Best-produced Dylan album?

Discussion in 'Music to Your Ears' started by RoscoeElegante, Sep 20, 2019.

  1. RoscoeElegante

    RoscoeElegante Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,410
    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2015
    Location:
    TooFarFromCanada
    Woke up with one of my periodic urges to listen to Nashville Skyline, and was struck by how well-produced it is. I had really forgotten that. Such a nice balance and spread of instruments, crisp and rich at the same time. Some cliched songs on there, but overall really achieves what it's trying to do. The piano seems especially great on this beautiful Virginia morning.

    (Interesting article about it here: https://www.rollingstone.com/music/...ille-skyline-10-things-you-didnt-know-818089/)

    Other days, I really love Blood on the Tracks' sound (which a friend once described as "sounding like it was recorded in an acoustic guitar"). Desire is another favorite album-sound (Howie Wyeth's drumming is just perfectly done, recorded, and mixed there). Blonde on Blonde is also great for what it's trying to do. As is John Wesley Harding's stringent starkness. And Lanois's "swampy" mix of Oh, Mercy can work well.

    Your choices & reasons?
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2019
    Rowdyman, Ben-Zion, idjster and 3 others like this.
  2. Seasicksailor

    Seasicksailor Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,182
    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2012
    Location:
    Bristol UK
    Fully agreed!

    Having said that, it's difficult to match Lanois' work on Oh Mercy AND Time out of Mind from a production point of view.
     
  3. RoscoeElegante

    RoscoeElegante Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,410
    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2015
    Location:
    TooFarFromCanada
    And, of course, Bob can be at his best when the production just gets out of his way. E.g.,
     
    JL_LI and Greggorios like this.
  4. juxtapolice

    juxtapolice Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    632
    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2011
    Location:
    Jersey City
    For me it's Time Out of Mind
    I'm a sucker for Daniel Lanois and this is no exception. The album is so Moody and has vibe for days, signature Lanois minimalism while feeling cinematic. It's sort of an off cut album for some but I love it
     
  5. Bellacaster

    Bellacaster Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    961
    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2010
    Location:
    Ypsilanti, MI
    +1
     
    theprofessor and Greggorios like this.
  6. kLyon

    kLyon Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    396
    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2011
    Location:
    US
    These are all good points about good choices and I love Lanois, too... but one question:
    Am I the only one here who loves the bright, in-your-face - and fresh like a cool, clean breeze - sound of Highway 61 Revisited?))
     
  7. beyer160

    beyer160 Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,822
    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2010
    Location:
    On Location
    With Dylan, the "better" the production is, the less I like it. To me, the "thin, wild mercury" sound suits him best.
     
  8. 57fenderstrat

    57fenderstrat Tele-Meister

    Age:
    28
    Posts:
    273
    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2019
    Location:
    Binghamton NY
    I don’t know all of the Bob Dylan albums but from the ones I have heard Infidels has the slickest production.

    I have a live album I like, I think its a 1974 tour and has The Band playing with him. That is one of my favorite and best sounding records I own and there is something really punchy about the drums.
     
    RoscoeElegante likes this.
  9. Telecaster88

    Telecaster88 Tele-Meister

    Age:
    51
    Posts:
    217
    Joined:
    May 9, 2019
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Came here to say this exact same thing.
     
    Ben-Zion, RoscoeElegante and beyer160 like this.
  10. jhundt

    jhundt Doctor of Teleocity

    Age:
    65
    Posts:
    11,446
    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2003
    Location:
    Netherlands
    I was just in Boise, driving my nieces car which she kindly loaned me. There was a 3-disc Bob Dylan collection CD in the car. The first four songs were "Song for Woody", "Masters of War", Blowing in the Wind", and "Don't Think Twice". And I heard them through a nice, strong car radio, and I marveled at how great they sound and how well they were recorded. One kid with an acoustic guitar, singing songs that he wrote. The recording budget probably came in at less than a thousand dollars! The impact to the world - a lot more than that! And when everybody starts yammering on about how Bob Dylan can't sing etc etc... well listen to this stuff and learn.
     
    Wildcard_35, Flaneur, joealso and 3 others like this.
  11. WingedWords

    WingedWords Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    762
    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2015
    Location:
    UK and EU
    They all have distinctive sounds and all instantly take me back to the time when I first heard them. Usually release day since John Wesley Harding. Desire is a special favourite for the sound and Good as I been to you. Makes me want to go back and listen to them all!

    Edit: with the announcement today of the Bootleg Series covering the John Wesley Harding and Nashville Skyline years I had a pleasant couple of hours with those two and Self Portrait. You're right Roscoe, Nashville Skyline does sound very good, (even here in the UK), but on my CD I miss the little click my vinyl copy had for a verse of I threw it all away caused my dropping a pen on the record as I turned it over. Those are the sounds I tend to recall.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2019
  12. nvilletele

    nvilletele Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,757
    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2008
    Location:
    California
    I like them all . . . (Ok, maybe not Down in the Groove and Knocked Out Loaded so much, but still that’s where you can find Brownsville Girl and Silvio, so some redemption). I even like the production on Empire Burlesque. When the songs are that good, sometimes the production is less of an issue. And then there’s just classics like Blonde on Blonde.

    Heading out to see Bob in Iowa next month. Third row center. With my oldest buddy, from back before I was three. He was the guy that really turned me on to Bob way back when. We’ve traveled over the years to see various Bob shows together, though not so much in recent years. Bob shows are usually hit or miss, and I hope he is in fine form this time.
     
    RoscoeElegante likes this.
  13. RoscoeElegante

    RoscoeElegante Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,410
    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2015
    Location:
    TooFarFromCanada
    I love Like a Rolling Stone and Desolation Row on there, for the great songs they are, of course, but as much for that in-your-face, no-frills production. Really helps gives those songs and that album their no-compromise-with-reality force.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2019
    kLyon and nvilletele like this.
  14. RoscoeElegante

    RoscoeElegante Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,410
    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2015
    Location:
    TooFarFromCanada
    Can't say I like more than "Something is Burning" and "Dark Eyes" on Empire Burlesque, but I fully get the Bob-is-a-journey thing. Talk about a troubadour--through eras, and music itself. Sometimes he hobbles himself with his need to change or show new facets, or old facets in new ways. But he does contain multitudes, as ol' Walt Whitman woulda said.

    "Rank Strangers" and "Shenandoah" are pretty good on Down in the Groove, I think.
     
    nvilletele likes this.
  15. WingedWords

    WingedWords Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    762
    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2015
    Location:
    UK and EU
    90 mph down a dead end street was pretty appropriate for my situation at the time! Happy ending though.
     
    RoscoeElegante likes this.
  16. dan1952

    dan1952 Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    66
    Posts:
    4,222
    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2004
    Location:
    Anderson, IN
    John Wesley Harding was perfect Bob, for me, anyway.
     
    WingedWords and RoscoeElegante like this.
  17. RoscoeElegante

    RoscoeElegante Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,410
    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2015
    Location:
    TooFarFromCanada
    Check out this version of "God on Our Side," from a '63 concert. (Last verse is missing.) Never knew he had this range. Mighta put his capo on too high up or something. But it really shows yet another dimension of what was in his voice and soul. And his boldness. He was scraping his ceiling here, but he wasn't shy of that ladder. Starts at 28:09.


    And you know this famous clip, yes? A CBC show, Quest, in '64.


    I can trace the seasons by what Dylan I get urges to listen to. Every autumn, The Times They Are A-Changin' album and the '64 live shows, Blood on the Tracks, John Wesley Harding, and the Pat Garrett soundtrack really pull me in. His best acoustic stuff has the leaves' crisply melancholy colors, or something, going on. Sounds like Gettsyburg at dusk, I swear. When I was a kid writhing in boredom in our temple or at friends' churches, this is what I wanted to hear the stained-glass windows saying.

    "Down the street the dogs are barkin' and the day is a-gettin' dark"
    Such great phrasing!

    And who, to this day, even uses this great and so-obscure tuning, --an open A (EAc#eac#)--capoed on the 3rd fret, sounding C, no less? And he can play the harmonica when he really wants to, too!

    Boy, am I over-glad that the hot weather has finally broken, or what?
     
  18. RoscoeElegante

    RoscoeElegante Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,410
    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2015
    Location:
    TooFarFromCanada
    Yeah, I meant to mention that one, too. He's got good roots in them boots....
     
  19. davidge1

    davidge1 Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,630
    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2006
    Location:
    USA
    Royal Albert Hall. All I ever care about is what the electric guitar sounds like.
     
    RoscoeElegante likes this.
  20. RoscoeElegante

    RoscoeElegante Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,410
    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2015
    Location:
    TooFarFromCanada
    I hear ya. For a zonked-out/voice-drooling/tour-frazzled dOOood, Bob sure knew how to let Robbie ring them bells here. (They don't start the song until 4:02.)


    I loved also how Bob let G.E. Smith do his Tele-in-command stuff. And during the sometimes over-rehearsed/too-slick '78 shows, there were many moments when Billy Cross shook the foundation. Sometimes the only reason I listen to Slow Train Coming is for Mark Knopfler's Strat-poetry.
     
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.


  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.