Bob Dylan’s Top 200 Song Countdown – #198 – Talkin’ Hava Negeilah Blues

Bob Dylan – the Bootleg Series Volumes 1 – 3 (rare and unreleased) 1962 – 1991

1991 – From Album “Bob Dylan – the Bootleg Series Volumes 1 – 3 (rare and unreleased) 1962 – 1991

Link : http://grooveshark.com/#!/s/Talkin+Hava+Negeilah+Blues/1Ws384?src=5

 

The Bootleg series has been a staple every few years for Bob Dylan as of late since the first release in 1991. The series has now had ten installments, spanning from his roots up until the very recent unreleased and live recordings. The first 3 combined installments spanned throughout about 30 years and ranged from alternate versions, to live recordings and unreleased demos. “Talkin’ Hava Negeilah Blues” is the latter.

Now although Dylan is known for writing some long and epic songs that stretch across several minutes to about sixteen or so, this bootlegged song from the early 1960′s stands at a very brief 52 seconds. The lyrics are simple, the melody is simple and it is not one of Dylan’s finest works. But for those who haven’t heard it, I can easily fit the lyrics in this little blurb.

Here’s a foreign song I learned in Utah
Ha-va-ne-gei-lah
O-de-ley-e-e-oo-

The delivery is great, making the listener confused off the bat, then gradually… well keeping them confused. For a songwriter known for writing great poetry, this song seems to taper off to his weird, extremely goofy side found in songs like “Bob Dylan’s 115th Dream” and “Leopard Skin Pillbox Hat”. Nothing wrong with that, especially when executed correctly, and this one is. Like “The Boxer”, its not a masterpiece by Dylan, more just trying to have some fun while he was recording “Freewheelin Bob Dylan.

Bob Dylan’s Top 200 Song Countdown – #198 – Talkin’ Hava Negeilah Blues

Bob Dylan – the Bootleg Series Volumes 1 – 3 (rare and unreleased) 1962 – 1991

1991 – From Album “Bob Dylan – the Bootleg Series Volumes 1 – 3 (rare and unreleased) 1962 – 1991

Link : http://grooveshark.com/#!/s/Talkin+Hava+Negeilah+Blues/1Ws384?src=5

 

The Bootleg series has been a staple every few years for Bob Dylan as of late since the first release in 1991. The series has now had ten installments, spanning from his roots up until the very recent unreleased and live recordings. The first 3 combined installments spanned throughout about 30 years and ranged from alternate versions, to live recordings and unreleased demos. “Talkin’ Hava Negeilah Blues” is the latter.

Now although Dylan is known for writing some long and epic songs that stretch across several minutes to about sixteen or so, this bootlegged song from the early 1960′s stands at a very brief 52 seconds. The lyrics are simple, the melody is simple and it is not one of Dylan’s finest works. But for those who haven’t heard it, I can easily fit the lyrics in this little blurb.

Here’s a foreign song I learned in Utah
Ha-va-ne-gei-lah
O-de-ley-e-e-oo-

The delivery is great, making the listener confused off the bat, then gradually… well keeping them confused. For a songwriter known for writing great poetry, this song seems to taper off to his weird, extremely goofy side found in songs like “Bob Dylan’s 115th Dream” and “Leopard Skin Pillbox Hat”. Nothing wrong with that, especially when executed correctly, and this one is. Like “The Boxer”, its not a masterpiece by Dylan, more just trying to have some fun while he was recording “Freewheelin Bob Dylan.

Bob Dylan’s Top 200 Song Countdown – #199 – The Boxer

Self Portrait

1970 – From Album “Self Portrait”

Didn’t Chart – Not a Single

Link to Simon and Garfunkel Original : http://grooveshark.com/#!/s/The+Boxer/xbAo7?src=5

Bob Dylan’s Version : http://grooveshark.com/#!/s/The+Boxer/4tqN4k?src=5

 

If you were to be given but one guess at what an album named “Self Portrait” was, a cover album of country and folk songs would probably be at the bottom of the list. If you were around in 1970, unlike myself, and if you were to think of a Dylan album, this cover would be somewhat unorthodox. Now put those things together with a sound that was so… different, let’s say, and the resulting product is a failure of an album that suprised his audience — and not in a particularly postive way.

There is some really poor material to be sure on this double LP (if you’re gonna make an awful record, go the extra mile I suppose), but the album gets unfairly ridiculed because of it being the first stutter in Dylan’s album career. His original album was met with indifference, and his output in the 60′s otherwise was legendary, being a pop icon. There are songs on the piece, however, that shine through as really well done covers. 

“The Boxer” is not one of those. Simon and Garfunkel’s version is an all-time classic with a buildup that works so well that it even managed to just miss Rolling Stone magazine’s top 100 songs of all time at #105.

Dylan’s version is spectacularly goofy in the same way the songs off of the 1973 album “Dylan” are so odd. He seems to be poking fun at the original artists, but performing it in a way so that it still seems that Dylan’s taking it seriously.

For starters, the person listening may notice a second voice (like the original version obviously does), in the background, and performed by…who else? Dylan himself. Distinctively different tones, but still, one in the same person singing the same song twice.

Singing backup for his own performance is odd enough, but he speeds the song itself up, going from just over 5 minutes to a sub 3 minute song, taking out the buildup and just plays around with the fact he’s singing the same song with himself.

He sing’s soft and slow, with some of his country croon present, having fun and obviously not trying to make high art. Which the critics (of course) weren’t fans of. They may have not been, but I surely love me some goofy Dylan, even if not laugh out loud funny, but just for the human side to him.

#199 isn’t a masterpiece, nor was it really meant to be.

Bob Dylan’s Top 200 Song Countdown – #200 – As I Went Out One Morning

John Wesley Harding

1968 from album “John Wesley Harding”

Didn’t Chart – Not a Single

Link : http://grooveshark.com/#!/s/As+I+Went+Out+One+Morning/eLdFW?src=5

 

Picture a sunset on the wild west landscape, with cacti slightly budging from the hot — yet dry — air. Some other vegetation fills the picture, with long shadows stretching to the otherwise abandoned desert. A rustling of a tumbleweed and a sudden flick of an eye from a lizard catches your eye, because otherwise, the complete tranquility of the moment goes unblemished.

When the album of “John Wesley Harding” is mentioned between other fans and myself, I often get this mood and picture in my mind about the sound off of the album. Coming with it is the change of harmonica from the wild, uncontainable noise from his previous works “Highway 61 Revisited” and “Blonde on Blonde”, to the mostly soft, mood setting noise that sets up songs like “All Along the Watchtower” and “As I Went Out One Morning” so well. The album talks about criminals and wrongdoers to great detail, whether about specific ones like “John Wesley Harding”, or fictional ones such as “Drifter’s Escape” and “All Along the Watchtower”. This specific song is about neither, but more about a wrongdoer, to whom the listener gets to decide the identity.

Song #200 is a song played only once in concert (’74) and one of which is commonly overlooked on the album compared to “All Along the Watchtower” and “I’ll be Your Baby Tonight”. Although this is probably justifiably so, “As I Went Out One Morning” remains to be an excellently set up song in sound, and in execution.

Telling of “the finest damsel that ever did walk in chains”, the narrator offers her his hand. She then proceeds to grab him by the arm, to which he realises she intends to do him wrong. After pleading her case to which the man denies her, he relents to secretly accept her, to which Tom Paine (the owner of the area’s land) tells her to yeild, and apologizes to the narrator.

Although a simple three verses, the scenery is set. Not in a sunset wild west, but early one morning, with still that desert, criminal sort of air to it.

You know nothing of the characters, but that makes it seem truly like that old western feel. Just the dust in the teeth, the glaze from sweat, and John Wayne riding off with the “Fairest Damsel”, just with a different ending because of this Tom Payne.

 

Bob Dylan’s Top 200 Song Countdown

It’s been quite a while since my last writing mostly due to — what else? — another computer malfunction. My firm opinion is that technology is self-aware and will do anything in its power to disarm itself, simply to make me freak out at it in the most cartoonishly angry way.

What this time? Well the last time my hardrive crashed on my previous laptop, I lost the list I had written of the “Top Bob Dylan Albums”, putting that list on a permanent hold until further notice. This, naturally, stalled my progress with writing due to my videos, work and the ever important baseball season.

The past week or so however, I put down a new (hand-written) list of Bob Dylan’s top 200 songs of his career. So fear not, my obsession will still be of some use to this blog!

As for the list itself, it consists of songs, whether recorded, covered, performed, or loved by Bob Dylan, in an entirely personal list of my opinion. I rated the songs based on times performed live, popularity, lyrics, sound, singing acuity and a range of other factors that made it so my favorite song wasn’t only not number 1, but number 17. Of course personal opinion influenced some picks, so feel free to disagree. Either way, it’ll be nice to write again.

Expect a new video sometime soon.