It is not a year remembered with great fondness by most long-term fans. In contrast to the innovation and stellar performing levels of most of 1995, it was all too predictable; same band, same set structure, and not many song debuts. Overall the shows were solid enough, but, as in late ’93 and periods of ’94, just not particularly special. More alarmingly, some of the overlong, uninspired, unproductive guitar instrumentals were reappearing too.
-Andrew Muir, One More Night: Bob Dylan’s Never Ending Tour
17 June 1996
Bob Dylan (vocal & guitar)
Bucky Baxter (pedal steel guitar & electric slide guitar)
John Jackson (guitar)
Tony Garnier (bass)
Winston Watson (drums & percussion)
Shake Sugaree (Elizabeth Cotten)
I got a secret, and I ain’t gonna tell
I’m going to Heaven in a split pea shell
“My music is the spiritual expression of what I am — my faith, my knowledge, my being…When you begin to see the possibilities of music, you desire to do something really good for people, to help humanity free itself from its hangups…I want to speak to their souls.”
All a musician can do is to get closer to the sources of nature, and so feel that he is in communion with the natural laws.
John Coltrane Quartet – Impressions (video)
…I must say I’m pleased with the album. It’s good. I’m not ashamed of it and am ready to stand by it. Rather than think of it as a masterpiece, I prefer to look at it as a little gem.
~Leonard Cohen (to Melody Maker’s Harvey Kubernik in March 1975)
That miraculously intimate voice has become more expressive and confident over the years without losing its beguiling flat amateurishness. Some of the new songs are less than memorable, but the settings, by John Lissauer, have the bizarre feel of John Simon’s “overproduction” on Cohen’s first album, which I always believed suited his studied vulgarity perfectly. A-
~Robert Christgau (robertchristgau.com)
.. The lyrics are filled with abstract yet vivid images, and the album primarily uses the metaphor of love and relationships as battlegrounds (“There Is a War,” “Field Commander Cohen”). Cohen is clearly singing from the heart, and he chronicles his relationship with Janis Joplin in “Chelsea Hotel No. 2.” This is one of his best album..
~Vik Lyengar (allmusic.com)
Chelsea Hotel #2
I remember you well in the Chelsea Hotel,
you were talking so brave and so sweet,
giving me head on the unmade bed,
while the limousines wait in the street.
Those were the reasons and that was New York,
we were running for the money and the flesh.
And that was called love for the workers in song
probably still is for those of them left.
Ah but you got away, didn’t you babe,
you just turned your back on the crowd,
you got away, I never once heard you say,
I need you, I don’t need you,
I need you, I don’t need you
and all of that jiving around.
Honestly, this may be the best Van recording I’ve heard, not withstanding its slightly wonky mix of vocals, its beauty is in the fun that Morrison and his band are having. A fantastic recording, a great night.
-Stuart @ collectorsmusicreviews.com
My New World Crystal Ball
Lion’s Share, San Anselmo, CA; August 8, 1971.
Backing Vocals – Ellen Schroer, Janet Planet, Martha Velez