BOB DYLAN – NASHVILLE SKYLINE (CBS 63601) MAY 1969

“I Threw It All Away”

A new collection of songs featuring the voice and guitar of Bob Dylan with Kenny Buttrey, Charles McCoy, Pete Drake, Norman Blake, Charles Daniels and Bob Wilson. And with guest artist Johnny Cash

Well, here it is. The first Bob Dylan record I’ve ever bought. I’ve always had a hatred for his (none) vocals which has created my personal aversion to his music for decades.

Playing this record and collection of songs by Dylan for the very first time I realise I have been wrong all of this time. His vocal style and presentation had improved from those early folk records where his singing could scare an angry Rhino from ten yards.

On this late ’60s material his vocals could almost be described as a deep croon but sometimes with curious soft tones. Check out his country ‘lost-love’ number “One More Night”

I was so mistaken when I thought that she’d be true
I had no idea what a woman in love would do!

I probably foolishly bought the record because it’s absolutely battered with scratches and it pops away like a clicking beetle. The vinyl trenches are deep and sometimes the clicks are loud. But it’s an original 1969 CBS copy and was only £5 from a charity shop. No big deal really.

I’ve heard some of these songs before, recorded by other groups. “Girl From The North Country” by the Blue Things and “Lay Lady Lay” by the Byrds. The latter has never been a favourite though. Dylan’s version is superior despite the ‘clicky’ drumming – what’s that all about? Is it a cow-bell?

Someone could have been hammering away at a half empty paint tin accidentally left in the studio by the painter & decorator man.

Dylan’s version of “Girl From The North Country” shines with the deep bass-baritone voice of Johnny Cash but perhaps the real triumph on side one is the calming lament “I Threw It All Away” – a song written by Dylan in 1968 and released as a single after the album was released.

Side two sounds more country-fied than the first side. These type of songs just don’t have much appeal to me but that being said I can still appreciate the quality of the songs. No real stand out track although I do think the guitar picking on “Country Pie” is top-drawer.

charity shop purchase @ £5

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