A nice Random Weekend selection today from Bob Dylan’s album The Basement Tapes, which was released in 1975 but largely recorded in 1966. Dylan was backed by members of The Band on many of these songs, which were recorded in various homes in Woodstock, New York.
‘Tears of Rage,’ the closing track of Disc One, was written by Dylan and Richard Manuel. It is widely interpreted as an indictment of American materialism in the aftermath of the Vietnam war.
I’ve praised Bob Dylan’s recent albums of standards originally performed by Frank Sinatra, though my readers generally aren’t as impressed. Today’s song comes from Dylan’s second such album, 2016’s Fallen Angels.
This time around, I’ll let professional music critics do the heavy lifting. Here are a few quotes compiled on the album’s Wikipedia page.
Now that we know the first and second place winners of Montauk Madness, today’s runner-up matchup will decide who gets the bronze medal: Bob Dylan or The Beatles?
This pairing was the one considered inevitable by many readers, and indeed it’s the championship battle I arrived at when running through the brackets myself. It pits the most celebrated solo artist in history against the most celebrated band.
Four months after kicking off Montauk Madness (with a Billy Joel song, appropriately), we have arrived at the Final Four. Lots of close calls and blowouts, laughers and hair-pullers, and a lot of entertaining debate culminate in three more votes to decide — well, I’m not sure what we’re deciding. The consensus best artist according to readers of this blog as chosen from a group of 64 bands and soloists I rather haphazardly pulled together?
My initial intention for this series of blogs was just to run through the brackets myself and use the format to conclusively come up with my own favorite artist. I quickly realized that such an approach would be incredibly boring for my readers, who would certainly want a chance to chime in with their own votes.
Our next Montauk Madness Round Four matchup is a bit unexpected. It’s not a big surprise to see Bob Dylan here, but this is rare air for Counting Crows, who happen to enjoy quite a bit of popularity among my meager readership.
Dylan made it here by dispatching Miranda Lambert, Eminem and R.E.M. Even though I voted for him all three times, the losses of Lambert and R.E.M. hurt me. I wish they’d had an easier path. Counting Crows took out Morrissey, David Bowie and Ben Folds Five. I picked them in the first two rounds before siding with Ben Folds Five, but even that was a close call.
Ah, here we have my first truly difficult Round Three pick in Montauk Madness. R.E.M. vs. Bob Dylan. Two acts I’ve loved and obsessed over since the tenth grade.
R.E.M. got here by unanimously defeating Stew in Round One then winning a surprisingly tight contest against Rihanna with just 55% of the vote. Bob Dylan had an easier path, besting Miranda Lambert with 78% then Eminem with 89%. I’m still pissed the random sorting put Lambert in that position. Continue reading
1997’s Time Out of Mind was Bob Dylan’s first album of original material in seven years, and the first album of good original material in eight.
This return to form was celebrated both critically and commercially and went on to win several Grammys, including Album of the Year. It’s been 20 years since that career renaissance, two decades that have seen Dylan release his most consistent streak of quality work since the 60s. Continue reading