.....they would just be putting out the same album over and over. The only band I've heard that said they were happy putting out the same style of album over and over was AC/DC.
I think of a roadhouse when 'Outlaw Blues' comes on. Close your eyes and envision the band up on the stage, similar to the scene from The Blues Brothers movie with the Good Ol' Boys. Dylan and the band are jamming until the music stops and all that you hear is Dylan singing, "Well, I might look like Robert Ford, But I feel like a Jesse James". Australia also gets a mention in this song which would have been huge at the time of release. 'Outlaw Blues' is another song that feels like it could go on forever and ever and you wouldn't get tired of it.
'On the Road Again' starts off with a great use of Dylan's Harmonica to set the tone. There is also some hilarious storytelling on this track that really sucks you in - "Well, I wake up in the morning, there's frogs inside my socks". 'On the Road Again' would be a track that I can see being my Dad's favourite ( I could be wrong - maybe he can confirm for us in the comments or on social pages). Also, I know that this week's spin wont be enjoyed by my Mum, but there might be a song or two that you can appreciate (I already know that you liked last weeks Spin - Avenged Sevenfold - Hail to the King).
'Bob Dylan's 115th Dream' makes me laugh because I picture Dylan writing down all of his dreams and this just happens to be his 115th! If you follow along with the lyrics of this one, you'll understand just how much fun this track is to listen to. Dylan starts off and before you know it he is laughing and quickly needs to compose himself before getting stuck into Take 2. It is a moment where you understand he is human and it's a nice touch to keep the mistake at the start of 'Bob Dylan's 115th Dream' in the song.
From that moment Dylan and the band on 'Bob Dylan's 115th Dream' just seem to take the fun in their stride. The storytelling is so strange that it would have to only happy in a dream and I had to listen along to this track quite a few times to really follow along with the crazy story. For example, "Just then this cop comes down the street. Crazy as a loon, he throws us all in jail, for carryin' harpoons. Ah, me I busted out, don't even ask me how, I went to get some help. I walked by a Guernsey cow who directed me down, to the Bowery slums. Where people carried signs around, sayin' "Ban the bums". See what I mean, pure creative Dylan genius.
The stylus moves its way across to the middle of Side A and that means it is time to flip over to Side B. What are you feeling of Side A so far? Are you enjoying the electric side or are you eager in anticipation for the acoustic sounds of Side B more?
Our children have run off now towards the loungin (nickname the kids gave for our loungeroom area). The littlest pickle (our daughter) took her first 4-5 steps today and I was so happy that I was home to witness that moment. We all clapped and cheered and our son was excited too. The first track on Side B that our children are missing out on is called, 'Mr. Tambourine Man'. I remember that I loved the slowness and feeling behind this track upon my first listen and that feeling has not changed. It is because there is something about the acoustic guitar and the almost stripped back sound that creates a more intimate track. I did read that this track was originally discarded from his previous album but managed to find its way (thankfully) onto 'Bringing It All Back Home'. I haven't looked anything up regarding this track but I'm guessing it would be one that artists would want to cover. "Hey, Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me. I'm not sleepy and there is no place I'm going to".
'Gates of Eden' is the second acoustic track on Side B and it is on par with the song before. I really enjoy both sides of 'Bringing It All Back Home' and can't pick a favourite. There are a few more songs on Side A compared to Side B, but there is no clear winner for me - too hard to choose!! 'Gates of Eden' has grown on me a lot since I first heard it many years ago and I think it is one of those songs that stays with you.
We then roll into the upbeat sounds of the 7 and 1/2 minute song, 'It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)'. As soon as Dylan's voice starts though, it provides a contrast to the sound of the guitar - One is happy and the other is sad. The lyrics that stood out to me, just by the flow of the song, would be "So don't fear, if you hear. A foreign sound to your ear, It's alright, Ma, I'm only sighing". There are a couple of moments where you hear Dylan's ability to play guitar and you forget how good he is. The children have run back into the front room and laughing their little heads off about something. I forget sometimes just how fun life was being a kid, without a care in the world other than having to wake up on time on a Saturday to watch The Simpsons marathons. I like the ending of this song, "And if my thought-dreams could be seen. They'd probably put my head in a guillotine. But it's alright, Ma, it's life, and life only".
We are coming towards the end of this classic album and before the stylus gets put back into the cradle, we hear the sounds of 'It's All Over Now, Baby Blue'. This track has Dylan singing with a passionate fire in his belly, especially when he is singing, "Crying like a fire in the sun, look out, the saints are coming through and it's all over now, Baby Blue". I think it's a fitting song to end the record on and when the stylus does come to a halt, I can look around at my little family and be so thankful. If you are near your loved ones, give them a hug. If you aren't then send them a message to tell them you love them. Life is short and as long as you can see the good in each day, then you can't ask for more. There is always help out there and maybe someone out there that needs your help too. The harmonica towards the end of 'It's All Over Now, Baby Blue' really made me ponder a lot, in the best kind of way.
Thanks for coming along for the musical journey with us and hope that you enjoyed our 35th Spin - Bob Dylan's 'Bringing It All Back Home'. There are some artists that you need to have at least one album of theirs in your collection, no matter what kind of music that you are into. Bob Dylan and this album is a must have. As always, get involved on our social pages and our MWSP which is released each and every Wednesday at 4:50PM. Make sure to take a breath and focus on one positive thing happening in your life right now. Night Kat Kiz and I have a very interesting and unusual choice for the Spin next week so make sure to check back with us next Sunday. Happy Halloween to all of you celebrating too!
Until our next Spin, be Kind to Robert Zimmerman and be Kind to your Wax!