If You See Her, Say Hello (1974) – Bob Dylan

If you want to hear Dylan at the height of his singing and lyrical prowess then look no further than If You See Her, Say Hello. It is the second Bob Dylan track to appear here from his masterpiece record – Blood on the Tracks. The inflections and timbre of his voice are so striking and demonstrate in part, why he is so revered. It doesn’t sound like any other song I have ever heard. The lyrics are phenomenal, and instrumentals possess a strong Latin influence, at least to my ear.

If you get close to her, kiss her once for me
Always have respected her for doing what she did and gettin’ free
Oh, whatever makes her happy, I won’t stand in the way
Though the bitter taste still lingers on from the night I tried to make her stay

When Dylan’s divorce from Sara was imminent, he went into beast-mode in his songwriting and revived his status as the legendary singer-songwriter from the 1960’s. Prior to this he was having fun releasing albums like Nashville Skyline and Self Portrait with a crooning voice and dulcet sound. Then on Blood he went all out again, but in a 70’s mode of sound and personal topics. This revival period of Dylan between Blood ’74 and Street Legal 78 is one of the most cherished by his fans.

If You See Her, Say Hello is one of five on the album that Dylan initially recorded in New York City in September 1974 and then re-recorded in Minneapolis. The later recording, made on December 30, 1974, was produced by Dylan’s brother David Zimmerman, who was not credited. The recording later became the album track and the B-side of the “Tangled Up in Blue” single, released in February 1975.

These musicians in Minneapolis were based locally and Dylan had not met them before they started working together on December 27, 1974. But, by golly did those musicians deliver! He struck gold. In his 2004 memoir Chronicles: Volume One, Dylan says that Blood on the Tracks was “an entire album based on Chekhov short stories. Critics thought it was autobiographical – that was fine“. Dylan performed the song live 88 times up to July 2009.

1. If You See Her, Say Hello – Wikipedia

“The more I live, the more I learn. The more I learn, the more I realize, the less I know.”- Michel Legrand

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7 comments on “If You See Her, Say Hello (1974) – Bob Dylan
  1. Badfinger (Max) says:

    It’s been a long time since I heard this one…I wore this album out when I got it.

    • Yeh, I don’t blame you. The album is in my top 10 that’s for sure lol. His phrasing here, the melody and lyrics are on another level.

    • And the other great thing about this song is he doesn’t hide his emotions. It’s just raw and tells the listener how he really thinks. It’s not unlike the crudeness of his unreleased ‘Abandoned Love’. Abandoned Love, If You See Her, Say Hello..both are just gems and I have never heard their equal. Ever.

      • Badfinger (Max) says:

        Speaking of that album… I saw him play in Nashville and a guest…Jack White came out and played Meet Me In The Morning with Bob…supposedly that was the song’s live debut.. hard to believe he never played that song until then live.

      • Oh really, that must be a cherished memory Max. To see that performed live on debut.

    • Also, this is where he redefined himself from transcendental ’66 Dylan. He just told it how it is and it’s just as good if not better because he just lets his raw emotions pour out.

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