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Bob Dylan & Elvis Costello : I Shall Be Released (with Chrissie Hynde & Carole King)

I see my light come shining from the west unto the east

A fascinating ensemble – including Bob Dylan, Elvis Costello, Chrissie Hynde and Carole King belt out Bob’s classic I Shall Be Released in the Brixton Academy, London on 31 March 1995. Great sound – pity though that the guy with the camera had just drunk a full bottle of Jack Daniels !

“I Shall Be Released” is a Bob Dylan classic
written in Spring 1967 in a period of frenetic creativity with the Band in the basement of their house in Woodstock.

Dylan recorded two primary versions, the first being the original Basement Tapes recording, captured in 1967 and released on the Bootleg Series 1-3 in 1991.

As Dylan recovered from injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident in July 1966, he summoned the Band – then known as the Hawks – and began to record both new compositions and traditional material with them. In a period of frantic creativity, Dylan and the Band recorded countless tracks in Spring 1967 in the basement of Big Pink, a house shared by three of the members of the Band.

In a matter of months, Dylan would record at least thirty new compositions with the Hawks, including some of the most celebrated songs of his career: “I Shall Be Released,” “This Wheel’s On Fire,” “Quinn the Eskimo (The Mighty Quinn),” “Million Dollar Bash,” “Tears of Rage,” “You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere,” “Going To Acapulco,” “I’m Not There (1956),” “All You Have To Do Is Dream,” “Apple Suckling Tree” and others.

This material became the holy grail of Dylan bootlegs and was widely circulated amongst Dylan fans. No official material was then released though.

Some 24 of these tracks eventually saw official light of day in The Basement Tapes album by Bob Dylan and The Band, released in 1975 by Columbia Records.

By 1971, Dylan had gone into recluse mode, exhausted from the strains of public expectation and being the “voice of his generation”, along with trying to protect his young family from media and fan hounding.

Thus, as he was unlikely to release any new material for an extended period of time, CBS Records president Clive Davis proposed issuing a double LP compilation of older material.

Dylan agreed, suggesting that the package include a full side of unreleased tracks from his archives.

After submitting a set of excerpts from the Basement Tapes, which Davis found unsatisfactory, Dylan returned to the studio in September 1971 to recut several Basement songs, with Happy Traum providing backup. “I Shall Be Released” was one such track.

The Band recorded “I Shall Be Released” on their debut album, Music from Big Pink (1968), with Richard Manuel singing lead vocals, and Rick Danko and Levon Helm harmonizing in the chorus.

With a rough sound, seemingly chaotic arrangements, and a distinctive blend of country, rock, folk, classical, R&B, and soul, Music From Big Pink is generally considered one of the best albums by the Band, along with their 1969 second album The Band.

The album follows the band’s backing of Bob Dylan on his 1966 tour (as The Hawks) and time spent at a shared house in upstate New York recording what would become The Basement Tapes, also with Dylan.

The initial critical reception of the album was generally positive, though sales were slim; Al Kooper’s rave review of the LP in Rolling Stone helped draw public attention to it. The fact that Bob Dylan had composed three of the songs also helped to increase sales.

The basement recording sessions laid the foundation both for the approach of Dylan’s acclaimed 1967 album John Wesley Harding – the LP which marked Dylan’s return to acoustic music and traditional roots, after three albums of electric rock music – and for the Band finding their own voice on 1968’s Music from Big Pink.

The new Dylan style, a critically-acclaimed departure from the surrealist rock and roll he had recently pioneered on his milestone trio of albums from 1965 and 1966, was as much of a shock to his fans as were those records to his earlier folk audience.

Both the Basement tracks and Music From Big Pink would greatly influence the turn, by many contemporary popular musicians, away from the psychedelic music that reached its height in 1967, toward an embrace of country-influenced folk styles.

A legendary performance of the song was performed near the end of The Band’s farewell concert, The Last Waltz, in which all the night’s performers (with the exception of Muddy Waters) plus Ringo Starr and Ronnie Wood graced the same stage.

art by zewlean

Bob Dylan – I Shall Be Released

They say ev’rything can be replaced,

Yet ev’ry distance is not near.

So I remember ev’ry face

Of ev’ry man who put me here.

I see my light come shining

From the west unto the east.

Any day now, any day now,

I shall be released.

They say ev’ry man needs protection,

They say ev’ry man must fall.

Yet I swear I see my reflection

Some place so high above this wall.

I see my light come shining

From the west unto the east.

Any day now, any day now,

I shall be released.

Standing next to me in this lonely crowd,

Is a man who swears he’s not to blame.

All day long I hear him shout so loud,

Crying out that he was framed.

I see my light come shining

From the west unto the east.

Any day now, any day now,

I shall be released.

thanks Elston1969


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January 30, 2009 Posted by | Carole King, Chrissie Hynde, Elvis Costello, The Band, _BOB DYLAN, _MUSIC, _POETRY, _VIDEO | Leave a comment