Bob Dylan - Desire
Columbia  (1997)

Dans la collection

CD    9 tracks  (56:08) 
   01   Hurricane       Song Review by Thomas Ward
One of Dylan's most popular songs with the public at large, and more recently associated with the movie of the same name, "Hurricane" is a fantastic, whirlwind opening to Desire. The song was Dylan's first bona fide "protest song" since "George Jackson" five years earlier and was his most successful since the songs on The Times They Are A-Changin'. "Hurricane" follows the life of boxer Ruben Carter, who was falsely convicted of murder. Dylan visited Carter in jail during 1975 and was convinced by his supporters to write a song protesting the innocence of the fighter. The song he delivered is a lyrical tour de force; it opens with the sensational "Pistol shots ring out in a barroom night/Enter Patty Valentine from the upper hall/She sees a bartender in a pool of blood/Cries out 'My God, they've killed them all!'," with Dylan spitting the lyrics out with genuine feeling. The rest of the song is a brilliant story, summarizing the events that led to Carter's imprisonment, and how he was essentially framed by the racist police force ("We want to pin this triple murder on him/He ain't no Gentlemen Jim"). The song is hugely persuasive, due to Dylan's storytelling prowess, and coupled with a wonderful violin part and a great engaging melody, it was one of Dylan's most successful records of the 1970s and is a major song in the artist's canon. Ani DiFranco has recorded a rather sterile version of the song, leaving out all the palpable rage of the original, although Dylan himself has not performed the song live since the Rolling Thunder Revue tour of 1976.
   02   Isis       Song Review by Thomas Ward
One of the strangest and most complex songs Dylan has written, "Isis" is a song rich in imagery, although it is hard to make literal sense of it as a whole. Seen by most critics to be referring to the breakdown of relations between Dylan and his then wife, Sara, the character "Isis" is arguably Sara, although Dylan makes no obvious reference to this being the case. The song's opening verse states, "I married Isis on the fifth day of May/But I could not hold on to her very long/So I cut off my hair and rode straight away/To the wild unknown country where I could not go wrong." Indeed, the song may appear confessional, yet it veers into the abstract with the narrator's trip to the pyramids, and the recovery of a body "embedded in ice." Although the song is not as direct or involving as many on Desire, it features a great circular chord progression and some beautiful violin playing. Dylan's vocal on the song is also terrific, singing the song as if telling someone a story. Although many regard the song as a major piece of work, its merging of confessional with the abstract is rather off-putting and jarring. Dylan gave the song a charged up, emotional reading during his Rolling Thunder Revue tour (indeed, a live version is included on his Biograph box set), although, perhaps due to the idiosyncratic nature of the song, few have attempted to cover it.
   03   Mozambique             03:01
   04   One More Cup Of Coffee       Song Review by Thomas Ward
One of the most accessible songs on Desire is "One More Cup of Coffee." Containing one of Dylan's most inspired melodies, the song has a haunting, minor-chord feel to it, as the song follows a rather unusual, but highly effective, progression. The lyrics of the song, as with most of the album, are highly evocative. The song opens with "Your breath is sweet, your eyes are like to jewels in the sky/Your back is straight, your hair is smooth on the pillow where you lie," and the song has a very spiritual, mystical theme running through it, with references to fortune telling and a gypsy way of life. This mood is further enhanced by Scarlet Rivera's atmospheric fiddle playing, and a lovely tuneful vocal from Dylan himself. Although a rather minor song compared to "Hurricane" or "Sara," it creates a mood all of its own and has been one of Dylan's most popular songs with his audience, and other artists, most notably the White Stripes, who recorded a wonderfully primitive version of the song on their debut White Stripes album.
   05   Oh, Sister             04:03
   06   Joey       Song Review by Thomas Ward
One of the finest songs on Desire is "Joey." Written by Dylan and his collaborator Jacques Levy about the gangster Joey Gallo, this is an elegiac song about the life of a man Dylan clearly has sympathies for. Regardless of the questionable character the song is about, it's a beautiful creation. Dylan sings many of the verses, especially "One day they blew him down in a clam bar in New York/He could see them coming through the door/As he lifted up his fork/He pushed the table over, to protect his family/Then he staggered out into the streets of Little Italy" with heartbreaking skill and timing, and is very persuasive in his evocation of Gallo's life, whom he sees as a decent, kind man, a "king of the streets" and a man with morals ("But Joey stepped up, and he raised his hand/Said 'We're not those kind of men'/'It's peace and quiet that we need/To go back to work again'" is a typical example Dylan cites in the song). Although the song is lengthy, it does not get laborious; the music is beautiful, and the backing vocals from Emmylou Harris are ragged and superb. Arguably one of Dylan's finest songs of the 1970s, the artist himself has only very rarely performed the song in concert, and perhaps due to the questionable moralizing the song contains, it has not been recorded by any other major artist.
   07   Romance In Durango             05:43
   08   Black Diamond Bay             07:30
   09   Sara             05:30
Détails Personnels
Liens Bob Dylan - Desire at Core for Music
Date de sortie originale 05/01/1976
Numéro Cat. CDCBS 86003
Emballage Jewel Case
Audio Stereo
User Defined
Reference No D-00006
Parolier Bob Dylan & Jacques Levy; Bob Dylan
Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine
If Blood on the Tracks was an unapologetically intimate affair, Desire is unwieldy and messy, the deliberate work of a collective. And while Bob Dylan directly addresses his crumbling relationship with his wife, Sara, on the final track, Desire is hardly as personal as its predecessor, finding Dylan returning to topical songwriting and folk tales for the core of the record. It's all over the map, as far as songwriting goes, and so is it musically, capturing Dylan at the beginning of the Rolling Thunder Revue era, which was more notable for its chaos than its music. And, so it's only fitting that Desire fits that description as well, as it careens between surging folk-rock, Mideastern dirges, skipping pop, and epic narratives. It's little surprise that Desire doesn't quite gel, yet it retains its own character - really, there's no other place where Dylan tried as many different styles, as many weird detours, as he does here. And, there's something to be said for its rambling, sprawling character, which has a charm of its own. Even so, the record would have been assisted by a more consistent set of songs; there are some masterpieces here, though: "Hurricane" is the best-known, but the effervescent "Mozambique" is Dylan at his breeziest, "Sara" at his most nakedly emotional, and "Isis" is one of his very best songs of the '70s, a hypnotic, contemporized spin on a classic fable. This may not add up to a masterpiece, but it does result in one of his most fascinating records of the '70s and '80s - more intriguing, lyrically and musically, than most of his latter-day affairs. [In 2003, Columbia/Legacy reissued 15 selected titles from Dylan's catalog as hybrid SACDs, playable in both regular CD players and Super Audio CD players. Each title is packaged as a digipak, containing the full original artwork. On each of the titles, and on each of the layers, the remastered sound is spectacular, a considerable upgrade from the initial CD pressings.]