Bob Dylan - "Band of the Hand (It's Hell Time, Man!)"

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by RayS, Feb 20, 2015.

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  1. RayS

    RayS A Little Bit Older and a Little Bit Slower Thread Starter

    Location:
    Out of My Element
    A thread dedicated to perhaps the greatest "uncollected" Bob Dylan track - the 1986 film soundtrack title song, recorded with The Heartbreakers and The Queens of Rhythm. The song has yet to find its way on to a Bob Dylan album (I bought the 45 back in the day).

    The video (no Bob content, but lots of interesting clips from the film that "explain" many of Dylan's lyric choices):



    The lyrics:

    It's hell time man! It's hell time man!
    It's hell time man! It's hell time man!

    Down these streets the fools rule
    There's no freedom or self respect,
    A knife's point or a trip to the joint
    Is about all you can expect.

    They kill people here who stand up for their rights,
    The system's just too damned corrupt
    It's always the same, the name of the game
    Is who do you know higher up.

    It's hell time man! It's hell time man!
    It's hell time man! It's hell time man!

    The blacks and the whites,
    The idiotic, the exotic,
    Wealth is a filthy rag
    So erotic so unpatriotic
    So wrapped up in the American flag.

    Witchcraft scum exploiting the dumb,
    Turning children into punks and slaves
    Whose heroes and healers are rich dope dealers
    Who should be put in their graves.

    It's hell time man! It's hell time man!
    It's hell time man! It's hell time man!

    Listen to me Mr. Pussyman
    This might be your last night in a bed so soft
    We're not pimps on the make, politicians on the take,
    You can't pay us off.

    We're gonna blow up your home of Voodoo
    And watch it burn without any regret
    We got the power we're the new government,
    You just don't know it yet.

    It's hell time man! It's hell time man!
    It's hell time man! It's hell time man!

    For all of my brothers from Vietnam
    And my uncles from World War II,
    I'd like to say that it's countdown time now
    We gonna do what the law should do.

    And for you pretty baby,
    I know you've seen it all.
    I know your story is too painful to share.
    One day though you'll be talking in your sleep
    And when you do, I wanna be there.

    It's hell time man! It's hell time man!
    It's hell time man! It's hell time man!

    It's hell time man! It's hell time man!
    It's hell time man! It's hell time man!

    The song was clearly written "to order" to go with the film, but it may be interesting to discuss how the lyrics align with Dylan's fire and brimstone songs, and his seeming turn to a more hawkish and conservative-leaning point of view in the middle 80's.
     
    HominyRhodes and lbangs like this.
  2. sirwallacerock

    sirwallacerock The Gun Went Off In My Hand, Officer

    Location:
    salem, or
    "Listen to me Mr. Pussyman."

    I think that covers it.
     
  3. RayS

    RayS A Little Bit Older and a Little Bit Slower Thread Starter

    Location:
    Out of My Element
    Brevity over clarity, I'll give you that. :)
     
    DmitriKaramazov likes this.
  4. rstamberg

    rstamberg Senior Member

    Location:
    Riverside, CT
    Great long lost track. Also from that era is 1987's HEARTS OF FIRE soundtrack album —never on CD anywhere — with three new Dylan recordings, one of which, a cover of John Hiatt's "The Usual," is pretty rockin' ... and very misogynistic.
     
  5. mrjinks

    mrjinks Optimistically Challenged

    Location:
    Boise, ID.
    Love both of these cuts! (though the other Hearts of Fire tracks should be put IN the fire).
     
    rstamberg likes this.
  6. DockBoggs

    DockBoggs Forum Resident

    Hearts of Fire was released on CD. I have a copy sealed in the long box.
     
    MLutthans and Jack like this.
  7. Say It Right

    Say It Right Not for the Hearing Impaired

    Location:
    Niagara Falls
    If it'd been included on Knocked Out Loaded, it would've elevated the perception of that album.
     
  8. rstamberg

    rstamberg Senior Member

    Location:
    Riverside, CT
    Whoa!
    You wouldn't wanna part with it, would you? PM me if yes ...
     
  9. RayS

    RayS A Little Bit Older and a Little Bit Slower Thread Starter

    Location:
    Out of My Element
    Anyone see similarities to "The Groom's Still Waiting at the Altar", both musically and thematically?
     
    lschwart likes this.
  10. Olompali

    Olompali Forum Resident

    Love the song..the flick was a weird Miami Vice style/Dirty Dozen crossbreed.
    Saw Bob and TP-HB play it at Alpine. A Friday that had the Dead fill out the weekend.
    Ya' gotta' play Jammin' Me with it....imho
     
    rstamberg, dylankicks and Fullbug like this.
  11. 1ifbyrain2ifbytrain

    1ifbyrain2ifbytrain Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    I recall Bob introducing it at Great Woods with Petty by saying something like "What time is it? What time is it? Does anybody know what time it is?" ( I also remember that When the Night Comes Falling from the Sky was played in perfect coordination with the setting sun.)
     
  12. DJ WILBUR

    DJ WILBUR The Cappuccino Kid

    I played this song just yesterday in fact! haha...Mr. Pussyman...what was he smoking when he wrote this one...great fun Dylan tune for sure and I have a 12" vinyl on this one, which I ripped a long time ago...never having found it on cd....actually ripped it for a buddy at a radio station and then upon listening to it advised its not really something they can air without getting a complaint or two...wonder what else they recorded when they did this...could be an interesting period for a bootleg series someday.
     
  13. Crispy Rob

    Crispy Rob Cat Juggler

    Location:
    Oakland, CA
    I remember watching the movie because I'd heard the song on the radio and figured if Dylan was doing the title song, it had to be interesting. Boy was I wrong about that. But it's a good rocker, albeit with some of Dylan's more questionable lyrics, that should have been included on Sidetracks or should be compiled somewhere. Wish I had a copy.
     
  14. goodboyfred

    goodboyfred Forum Resident

    I always felt that too with their rocking edginess. Band Of The Hand could of elevated one of the more maligned releases of that time. Just goes to show that even in a period that was seen as lost, Dylan still had songs that others never could equal.
     
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  15. Mbd77

    Mbd77 Florum Resdent

    Location:
    London
    I have the Cd as well. Released on Cd in both Europe (Austria pressed) and USA.
     
  16. RayS

    RayS A Little Bit Older and a Little Bit Slower Thread Starter

    Location:
    Out of My Element
    I definitely felt the best thing about the movie was the song ... but they cut out the chorus!
     
  17. avant-gardener

    avant-gardener Active Member

    Location:
    Maine, USA
    I have the 12" single of this. I wonder if it's worth anything....
     
  18. Jack

    Jack It’s alright, in fact it’s a gas

    Location:
    Weston, CT
    Uh-oh. You just gave Stamberg another quest.....

     
    rstamberg likes this.
  19. avant-gardener

    avant-gardener Active Member

    Location:
    Maine, USA
    I agree, it would have been good on KOL.
     
    Say It Right likes this.
  20. DockBoggs

    DockBoggs Forum Resident

    Sorry, I've had it for about 25 years and will hold on to it for now. Look on ebay. They show up occasionally.
     
    rstamberg likes this.
  21. cublowell

    cublowell Forum Resident

    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    I love this song. I have to believe that Petty & the Heartbreakers rescued this song from sounding like another generic pile of 80s awfulness like everything else Dylan did around that time period. Sounds like they're having fun, like he enjoys being part of their gang. And when the ladies come wailing in at the beginning, you can't help but be knocked out by that sound, even with Doomsday Dylan spitting out lines that make the Hard Rain version of Idiot Wind sound tame.
     
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  22. RayS

    RayS A Little Bit Older and a Little Bit Slower Thread Starter

    Location:
    Out of My Element
    As he was purported to do with "folk rock", Dylan creates another genre - "Vigilante Gospel". :)

    I agree with your assessment, they "had me" at the first notes from Benmont's keyboard, and that snarly laugh from a queen of rhythm or two.
     
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  23. MLutthans

    MLutthans That's my spaghetti, Chewbacca! Staff

    Location:
    Marysville, WA
    Bob's only credited release on MCA, no? Probably doomed to the ash heap, which is a shame. Great track.
    R-1706982-1355584719-7240.jpeg.jpg
     
    rstamberg likes this.
  24. RayS

    RayS A Little Bit Older and a Little Bit Slower Thread Starter

    Location:
    Out of My Element
    Unlike a lot of his work from this period that was perhaps over-thought and over-produced, the really tight window Dylan had to work with (the song was recorded February 9th and 10th, the film was released April 11th with the song integrated into it), the fact that he was thousands of miles away from meddling record company people, and the fact that Petty was producing instead of a "hot producer of the moment", all added up to the perfect storm for an outstanding track that doesn't sound dated like much of the other material from 1985-1986.
     
  25. petercl

    petercl Forum Resident

    Location:
    Seekonk, MA, USA
    I love this song! I have the 45.
     
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