Bob Dylan – Nashville Skyline [Number One Album in UK – 9th June 1969]

Bob_Dylan_-_Nashville_Skyline

I Threw It All Away – wp.me/p3uHDF-g4

Lay Lady Lay – wp.me/p3uHDF-g3

Tonight I’ll Be Staying Here with You – wp.me/p3uHDF-g2

“Bob Dylan’s ninth album poses fewer mysteries and yet, paradoxically, offers greater rewards than any of his previous work. Its only difficulties aren’t metaphysical or interpretative — indeed, the beauty and openness within is kept almost rigorously simple in genre — but rather those of taking the artist’s new-found happiness and maturity for exactly what they appear to be. That smiling face on the cover tells all — and isn’t it wonderful?

Most obviously, Nashville Skyline continues Dylan’s rediscovered romance with rural music (here complete with a more suitable, subtle “country” voice). The new LP represents a natural progression, both historically and emotionally, from the folk-music landscapes of John Wesley Harding into the more modern country-and-western worlds of Hank Williams, Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Buddy Holly, the Everly Brothers, and Jerry Lee Lewis.

In Harding, Dylan superimposed a vision of intellectual complexity onto the warm, inherent mysticism of Southern Mountain music, rather like certain French directors (especially Jean-Luc Godard) who have taken American gangster movies and added to them layers of 20th-century philosophy. The effect is not unlike Jean-Paul Sartre playing the five-string banjo. The folk element gains a Kafka-esque chimericality, and the philosophy a bedrock simplicity that leaves it all but invisible and thus easy to assimilate. “Down Along the Cove” and “I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight,” exceptions to the above and the record’s last two songs, are almost a microcosm of the geography to come.

Nashville Skyline is a jewel of construction with three distinct beginnings. The much-anticipated guitar-and-vocal duet with Johnny Cash, a stately and beautiful rendition of “Girl from the North Country,” is a thoughtful bonus to the listener, a musical postcard to an old Minnesota love, and a reminder that Dylan has always been capable of tenderness. The song’s most painful verse — “Many times I’ve often prayed/In the darkness of my night” — has been deleted here.

The second beginning — or, if you prefer, an intermission in which each performer gets a chance to solo — “Nashville Skyline Rag,” serves as an instrumental introduction to the album’s excellent personnel: Kenny Buttrey, Charlie McCoy, Pete Drake, Norman Blake, Charlie Daniels, and Bob Wilson. It’s country music at its joyful, shit-kicking best.

Dylan finally announces the LP’s “real” beginning, “To Be Alone With You,” when he asks producer Bob Johnston, “Is it rolling, Bob?” Unlike the Beatles, he may not want to take us home with him, but he makes it quite clear that what follows should be viewed as a personal confrontation: “Everything is always all right/When I’m alone with you.”

“I Threw It All Away,” the first of the record’s three classic love songs, couples a haunting melody and magnificent singing to the hard-won realization that “Love is all we need/It makes the world go round.” In contradiction to the earlier “It Ain’t Me, Babe,” Dylan, cast as someone who has formerly tried to do without deep affection, now wants very much to be “A lover for your life and nothing more.” This is clearly going to be an album of staying, not leaving.

A good-natured exercise in country wordplay (“Love to spend the night with Peggy Day … Love to spend the day with Peggy Night”), complete with a Presley rave-up finale, “Peggy Day” presents two delightful sides of one ideal woman; or maybe two delightful women, each with one ideal side. “By golly, what more can I say!”

Side two begins with another classic. “Lay Lady Lay” has the organ sound of Highway 61 Dylan, and the lyrics are not as stringently genre-bound. “Whatever colors you have in mind/I’ll show them to you and you’ll see them shine” is more a metaphysical leap than a naturalistic hop, while “His clothes are dirty/But his hands are clean” seems a self-conscious attempt to needlessly bring it all back home.

“One More Night” and “Tell Me That It Isn’t True” are My-baby-left-me songs, but, as is befitting the structures of country music, there is little or no bitterness, and Dylan even calls one of the girls his “best pal.” The former, with its “Tonight, no light will shine on me” line, echoes the “dark side of the road” imagery of “Don’t Think Twice,” but its protagonist, unlike the hero of “It Ain’t Me, Babe,” can only mournfully state, “I just could not be/What she wanted me to be.” The latter bears a superficial resemblance to “Positively 4th Street” in that the singer has been put down strongly by someone dear to him. Rather than rage, the reaction here is a gentle “Darling, I’m counting on you/Tell me that it isn’t true.”

In some ways, the final song of the LP should logically be “Country Pie,” an unabashed tribute to country music (“Love that country pie!”) and a clear statement of Dylan’s present credo: “Ain’t running any race/Get me my country pie/I won’t throw it up in anybody’s face.”

As with Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, Nashville Skyline saves the best until last. “Tonight I’ll Be Staying Here With You” fuses personal commitment with professional preference, and functions as a sort of very content “A Day in the Life.” Musically, it’s brilliant, with a powerful Jerry Lee Lewis stride piano leading the way. Although the symbolism is hobo-traditional, the mise-en-scene of melody, lyrics, and performance overpowers and explodes any genre limitations in a glorious flow of every sort of imaginable triumph.

Perhaps, after all, it is more difficult to convey meaningfully a total fulfilment of marriage and family life than it is to create a nightmare world of complex hallucination, even though the latter seems more painfully our own. In many ways, Nashville Skyline achieves the artistically impossible: a deep, humane, and interesting statement about being happy.

It could well be what Dylan thinks it is, his best album”.

Paul Nelson – May 31st, 1969 – Rolling Stone.

Tracklisting:

Side One

Girl from the North Country (with Johnny Cash) – 3:41

Nashville Skyline Rag – 3:12

To Be Alone with You – 2:07

I Threw It All Away – 2:23

Peggy Day – 2:01

Side Two

Lay Lady Lay – 3:18

One More Night – 2:23

Tell Me That It Isn’t True – 2:41

Country Pie – 1:37

Tonight I’ll Be Staying Here with You – 3:23

All songs written by Bob Dylan.

Personnel

Bob Dylan – guitar, harmonica, keyboards, vocals

Additional musicians:

Norman Blake – guitar, dobro

Kenneth A. Buttrey – drums

Johnny Cash – vocals

Fred Carter, Jr. – guitar

Charlie Daniels – bass guitar, guitar

Pete Drake – pedal steel guitar

Marshall Grant – bass guitar on “Girl from North Country”

W.S. Holland – drums on “Girl from North Country”

Charlie McCoy – guitar, harmonica

Bob Wilson – organ, piano

Bob Wootton – electric guitar on “Girl from North Country”

Bob Johnston – Producer

Charlie Bragg – engineer

Neil Wilburn – engineer

Bob Dylan – I Threw It All Away (single) – Nashville Skyline (album) [Number One Album in UK – 9th June 1969]

I_Threw_It_All_Away_single_cover

The first single from the Nashville Skyline album.

This video version is from The Johnny Cash TV Show (1969).

Bob Dylan – Nashville Skyline [Number One Album in UK – 9th June 1969] – wp.me/p3uHDF-g5

Lay Lady Lay – wp.me/p3uHDF-g3

Tonight I’ll Be Staying Here with You – wp.me/p3uHDF-g2

Bob Dylan – Lay Lady Lay (single) – Nashville Skyline (album) [Number One Album in UK – 9th June 1969]

LayLadyLay45

The second single from the Nashville Skyline album.

Released July 1969.

Bob Dylan – Nashville Skyline [Number One Album in UK – 9th June 1969] – wp.me/p3uHDF-g5

I Threw It All Away – wp.me/p3uHDF-g4

Tonight I’ll Be Staying Here with You – wp.me/p3uHDF-g2

Bob Dylan – Tonight I’ll Be Staying Here With You (single) – Nashville Skyline (album) [Number One Album in UK – 9th June 1969]

Tonight_I'll_Be_Staying_Here_with_You

The third single released from the Nashville Skyline album.

This video version is an outtake from the MTV Unplugged album.

Bob Dylan – Nashville Skyline [Number One Album in UK – 9th June 1969] – wp.me/p3uHDF-g5

I Threw It All Away – wp.me/p3uHDF-g4

Lay Lady Lay – wp.me/p3uHDF-g3

Oasis – Don’t Believe the Truth (album) [Number 1 UK Album – 5th June 2005]

Oasis_Don't_Believe_the_Truth

English rock band Oasis had the No. 1 album in the UK on the 5th June 2005 with Don’t Believe the Truth.

Their sixth studio album saw each member of the band make a songwriting contribution for the album; it was the first Oasis record to feature the drumming of Zak Starkey, who replaced the band’s longtime drummer Alan White.

Don’t Believe the Truth was recorded between October 2004 – February 2005 in London and Los Angeles; with Noel Gallagher handling production duties with Dave Sardy, a Brooklyn musician, songwriter and record producer who has worked with acts such as Jet & Wolfmother.

The Don’t Believe the Truth Tour saw the band play to 3.2 million people across 26 countries at a total of 113 concerts.

To date the album has sold more than 7 million copies worldwide.

Lyla – wp.me/p3uHDF-ev

The Importance Of Being Idle – wp.me/p3uHDF-es

Let There Be Love – wp.me/p3uHDF-en

Don’t Believe the Truth (full album) – wp.me/p3uHDF-ey

“Do you remember the first time? The leathered sneer of Liam Gallagher that only a smack in the gob from his brother could silence, and his songwriting genius, and the swagger of their band (the ‘Sex Beatles’ is how a magazine called The Face heralded them) and the early records like ‘Supersonic’ or ‘Live Forever’ – quite possibly ‘Digsy’s Dinner’ – that announced the aspirations of an era with such a rip-roaring snort that a young Prime Minister wooed them.

Shortly into the Blair presidency, Noel found himself at Number 10, asking Tony how he had managed to stay up through election night. ‘Probably not by the same means as you,’ the PM quipped, and that was 1997 all over.

Little is the same as it was back then, for all parties concerned, but this is where Oasis start to mend some broken promises. It feels like a lifetime since a new album from the Gallaghers justified the hype and rhetoric spun on its behalf, but this is so good, it makes you want to pour not one but two glasses of Jack-Daniels over your head.

Not so with the album that appeared three weeks after the Downing St party, Be Here Now, which was all bombast, or the successive disappointments of Standing on the Shoulder of Giants and Heathen Chemistry (bonus points if you can remember more than three song titles from that 2002 set); or the desultory showing at Glastonbury last summer; or the performance on I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here of Liam’s sister-in-law, Natalie Appleton. These could be seen as more than failures of will or of imagination – rather as acts of cultural betrayal.

So a touch of cynicism seems quite in order when it comes to Don’t Believe the Truth – a title that might disguise a message but is probably just more of Noel’s gobbledegook in the band’s own grand tradition.

(And the sleeve – surely Oasis hold the record for the worst album sleeves of all time, and in this respect, their latest is no disappointment.)

Perhaps the band have come to a realisation of why some people feel like throwing crockery – Noel strikes a contrite note when he says: ‘Someone said to me my songs sound like B-sides from 1994. I take that as a compliment.’ What’s more, where once he ran the band as an autocracy – booting out anyone who didn’t toe the party line – these days he’s started to listen, to share responsibility. So it is that he’s only written five of the 11 songs, with bassist Andy Bell contributing two tracks, second guitarist Gem one, leaving Liam chipping in with three.

Let’s not get carried away, but only two of those last are in the ‘Little James’ category (where he essayed the rhyme ‘live for your toys/ even though they make noise’). One good Liam song immediately elevates this sixth album above the status of its two immediate predecessors, and everything else reaches a new target in quality control.

Noel is right to seize on that comparison with the band’s early output, because the most helpful way of thinking about Don’t Believe the Truth is to ponder what’s not there: there aren’t any of those coked-up guitar workouts, for instance, when the songs long outstayed their welcome. In fact, this is a record that doesn’t sound at all druggy, but alive to possibilities. The bluster, the straining for effect, the attempt to live up to a grandiose reputation of their own making – all these are absent. Indeed, for the past few years, Oasis have been trying to emulate the sound of the old Oasis, rather than ripping off their peers, which is what they once did, as if they were politicians nicking rival policies. After taking their time with this record – its release was rumoured last year – that’s all changed now.

So first single ‘Lyla’ appropriates a riff from the Stones’ ‘Street Fighting Man’ before stumbling into the bar-room territory of the Faces; ‘Mucky Fingers’ is a one-chord homage to the Velvet Underground; ‘The Importance of Being Idle’ is very Kinks, which at least makes a change from the Beatles; while the way in which ‘Part of the Queue’ borrows shamelessly from the Stranglers’ ‘Golden Brown’ completes a process akin to ‘triangulation’, which makes you believe you have the best of all possible worlds on offer.

These songs of Noel’s apart, Gem’s ‘A Bell Will Ring’ is otherwise this week’s pick, but from Andy Bell’s slow-burning opener ‘Turn up the Sun’ onwards, you’re reminded of what genuine charisma means and your heart skips a beat, as it flares into life with the line ‘I carry madness, everywhere I geeeeeeaaooo’ – no prizes for guessing it isn’t stand-in drummer Zak Starkey fronting up the microphone.

We have all made mistakes. So just as Noel would seem to have taken a long hard look at the band, we might ask ourselves some questions. Is swapping Pete Doherty and Kate Moss and crack for Liam and Patsy and the naive optimism of 1997 all that we have done?

Don’t Believe the Truth isn’t a novel – or novelty – record but it makes you care about Oasis again, and makes you believe they can matter again. So our bond with them is renewed”.

***** Caspar Llewellyn Smith, Sunday 24 April 2005, Observer Music Monthly

Credits:

Vocals – Liam Gallagher

Bass – Andy Bell

Drums – Zak Starkey (tracks: 1, 3 to 11)

Guitar [Rhythm] – Gem Archer

Guitar, Vocals, Backing Vocals – Noel Gallagher

Mixed By – Dave Sardy (tracks: 1, 3 to 11)

Producer – Dave Sardy (tracks: 1, 4, 6 to 11)

Engineer – Andy Brohard, Greg Gordon, Ryan Castle

Written By:

Noel Gallagher (tracks: 2, 3, 5, 8, 11)

Liam Gallagher (tracks: 4, 6, 7)

Andy Bell (tracks: 1, 9)

Gem Archer (tracks: 4, 10)

Tracklisting:

1 Turn Up The Sun 3:59
2 Mucky Fingers 3:55
3 Lyla 5:10
4 Love Like A Bomb 2:52
5 The Importance Of Being Idle 3:39
6 The Meaning Of Soul 1:42
7 Guess God Thinks I’m Abel 3:24
8 Part Of The Queue 3:48
9 Keep The Dream Alive 5:45
10 A Bell Will Ring 3:07
11 Let There Be Love 5:31

 

 

Oasis – Don’t Believe the Truth (full album) [Number 1 UK Album – 5th June 2005]

Oasis_Don't_Believe_the_Truth

Turn Up the Sun 0:00

Mucky Fingers 4:01

Lyla 7:58

Love Like a Bomb 13:12

The Importance of Being Idle 16:06

Meaning Of Soul 19:46

Guess God Thinks I’m Abel 21:35

Part of the Queue 24:59

Keep the Dream Alive 28:49

A Bell Will Ring 34:35

Let There Be Love 37:47

Can Y’See It Now? (I Can See It Now!!) (Japanese bonus track) 43:19

Oasis – Lyla (single) – Don’t Believe the Truth (album) [Number 1 UK Album – 5th June 2005]

Lyla

The 1st single from the Oasis album Don’t Believe the Truth.

Released 16 May 2005.

Oasis – The Importance Of Being Idle (single) – Don’t Believe the Truth (album) [Number 1 UK Album – 5th June 2005]

Oasis_-_TIOBI

The 2nd single from the Oasis album Don’t Believe the Truth.

Released – 22 August 2005

Oasis – Let There Be Love (single) – Don’t Believe the Truth (album) [Number 1 UK Album – 5th June 2005]

Let_There_Be_Love_(Oasis_song)_coverart

The 3rd single from the Oasis Don’t Believe the Truth album.

Released – 28 November 2005

29th May – Released Today – 2012 (Regina Spektor – What We Saw From The Cheap Seats)

WhatWeSawFromTheCheapSeatsCover

What We Saw from the Cheap Seats is the sixth studio album by American alternative singer-songwriter Regina Spektor.

The album was recorded in Los Angeles during the summer of 2011 with Mike Elizondo, who has worked with artists such as Dr. Dre, Eminem, Fiona Apple, Nelly Furtado, Maroon 5 and Alanis Morissette.

What We Saw from the Cheap Seats is a collection of new material along with the very first studio recordings of several of Spektor’s older live songs.

“Spiking piano-driven songs of heartbreak with comic turns of phrase, cartoon voices and beatboxing outbursts, Regina Spektor has become her generation’s Joni Mitchell– a singer-songwriter who nail-guns emotional truths between wisecracks. Her latest, even tighter and more flamboyant than 2009’s Far, may be her best. Exhibit A: “Firewood,” which treats mortal illness (a recurring theme for her) with elegant surrealism, imagining a piano used for kindling while boldly telling a comrade to “Rise from your cold hospital bed/I tell you, you’re not dying.” Elsewhere, “Ballad of a Politician” is sharp satire, instructing a handshaking officeholder to “Shake it, shake it, baby!” Even apparent novelty songs carry a payload. “Oh Marcello” is a Mafioso narrative with outrageous accents and real pathos; “Open” employs a hysterical gasp for air as a percussive vocal device, to unnervingly powerful effect. “All the Rowboats,” which denounces museums as “public mausoleums,” is telling, coming from a classical-music defector. But more so is “Small Town Moon,” with its mouthful of “baby baby”s and “Whoo!”s, working a delicious metaphor for pursuing your own muse, damn the torpedoes. Here’s hoping Spektor never stops” – ***1/2, Will Hermes, Rolling Stone May 2012

Regina Spektor has come a mighty long way from the grotty East Village bars of the anti-folk scene at which she first started plying her hiccupping, jazz-garnished piano pop trade in at the start of the millennium. Yet even though her sixth album, ‘What We Saw From The Cheap Seats’, was recorded in the glossier surrounds of Los Angeles, on the cover she’s sporting a grandiose military-esque hat atop her ringlets, just like on her first major label record, 2004’s ‘Soviet Kitsch’. In another nod to her past she’s rehashed ‘Don’t Leave Me (Ne Me Quitte Pas)’ for this album, from 2002’s self-released ‘Songs’.

She’s done this before of course, when ‘Samson’ was swiped from the same record to go on 2006’s ‘Begin To Hope’. But why? “These songs come back because they’ve been on a really sparse record,” Spektor explained to NME last month. “I feel like I need to produce them properly, and I can’t rest until that’s done.” It’s true that the new version of ‘Don’t Leave Me…’ is a more polished, brass-boasting beast than the original, but it’s not the most sensational song here, despite being picked as the record’s second single.

As usual, it’s Spektor’s unforced way with a ballad – the sort that will have sensitive young women sobbing into their iPods on the last bus home – that cuts to the emotional quick. The elegant ‘Firewood’ is deceptively simple, managing to skip the schmaltz even when Spektor morphs into a wise auntie, brandishing a tissue and cup of sugary tea, promising: “Everyone knows you’re going to love/Though there’s still no cure for crying”. As remarkable is ‘How’, which is one bottle of Cristal away from being a ’90s R&B belter. Close your eyes and you can imagine Mariah crooning it in a multi-million dollar music video involving candelabras and corsetry while pointing to the sky. In Spektor’s hands it’s not a flashy exercise in the high art of cringe, but a welcoming salvo of true romance” – 8/10, Leonie Cooper, NME

Tracklisting:

1. Small Town Moon

2. Oh Marcello

3. Don’t Leave Me (Ne Me Quitte Pas)

4. Firewood

5. Patron Saint

6. How

7. All the Rowboats

8. Ballad of a Politician

9. Open

10. The Party

11. Jessica

All songs written by Spektor except 2 – Spektor w/ interpolation by Bennie Benjamin, Sol Marcus, and Gloria Caldwell (“Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood”)

Personnel:

Regina Spektor: vocals, piano (1-10), keyboards (2-10), marimba (3), co-producer, songwriter

Mike Elizondo: producer, bass (1, 3, 5, 7-10), upright bass (2, 4, 6), electric guitar (1, 6, 7), acoustic guitars (11), programming (3, 5, 7)

Aaron Sterling: drums (1, 3-7, 9), percussion (1, 5, 7), marimba (3)

Jay Bellerose: drums (2, 7, 10), percussion (2, 10), bongos (10)

Danny T. Levin: trumpet (3)

David Moyer: baritone and tenor saxophone (3)

Jack Dishel: vocals (3, 5)

John Daversa: trumpet (10)