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Nashville SkylineRelaxed 1969 Album Soothes With Country Sounds and Amicable Simplicity
Hyper-Detailed 45RPM Version Allows You to Experience Dylan's All-Time Cleanest Vocal Performances Like Never Before: Soft, Smooth Croon a Dramatic Change from His Past
Songs Reflect Rustic Charm, Cozy Retreat, Idyllic Satisfaction
Includes Duet With Johnny Cash, Plus Lay Lady Lay and Tonight I'll Be Staying Here With You
For an artist whose career is flush with enigma, myth, and disguise, Nashville Skyline still surprises more than almost any other Bob Dylan move more four decades after its original release. Distinguished from every other Dylan album by virtue of the smooth vocal performances and simple ease, the 1969 record witnesses the icon's full-on foray into country and trailblazing of the country-rock movement that followed. Cozy, charming, and warm, the rustic set remains for many hardcore fans the Bard's most enjoyable effort. And most inimitable. The result of quitting smoking, Dylan's voice is in pristine shape, nearly unidentifiable from the nasal wheeze and folk accents displayed on prior records.
Mastered on Mobile Fidelity's world-renowned mastering system and pressed at RTI, this restored 45RPM analog version zeroes in on the shocking purity and never-again-replicated croon of Dylan's vocals. Enhanced, too, are the images associated with the calmly strummed and picked acoustic guitars and decay connected to the fading notes. The dimensions and ambience of the Columbia studio translate via subtle echoes and natural blend of instruments melding with one another, akin to honey integrating with tea. Providing comparably soothing effects, relaxing vibes pour forth from this reissue, which affords this masterpiece the fidelity it's always deserved. Wider grooves mean more information reaches your ears.
"Is it rolling, Bob?," Dylan famously queries producer Bob Johnson at the beginning of "To Be Alone With You," indicating the laissez-faire feelings that surrounded the sessions and helped yield the laidback, convivial music defining the album-arguably the most unique in the artist's vast catalog. While he dipped his toes into country waters on the preceding John Wesley Harding, Nashville Skyline throws its collective arms around the style in bear-hug fashion and drops any obvious folk references. Everything from the songs' moods to the amicable arrangements reacts against the era's turmoil and popular sounds.
This beautiful and beautifully executed effort might stand as Dylan's most effective protest ever, even if many missed the point upon original release. Advocating peace, love, and old-world allure without calling attention to any characteristic in an overly forward manner, Dylan frames the songs as ballads, rags, lullabies, and gentle honky-tonk dances. He adheres to expeditious brevity, keeping the arrangements tight and free of any filler, thus allowing the melodies to immediately work their magic and place hummable memories inside listeners' heads.
Indeed, if any Dylan masterpiece is overlooked, it's Nashville Skyline. In addition to his superb singing and infallible songs, Dylan enjoys backing from a crackerjack assembly of Nashville session musicians including Charlie Daniels, Marshall Grant, W.S. Holland, Charlie McCoy, Ken Buttrey, and Norman Blake. Country pros, and their respective performances, don't come any better.
As much as on any of his records, Dylan resides in a good place, mentally and emotionally. The idyllic, warmhearted environs of Nashville Skyline stand apart now just as they did in the late 1960s. The sincerity conveyed on the inviting "Lay Lady Lay," relief sighed on the romantic "Tonight I'll Be Staying Here With You," and unlimited promise expressed on the jittery "To Be Alone With You" parallel the lessons-learned yearning and genuine desire found on "One More Night," bracing "I Threw It All Away," and eternal "Girl From the North Country," performed to perfection with Johnny Cash.
This title is not eligible for discount.1. Girl From the North Country
2. Nashville Skyline Rag
3. To Be Alone With You
4. I Threw It All Away
5. Peggy Day
6. Lay Lady Lay
7. One More Night
8. Tell Me That It Isn't True
9. Country Pie
10. Tonight I'll Be Staying Here With You$49.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP 45 RPM - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
New MorningSublime 1970 Album Among Loosest, Jovial of Dylan's Career
Includes Hit Single If Not for You and The Man In Me, Featured in the Film The Big Lebowski
Dylan's Phrasing and Piano Playing Parallel Efforts of His Crack Backing Band
Stunning Reissue Boasts Phenomenally Open Sound: New Morning Has Never Enjoyed Better Fidelity
The album might have saved Bob Dylan's career. At the least, it proved the icon still relevant, and his wits still in tact. And it immediately followed what remains the artist's biggest disaster, the yet-unexplained and forever puzzling Self Portrait, a nearly unlistenable attempt that caused many to wonder whether Dylan had lost his mind. If intended as a joke, it bombed, making the sublime New Morning all the more important to restore faith in the singer's creativity and songwriting prowess. It did all this and more, and stands as his finest studio effort during a five-year span.
Mastered on Mobile Fidelity's world-renowned mastering system and pressed at RTI, this restored analog version spotlights the open, woozy sound that welcomes wholeheartedly Dylan's piano, several eager guitars, female background singers, Al Kooper's organ, and snappy drumming into a world of their own. New Morning remains one of Dylan's loosest and jovial affairs, the instruments retaining an off-the-cuff sensibility relating to a nightclub atmosphere or live stage feel. On this reissue, notes naturally dangle and fade, allowing the playful vibes and humor to come through like never before. Consequently, the album can be experienced with a new perspective. Wider grooves mean more information reaches your ears.
"Many of the songs seem to have been made up on the spot, with confidence in the ability of first-rate musicians to move in any direction at any time," wrote Dylan expert and cultural critic Greil Marcus in his original review for the New York Times. "The riffs, inventions, and studio jams of New Morning have their own personality the full joy of anticipating the right move and the exhilaration of hitting it square and bouncing off a chord into a new lyric."
These observations hold true today, for the 1970 effort claims a daring flair Dylan rarely exhibited on albums before or since. Enthusiasm and excitement surround his singing, and his work on the 88s underlines the liberating arrangements. Offbeat and eclectic, the record frolics and swings, with the Bard and his crack band pursuing jazzy steps ("Sign on the Window"), shuffling spoken-word experiments ("If Dogs Run Free"), and soulful rock ("The Man In Me," used to wonderful and prominent effect in the Coen Brothers film The Big Lebowski).
Throughout, Dylan's phrasing communicates joyousness and simplicity seemingly carried over from the stripped-down John Wesley Harding and Nashville Skyline. The record's dominant sentiments trace to the lead track, "If Not For You," one of the singer's all-time greatest singles, stitched with country threads and warmth that pervades everything that follows. Yes, New Morning may lack the iconic status of some of Dylan's better-known records. Yet the underdog stature makes repeat listens all the more rewarding.
This title is not eligible for discount.1. If Not for You
2. Day of the Locusts
3. Time Passes Slowly
4. Went to See the Gypsy
6. If Dogs Run Free
7. New Morning
8. Sign on the Window
9. One More Weekend
10. The Man In Me
11. Three Angels
12. Father of Night$34.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
The GreatestCat Power's (aka Chan Marshall) 2006 masterpiece The Greatest (not a greatest hits album, despite the title) features 12 dreamy country soul tracks recorded in Memphis at Ardent Studios under the supervision of Stuart Sikes. The sublime set finds Marshall wonderfully supported by the great Memphis session musicians Teenie Hodges on guitar and Leroy Hodges on bass (Al Green, Hi Rhythm Section), drummer Steve Potts, Jim Spake, Hubby Michell and other legends.
The combination of Marshall's superbly evocative and flexible voice, a soul voice even back when she played with indie rockers, with some of the greatest Southern soul players still alive, has produced a timeless release on par with Dusty Springfield's Dusty in Memphis or Bob Dylan's Nashville Skyline.
The songs, all original Marshall compositions, explore themes of Southern loss, longing and marginality. From the title track, a story about a boy who longs to become a boxer but struggles against his poverty-stricken background, to tales of other marginal figures, The Greatest is all about triumphing over the odds. Matador Records 120g vinyl reissue with MP3 coupon.1. The Greatest
2. Living Proof
3. Lived In Bars
4. Could We
5. Empty Shell
7. Where Is My Love
8. The Moon
10. After It All
12. Love & Communication$22.99Vinyl LP Reissue - Sealed Buy Now
$24.99$9.99Save $15.00 (60%)
Off The Grid - Doin' It Dylan (On Sale)Back when Charlie Daniels was a working musician and not a star, he played on three albums by Bob Dylan -- he played guitar and bass on the sessions that became Nashville Skyline, Self Portrait, and New Morning (which means he also shows up on the acclaimed 2013 archival release, Another Self Portrait (1969-1971)) -- so his decision to cut an album devoted to Dylan is not out of the blue. What is surprising is that Off the Grid: Doin' It Dylan isn't one of Daniels' tossed-off latter-day albums, but rather a record where Charlie really digs in, savoring the interplay of his band as well as how the words feel in his mouth. Daniels does indeed choose a few of Bob's densely written songs -- Mr. Tambourine Man, A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall, and Just Like a Woman are here, none of them seeming like easy fits on paper, but each carried with conviction by Charlie -- along with country-rockers that are sure bets: the rollicking ditty Country Pie, I'll Be Your Baby Tonight, and Tangled Up in Blue, whose narrative gets trimmed down and sped up without losing its power. That impassioned reworking of Tangled Up in Blue -- which finds a counterpart in a nicely raucous back porch rendition of Quinn the Eskimo -- goes a long way toward explaining what's so joyous about Off the Grid. Daniels enjoys not the words of Dylan so much as the melodies and music, using these songs not as ruminative reflection but full-bore celebration. Even the ballads -- and there are a few here -- are played for keeps and if that music-first emphasis is a relative rarity among Dylan tributes, it's also true that it's been a long time since Daniels has sounded as engaged on a record as he is here.
- Stephen Thomas Erlewine (All Music Guide)
This title is not eligible for further discount.1. Tangled up in Blue
2. Times They Are a Changin'
3. I'll Be Your Baby Tonight
4. Gotta Serve Somebody
5. I Shall Be Released
6. Country Pie
7. Mr. Tambourine Man
8. Hard Rain's a Gonna Fall
9. Just Like a Woman
10. Quinn the Eskimo (The Mighty Quinn)$24.99 $9.99 Save $15.00 (60%)Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now