Song of the Day #2,918: ‘Sitting On Top of the World’ – Bob Dylan

goodasibeentoyouThe Random iTunes Fairy has served up Bob Dylan songs two weeks in a row, this one from Dylan’s 1992 album of folk covers, Good As I Been To You. The timing is good, as I’ll soon be blogging about Dylan’s latest covers album, this year’s Fallen Angels.

Though it didn’t seem like it at the time, Good As I Been To You was the beginning of a late-career comeback for Dylan. He followed it in ’93 with World Gone Wrong, a similar collection of traditional covers, and both records received acclaim. His next studio album, released four years later, was the classic Time Out of Mind.

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Song of the Day #2,610: ‘Arthur McBride’ – Bob Dylan

goodasibeentoyouBob Dylan’s late career resurgence is generally tied to the 1997 release of Time Out of Mind, which won Grammy’s Album of the Year award and kicked off a spate of original albums that number among his best.

But I would peg the start of that comeback to a modest release five years earlier — Dylan’s first covers album, 1992’s Good As I Been to You.

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Song of the Day #728: ‘Canadee-i-o’ – Bob Dylan

I’ve long had a plan to turn three of Dylan’s 90s folk song covers, culled from Good As I Been to You and its sequel World Gone Wrong, into a screenplay. The idea would be to intertwine three war stories, touching on thin connections between each… sort of Babel meets Saving Private Ryan. World Gone Wrong would be the working title.

Two of the songs would come from Good As I Been to You. One is ‘Arthur McBride,’ a tale of a military recruitment attempt that ends in violence. That one has a definite Tarantino feel to it… like the underground bar scene in Inglourious Basterds moved to a battlefield.

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Song of the Day #727: ‘Diamond Joe’ – Bob Dylan

The album that immediately followed Under the Red Sky wasn’t new material but the first three volumes of The Bootleg Series, probably the most extraordinary collection of unreleased tracks by any artist ever. The Bootleg Series is now up to its eighth volume, with each edition shedding new light on Dylan’s marvelous career.

But for now I’m limiting these Dylan Weekends to releases of new material, so I’ll skip ahead to 1992’s Good As I Been to You. This was Dylan’s first album that didn’t contain a single original song (even his self-titled debut contained two of his own tracks among a collection of covers). It was also his first album since he went electric to include only acoustic instruments.

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