Bob Dylan - Nashville Skyline
Columbia  (1992)
60s, American Rock, Country, Folk, Male singer, Rock, Singer / Songwriter

Dans la collection

CD    10 tracks  (27:01) 
   01   Girl From The North Country   Johnny Cash & Bob Dylan     Song Review by William Ruhlmann Without ever having the benefit of a hit single recording, Bob Dylan's "Girl From the North Country" has become a familiar song largely by virtue of its author's frequent performances of it. The tune is taken from an old English folk song that also provided the source for Paul Simon's "Scarborough Fair/Canticle." Dylan wrote the lyrics down in 1963, though he claimed to have had the song in mind for years. Biographer Robert Shelton, in -No Direction Home: The Life and Music of Bob ylan (New York: Beech Tree Books, 1986), speculates that Dylan's inspiration was his relationship with Bonny Jean Beecher, whom he met in 1960 while attending the University of Minnesota. In the lyric, the narrator asks a third person to remember him to a woman who "once was a true love of mine" if he encounters her in his travels in the north country. "Girl From the North Country" is a gentle, indirect love song, but powerfully affecting. The style is so courtly and formal that one could easily assume that it is a traditional folk song rather than a newly written one. The sessions for Dylan's second album, The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan, extended from April to December 1962, and promotional copies of the LP were issued in April 1963. But in the wake of the cancellation of Dylan's proposed appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show due to a dispute about his intention to perform the song "Talking John Birch Paranoid Blues," CBS, the television network that broadcast the Sullivan show and owned Columbia Records, for which Dylan recorded, decided the song couldn't go on Freewheelin', either, even though it had already been included on the promotional disc. The prolific Dylan seized upon the late opportunity to reshape the album by deleting other tracks as well and adding some new ones. On April 24, he recorded five recently written songs, four of which went on to the final version of Freewheelin' that was released commercially on May 27; among these was "Girl From the North Country." Dylan performed the song frequently during the next year, but after he went electric in 1965 it dropped out of his set lists. On February 17, 1969, he re-recorded it as a duet with Johnny Cash that was released as the leadoff track of his album Nashville Skyline on April 9. The two took the song at a slower tempo, and Dylan, who had given up smoking, unveiled a noticeably different, smoother singing voice. The performance was ragged: there were minor lyric variations; Cash sang the third verse second; the fourth verse disappeared entirely; and when the two singers combined to repeat the first verse, they sang different words in the third line, Cash improvising "Please say hello," while Dylan stuck with "Remember me." On May 1, Dylan made a rare television appearance on The Johnny Cash Show, and he and Cash sang the song again. Fifteen days later, a Cash special on public television included footage of the recording session. Thus, though Columbia never released the recording as a single, "Girl From the North Country" gained greater exposure. In 1970, Joe Cocker gave the song its most prominent cover when he performed it on tour and put his live version on his gold-selling Mad Dogs & Englishmen album. Writings and Drawings, a book of lyrics and other material by Bob Dylan, was published in 1973. In it, the song was called "Girl of the North Country," an unexplained change in preposition that has become more common in references over time. The following year, Dylan returned to the concert stage and performed the song a couple of times in his tour with the Band. Rod Stewart gave "Girl From the North Country" another prominent cover that fall, putting it on his Smiler LP. On January 17, 1975, Dylan released Blood on the Tracks, which featured "If You See Her, Say Hello," a song that had the same theme as "Girl From the North Country" and sounded very much like a more sophisticated rewrite of the earlier song. Though it was not performed on the 1975-1976 Ro       03:43
   02   Nashville Skyline Rag             03:14
   03   To Be Alone With You       Song Review by Thomas Ward The sea change in Bob Dylan's work, and in popular music as a whole, is perhaps best shown in Dylan's 1969 work Nashville Skyline. "To Be Alone With You" is one of the simplest songs on this album, yet this is perhaps why it is so effective in displaying the down-home, country values that Dylan was attempting to convey. The song speaks of "mockingbirds" and the "big fat moon," cliché imagery about as far away from "jewels and binoculars hang from the head of a mule" as one can get. With a gently rolling piano and Dylan's gentle, affecting vocal, this song does not convey any deep messages; rather, it is a simple statement on desire and love, which Dylan gives an almost off-the-cuff atmosphere to (the song begins with Dylan asking producer Bob Johnstone, "Is it rolling, Bob?"). Indeed, the lyrics are almost nursery rhyme, with Dylan crooning, "I'll always thank the Lord/When my working day is through/I get my sweet reward/To be alone with you." One of Dylan's prettiest melodies is coupled with a gorgeous, traditional country bridge (shifting to the V of the chord, then adding the II inversion) and a genuinely affecting, modest vocal. Perhaps the sweetest song on Nashville Skyline, Dylan performed it semi-regularly during much of his Never Ending Tour, although it has not been widely covered, with only Sue Foley doing a notable version of it on her album Big City Blues.       02:10
   04   I Threw It All Away       Song Review by Thomas Ward Arguably the single most gorgeous song on Nashville Skyline, this is a bona fide Bob Dylan classic, a song which has proved enduringly popular with his audience. As with many country songs, it is based on the traditional I-IV-V progression, adding the minor VI inversion to give the tune an almost "Blue Moon"-ish feel. As with most songs on the album, Dylan uses the country music staple of the narrator full of regret, and encapsulates this in a series of wonderfully simple, moving lines. The song's opening verse, "I once held her in my arms/She said she would always stay/But I was cruel, I treated her like a fool/I threw it all away," tell you everything the narrator wishes you to hear, the rest of the lyric simply emphasizing the point. Dylan's now infamous croon is perfectly suited to this slow country ballad, adding even more gravitas to the lyric. Musically, the song's bridge is most interesting, with one of Dylan's sweetest melodies giving the song a rather more unconventional chord structure (especially for a country song), but one which sounds completely natural. Although perhaps one of Dylan's most accessible songs, the man himself has not performed it with any regularity in concert, neither has it spawned a host of cover versions, although both Elvis Costello and Jimmy LaFave have both performed the song live.       02:25
   05   Peggy Day             02:02
   06   Lay Lady Lay       Song Review by Richie Unterberger "Lay Lady Lay" was Bob Dylan's last huge hit of the 1960s, and indeed one of his last huge hit singles of any sort, making the Top Ten in 1969. It was clearly the most outstanding song on his country-soaked Nashville Skyline - not the most brilliant lyrically, perhaps, but head and shoulders the best on a sum music plus words level. Quite simply, "Lay Lady Lay" has far more musical hooks than the typical Dylan song, as well as a quite inviting lazy country-pop groove, lilting enough to make many mainstream listeners forget how country-influenced the song was. The chief hook of "Lay Lady Lay" is the descending four-note steel guitar riff that recurs throughout the track, acting as a guide for the song to keep shifting keys downward. Dylan sings his words of romantic, and probably sexual, anticipation in a pleasing low croon that took many fans aback, though usually in a pleasant way, when it was first heard in 1969. Dylan had been almost wholly identified with a high nasal vocal twang prior to that; his "new" voice was said to be a result of quitting smoking, but was also an aspect of his vocal persona that he had actually possessed since at least the early '60s, as some unreleased bootleg tapes from then indicate. Whatever the reason, it was far more accessible to AM radio listeners than his previous shrill voice had been. The song's appeal was also heightened by a nice bridge in which the tempo changed to a rockier groove and Dylan's more urgent vocals were answered with brief, bluesy guitar licks. The most country-ish aspects of the song come to the forefront on the brief coda, where the steel guitar resolves the tune with some different ascending riffs than are heard elsewhere on the track. Some read blatant sexual references into the lyrics (particularly the title), but these couldn't have hurt airplay too much, considering how high it charted. For obvious reasons, "Lay Lady Lay" has been one of Dylan's more covered tunes, spurring versions by Ramblin' Jack Elliott, the Byrds, Jackie DeShannon, the Everly Brothers, Melanie, Richie Havens, and many others, including unlikely suspects such as the Isley Brothers.       03:21
   07   One More Night             02:24
   08   Tell Me That It Isn't True       Song Review by Thomas Ward One of the most minor songs on Bob Dylan's Nashville Skyline is "Tell Me That It Isn't True." Although relatively minor compared with the likes of "Lay Lady Lay" and "I Threw It All Away," this is nevertheless a highly infectious tune which highlights a wonderfully bouncy and syncopated bass line together with a highly tuneful and even humorous vocal by Dylan, which in places clearly tries to imitate Elvis Presley. In fact, Dylan originally planned this tune as a " polka-type thing" although by the time of recording it had been transformed into a rather conventional country lament. The success of this song can be largely put down to the looseness of the ensemble playing, which gives a remarkable freshness to the tune (the guitar break is a pure joy), which takes the listener's attention away from arguably Dylan's most cliché-ridden, even trite, lyrics, with couplets like "I know that some other man is holding you tight/It hurts me all over, it doesn't seem right." Given the slightness of this composition, there are very few covers versions of any note; only Robert Forster is able to inject new life into the song on his album I Had a New York Girlfriend.       02:43
   09   Country Pie             01:38
   10   Tonight I'll Be Staying Here With You       Song Review by Thomas Ward Generally regarded as the most fully realized song on Nashville Skyline, this is also the song in which Dylan gives the most committed vocal on the album, and a song which is often claimed as one of Dylan's own personal favorites. Once again following a traditional country structure (I-IV-V chord progression), this song is highlighted by some wonderful rolling piano and, as with most of the album, a tremendously fluid bass line. It would appear in the lyrics of this song that Dylan was ready to become a family man, ready to abandon his "outlaw" image. Lyrics such as "For your loves comes on so strong/And I've waited all day long/For tonight, when I'll be staying here with you" are filled with real sincerity and tenderness, with the singer's voice caressing each word. As with most of the album, the actual artistic achievement of this song may be modest (especially compared to Dylan's earlier works), but as a simple, stately country song it is a delight. Unlike many of the more throwaway tracks on the album, Dylan has regularly performed the song in concert, highlighted by a raucous version on his Rolling Thunder Revue tour. Released as a single, it broke the Top 20 in many countries and hence is a popular choice for other artists. Both Jeff Beck and Albert Lee have recorded interesting versions of it, although most seem to lack the charm of the composer's own take on the song.       03:21
Date de sortie originale 09/04/1969
Numéro Cat. 512346 6
Emballage Jewel Case
Audio Stereo
User Defined
Reference No D-00007
Vocals Johnny Cash
Vocals Bob Dylan
Guitar-Electric Carl Perkins
Acoustic Guitar Norman Blake
Drums and Percussion W.S. Holland
Vocals Bob Wilson
Vocals Charles Mccoy
Vocals Charlie Daniels
Vocals Kenny Buttrey
Vocals Pete Drake
Producteur Bob Johnston
Ingénieur du son Charlie Bragg; Neil Wilburn
Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine John Wesley Harding suggested country with its textures and structures, but Nashville Skyline was a full-fledged country album, complete with steel guitars and brief, direct songs. It's a warm, friendly album, particularly since Bob Dylan is singing in a previously unheard gentle croon - the sound of his voice is so different it may be disarming upon first listen, but it suits the songs. While there are a handful of lightweight numbers on the record, at its core are several excellent songs - "Lay Lady Lay," "To Be Alone With You," "I Threw It All Away," "Tonight I'll Be Staying Here With You," as well as a duet with Johnny Cash on "Girl From the North Country" - that have become country-rock standards. And there's no discounting that Nashville Skyline, arriving in the spring of 1969, established country-rock as a vital force in pop music, as well as a commercially viable genre. [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.]