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

Under the Red Sky

1990 – From Album “Under the Red Sky”


Link :!/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}