Twas a dark day in Dallas, November ’63
A day that will live on in infamy
President Kennedy was a-ridin’ high
Good day to be livin’ and a good day to die
Like the release of the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band in 1967, a one-record pop explosion, where a record appears and in an instant it can feel as if the whole world is listening, talking back, figuring it out, and playing with it as if it’s a cross between the Bible and Where’s Waldo?. In the strange way the song can hardly be heard once without sparking anyone’s need to hear it again, a world gathering around a campfire of unanswered questions, and it takes everyone around the campfire to hear the whole song
–> Greil Marcus (2020)
One year ago today Bob Dylan dropped this glorious song on us. I don’t know how many times I played the first few days, I just could not stop. Endlessly fascinating. Still, in hindsight, it is a great addition to Dylan’s canon of songs.
Rollingstone magazine ratet it @ #5 on their list of “The 25 Best Bob Dylan Songs of the 21st Century” & The Guardian ranked it @ #33 of “Bob Dylan’s 50 greatest songs” in April 2020.
Written by Bob Dylan, recorded in Los Angeles in the spring of 1981 and released in August of that year on Dylan’s album Shot of Love.
The love in “Every Grain of Sand,” though firmly rooted in Dylan’s conversion experience and his Bible studies, immediately and obviously reaches beyond its context to communicate a deeply felt devotional spirit based on universal experiences: pain of self-awareness, and sense of wonder or awe at the beauty of the natural world.
-Paul Williams (Bob Dylan, performing artist:The Middle Years )
In the time of my confession, in the hour of my deepest need
When the pool of tears beneath my feet floods every newborn seed
There’s a dying voice within me reaching out somewhere
Toiling in the danger and the morals of despair
On My Aim Is True, Elvis’ raw energy comes through in a way that’s never completely recaptured on later records. While the songs range from mellow country twang to full-on, spitting assault, there’s a strange cohesiveness to the album simply by virtue of its rough, rushed feel. Although it’s a studio album, there’s a latent energy to Nick Lowe’s production that grants My Aim Is True all the immediacy of a live show.
~Matt LeMay (pitchfork.com)
Elvis Costello’s debut album brought home to me just how timid Little Criminals really is. Costello’s best songs are anything but timid, but they’re as intelligent as some of Newman’s finest, as endearingly elusive in their meanings, and funny in the same bitter, self-deprecating manner. They are also, like Newman’s signature songs, very weird.
~Greil Marcus (rollingstone.com)
.. it’s that his sensibility is borrowed from the pile-driving rock & roll and folksy introspection of pub rockers like Brinsley Schwarz, adding touches of cult singer/songwriters like Randy Newman and David Ackles. Then, there’s the infusion of pure nastiness and cynical humor, which is pure Costello. That blend of classicist sensibilities and cleverness make this collection of shiny roots rock a punk record — it informs his nervy performances and his prickly songs. Of all classic punk debuts, this remains perhaps the most idiosyncratic because it’s not cathartic in sound, only in spirit.
~Stephen Thomas Erlewine (alldylan.com)
Welcome to the working week
Oh, I know it don’t thrill you, I hope it don’t kill you
Welcome to the working week
You gotta do it till you’re through, so you better get to it
~Elvis Costello (Welcome to the working week)
It may not have been a commercial blockbuster, but it certainly earned the respect of legions of musicians and critics who would have previously disdained such a punk rocker. And, perhaps, that’s also the reason that he abandoned this immaculately crafted style of work on his next album, Punch the Clock.
-Stephen Thomas Erlewine (allmusic.com)
Elvis Costello’s Imperial Bedroom is really a mansion, each of whose rooms is decorated with painstaking care and detail by the artist. In every aspect of this masterfully wrought, conceptually audacious project, he’s managed to bulwark his emotional directness with vision and clarity — and to make an album that lingers and haunts long after the last note has died out. Like a long, episodic novel — or a long, episodic relationship — you can look back when it’s over and measure how far you’ve traveled.
-Parke Puterbaugh (rollingstone.com)
A lot of wonderful music was released in 1979, here are my 20 chosen songs.
And the Healing Has Begun – Van Morrison
Released on his 1979 album, Into the Music.
– And we’ll walk down the avenue again
And we’ll sing all the songs from way back when
And we’ll walk down the avenue again and the healing has begun
And we’ll walk down the avenue in style
And we’ll walk down the avenue and we’ll smile
And we’ll say “baby, ain’t it all worthwhile?” when the healing has begun
I want you to put on your pretty summer dress
You can wear your Easter bonnet and all the rest
And I want to make love to you yes, yes, yes, when the healing has begun
A great songwriter can take even an uncomfortable or difficult subject and turn it into an enjoyable and inviting song. When two of the best songwriters in the world come together, they can take that same subject and not only create a hit but also illuminate the subject in ways both surprising and moving.
-Jim Beviglia (Pump It Up: Elvis Costello’s 100 Best Songs)
Here are some facts, original version, lyrics & live versions.