File:Bob Dylan - Planet Waves.jpg

2020 Album Draft-Round 2 Pick 3- MSJADELI- selects- Bob Dylan- Planet Waves.

You can find MSJADELI’s blog at- https://tao-talk.com/

Day 13 July 18, 2020 Planet Waves Bob Dylan (backed by The Band)

Planet Waves is unlike all other Dylan albums: it is openly personal…I think the subject of Planet Waves is what it appears to be—Dylan’s aesthetic and practical dilemma, and his immense emotional debt to Sara. – Ellen Willis of The New Yorker

I don’t think this was the first Bob Dylan album I’d heard, but it was the first one I can say I genuinely got into where it’s been on the turntable countless times to listen, hear, and experience every nuance of voice and instrument of. The album appears simple, but it is anything but simple. From soul-wrenching lyrics to expertly conveyed musical perfection of the instruments as wielded by Dylan and the other musicians, one lays immobilized and lets the experience travel through them like sun rays that both warm and sear.

From the vivid imagery of two bodies snuggling up on a long winter night in the opening, to the undying devotion of wanting to give it a second chance in the conclusion, you feel like you’ve wandered into a place where the seeker is taking us along with him to feel what he feels without reservation. You feel her in your arms. It is you who wants to give it another chance with her.

The musical accompaniment is sparse and well-placed. There is no way to compete with the raw emotions being expressed, so the strategy is to serenade them along the way, much as a roving mariachi band stands beside each emotional manifesto as it unfolds.

The Band had toured with Dylan as The Hawks in 1966 and created and recorded at Big Pink in The Basement Tapes sessions in 1967 (not released until 1975.) Up to this point, The Band (or members of) and Dylan were released on the following together: (1966) “Blonde on Blonde” – Danko and Robertson on one song; (1970) “Self-Portrait” – The Band played on four songs that were rercorded live from The Isle of Wight on 8/31/69; and (1972) “Tribute to Woody Guthrie Part 1” – this was a fundraising concert at Carnegie Hall on 1/20/68, where Dylan and The Band (introduced as The Crackers) played three songs. It was Dylan’s first concert after his motorcycle accident on 7/29/66.

Planet Waves was released on January 17, 1974 on the Asylum label; re-released in 1984 on the Columbia label; and then remastered and released in 2003 on the Sony label. Planet Waves was a hit, enjoying a brief stay at No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard charts—a first for Dylan —and No. 7 in the UK. All tracks were written by Bob Dylan. Although the Band had three regular vocalists—Richard Manuel, Rick Danko, and Levon Helm—none of them sing on the album. The whole album was recorded between November 2 – 14, 1973 in California.

Personnel: Bob Dylan – vocals, harmonica, guitar, and keyboards (and cover artwork) Rick Danko – bass Levon Helm – drums, mandolin Garth Hudson – Hammond organ, accordion Richard Manuel – piano, drums Robbie Robertson – guitar Ken Lauber – conga Rob Fraboni – engineering, production

Playlist and my favorite lyric lines: side 1 On a Night Like This – an old lover comes to visit on a cold winter night “Bring me a touch of bliss, it sure feels right, on a night like this”

Going, Going, Gone – heartbreak at losing a true love “I’ve just reached a place Where the willow don’t bend” Tough Mama – lust where it’s complicated “Ashes in the furnace, dust on the rise, You came through it all the way, flyin’ through the skies.”

Hazel – unrequited love “Because I’m up on a hill and still you’re not there.

” Something There is About You – Burning, abiding love “Something there is about you that strikes a match in me”

Forever Young (slow version) – benediction – somber and heartfelt “May you build a ladder to the stars and climb on every rung”

side 2 Forever Young (fast version) – the fast version is a party-like atmosphere

Dirge – crying at the death of a great love “In this age of fiberglass I’m searching for a gem.”

You Angel You – happy-go-lucky love “If this is love then gimme more And more and more and more and more”

Never Say Goodbye – the anguish of wanting someone so much “The crashing waves roll over me As I stand upon the sand Wait for you to come And grab hold of my hand.”

Wedding Song – undying devotion; wanting to begin again “Ever since you walked right in, the circle’s been complete, I’ve said goodbye to haunted rooms and faces in the street,”

My favorite song on the album is Hazel. The rest are loved equally. Unfortunately I cannot ​find a “clean” recording of the studio version of Hazel out there on youtube, so I’m choosing one of the other songs from the album, “Forever Young,” (slow version) to feature in the post.

information gathered from: The Band’s official website at http://theband.hiof.no/albums/planet_waves.html from wikipedia at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Planet_Waves


  1. An underrated- often forgotten Dylan album. Maybe it was because it was the only album on Asylum after all those years at Columbia- before going back to Columbia. I’ve always thought well of it- very personal Dylan album.

  2. I like the surprise of finding out what album is chosen on a given day. My crystal ball told me this was coming. So I pulled it out and listened to it yesterday. Great choice. Bob and The Band could do know wrong with CB. Very cool take Lisa. I was listening to the Basement Tapes and more Basement Tapes this week. I was nudged there by another person.
    I’m heading out the door for a stroll and I think I’ll slap Planet Waves in the old Disc-man and take it with me. Two days in a row. I think I like this one too.

    • Dean, you are good if you could see this one coming. I’m impressed and so glad you gave it a listen and another listen today. I got The Basement Tapes Vol 1 a few years ago and adore it as well. Not as well as this one but give it some time. I just think that Dylan and The Band have perfect chemistry going with each other. Do you think it’s weird he didn’t let any of the other guys sing on this one or do you think it’s because he’s singing to Sara?

    • My crystal ball was Hans so I cant take credit for being that intuitive but thanks.
      Bob always knew and knows how to pick good backing. My guess why he was the only voice was because it was a “Dylan” album and the record company wanted to keep it that way. I’m a huge Band guy for a lot of reasons and three of them are the 3 different vocalists. Even without their voices I can hear their sound all over this record. They had all that other material that was released later. Again great pick. Common ground on this one. What’s next? Dont tell me.

    • OK cool. I was starting to worry you were a mindreader. I agree with everything you say here. As to what’s next, I couldn’t tell you as it hasn’t been decided yet 🙂

  3. Msjadeli, I got three words for you – I love it! 🙂

    I also have to admit I had never heard of this album before and had to look it up. Goes to show my knowledge of Dylan has gaps – in fact many! This was one of them, and I’m glad I’ve started to close it.

    When comes to Robert Allen Zimmerman, my sentiments can vary from absolute excitement to complete indifference and everything in-between. “Planet Waves” definitely is in the former category. I dig the sound, which undoubtedly has much to do with the Band. I also like Dylan’s voice on this record, which I can’t say for all other music I’ve heard from him.

    In general, I’m much more drawn to his early work. American songbook? Not so much. I also like his new album – even in terms of his singing!

    • Christian, my knowledge of Dylan is confined to a very few of his albums, all the early ones, none of the later ones. The ears have only 24 hours a day (exaggerating of course) to listen to all times and bands. NOT ENOUGH to hear all of the wonderful music out there. Glad you are now aware of this very cool album. The Basement Tapes, as Dean said, is also really good.

    • I’ve heard music from Dylan that frankly sounded pretty awful to my ears, especially from a vocal perspective, and I’m a big vocal guy. Undoubtedly, that’s one of the reasons I love The Beatles. As for this album, and I don’t mean to sound like I’m full myself, it didn’t even take the entire opener to realize it’s a gem! 🙂

  4. I have always liked this album a lot. It’s very loose and spontaneous sounding…and you can’t go wrong with Dylan and the Band.

    You don’t hear this album brought up a lot but it should be.

    I have always liked Forever Young and the Wedding song off this album.

    Great review and I love the choice.

  5. Great review! I figured a Dylan album or two would work its way in this round, but this isn’t one I would’ve expected. It’s good therefore to get the input from a real fan of an artist (as you certainly are of Bob) because sometimes their best-known stuff may not be the real “best”. I’m gonna give a couple of those tracks a listen!

    • Dave, thank you so much. I expect to see at least another Dylan album in this 100 days. I know exactly what you mean about a real fan of an artist knowing the real best. The “top of the charts” isn’t always the best, as has been shown time after time.

  6. This draft gets more interesting by the day. Fantastic choice and review. It’s hard to pick a favorite from this album, though Forever Young (slow version), Wedding Song, and Hazel are probably at the top for me. You’ve raised the bar a bit with this one, Msjadeli.

    • Stephen, I’m thrilled you like Hazel. It’s hard to explain what it is about that song, but a lot of it for me has to do with how he sings that line. It gets me EVERY time. Thank you for the kind words.

  7. I don’t think I’ve ever streamed this full album until I saw your pick. It is very nice. Great selection of Forever Young, too (even if it was your second choice.)

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