Together Through Life: A Look Back at Ten (Officially Released) Bob Dylan Rarities – PART TWO

Originally posted 2009-04-11 22:07:07. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Chris Moore:

With just over three weeks to go before the release of Bob Dylan’s thirty-third studio album, Together Through Life, anticipation is high.  A couple weeks ago, a free download of the lead track “Beyond Here Lies Nothin'” was released as a temporary free download at bobdylan.com.  In typical Dylan fashion, his music remains enigmatic, even in the age of digital music and online samples.

Even iTunes does not provide the standard 30-second preview tracks for any of the songs on Together Through Life — aside from the aforementioned first song, of course.

What we do have — and what is somewhat surprising — is Dylan’s own words about the upcoming release.  In Bill Flanagan’s ten page interview, Dylan reflected on some of the new songs and upon the overall ideas and themes of the upcoming album.  When asking about the lack of guitar solos, Flanagan referred to the integral aspect of solos in Aerosmith recordings.  I had to laugh at Dylan’s response.  He said, “What can I say?  If I had Joe Perry with me, everything would obviously be different. As it is though, he wasn’t there. Soloing is not a big part of my records anyway. Nobody buys them to hear solos. What I try to do is to make sure that the instrumental sections are dynamic and are extensions of the overall feeling of the song.”

While this was an interesting response, I most enjoyed reading about his take on dreams.  He said, “Dreams can lead us up a blind alley. Everybody has dreams. We go to sleep and we dream. I’ve always thought of them as coming out of the subconscious. I guess you can interpret them. Dreams can tell us a lot about ourselves, if we can remember them. We can see what’s coming around the corner sometimes without actually going to the corner.”

In a lot of ways, that’s what Dylan’s songs have always done for me and what they seem to have done for many of his fans — lead us to corners that we couldn’t even dream of and take us around them, if only for the duration of the performance.

So, what is a person to do while waiting for this new release?  In my case, I decided to listen to all 678 Bob Dylan tracks on my iPod.  This included all seven tracks of Dylan and the Dead, so you know I’m serious!  The only rules to this little game are that I couldn’t skip any tracks, even if I ended up listening to fifteen versions of “It’s Alright Ma (I’m Only Bleeding)” in one day.

Three weeks ago, I brought you the first five in my list of ten Bob Dylan rarities that I had either forgotten about or hadn’t listened to in a long time.  Today, I bring you the final five in my list.  I hope you enjoy this trip down Obscurity Lane, and I hope this helps you cope with the wait until April 28th…

Ten (Officially Released) Bob Dylan Rarities:

6) “Gonna Change My Way of Thinking” (with Mavis Staples) – Okay, I know what you may be thinking.  Yes, this is the version from the compilation album Gotta Serve Somebody: The Gospel Songs of Bob Dylan.  While I’m not a gospel enthusiast, I had to hear this new recording by the man himself.  I don’t know what I expected, but it certainly wasn’t what I got.  This version of “Gonna Change My Way of Thinking” is no more gospel than it is hip hop.  It is 100%, pure rock’n roll with a driving beat, ragged vocals from Dylan, and a heavy-handed drum beat from George Receli. The most soulful part of the song is the guitar solo.  Not only is it an amazing track, but it has an unprecedented breakd0wn 30 seconds in, complete with Dylan inviting Mavis Staples onto the recording, admitting to her that he’s been reading “Snooze-Week” with the blues, and Mavis telling him that he’s got to sing!  Then, they proceed to duet for the remainder of the track.  (Some may disagree with me on this choice, but it has a soft spot in my heart — what a great rarity!)

7) “Goin’ to Acapulco” – I hadn’t listened to The Basement Tapes in full for a few years.  I had sort of forgotten about this simple, but wonderful track.  “Goin’ to Acapulco” is one of the first songs I learned to play on guitar.  I always loved how it (along with many other songs from the sessions) appeared non-sensical at first and yet offered so much after a close listening.  I mean, come on.  There is certainly a double meaning to lines like “She gives it to me for a song” and “Rose Marie, she likes to go to big places and just set there waitin’ for me to come…”  Classic Dylan.

8 ) “Country Pie” (Live) Bob Dylan Live 1961-2000: Thirty-nine years of great concert performances, the compilation from which this track hails, was my initiation into the world of Bob Dylan bootlegs.  Or, so I thought at the time.  It turns out it’s just an import and therefore a semi-official release…  Regardless, this is a great track for anyone who enjoys seeing Dylan play live these days.  Recorded in 2000 in Portsmouth, England, this track is a nice example of why I’ve been anxiously waiting for a live Dylan release based in the new millennium.  And, of all tracks to dust off, “Country Pie” is an interesting choice.  As per usual, Dylan reinvents and reinvigorates this Nashville Skyline classic and made me love it all over again.

9) “I Was Young When I Left Home” – A traditional song that Dylan recorded on the “Minnesota Hotel Tape” in December 1961, I first heard this track when it was released in the limited edition packaging of Love & Theft.  Aside from presenting such a stark contrast — both vocally and instrumentally — to the material on his 2001 album, this song immediately stood out to me.  It has a warm quality, probably due to the fact that the recording quality is limited.  There is something fitting about releasing this early track so late in his career.  The main focus of the song is leaving home and heading out to the world at large, only to find that things are not going well at home.  Still, the singer is broke and feels he “can’t go home this a-way.”  There are some great lines, such as the double meaning in “I’m playin’ on a track…” (he means a railroad track, but it also carries the musical reference of recording a song).  Fortunately, this song was released on the No Direction Home soundtrack, so much more of Dylan’s fanbase has been able to hear this little gem.

10) “Maggie’s Farm” (Live at the Newport Folk Festival, July 1965) – Last but certainly not least — and also from the No Direction Home “Bootleg Series” release — this version of “Maggie’s Farm” finally, officially presented we latter-day Dylan fans with a primary document of sorts.  From all the stories that have been told about that year’s Newport Folk Festival (the Pete Seeger ax story being my personal favorite legend), I think I honestly expected more.  This performance is fairly straightforward, complete with a Tennessee Three-esque static bass line.  And yet, I can understand from hearing this track what a shock it must have been to have the typically solo Dylan appear with a full band and with amplifiers cranked to the maximum to boot.  This is truly a historic track that I was thrilled to finally hear — and in those terms, it’s really second only to the “Judas!” 1966 Royal Albert Hall performance of “Like A Rolling Stone.”

** Even as I type the final words of this post, I realize just how many other amazing tracks that I have omitted from this list.  I hope you’ve enjoyed my choices, and please feel free to share any other tracks you think should have made the cut! **

“Beyond Here Lies Nothin'” by Bob Dylan – Chords, Tabs, and How to Play (Lyrics from “Together Through Life”)

Originally posted 2009-03-30 06:33:41. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

For the cover song music video, CLICK HERE!

” Beyond Here Lies Nothin’ ”
Bob Dylan

Am – Am – Dm – Am – E – Am

Am
Oh, well, I love you pretty baby;
You’re the only love I’ve ever known.
Am                                  Dm
Just as long as you stay with me,
Dm                               Am
The whole world is my throne.

Am                      E
Beyond here lies nothin’…
E                                      Am
Nothin’ we can call our own.

Well I’m moving after midnight
Down boulevards of broken cars.
Don’t know what I’d do without her,
Without this love that we call ours.

Beyond here lies nothin’…
Nothing but the moon and stars.

(SOLO)

Down every street there’s a window,
And every window’s made of glass.
We’ll keep on lovin’ pretty baby,
For as long as love will last.

Beyond here lies nothin’…
But the mountains of the past.

(SOLO) x2

Well my ship is in harbor,
And the sails are spread.
Listen to me, pretty baby:
Lay your hand upon my head.

Beyond here lies nothin’…
Nothin’ done and nothin’ said.

Am

** These chords and lyrics are interpretations and transcriptions, respectively, and are the sole property of the copyright holder(s). They are posted on this website free of charge for no profit for the purpose of study and commentary, as allowed for under the “fair use” provision of U.S. copyright law, and should only be used for such personal and/or academic work. **

“Beyond Here Lies Nothin’” (Bob Dylan Cover)

Originally posted 2009-03-30 22:11:51. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

For Bob Dylan chords and lyrics, CLICK HERE!

By Chris Moore:

It was definitely one of those “clouds parting” kind of Chris Moore Mondays for me.

First of all, I should clarify that “Chris Moore Mondays” is the title we use around here to remind you all that it’s my job to post a great cover song music video for you each and every Monday evening.  Next, I should explain the “clouds parting” aspect.  Well, I woke up around 5:30 this morning and was having serious difficulty getting myself out of bed.  Then, I noticed I had an email from bobdylan.com.

Long story short, I had woken up to find the link to a free download of the new, unreleased Bob Dylan track “Beyond Here Lies Nothin.'”  It will be track one on his upcoming album, Together Through Life, to be released on Tuesday, April 28th.  Sorry, Jim — this means that your birthday the following day is going to be something of an anti-climax.  😉

In all seriousness, this is an exciting bit of New Music Tuesday news.  After all, there were five years of separation between 2001’s Love and Theft and 2006’s Modern Times.  Now, it’s been less than three years and there’s a new release.  Based on the first track alone, I couldn’t be more excited.  It’s a pretty simple song — only three chords and a basic verse, chorus, repeat structure with a few instrumental breaks thrown in and a classic Dylan chorus style in which the lines in each chorus are slightly different.  I wasn’t sure what to think of the lyrics at first, but they’ve really grown on me today as I’ve listened to the song repeatedly and learned to play it.  I’m still not sure what to think of lines like “The whole world is my throne” or “And every window’s made of glass.”

The conclusion I’ve come to is that this is a deceptively simple song.  In the beginning of the song, Dylan sings of a lover in terms that express fairly standard love-song mentalities.  Still, by the end of the track, he compares himself to a ship in harbor with the sails up.  This implies that the ship is about to leave harbor, or perhaps that he is ready to move on to something — or someone — new.  And yet he goes on to tell his lover that she should lay her hand upon his head.  In typical Dylan fashion, even a love song has darker overtones, as played out in the chorus lines.  The choral sections really are my favorite lines.  “Beyond here lies nothin,'” he sings, “But the mountains of the past” or “Nothin’ done and nothin’ said.”  There is simply nowhere else he would rather be than where he is, as he acknowledges that there is nothing “beyond here.”  The questions, of course, are 1) where is “here”? and 2) does he really want to be “here” or are there simply no better options?

As I mentioned, it’s a fairly simple song.  Even I was able to figure it out in short order.  It’s three chords — Am, Dm, and E — easily within my register with an uptempo beat.  It’s actually caused a bit of a debate among Dylan fans who have disagreed over the use of accordion in the song and the state of Dylan’s vocal abilities.  As far as I’m concerned, the instrumentation is excellent, raw and loose but very intentional and fitting, accordion or no accordion.  As for Dylan’s voice, I read one user’s take on the fansite expectingrain.com.  He essentially said that Dylan’s vocals have deteriorated even more than they had on Modern Times.  My reaction is simple:

Really?

I mean, if you’ve followed Dylan over the past decade and enjoyed Time Out of Mind or the aforementioned two albums, then you know that his gritty vocals are fitting.  He may not stand a chance on American Idol, but I’m not so sure that’s a bad thing!  Another post that I read made a great deal of sense.  This user basically argued that Dylan’s vocals on studio recordings and during live performances should be weighed separately.  I agree with this — while his vocals may be a bit difficult to understand and follow in concerts at times, his studio recordings haven’t failed to impress me — including vocals, instruments, etc.

Needless to say, I hope you enjoy my take on this brand new Dylan song.  If you’re a guitarist, you should check out my chords and lyrics (see the link above) and have fun playing it yourself.  And, without further ado, I wish you a good night and a great week…

See you next session!

“Here, There, and Everywhere” (Beatles Cover)

Originally posted 2007-10-18 01:08:52. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Jim Fusco:

Welcome to a new era in online music videos: The Laptop Sessions acoustic cover songs music video blog!

Modeled after Ed Robertson’s (of Barenaked Ladies) incredible “Bathroom Sessions,” YouTube acoustic music video series, we will be recording songs on video using the built-in camera on our Macbook laptops. So, wherever the laptop goes, we’ll record a new cover song video!

Tonight, I start the series off with a song from the Beatles, “Here, There, and Everywhere,” a great tune by Paul McCartney (and John Lennon, for copyright’s sake). I recorded it at 2 am in my living room. This is a great song from the “Revolver” album- it shows Paul’s softer side. I remember reading a story about this song. The Beatles wanted to do some nice harmonies for the background vocals. So, George Martin (their producer) helped them out and came up with the nice background vocal part you hear on the original record. Well, the Beatles loved it and that’s what you hear on the final record. When asked about the harmony part, though, George Martin pointed out that there really was nothing to it- he basically just played a chord and gave a note to each member. They call that a “block” harmony. Simply put, each member just sings the next note (up or down, depending on the tune) in sequence. There isn’t any cross-harmonies or anything complex. If the melody goes up, your note goes up. It’s the easiest way of doing harmony. But, for “Here, There, and Everywhere”, it was exactly what the Beatles wanted.

I’m not sure why I chose this as my first video. I think it’s one of those songs that I always loved and when I saw how to play it, I really just wanted to give it a try. In the process, I thought I would record a live acoustic version of it. This song was played at my parents’ wedding and it’s always had some importance to our family. I know the recording quality isn’t great, but when I recorded this, they had an option of recording live right onto YouTube’s video servers. So, I had little control of the video quality or (especially) the sound. You can hear the whirl of my Macbook laptop’s fans in the background and the color (and the video angle) leaves much to be desired. But, every great project must start somewhere and I’m glad it could be with such a great song in “Here, There, and Everywhere”.

These videos are meant to show our passion for music and our love to play constantly, so look for updates every couple of days. That’s right: days!!

Enjoy and we hope to see you back here on the music video blog often. We’ll be featuring many acoustic cover songs and original music for your enjoyment. Please remember to subscribe to the music blog so you can be the first to know when a new video is uploaded!  And make sure to check out all of our Beatles cover songs– I’m sure there will be many!