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Nashville Skyline

1 Leave a comment on paragraph 1 0 Clinton Heylin, in his book Recording Sessions, writes that Nashville Skyline could have been an attempt to make John Wesley Harding II. Like Harding, it was recorded in Nashville and used several of the same session musicians.

2 Leave a comment on paragraph 2 0 But the result had a significantly more country sound, Dylan’s vocals in particular. Dylan said the sweeter-sounding voice was the result of his quitting cigarettes, but clearly there was more to it than that. Dylan obviously consciously chose to sing in a more standard style (something he had done before, well before he became famous).

3 Leave a comment on paragraph 3 0 David Pichaske, in his book Song of the North Country, has some interesting thoughts on exactly why Dylan’s vocals sound “country”. Or rather, sort-of country.

4 Leave a comment on paragraph 4 0 The Johnny Cash-Bob Dylan duet which opens the album offers an instructive contrast between Dylan’s soft, almost New York, lost r’s and Cash’s relatively harder Arkansas r’s, especially on words like “north,” “for,” “there,” “remember,” “fair,” and “hair.” In the balance of the album, “r” is half present at best (“ticket out the door,” “here with you”), gone most of the time. It’s mostly “mah” for “my”, and “ah” is back as “I,” although in a few cases Dylan retains the pure [aI]. Plenty of “oughta,” “whatcha,” “and “by golly.” Dylan sings “I wish the night was here” even where he writes “I wish the night were here.” He appears to be going for a country sound by singing “on” as “awn” (“One More Night”) and “want” as “waunt” (Tell Me It Isn’t True”), but what he shold have done was add a “t” to “across” on “lay across my big brass bed” and converted “window” to “winder” in the first line of “Tonight I’ll Be Staying Here with You.”

5 Leave a comment on paragraph 5 0 It’s really not a country record. As session man Charlie McCoy said, “I wouldn’t call that a country record. But it wasn’t pop or R&B or anything like that. It had a folk feel to it.” That sounds about right.

6 Leave a comment on paragraph 6 0 Now a country star in his own right, Charlie Daniel’s had some interesting thoughts on the sessions. He said Dylan was “just like everyone else and had a great sense of humor.”  He remembers that they had scheduled fifteen sessions but didn’t use them all.

7 Leave a comment on paragraph 7 0 It was a particularly odd time for the man who was once called the voice of the counter-culture (against his wishes) to release a country-influenced record. The Vietnam War protests were filling the streets, civil leaders Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert Kennedy had been shot. The Democratic Convention had devolved into violence and anarchy. A weird time to release music aligned with the Richard Nixon-loving right-wingers. His fans didn’t mind apparently as Nashville Skyline became his best selling record.

8 Leave a comment on paragraph 8 0 The album played an instrumental part in the adaption of country stylings by many major figures in the world of rock music, most notably The Byrds, pushed in that direction by Gram Parsons. Neil Young, Leonard Cohen, John Hartford, and many other artists would also soon head to Nashville to record.

9 Leave a comment on paragraph 9 0 Country great Johnny Cash sings a duet with Dylan on Girl From the North Country. Dylan and Cash had first met at the 1964 Newport Folk Festival. Cash was a big fan. He recorded Don’t Think Twice, It Ain’t Me, Babe and Mama, You’ve Been on My Mind for his 1965 album, Orange Blossom Special. 

10 Leave a comment on paragraph 10 0 By coincidence, Johnny Cash was recording in the same studio as Dylan in Nashville. The country star dropped by while Dylan was recording Tonight I’ll Be Staying Here With You and Nashville Skyline Rag. The next day, the two went out for dinner while Johnston prepared the studio to make it look inviting. “While they were gone, I put lights in the studio, made it look like a damn nightclub,” Johnston said. “Set up all the microphones out there, guitars, all of that.” They ended-up recorded eighteen songs together.

11 Leave a comment on paragraph 11 0 Cash won a Grammy Award for the liner notes of Nashville Skyline, which included the lines: “I’m proud to say that I know it/ Here-in is a hell of a poet/ And lots of other things/ And lots of other things.” See the full notes below.

12 Leave a comment on paragraph 12 0 In my view, it’s a pretty successful record. Yes, a few trite songs. One highly annoying one, Pretty Peggie-O. But it also has several classics or near-classics, such as Lay Lady, Lady, I Threw It All Away, and Tonight I’ll Be Staying Here With You. The performances are all extremely well-done. And he gets a lot of points for (once again) entering a new frontier and shaking up the world of popular music.

13 Leave a comment on paragraph 13 0 I like what Tim Riley said (from his book Hard Rain):

14 Leave a comment on paragraph 14 0 The records shapeliness comes from the way romantic moods shift between celebrations (“To Be Alone With You”, which he wrote for Jerry Lewis, and “Tonight I’m Staying Here With You,” the record’s closer), entreaties (“Lay, Lady, Lay,” “Tell Me That It Isn’t True”), and morning-afterthoughts (“I Threw It All Away,” “One More Night”).

15 Leave a comment on paragraph 15 0 Dylan, however, never liked it much. He said, “I was trying to grasp for something that would lead me on to where I thought I should be, and it didn’t go nowhere – it just went down, down, down.” (Behind the Shades)

16 Leave a comment on paragraph 16 0 Here’s is the original Rolling Stone review, fun it read after all these years. Rolling Stone Review.

17 Leave a comment on paragraph 17 0 Fans of Nashville Skyline probably want to pick up a copy of volume 15 of The Bootleg Series, which contains several outtakes.

18 Leave a comment on paragraph 18 0 Cash Outtakes

19 Leave a comment on paragraph 19 0 Dylan performance on the Johnny Cash show.

20 Leave a comment on paragraph 20 0 Ring of Fire

21 Leave a comment on paragraph 21 0 One Too Many Mornings (my favorite) with producer Bob Johnson interview.

22 Leave a comment on paragraph 22 0 I Still Miss Someone

23 Leave a comment on paragraph 23 0 Outtake No Direction Home – Interview w/ Dylan

24 Leave a comment on paragraph 24 0 I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry

25 Leave a comment on paragraph 25 0 Matchbox

Liner Notes for Nashville Skyline

26 Leave a comment on paragraph 26 0 Of Bob Dylan: by Johnny Cash

27 Leave a comment on paragraph 27 0 There are those who do not imitate,

28 Leave a comment on paragraph 28 0 Who cannot imitate

29 Leave a comment on paragraph 29 0 But then there are those who emulate

30 Leave a comment on paragraph 30 0 At times, to expand further the light

31 Leave a comment on paragraph 31 0 Of an original glow.

32 Leave a comment on paragraph 32 0 Knowing that to imitate the living

33 Leave a comment on paragraph 33 0 Is mockery

34 Leave a comment on paragraph 34 0 And to imitate the dead

35 Leave a comment on paragraph 35 0 Is robbery

36 Leave a comment on paragraph 36 0 There are those

37 Leave a comment on paragraph 37 0 Who are beings complete unto themselves

38 Leave a comment on paragraph 38 0 Whole, undaunted,-a source

39 Leave a comment on paragraph 39 0 As leaves of grass, as stars

40 Leave a comment on paragraph 40 0 As mountains, alike, alike, alike,

41 Leave a comment on paragraph 41 0 Yet unalike

42 Leave a comment on paragraph 42 0 Each is complete and contained

43 Leave a comment on paragraph 43 0 And as each unalike star shines

44 Leave a comment on paragraph 44 0 Each ray of light is forever gone

45 Leave a comment on paragraph 45 0 To leave way for a new ray

46 Leave a comment on paragraph 46 0 And a new ray, as from a fountain

47 Leave a comment on paragraph 47 0 Complete unto itself, full, flowing

48 Leave a comment on paragraph 48 0 So are some souls like stars

49 Leave a comment on paragraph 49 0 And their words, works and songs

50 Leave a comment on paragraph 50 0 Like strong, quick flashes of light

51 Leave a comment on paragraph 51 0 From a brilliant, erupting cone.

52 Leave a comment on paragraph 52 0 So where are your mountains

53 Leave a comment on paragraph 53 0 To match some men?

54 Leave a comment on paragraph 54 0 This man can rhyme the tick of time

55 Leave a comment on paragraph 55 0 The edge of pain, the what of sane

56 Leave a comment on paragraph 56 0 And comprehend the good in men, the bad in men

57 Leave a comment on paragraph 57 0 Can feel the hate of fight, the love of right

58 Leave a comment on paragraph 58 0 And the creep of blight at the speed of light

59 Leave a comment on paragraph 59 0 The pain of dawn, the gone of gone

60 Leave a comment on paragraph 60 0 The end of friend, the end of end

61 Leave a comment on paragraph 61 0 By math of trend

62 Leave a comment on paragraph 62 0 What grip to hold what he is told

63 Leave a comment on paragraph 63 0 How long to hold, how strong to hold

64 Leave a comment on paragraph 64 0 How much to hold of what is told.

65 Leave a comment on paragraph 65 0 And Know

66 Leave a comment on paragraph 66 0 The yield of rend; the break of bend

67 Leave a comment on paragraph 67 0 The scar of mend

68 Leave a comment on paragraph 68 0 I’m proud to say that I know it,

69 Leave a comment on paragraph 69 0 Here-in is a hell of a poet.

70 Leave a comment on paragraph 70 0 And lots of other things

71 Leave a comment on paragraph 71 0 And lots of other things.

72 Leave a comment on paragraph 72 0 Johnny Cash

73 Leave a comment on paragraph 73 0

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Source: http://www.bobdylancommentaries.com/nashville-skyline/