I Threw It All Away (1969) – Bob Dylan

This is the first song to appear from Bob Dylan’s 1969 record – Nashville Skyline. It’s a gorgeous ballad and I always enjoyed listening to his live recording on the Johnny Cash show. Dylan is singing about the end of a love affair being all his fault and he sings it in a calm and mellow way. Maybe the motorcycle accident which caused the hiatus in his writing then produced this new, more reflective approach. And musically there is a real link between Lay Lady Lay and I Threw it all Away. It works with a very simple accompaniment, guitar, percussion, bass and organ.  And indeed, for this level of self-blame and longing about lost love, you certainly don’t need any more.

I once held her in my arms
She said she would always stay
But I was cruel, I treated her like a fool
I threw it all away


Once I had mountains in the palm of my hand
And rivers that ran through every day
I must have been mad, I never knew what I had
Until I threw it all away

The author at Untold Dylan wrote the following: I think it is fair to say that “I Threw It All Away” would not have emerged in this style, or maybe not emerged at all, if Dylan hadn’t first written the songs of John Wesley Harding, which allowed him to explore this new more gentle, more simple approach.

It is a perfectly crafted piece in its own format – and indeed is more than that because it goes beyond what country music normally does.   While the nearest most country songs get to a change of key is that sudden jerk up a semitone is a desperate attempt to give the fourth tragic verse a slight edge on the third tragic verse, this throws us around the harmonic department and brings us in one piece out the other side.  As I say, it is clever and it sure does work.

… but the music makes it meaningful. The message is simple to the edge of being trite, and it has been said a billion times before, but that doesn’t make this song any less worth hearing, or, if you have a mind to do it, singing.   “Denied” takes us to the edge of the cliff but instead of jumping off, “Take a trip” takes us back down the gentle slopes and onto firmer ground.

References:
1. Untold Dylan – I Threw It All Away

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I Want You (1966) – Bob Dylan

When I was playing Pool with friends in Canberra back in 1994, we would replay this song to death on the jukebox. That’s when bars had jukeboxes where you entered coin change, perhaps they still do. I don’t know. Our avuncular companion Keith (who I have written about before in the Puccini – E Lucevan Le Stelle article) brought his harmonica to replicate the harmonica playing in today’s featured song. He was proud of his efforts as we were. The lyrics, instrumentals and Dylan’s delivery of I Want You encapsulate why Blonde on Blonde is so admired. Dylan described the record as ‘That Thin, Wild Mercury Sound‘.

The guilty undertaker sighs
The lonesome organ grinder cries
The silver saxophones say I should refuse you
The cracked bells and washed-out horns
Blow into my face with scorn
But it’s not that way
I wasn’t born to lose you


I want you, I want you
I want you, so bad
Honey, I want you

When I read his lyrics, even today, I remain in awe and perplexed how Dylan achieved that level of sophistication in his poetry. If you could not understand the language, you might distill the song as just a catchy, groovy love song, but what sets I Want You apart from those songs are the words and how everything coalesces as aforementioned to form a stupendous piece of great art. As Dylan said in a 66 interview: “It’s not just pretty words to a tune or putting tunes to words.”
To me Dylan is brimming at the edge with creative/nervous/explosive energy. It boggles my mind, and it never grows old. This is one of Dylan’s most animated songs on the surface.

I Want You was recorded in the early morning hours of March 10, 1966, and the song was the last one recorded for Dylan’s double-album Blonde on Blonde. Obviously, many songs will appear from Dylan’s Blonde on Blonde – so stay tuned. Thank you for reading.

References:
1. I Want You (Bob Dylan Song) – Wikipedia

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4th of July (1987) – X

This song was posted by Max at his PowerPop blog page on 4th of July, 2021 and I was impressed by it. You can find his page by clicking on the image of his page below.

She’s waiting for me
When I get home from work
Oh, but things just ain’t the same
She turns out the lights
And cries in the dark
And she won’t answer when I call her name


On the stairs I smoke a
Cigarette alone
Mexican kids are shooting
Fireworks below
And hey, baby, it’s the Fourth of July
Hey, baby, it’s the Fourth of July

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I Guess It Don’t Get Much Better Than This (2002) – My Friend the Chocolate Cake (David Bridie)

At the time this post is written, this song has just 570 views since it was released on You Tube in 2014. So you could say that the song title I Guess It Don’t Get Much Better Than This says it all. I always loved the Cake and they have featured here so much, but the love isn’t reciprocated by the public nor in this blog. I’m sure many of you have had that realisation when something you hear delights you but isn’t received by someone else with the same fervour. Well, that’s always been my case with the music of Bridie and the Cake. This song was released on the magnificent 2002 record Curious by the Cake.

I sit at the window and I can’t see a thing
We’re not looking closely we’re just giving in
When they spin the wheel of fortune we all clap and dance
And we drink and we laugh and we sing
It’s a hope we hang on to dearly
The chances of winning are grim


And I guess it don’t get much better than this
All the time I feel fine
Do we settle for some ordinary bliss
All the time I don’t mind

My ears must be hearing something different to other folk because I only hear some of the best eclectic music I have ever heard. Regarding the lyrics, it is politically akin to my aforementioned article by the Cake’s Home Improvements. The album Curious peaked at No. 14 on the ARIA chart and No. 19 on the related Alternative Albums chart. I received this album in the mail as a present for having seen David Bridie and Archie Roach in concert and it remains one of my favorite Australian albums. It’s so good and all of the songs will be presented here if there is a public music link.

David Bridie the founder of the Cake was born in 1962 and grew up in the Melbourne suburb of Deepdene with three siblings. He received training in classical music. Bridie travelled to Perth with a band and the lead singer convinced them they would earn more money. Bridie had dropped out of his Arts/Law degree course for the venture but found that Perth bands performed cover versions due to “the city’s penchant for Top 40 and retro hits.” And the rest is history and why we have a stupendous song with 570 views.

References:
1. My Friend the Chocolate Cake – wikipedia

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I Want a Boy for My Birthday (1982) – The Smiths

I Want a Boy for My Birthday was singer Morrissey & lead guitarist Marr’s debut recording (Home demo). The Smiths played this song at their first rehearsal. This is a cover of a song made by The Cookies. I really like the original as well as the Smiths version. Fans were used to hearing just 30 second snippets of the bootleg and by golly they were excited when the entire demo (at the end of this article) was released.

I want a boy for my birthday
That’s what I’ve been dreaming of
Just a boy for my birthday
One love to make me right

Don’t want a bracelet with golden charms
‘Cause that won’t fill my empty arms
Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
I want a boy to love

Someone wrote in the YT comments about the original – ‘I used to cry every time it came on because I thought they meant they wanted a little brother – dang!

According to this page: The track was recorded in Johnny’s attic bedroom on his TEAC three track cassette recorder, August 1982. The Home demo was given to The Smiths then Bassist Dale Hibbert, in order that he could familiarize himself with the track before The Smiths debut gig @ The Ritz, Manchester. The full 3-minute version in higher audio quality courtesy of Dale Hibbert—a sound engineer who briefly placed bass in The Smiths during the band’s beginnings.

The following is from the reference below:
According to Simon Goddard’s book, “Songs That Saved Your Life: The Art of The Smiths 1982-87 Hibbert leaked the lo-fi version in the 90s, while selling the original cassette to a collector.

Here is an excerpt from Goddard’s book noting the recording:

“The earliest known surviving document in the recording history of The Smiths stems from those very first attic practice sessions with Morrissey, Marr, and Hibbert. It was for the latter’s benefit that the singer and guitarist taped a simple arrangement of ‘I Want a Boy for My Birthday,’ a 1963 B-side by New York girl group The Cookies, on Marr’s TEAC machine so that Hibbert could learn the melody in preparation for The Smiths’ first demo session. The cover was Morrissey’s idea. ‘I’d never heard it before,’ says Marr, ‘but I thought, “Great, this’ll really freak ’em out!” I was really happy to encourage it.’ “

References:
1. Listen to the Full Version of The Smiths’ Historic First Recording “I Want A Boy For My Birthday” – Post – Punk

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5/09 – 11/09/22 – Galatea, JFK Assassination & Jerry Seinfeld

news on the march

Welcome to Monday’s News on the March – The week that was in my digital world.

What Galatea Said
Poem at Theodora Goss

When Theodora Goss poems arrive in my Reader, I take great interest. Theodora has featured here before.
She writes in her ‘about page‘: ‘I’ve been writing poetry for as long as I can remember‘. Theodora later wrote: ‘I wrote though law school, then through being a lawyer — I have poems I still remember writing in my 42nd floor office in downtown Manhattan. Honestly, they were not particularly good poems. A few of them were good enough that I included them in my poetry collection, but most of them will remain hidden in my notebooks . . . The percentage of good to not publishable was pretty low. Still, when I look at my own poems, even as far back as high school, I see something in them I like, a way of using words, an inventiveness. Writing all those poems made me the writer, including the prose writer, I am.

The poetry I write is rooted in myth and legend and fairy tale, not as a conscious choice but because those are the things that inhabit my head….(Read Theodora’s poem here)

How to Think About Conspiracy Theories, JFK Assassination (Michel Gagné)
Video interview at Skeptic

It took me a while to warm to Michael Shermer and his manner of interviewing, but this interview showcases everything he is good at in this topic arena. I agreed with everything he said (not that that means it is good for that reason), and I really appreciated hearing his contribution to this fascinating interview. Soon after the inception of this blog I wrote an article in 2014 titled ‘Who Killed JFK? The Kennedy Assassination – Beyond Conspiracy‘. Much of what is discussed and argued seems to replicate many of my article’s arguments that there was no conspiracy. I couldn’t recommend this video any more to those intrigued about the legacy of the Oliver Stone movie and the assassination itself.
Video interview at Skeptic (Watch entire video interview here)

60 Minutes: Jerry Seinfeld
Video interview at The Media Stash

For those like me missing Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David comedy then this one is for you. What continues to impress me about how these comics comport themselves in interviews like this, is how their demeanours in real-life correspond with how they are depicted in their shows. That honesty and authenticity is a rarity and is comparable to Woody Allen is his interviews which have featured here. I hope you enjoy this interview with Jerry as much as I did. (Watch video interview at here)

news on the march the end
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I Go to Extremes (1989) – Billy Joel

Too high or too low there ain’t no in-betweens

One of my best friends at school Gary did a caricature of my family which resides in my ‘reflection‘ menu, and he was a huge Billy Joel fan. We used to have it out, because my musical tastes were oriented towards Elton John and his Billy. I remember when Elton John’s song ‘Kiss the Bride‘ came out and he would chastise me singing the chorus, ‘I want to kiss the bridegroom‘! Like his caricature, it was a pretty smart retort. So, I ended going with him to see Billy Joel’s concert at the Sydney Entertainment Centre.

I like many of Joel’s songs including today’s track ‘I Go to Extremes‘. I’m stubborn and still wouldn’t put him in Elton John territory, but he had a massive impact on music especially in the late 80s / early 90’s. I always liked the manic-feel of ‘I Go To Extremes‘. I personally can relate a lot to it and the lyrics. He does piano interludes in there which just kicks arse. I don’t know why they didn’t put that same piano part after he sings ‘I Go to Extremes’. It’s a crazy song for crazy people and that sits fine with me.

It’s all or nothing at all
Darling I don’t know why I go to extremes
Sometimes I’m tired, sometimes I’m shot
Sometimes I don’t know how much more I’ve got
Maybe I’m headed over the hill
Maybe I’ve set myself up for the kill
Tell me how much do you think you can take

I Go To Extremes is the fourth track on Billy Joel’s 11th studio album, Storm Front (1989). It was released as the second single from the album in 1989.  The song was originally written as an apology to Joel’s wife at the time, Christie Brinkley who of course appeared in the original movie Vacation. The song is believed to be about Joel’s own lifestyle. It reached the top ten in the US at number six.  Dennis Hunt of The Los Angeles Times believed the song was the highlight of the album, saying that it was the only song that wasn’t “tainted by a social message.”

References:
1. I go To Extremes – Wikipedia

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I Get Around (1964) – the Beach Boys

I Get Around is one of my favourite pop-songs full-stop. Even now when I listen to it, I am awestruck how the Beach Boys achieved that sublime sound and harmony. I’ve never grown tired of it, and I continue to be mind-blown upon each listen. I don’t think I’ve heard 2 minutes of music more groovy and catchy and it never grows old and always puts me in good space. I put my kids onto this a couple of years ago and they still request I Get Around and Barbara Ann to this day. This is Pop music-making at its absolute peak and like ABBA’s Dancing Queen can’t be surpassed by imitation, remakes or movies. Cream of the crop.

Round, round, get around
I get around, yeah
Get around, round, round, I get around
I get around
Get around, round, round, I get around
From town to town

I Get Around was the opening track from their 1964 album All Summer Long. Brian Wilson was originally listed as the songwriter of the song but after a law-suit Mike Love was added to the credits. Wilson recalled “I [wrote it], with the exception of a possible – possibility that Mike wrote the intro, the ’round ’round.‘” The autobiographical lyrics describe the group’s reaction to their newfound fame and success. The single became the Beach Boys’ first chart-topping hit in the U.S., as well as America’s first number-one hit by a homeland group in eight months. In 2017, I Get Around was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.

Producer Daniel Lanois who produced 2 Bob Dylan records (said of the song):

It’s what I call a “snapshot song.” It’s like a Polaroid of a moment or a feeling. I like the way Brian wrote about specifics of a rising culture. He brings the listener in through one philosophical moment – one thought, one emotion – and that is often the most powerful way. You could write a much bigger song, but by writing a small one, you address a big subject. Funnily enough, Brian may not have been personally experiencing all those moments, but he was watching them happen.

I Get Around was backed with Don’t Worry Baby already reviewed here and was released as a single in the U.S. on May 11, 1964. Good luck finding a better single release in pop-music.

References:
1. I Get Around – Wikipedia

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I Forgot More Than You’ll Ever Know (1970) – Bob Dylan

I’ve Forgot More Than You’ll Ever Know About Him is a song, written by Cecil Null in 1953, but was adapted by Bob Dylan for his 1970 album Self Portrait. The song tells the story of the ex-girlfriend of a young man warning his smug, ruthless current flame who stole him away that she’ll lose him too one day “when his love goes cold.” The song was a blockbuster hit, the only number one country song by a female duet until the rise of The Judds some thirty years later. It was the first hit for the duo of Skeeter Davis and Betty Jack Davis, and also their only one, as Betty Jack was killed in an automobile accident the week the record was released.

Self Portrait is a maligned Dylan record. It features many cover versions including today’s song. Most of the album is sung in the affected country crooning voice that Dylan had introduced a year earlier on Nashville Skyline. I always enjoyed this album starting from the bizarre, but cheeky introductory track All the Tired Horses. Despite the negative critical reception, the album quickly went gold in the US, where it hit No. 4, and was also a UK No. 1 hit. I’m not a fan of crooner music, but his version of I’ve Forgotten More Than You’ll Ever Know About Him (her), akin to his cover versions on his Sinatra tribute album hits all my musical sweet spots.

I forgot more than you’ll ever know about her.

You think you know the smile on her lips
The thrill and the touch of her fingertips
But I forgot more than you’ll ever know about her.


You think you’ll find heaven of bliss
In each caress, in each tender kiss
But I forgot more than you’ll ever know about her.

Dylan said the following about the Self Portrait album (which he also called his own bootleg record):

There’d be crowds outside my house. And I said, “Well, fuck it. I wish these people would just forget about me. I wanna do something they can’t possibly like, they can’t relate to. They’ll see it, and they’ll listen, and they’ll say, ‘Well, let’s go on to the next person. He ain’t sayin’ it no more. He ain’t givin’ us what we want,’ you know? They’ll go on to somebody else,”

But the whole idea backfired because the album went out there, and the people said, “This ain’t what we want,” and they got more resentful. And then I did this portrait for the cover. I mean, there was no title for that album. I knew somebody who had some paints and a square canvas, and I did the cover up in about five minutes. And I said, “Well, I’m gonna call this album Self Portrait.

References:
1. I Forgot More Than You’ll Ever Know – Wikipedia
2. Self Portrait – Bob Dylan

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A New Day Has Come (2002) – Celine Dion

Celine’s performance of A New Day Has Come in the ‘Divas Las Vegas Show‘ (2002) made a big impression on me. To me this (as heard in the video below) and her performance of ‘I’m Alive‘ were the pinnacle of the show. We are not just talking about any show here. It showcased Cher, Dixie Chicks, Shakira, Anastacia & Stevie Nicks. That’s stiff competition. The concert was broadcast live on VH1 on 23 May 2002 and I found it a great concert.

I had a good friend in Melbourne who was very independent, and she expended all her hard-earned cash from manual work to watch whatever big-show that came through Melbourne. After perhaps the tens-of or hundreds of concerts she saw, she told me that the voice of Celine Dion live was the most magnificent to experience live.

I was waiting for so long
For a miracle to come
Everyone told me to be strong
Hold on and don’t shed a tear

Through the darkness and good times
I knew I’d make it through
And the world thought I’d had it all
But I was waiting for you

Hush now I see a light in the sky
Oh it’s almost blinding me
I can’t believe I’ve been touched by an angel with love

It still takes my breath away to hear this performance from the concert below. A New Day Has Come is the title song from Celine’s 7th studio album. Dion returned to the music scene after a two-year hiatus when she gave birth to her first child in 2001. A New Day Has Come became a commercial success throughout the world and entered number one in more than seventeen countries. This track broke the record for most weeks at number one on the Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks chart.

In the show heard below, Dion opened the show performing the AC/DC’s hit “You Shook Me All Night Long” in duet with Anastacia. Later, she sang “A New Day Has Come” and “I’m Alive“. These two left me speechless. For the finale, the divas performed a special Elvis Presley medley which included “Can’t Help Falling in Love” sung by Dion. The concert was released on CD and DVD in October 2002.

References:
1. A New Day Has Come – Wikipedia

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