Bob Dylan – Bootleg Series Vol. 14: More Blood, More Tracks (2 Nov 2018)*

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Dave Gilmour's Cat, Nov 2, 2016.

  1. timnor

    timnor Forum Resident

    tgmcewan2, LeeGriffin and stepeanut like this.
  2. BlindWillieMcZim

    BlindWillieMcZim Forum Resident

    Those lyrics are terrible, betraying an obvious, desperate attempt at humour that fails miserably, due to the paucity of thought and effort that's gone into them. They lack all the subtlety of the Love and Theft lyrics. There is no life to them. Couple that with the pedestrian music, and you have yourself a bona fide dud. Oh, and the references to Alicia Keys are embarrassing.
    warewolf95, erowid and JohnKale like this.
  3. slane

    slane Forum Resident

    Yeah, Call Letter Blues seems to be real life, or mostly... I'm intrigued by the 'Way out in the distance, I know you're with some other man' line. And also the line in You're A Big Girl Now, 'I know where I can find you, in somebody's room'. And then the line in If You See Her Say Hello, 'If you're making love to her, kiss her for the kid'. Not to get too much into the realms of soap opera detail, but this suggests that Sara wasn't completely 'innocent' either...

    Or maybe these are just some more of Bob's 'distorted facts'...
    JohnKale, RayS and HominyRhodes like this.
  4. Dflow

    Dflow Forum Resident

    Not sure how that title ties back to the song. Call Letters in the States are how the military use specific words to confirm a particular letter of the alphabet when communicating by radio or phone. For example Alpha=A, Bravo=B, Charley=C.
  5. fishcane

    fishcane Forum Resident

    yes, the callouts to Neil Young, James Joyce, Billy Joe Shaver, Tweedle Dum/Dee come off much better
    HardTimesRoughLines likes this.
  6. Rne

    Rne Sufferin' succotash!

    From the liner notes about disc 5: "A rehearsal and several incredible takes of 'Tangled Up In Blue'..."
    The reality: a rehearsal, two short unfinished takes and one complete take of the song.
  7. JulesDassin

    JulesDassin Forum Resident

    I got the 1 cd jewel case version of More Blood More Tracks and like it very much . The music seems to me a less strident version of the official album. The album notes state that these are not sped up by 2 or 3 % like the official album or the previously circulated New York sessions and to my ears this makes for a mellow version of these songs. I actually prefer the sped of versions that really grab you, but its nice to have this alternate version when I'm in the mood for kicking back.

    I very much appreciate cds like this and The Best Of The Cutting Edge where you get a nice album flow of the tracks, I can't handle those chronological take after take discs with fragments of songs... so I save money by not buying those super deluxe sets but I'm glad other people like them :)
    Lars1966 and asdf35 like this.
  8. HardTimesRoughLines

    HardTimesRoughLines Jesus rides beside me, He never buys any smokes

    Oslo, Norway
    I think you are a bit harsh on the old coot. But my point wasn't to judge the quality of the humour (or attempts of, if we see things from your point of view ), just that humorous lines most definitely are there when another poster claimed that they were not.

    Best regards,

    JohnKale and fishcane like this.
  9. HardTimesRoughLines

    HardTimesRoughLines Jesus rides beside me, He never buys any smokes

    Oslo, Norway
    First time I heard that one back in '97 I thought somebody had put something naughty in my drink.

    Best regards,

    fishcane likes this.
  10. asdf35

    asdf35 Forum Resident

    Austin TX
    I always thought of the "Call-Letter" title as radio station call-letters. Radio station blues. I admit I never thought much about the title, but that's where I took it.

    There's also a curious phrase in the notebook about fishing and "using the radio as bait." I don't know what any of this means though. I thought it was "church bell's toll" and "combat bells" so I am unreliable.
    spindly, matt79rome89, Dflow and 2 others like this.
  11. onlyconnect

    onlyconnect The prose and the passion

    Winchester, UK
    Thanks for posting this. I presume from here?

    Bill Flanagan interviewed Bob Dylan in New York in March 1985 for his 1985 book "Written In My Soul."

    This is the closest I've seen to Dylan "explaining" how he writes songs. Here's a key answer, in relation to Hurricane, but also more general:

    BILL FLANAGAN: Anything you’ve ever tried to write about and been unable to do?

    BOB DYLAN: Yeah. *Anything* I try to write about, I can’t do it. If I try to write *about* something - "I want to write about horses" or "I want to write about Central Park" or "I want to write about the Cocaine industry" - I can’t get anywhere with that. I have to always take it out. It’s like that "Hurricane" song. I wanted to write a song about Hurricane Carter, I wanted to spread the message. It really doesn’t come out about Hurricane. Really, the essence of it is never what it’s about. It’s really about you. Unless you’re standing in somebody else’s shoes you just don’t know what it feels like. You don’t know what it’s about.

    You can go to a movie and say, "What’s this about?" A movie is something that gives the illusion of stopping time. You go someplace and you sit there for a while. you’re looking at something. You’re trapped. It’s all happening in your brain and it seems like nothing else is going on in the world. Time has stopped. The world could be coming to an end outside, but for you time has stopped. Then someone says, "What was it about?" "Well, I don’t know. It was about two guys who were after the same girl." Or, "It was about the Russian Revolution." Well, yeah, that was what it was about, but that wasn’t *it*. That’s not what made you stay there and stare at the screen, at a light on the wall. In another way you could say, "What’s life about?" It’s just going by like a movie all the time. It doesn’t matter if you’re here for a hundred years, it still goes by. You can’t stop it.

    So you can’t say what it’s about. But what you can do is try to give the illusion of the moment of it. And even that’s not what it’s about. That’s just proof that you existed.

    What’s anything about? It’s not about anything. It is what it is.
    "Meaning", then, is pretty slippery when it comes to Dylan. That's why he can't give a straight answer when asked "is song x about y"? He doesn't know. So even with Hurricane, which is one of those songs where you can say with some confidence that it is, say, telling a story with the intent of getting a new trial for a specific individual whom he believed had been wrongly convicted, even then, Dylan says "it's really about you."

  12. lschwart

    lschwart Senior Member

    Richmond, VA
    "The music is sweet, and the words are true.
    The song is you."

    Unless it's about Alicia Keys, of course....

    MRamble, onlyconnect and fishcane like this.
  13. Stone Turntable

    Stone Turntable Dedicated Listener

    New Mexico USA
    There's a beautiful scene in Wim Wenders' beautiful Kings of the Road (1976) where one of the characters discovers this funny little statuette by the roadside and recites that I been double-crossed now for the very last time and now I'm finally free line.


    Last edited: Nov 10, 2018
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  14. Jason W

    Jason W Forum Resident

    Mill Valley, CA
    Listened to the LP last night and was so swept away by how intimate it sounds. Fantastic album. Especially enjoyed sides 2-3-4 for some reason. I think a couple of tracks on side 1 sounded a tiny bit more removed on my system.
    asdf35 likes this.
  15. HominyRhodes

    HominyRhodes Forum Resident

    Agree about the radio station 'call letters' but I also thought that Dylan's song might be related to "Death Letter Blues" by Delta bluesman Son House.
    munjeet, Dflow, Percy Song and 2 others like this.
  16. musicaner

    musicaner Forum Resident

    I think Bob speaks the truth when he says he would never write an album dealing with his marriage. I believe him when he says Bott is not a divorce/breakup album.
  17. posnera

    posnera Forum Resident

    Many of his songs that are obviously about "something" are often more about you and your response to it.
    While not as explicit as some others, Hurricane definitely has a "What are you going to do about it" feel, as opposed to Joey, for example.
    Hattie Carroll seems straight-forward as a story song, except the whole thing is a setup to keep reminding the listener that "Now ain't the time for your tears".

    On the other hand, I think the BOTT tracks are fair to describe as autobiographical even though Dylan would say otherwise.
    enro99 and Jimmy B. like this.
  18. The way I see it, obviously the artist’s life situation is going to affect their art. But to try to read the art as autobiography, strictly speaking, or as only autobiographical, is to miss the point of the work as art. Bobby may be a first-class ******** artist, as RayS pointed out somewhere above, but at some level I think this is what he’s driving at. It’s not so much personal cover-up as don’t reduce my art to such simple terms. If I didn’t know a thing about Dylan’s personal life or history, which is probably pretty close to the truth of the situation, I don’t think it would impede my understanding or appreciation of his art as such.
    enro99, Catbirdman, PADYBU and 12 others like this.
  19. Crush87

    Crush87 Forum Resident

    New York
    Blue Note likes this.
  20. posnera

    posnera Forum Resident

    He really is more of a song and dance man anyway.
  21. posnera

    posnera Forum Resident

    I also don't really care one way or the other. If he had written BOTT while in a happy relationship or while living alone as a hermit it wouldn't change the art.
    I knew nothing about his personal life as it related to BOTT when I first heard it. Its impact on me did not require any knowledge or insight into his marriage/divorce.

    You hurt the ones that I love best and cover up the truth with lies.
    Someday you'll be in the ditch, flies buzzing around your eyes.

    It could be said to your soon to be ex wife. Or it could be a line from a western right before the big showdown.
  22. musicaner

    musicaner Forum Resident

    The more I listened to BOTT the less sense the idea that it was about his wife problems, made to me. "You hurt the one that I love best and covered up the truth with lies" would his wife do that, hurt the ones Bob loves best, I always thought Idiot Wind was about media and gossip. I really cant pinpoint a song in Bott that could be considered a veiled attack on his wife, they were still married at the time. Youre a Big Girl Now? Sara was previously married with a daughter, dont think she qualifies as the subject of the song.
  23. Crush87

    Crush87 Forum Resident

    New York
    We could parse it out all day. No matter how much Bob denied it, there were clearly autobiographical threads being woven throughout the record (Ellen Bernstein/Ashtabula, etc.), but I think him being self effacing about it serves the art better and is ultimately the best way to approach it from a listener's standpoint.
  24. Heart of Gold

    Heart of Gold Forum Resident

    Jacob Dylan said that the album was all about the end of marriage of his parents and during the recording of BOTT news about a possible divorce were on the newspapers.
  25. frightwigwam

    frightwigwam Talented Amateur

    On the master take of "Idiot Wind" and at other moments in the Minneapolis sessions, I notice that he tends to fall back on his "how does it FEEEEL" phrasing, which now strikes me as an inappropriate mannerism with this material. There are also times when I think a song would've been better served if he hadn't blown the harmonica on the outro, but that was his thing, his Bob Dylan brand, and he was gonna do it.
    Jimmy B., asdf35 and Whiskeytown86 like this.

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