Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Forever Young

Album: Planet Waves
Release Date: 1974

When Planet Waves was released in late 1974, the album did not garner rave reviews. It is typically considered one of Dylan’s weaker efforts, despite the fact that it’s one of his collaborations with The Band, a group of backup musicians who had by now gained fame outside their affiliation with Dylan.

There are actually two versions of Forever Young on Planet Waves. The one most people are familiar with is the one on side 1, which is sung slowly. The other is a little more upbeat.

It is generally accepted that Dylan wrote this song after the birth of his first son. Dylan married Sarah Lownds in November, 1965. Less than 2 months later she gave birth to Jesse. In July of ‘66 he was involved in his famous motorcycle accident, and took a lot of time off from touring afterwards. He did not stop writing or recording however. Planet Waves was the ninth album to be released after Blonde on Blonde (although 2 were greatest hits compilations, they both contained newly recorded tracks).

Forever Young is certainly one of Dylan’s most poignant accomplishments, and remains one that evokes a great deal of emotion, even to this day.

Best Lyric: (I should probably just post the whole song, but I’ll go with the last verse)

May your hands always be busy,
May your feet always be swift,
May you have a strong foundation
When the winds of changes shift.
May your heart always be joyful,
May your song always be sung,
May you stay forever young,
Forever young, forever young,
May you stay forever young.

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Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Positively 4th Street

Album: Bob Dylan’s Greatest Hitsgreatesthits

Release Date: September, 1965

Although this song was released in September of 1965, it did not appear on an album until the following year, when the first greatest hits compilation was released. The song was recorded during the Highway 61 Revisited sessions, but was left off that album. It was released as a single, and as such, reached the “Top Ten” lists both in the US and Europe. The list of people the song may be about is rather long. You can read the possibilities on the song’s wiki page.

This is one of my favorite Dylan songs. I love the dichotomy between the song’s lyrics and the arrangement. The instrument that is most noticeable is the organ, which gives the song a really upbeat sound. The lyrics are certainly among the most acerbic the he ever wrote. It’s very Jekyll and Hyde.

Best Lyric: I could go with the whole song, because I just love it so much, but I’ll just go with this.

“I wish that for just one time
You could stand inside my shoes
You'd know what a drag it is
To see you”

Here’s a more subdued version. Enjoy.

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