Bob Dylan: 10 Great Live Versions of “Dignity”

Of the virtues, I suppose I think integrity is the most essential. Not dignity – a thief can have dignity.
~Bob Dylan (to Barbara Kerr, Feb 1978)

‘Dignity’, which describes so resourcefully the yearning for a more dignified world, would have been the album’s [Oh Mercy] ideal opening track. It scorches along musically, declaring its allegiance to the timeless appeal of the blues, while sounding, above all things, fresh. Its lyric, meanwhile, though ‘Dylanesque’ in that it sounds like no-one else’s work and sounds like a restrained, mature revisit to a mode of writing you might otherwise call mid-1960s Dylan, is fully alert and freshly itself, admits of no leaning on laurels, and has the great virtue that while not every line can claim the workaday clarity of instructional prose, the song is accessible to anyone who cares to listen, and offers a clear theme, beautifully explored, with which anyone can readily identify.
~Michael Gray (The Bob Dylan Encyclopedia)

Dignity was originally recorded for “Oh Mercy” in 1989, but Dylan wasn’t satisfied with it… and left it behind.

Officially there are 5 different versions available:

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The Rolling Stones: 5 Great Live versions of “Gimme Shelter” (Audio/video)

Oh, a storm is threat’ning
My very life today
If I don’t get some shelter
Oh yeah, I’m gonna fade away

My Favourite Stones song. The original album version can hardly be surpassed, but there many great live versions, here are 5 wonderful examples & the album (Let It Bleed – 1969) version.

Album version:

War, children, it’s just a shot away
It’s just a shot away
War, children, it’s just a shot away
It’s just a shot away

The Spectrum, Philadelphia, PA, USA
July 20, 1972

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Bob Dylan – 7 great live versions of “I Dreamed I Saw St. Augustine”

I dreamed I saw St. Augustine
Alive as you or me
Tearing through these quarters
In the utmost misery

“I Dreamed I Saw St. Augustine” was originally released on his 1967 album John Wesley Harding. It was recorded at the first John Wesley Harding session on October 17, 1967.

Dylan only performed this great song 39 times live, first Aug 31, 1969 (Isle Of Wight, England) & last performance was Jun 16, 2011 (Cork, Ireland). Top year was 1975 with 16 performances.

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August 26: Elvis Presley Released “Suspicious Minds” in 1969


We’re caught in a trap
I can’t walk out
Because I love you too much baby

Recorded between four and seven in the morning, during the landmark Memphis session that helped return the King to his throne, “Suspicious Minds” — the final Number One single of his lifetime — is Presley’s masterpiece: He sings so intensely through the fade-out that his band returns for another minute of the tear-stained chorus.

Together with “Mystery Train” this is my favourite Elvis song.

Suspicious Minds:

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August 25: Bob Dylan released “Not Dark Yet” in 1997

A lot of the songs (on Time Out Of Mind) were written after the sun went down . . This one phrase was going through my head: ‘Work while the day lasts, because the night of death cometh when no man can work … It wouldn’t let me go. I was like, what does that phrase mean? … It was at the forefront of my mind for a long period of time, and I think a lot of that is instilled into this record
~Bob Dylan to Jon Pareles, 1997

‘ Not Dark Yet ‘ is many folks’ favourite song on Dylan’s 1997 album, and for sure it pushes all the right buttons: a gorgeous vocal, a brooding melody, the darkling worldview and that seemingly effortless way he captured the dusk in his veins.
~Clinton Heylin (Still On The Road)

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Bob Dylan: 5 Brilliant live performances from the year 1980

PV: You’re not preaching to us?
Dylan: No, no I’m not… I’m not… I’m not (pause) I could do a little bit of this and a little bit of
that but right now I’m just content to play these shows. I don’t have, uh… this is a stage
show we’re doing, it’s not, uh, a salvation ceremony.

-Paul Vincent Interview, San Francisco – November 18, 1980

1980 Concerts

  • Second Gospel Tour
    • From January 11 – Portland, Oregon –> February 9 – Charleston, West Virginia
    • 24 Concerts
    • Only religious songs
  • 22nd Annual Grammy Award Ceremony
    • February 27 – Los Angeles, California
    • Gotta Server Somebody
  • Third Gospel Tour
    • From April 17 – Toronto, Canada –> May 21 – Dayton, Ohio
    • 29 concerts
    • Only religious songs
  • Musical Retrospective Tour
    • November 9 – San Francisco, California –> December 4 – Portland, Oregon
    • 19 concerts
    • Gradually more and more of his “old” songs began to infiltrate the setlists, the last show had about 50% non-religious songs
  • A total of 72 concerts

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