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POLL: Bob Dylan's Shot of Love - your favourite track?

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Dave Gilmour's Cat, Dec 23, 2016.

  1. Wayfaring Stranger

    Wayfaring Stranger Forum Resident

    York uk
    Always liked "Trouble" for its "Smokestack Lightning" riff and the scary bit where Clydie King's back-up vocal jumps out and bites you about two-thirds of the way through. The Pretender's version of "Property of Jesus" is worth a mention too - great take of it.
    Fender Relic likes this.
  2. Jimmy B.

    Jimmy B. No friends, no help, nothing.

    Lenny Bruce, no contest for me.
    fmfxray373 likes this.
  3. Minstrel Boy

    Minstrel Boy Forum Resident

    This has long been my favourite Dylan album though I'm not about to contend it's his best. But add Caribbean Wind and Angelina and subtract Property Of Jesus and it could be Top 5.

    The title track's my choice. Surprised it hasn't gotten more love here.
    uzn007 and Dave Gilmour's Cat like this.
  4. Dave Gilmour's Cat

    Dave Gilmour's Cat Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Surprised to learn that Clinton Heylin doesn't rate 'Lenny Bruce' as one of the strong tracks on this album.
  5. HenryFly

    HenryFly Forum Resident

    I agree 100% with Heylin, but not just because it's such a poorly knocked-off in three minutes ditty, but because I always hear it in connection with John Lennon's death and I believe Dylan did too, it's the song's raison d'être. I do truly wonder how Dylan could have sung, in 1981, a song about someone he shared a taxi with once who died in 1966 & be utterly cold to memories of someone he'd shared a limo with in 1966, but whose death was recent enough that the whole rock world was still coming to terms with. That was no coincidence.

    The final 'non-coincidence' were the 4 letters shared.
    John Lennon was far funnier than Lenny Bruce btw.
  6. Dave Gilmour's Cat

    Dave Gilmour's Cat Forum Resident Thread Starter

    I think it's a wonderful song – a hymn – and never thought it had anything to do with Lennon. It's one of many Dylan songs about outlaws of various kinds.
    fmfxray373 likes this.
  7. fmfxray373

    fmfxray373 Avatar Of Aspersions

    san diego
    I think Dylan's genius is that the same voice that did Blonde on Blonde and Shot of Love makes you forget the other album when you are listening.
    munjeet and Man at C&A like this.
  8. PJayBe

    PJayBe Forum Resident

    Every Grain Of Sand, mainly because...Groom... wasn't on the original.
  9. Fishoutofwater

    Fishoutofwater Forum Resident

  10. adriatikfan

    adriatikfan Forum Resident

    'Every Grain Of Sand'

    One of my very favourite Dylan songs - actually just one of my very favourite songs.

    Astonishing that someone, who constantly had to live up to the expectations of being 'Bob Dylan' can stand aside from that and have his creative process (whatever that may be) deliver as profound an exploration of the nature of faith and being that one can find anywhere.

    I still marvel at it every time I hear it.

    Best Wishes,
  11. HenryFly

    HenryFly Forum Resident

    Angelina is not even a better lyric than 'Property of Jesus' let alone song, IMHO.
    Like 'No time to think' it's a pretty silly rhyming exercise.
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2017
    majorlance likes this.
  12. Bryce

    Bryce I drank what?

    New York City
    In The Summertime for sure.
    Etienne Hanratty and Davido like this.
  13. majorlance

    majorlance Forum Resident

    PATCO Speedline
    Almost every track on SOL has something to recommend it for me, save for "Watered Down Love" and "Dead Man, Dead Man."

    Will never forget my shock & amazement the first time I heard the "Groom" B-side in 1981.

    And "Every Grain of Sand" is, well..."Every Grain of Sand" !!!
    mark ab likes this.
  14. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product

    to me this is another classic dylan album, although much maligned. shot of love is a fantastic rock song, in both senses of the word
    mark ab likes this.
  15. Dave Gilmour's Cat

    Dave Gilmour's Cat Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Disagree. You could say that about any song you don’t like.
  16. chervokas

    chervokas Forum Resident

    Well, one could compare any song favorable or unfavorably to any other. But "Angelina" is particular is a pretty clunky set of lyrics. I know Dylan often, and to great effect, let the sound of the words and inventive rhymes drive the meaning of the songs, but IMHO, not to great effect in this case -- "Angelina" to me is a song that seems to be about nothing more than the answer to that immortal question, "What rhymes with Angelina?" I think it's clunker.
  17. When In Rome

    When In Rome It's far from being all over...

    What rhymes with Angelina?

    Angelina, Angelina
    Such an awkward ballerina
    Her looks were more than her talent
    You'd know it if you'd seen her

    How's that for five minutes work? :D
    Fishoutofwater likes this.
  18. chervokas

    chervokas Forum Resident

    Five minutes and you only came up with one rhyme and one not even near-rhyme. You can do better than that. At least Dylan came up with concertina, hyena and subpoena.
    groundharp and Fishoutofwater like this.
  19. Dave Gilmour's Cat

    Dave Gilmour's Cat Forum Resident Thread Starter

    I disagree. He could have chosen a name that was easier to rhyme with, but he chose this name and these rhymes. On purpose. I think there’s a real grandeur to it.

    Anyway, it’s not even on the album.
  20. When In Rome

    When In Rome It's far from being all over...

    'Every Grain of Sand' for me. Though I prefer the subtle demo version off the Bootleg Series Vol. 1 (, 2 & 3) much more...
    Fishoutofwater likes this.
  21. chervokas

    chervokas Forum Resident

    Well, the name fits right in to the very pronounced madonna-whore complex that many of the women in Dylan's work suffer from, particularly in the Christian period and since. And it's not the first song where he turned to the name ("Farewell, Angelina"), and it seems to be a song about a woman saving him from temptation and bringing him to his (her?) savior. And the song is pretty, and the verses do hit on all the big themes of Shot of Love -- a prayer for grace ("I need a shot of love") in the face of life's trials, and a struggle with faith ("Do I need your permission to turn the other cheek?/If you can read my mind, why must I speak?").

    But I think every verse sounds almost truncated in a races to get to the necessary rhyme scheme, which always sounds like it it's build around the odd ball choice just pulled from a rhyming dictionary, drawing attention to the the artifice, and robbing the tune of any narrative continuity. Even Angelina her self seems to disappear from the song as a person or even as consistent trope, it's just like a name whose sound Dylan keeps desperately trying to scramble back to. I just think in the end, it's an example of a song that, whatever its charms, just never worked.

    There were a lot of songs Dylan abandoned in the era where I think he left behind something great or on the road to greatness -- "Blind Willie McTell," "Caribbean Wind," "Dignity," for three. But I don't see it when it comes to "Angelina," though in a lot of ways it would have fit better on Shot of Love (which is one of my favorite Dylan albums actually, one I like better than most of is '70s albums and any of his '90s albums), than "Caribbean Wind," which is a much better song and much more fully realized one, although it's another one Dylan seems to have felt like he struggled with and never got there. It's also another song about a woman telling the narrator about Jesus, but it's a much more complicated, personal song about the relationship of the woman and the narrator, and the narrator's complicated, ambivalent feelings. Neither the singer nor the woman are "types," they're real people. Angelina in "Angelina" is just a device.
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2018
    Fishoutofwater likes this.
  22. Chemguy

    Chemguy Forum Resident

    Just listening to Shot of Love right now. Always impressed how it comes out of the speakers with thumping authority.

    Very well recorded. The piano in Lenny Bruce, especially.
    mark winstanley likes this.
  23. FlexFantastic

    FlexFantastic Mechano-Man of the Future!

    Aurora, CO
    Nice serendipity, Lenny Bruce came on the radio yesterday - a corker of a song. Shot of Love is one of the more underrated records in Dylan's catalog, to my ears. Lots of great songs. Groom's Still Waiting at the Altar still stands out as one of his all-time rockers, tho. And I love a rocker, so I voted for that one.
    mark ab, mark winstanley and Chemguy like this.
  24. Chemguy

    Chemguy Forum Resident

    I did the purist thing and didn’t vote for Groom, because it’s not on the record I’m listening to now!

    Anyhow, I wouldn’t anyway because Every Grain is my favourite Dylan song of all time.
    FlexFantastic likes this.
  25. FlexFantastic

    FlexFantastic Mechano-Man of the Future!

    Aurora, CO
    Yeah, I was debating whether it counted, but - hey - it's in the poll so figured why not. If excluding, I probably land with the heavy board favorite "Every Grain of Sand" as well.
    Regandron and Chemguy like this.

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