Bob Dylan’s Top 200 Song Countdown – #197 – TV Talkin’ Song

Under the Red Sky

1990 – From Album “Under the Red Sky”

 

Link : http://grooveshark.com/#!/s/T+V+Talkin+Song/2JLk1O?src=5

 

Under the Red Sky followed up Dylan’s most critically acclaimed album from the decade, 1989’s Oh Mercy! Though the consensus for Oh Mercy! was clear, the follow up was not received nearly as well, looking like a step back in the resurgence of the artist. He went from a dark and somber style that you can just hear the effort put in, to a rushed album collaborated with too many people. Some, like long time critic of most of Dylan’s work Robert Christgau, really enjoyed the piece saying it was his best album since Blood on the Tracks. However, those reviews were few and far between.

As with any album from Bob Dylan however, it is not devoid of substance, and TV Talkin’ Song is one of the better tracks. Bizarre is the adjective that comes to mind, as the song follows Dylan watching a preacher of sorts who’s rioting on the dangers of television.

Talking about how its “Too bright a light” and “Makes you lose your mind”, referencing how “sometimes you got to do what Elvis did and shoot the damn thing out.” The man is a lunatic clearly, as he keeps yelling to a group of people who clearly don’t appreciate (or heed) his advice, starting a riot. The punchline is that the whole thing was recorded and showed on TV, to which Dylan watches all over again.

The catchy beat and (like the rest of the album) really out there lyrics, draws my attention as some claim this album was dedicated to his young daughter as a sort of collection of nursery rhymes. Nothing is orthodox with this man of course, and what we get is a song having to do with televisions destroying the entire fabric of society.

{The only free version I could find cuts off the last two or three verses, sorry}

A Missing Link

My posting has been extremely inconsistent lately, maybe even stretching over the past few months. The Red Sox season has a bit to do with that, but the main reason I can’t write as much as I would like is because of my job. Not just because I work there a decent amount, but because as of the past few months, the entire company has been entirely challenged.

Market Basket is a chain of grocery stores stretching over Mass., New Hampshire and Maine, at over 70 locations. They offer the lowest prices, with still decent quality, and have become one of the most successful companies in the area because of this, never going into debt even once since its birth many decades ago.

As of a month ago, the CEO, Arthur T. Demoulas was voted to be relieved of his duties due to a longtime family battle for power, as were avid supporters of him on the Board of Directors. His cousin, similairly named Arthur S. Demoulas took control of the company, much to most of the populaces’ dismay.

To make this man as a sort of James Bond type villian would not be far off, with the inability to come off as anything but slimy and greedy to those who are graced by his presence. During this firing, Arthur S. made few, if any, remarks, dealing with public relations as poorly as one could in such a scenario, and leaving people to rally behind Arthur T.

Arthur T. had quite a few fans beforehand anyways, being known for his generosity, people skills, and keeping the lowest man on the totem pole as happy as his fellow board members. This was the man that after seeing the support against his firing (the first attempt that is) of July 2013, not only gave very large bonuses to all employees the next two quarters but also made every price in the store 4% off for the entirety of 2014, much to the aggravation of his cousin.

Being accused for reckless spending and poor management by Arthur S., Arthur T.’s inevitable firing took place due to a change in posistion from one of the members of the board last month.

Arthur S., owning 50.5% of the company due to a legal case between their parents (the children of the founder of the company), seized control of operations thereafter hiring Jim Gooch and Felicia Thorton as CEO’s. Gooch, rated one of ten worst CEO’s by BusinessWeek and one of the top 5 worst by Wealthwire, was hired after his dismanteling of Radioshack and K-Mart, while Thorton was hired after her destruction of a similiar chain in the Midwest. They were supposed to help to sell the company to the highest bidder, increase prices and get the company as much money as possible before high-tailing it to the nearest bank.

Due to the imminence of not only higher prices, but lower benefits, wages and bonuses for workers, Market Basket warehouses threatened to shut down and stop all deliveries if Arthur T. was not reinstated by July 17th. The Board made no acknowledgements to the threat, and as the dealine passed, so to did the last trucks into any Market Basket.

Rallies started, with about 2,500 at the first, 5,000 at the second, and about 12,000 the last one Friday, and it seems like the word is spreading, even to places outside of New England.

No deliveries of food has put the Board in a tough spot, and the stores started to ask Friday for customers to begin boycotting Market Basket for the sake of their lower prices.

Arthur S. has not budged, just making poor PR choice after poor PR choice, and it seems like the end may be near for the once very thriving company of Market Basket.

Arthur T. has made an offer on his own company for the remaining 50.5% of his cousin’s company estimated over 2 billion dollars, though since this was presented last Friday there has been zero discussion outside of the meetings between the Board and Arthur S. as to whether this could be settled soon.

So yes, that is why I have been preoccupied, and now you are probably way more educated about this then you need to be. If you live in the area, please shop elsewhere for the time being.

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.