songs. originally recorded in 1989 for oh mercy,
it's official release would wait five more years,
appearing in '94 on greatest hits vol.3, then a
live version from 1995's mtv unplugged set.
twenty years ago, bob dylan was on the verge.
to many he was on the verge of has been, what
was no longer, let alone what might be.
but there was something else in the wind, that
being the unexpected success of the traveling
wilbury's and oh mercy. while not a return to
any of the previous vintages, it could be called
a "brand new bob dylan."
dignity is a tune that draws you in with a driving
rhythm, and lyrics of world weary searching:
"I went down where the vultures feedthe vultures had tried to feed on dylan many times.
I would've gone deeper, but there wasn't any need
Heard the tongues of angels and the tongues of men
Wasn't any difference to me"
maybe that's part of the reason he kept moving,
changing, even keeping some of his best work from
release, perhaps sabotaging some of his later studio
recordings, to remain, in a way, under the radar.
dignity and the electric blind willie mctell(left off of
infidels) are only two prime examples. because even
in the 80's a new bob dylan album MEANT SOMETHING
to the critics and fans who wanted the most out of bob
every time, and probably expected a return to the glories
of past achievements. this kind of hunger was something
that the free man in bob dylan never wanted any part of.
it could be said that dylan had been looking for dignity
throughout his career, only to find that his art became
another thing entirely in the rabid hands of the public.
and i guess i'm just as guilty as anyone on that score.
"Someone showed me a picture and I just laughedin other words,"name me someone who's
Dignity never been photographed
I went into the red, went into the black
Into the valley of dry bone dreams
So many roads, so much at stake
So many dead ends, I'm at the edge of the lake
Sometimes I wonder what it's gonna take
To find dignity"
not a parasite, and i'll go out and say a
prayer for him."
if you want to read an excellent book on
the recordings of bob dylan, check out
"Bob Dylan: The Recording Sessions" by
Clinton Heylin. it's still in print and was
recently updated into the new millenium.