Bob Dylan – Nashville Skyline

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Bob Dylan caps off the (/his) revolutionary 60s with a really laid back album that’s not going to blow any minds, except his voice because he completely restrains his nasally whine and cigarette-induced rasp; he sounds younger than yesterday. “Lay Lady Lay” is the classic, with the most thought given to the texture and the most indelible melody, with Bob Dylan seducing you over a bed of feathery percussion while a steel guitar pedal whispers in your ear. But almost every track here is a winner, replete with delicious guitar lines, counterpointing piano, generous helpings of pedal steel guitar and vocals sung with a smile. The only exception is “Girl From the North Country,” which is slower and sparser than anything else that follows; 90% of the song is the wow factor of having the two heavyweights together (even though they mix like oil and water). I know when he says “Is it rolling, Bob?” on “To Be Alone With You,” he means the tape and he means Bob Johnston, but I can’t help but answer “It sure is, Bob!” as in the music and as in Bob Dylan.

B+

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6 responses to “Bob Dylan – Nashville Skyline

  1. Great review. My favourite track here is ‘I Threw It All Away’ by far, which I like to refer to as “country-soul”. Certainly one of the most emotional moments in his discography for me. And I like the performance of it he did for the Johnny Cash show too, check it out if you haven’t (I won’t be surprised if the video gets taken down from YouTube by the time I finish writing this, as happens to all Bob Dylan videos for some reason). ‘Girl From North Country’ sounded so awkward to me for the longest time, but lately I’ve grown to appreciate the passion they put into the singing. Sloppy, but passionate. I own an original 1969 UK pressing of this album which I’ve been told is pretty valuable.

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