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.