September 11: Bob Dylan released “Love And Theft” in 2001

” ‘Love & Theft’ is not an album I’ve recorded to please myself. If I really wanted to that, I would have recorded some Charley Patton songs.”
~Bob Dylan

“All the songs are variations on the 12-bar theme and blues-based melodies. The music here is an electronic grid, the lyrics being the substructure that holds it all together. The songs themselves don’t have any genetic history. Is it like Time Out Of Mind, or Oh Mercy, or Blood On The Tracks, or whatever? Probably not. I think of it more as a greatest hits album, Volume 1 or Volume 2. Without the hits; not yet, anyway”
~Bob Dylan (“Love & Theft” press release, June 2001)

The old Chess records, the Sun records. . . I think that’s my favorite sound for a record . . . I like . . . the intensity The sound is uncluttered. There’s power and suspense. The whole vibration feels like it could be coming from inside your mind. It’s alive. It’s right there.
~Bob Dylan, to Bill Flanagan, 2009

High Water (for Charley Patton):

High water risin’—risin’ night and day
All the gold and silver are bein’ stolen away
Big Joe Turner lookin’ east and west
From the dark room of his mind
He made it to Kansas City
Twelfth Street and Vine
Nothin’ standing there
High water everywhere

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September 10: Randy Newman Released Good Old Boys in 1974

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“To me, someone who writes really good songs is Randy Newman. There’s a lot of people who write good songs. As songs. Now Randy might not go out on stage and knock you out, or knock your socks off. And he’s not going to get people thrilled in the front row. He ain’t gonna do that. But he’s gonna write a better song than most people who can do it.

You know, he’s got that down to an art. Now Randy knows music. He knows music But it doesn’t get any better than “Louisiana” or “Cross Charleston Bay” [“Sail Away”]. It doesn’t get any better than that. It’s like a classically heroic anthem theme. He did it. There’s quite a few people who did it. Not that many people in Randy’s class.”
– Bob Dylan (1991)

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September 5: Ryan Adams released Heartbreaker in 2000

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“On Heartbreaker, I had to sing those songs. I drank the way I did those songs. I ate the way I did those songs. I communicated the way I did those songs”
~Ryan Adams – Spin Dec 2003

“I don’t know if Heartbreaker was influential as a record so much as the idea of it. There weren’t a lot of people out there doing that kind of thing. That’s all. But it was a terrible price to pay because I’ve never lived it down. I don’t regard that record as great art. I’m not even sure I put the right songs on the record. There are a lot of tracks that didn’t make it which with hindsight should have been on there.”
~Ryan Adams – Uncut Jan 2004

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August 29: Bob Dylan released Modern Times in 2006

The album’s cover photo is Ted Croner’s 1947 photograph Taxi, New York at Night.

“There’s no nostalgia on this record, pining for the past doesn’t interest me.”
~Bob Dylan (to Edna Gundersen Aug 2006)

[the 10 songs] “are in my genealogy, I had no doubts about them. I tend to overwrite stuff, and in the past I probably would have left it all in. On this, I tried my best to edit myself, and let the facts speak. You can easily get a song convoluted. That didn’t happen. Maybe I’ve had records like this before, but I can’t remember when.”
~Bob Dylan (to Edna Gundersen Aug 2006)

.. This music is relaxed; it has nothing to prove. It is music of accumulated knowledge, it knows every move, anticipates every step before you take it. Producing himself for the second time running, Dylan has captured the sound of tradition as an ever-present, a sound he’s been working on since his first album, in 1962. (One reason Modern Times is so good is that Dylan has been making it so long.) These songs stand alongside their sources and are meant to, which is why their sources are so obvious, so direct..
~Joe Levy (rollingstone.com)

#1 Thunder on The Mountain (official video)

I was thinkin’ ’bout Alicia Keys, couldn’t keep from crying
When she was born in Hell’s Kitchen, I was living down the line
I’m wondering where in the world Alicia Keys could be
I been looking for her even clear through Tennessee
(from “Thunder on The Mountain”)

[about Alicia Keys]“I liked her a whole lot. People stay in your mind for one reason or another.”
~Bob Dylan (to Edna Gundersen Aug 2006)

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August 26: Warren Zevon Released His Last Album The Wind in 2003

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“Timor mortis conturbat me.
It’s from a medieval Scottish poem by William Dunbar,
It means, ‘The fear of death just fucks me up’”
– Warren Zevon (told to The Guardian, and roaring with laughter)

Warren Zevon died in 2003 aged 56, he was noted for his black humour and dry wit; he never had the big commercial success he deserved. He was highly regarded by critics and music lovers (and musicians), you could say he enjoyed a cult following. He should have been big.

“This was a nice deal: life.”
– Warren Zevon

Two weeks before he died of lung cancer, he released one of his best albums, The Wind.

“It’s hard to say if he’s being sincere or darkly witty with his cover of “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door,” though he manages to make it work both ways.”
– Mark Deming (allmusic)

When diagnosed with lung cancer, he said: “I feel the opposite of regret. I was the hardest-living rocker on my block for a while. I was a malfunctioning rummy for a while and running away for a while. Then for 18 years I was a sober dad of some amazing kids. Hey, I feel like I’ve lived a couple of lives.”

The diagnose did in his own words, lead him into one of the most intense and creative periods of his life. Many of his more famous friend came to lend a hand on the record, including Bruce Springsteen, Jackson Browne, Tom Petty, Emmylou Harris, Don Henley, Ry Cooder, Billy Bob Thornthon, Jim Keltner, David Lindley, T-Bone Burnett, Joe Walsh and Dwight Yoakam. None of them taking the show from Warren Zevon, he is so clearly in control of his last creation. It is not a big bombastic farewell, it is a guy who enjoys making a record with a bunch of his friends. It feels better, more right!

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July 10: The Beatles released A Hard Day’s Night in 1964

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We were different. We were older. We knew each other on all kinds of levels that we didn’t when we were teenagers. The early stuff – the Hard Day’s Night period, I call it – was the sexual equivalent of the beginning hysteria of a relationship. And the Sgt Pepper-Abbey Road period was the mature part of the relationship.”
– John Lennon (1980)

A Hard Day’s Night is the third album by The Beatles; it was released on July 10, 1964. The album is a soundtrack to the A Hard Day’s Night film, starring the Beatles. The American version of the album was released two weeks earlier, on 26 June 1964 by United Artists Records, with a different track listing. This is the first Beatles album to be recorded entirely on four-track tape, allowing for good stereo mixes.

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In 2000, Q placed A Hard Day’s Night at number 5 in its list of the 100 Greatest British Albums Ever. In 2003, the album was ranked number 388 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.

The soundtrack songs were recorded in late February, and the non-soundtrack songs were recorded in June. The title song itself was recorded on April 16.

…but A Hard Day’s Night is perhaps the band’s most straightforward album: You notice the catchiness first, and you can wonder how they got it later.

The best example of this is the title track– the clang of that opening chord to put everyone on notice, two burning minutes thick with percussion (including a hammering cowbell!) thanks to the new four-track machines George Martin was using, and then the song spiraling out with a guitar figure as abstractedly lovely as anything the group had recorded.”
– Tom Ewing, Pitchfork

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