Saturday, May 22, 2010

408 Time out of mind- Must. Stop. Raving. About. Bob.

Album: Time out of mind.

Artist: Bob Dylan.

Year: 1997.

Grenre: Late era Dylan.


  1. Love Sick
  2. Dirt Road Blues
  3. Standing in the Doorway
  4. Million Miles
  5. Tryin' to Get to Heaven
  6. Til I Fell in Love with You
  7. Not Dark Yet
  8. Cold Irons Bound
  9. Make You Feel My Love
  10. Can't Wait
  11. Highlands

I've been a bit negative on the site of late. It's been a while since I've had something to rave about and get excited by. I was worried it was turning into a massive slanging match. And then I saw a Bob Dylan release coming and thought- well that's okay then.

Time out of Mind was Bob Dylan's comeback from the musical wilderness that he'd been in for years. After spending most of the eighties recording terrible albums and indulging in regrettable fashion choices he put out a gem of a release in 1989 called Oh Mercy, which was sadly not given enough attention at the time but I think is an absolute belter. He followed it up with a stinker (Under the Red Sky- avoid at all costs) and two albums of old folk covers which are okay but could never be anything more than just old folk covers. By the end of the nineties the general consensus was that Dylan was effectively washed up and should give up and go home.

In 1997 he put out Time out of Mind and everyone snapped to attention. He won accolades, Grammy awards and widespread respect. He followed it up with Love and Theft (also on this countdown) and then released Modern Times which came out after this list was published but was Rolling Stone Magazines second best album of the noughties (or whatever we call the decade that started in 2000). Throughout that period new Dylan albums stopped being something that fans were tentative about and the press ignored, they became events that music magazines cleared their front covers for. 2009's Together through life went to number one in the UK and other places that have charts Bob hasn't topped in decades. In other words as I write this Bob Dylan is one of the biggest male solo artists in popular music again, and he achieved that not through rehashes of his old hits or tribute albums from modern artists- but by releasing new music of a standard that not many others could approach. And that return to form started here with Time out of Mind.

In order to praise this release I'm not going to talk much about any of the tracks from it. Instead I'm going to talk about a song called Red River Shore, which Bob recorded for this album but decided not to include. Bob fans had to wait for 11 years to hear Red River Shore when it was released on an album of outtakes and alternate releases that Bob put out in 2008. Unlike a lot of artist's " leftover" collections which aren't worth hearing (This is the mix of an album track without the percussion overdub! Here's a demo version of our single that sounds just like a slightly drunker version of the final product! Here's a song we didn't include on our albums because it's crap!) Tell Tale Signs is a fantastic collection of songs that I listen to often. Red River Shore is one of the outstanding moments. It's a brilliant song and one that only Bob could do. It starts with two guitars playing together without settling on any kind of melody. Bob's voice comes in and sings about the girl from the red river shore who he loved once and haunts him still. Eventually he's joined by a bass, percussion, drums and a piano accordion. The song continues for seven and half minutes with no choruses, bridges, solos or changes in tempo. Just Bob singing eight verses each of which finishes with the same line: "the girl from the red river shore". It's hypnotic and brilliant and only Bob Dylan could pull it off and then decide not to release it. Other people associated with the sessions heard it and loved it. They adored it and begged him to include it on the album. But for some reason Bob felt it didn't fit in with Time out of Mind and so it sat in a vault for over a decade.

Bob Dylan ladies and gentleman- a guy who can record a magnificent album full of outstanding tracks and leave the best one off.

Influenced by: His vast music collection.

Influenced: Lots of music critics into giddy spirals of joy.

Highlights: Not dark Yet.

Lowlights: Highlands (it was a lot of people's highlight but not mine. Still doesn't mean it's not a great track though)

Favourite Amazon Customer Review quote: "...HE HAS TO SHOW HIS ''THIS IS WHAT DEATH LOOKS LIKE'' FACE ON THE COVER !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! bob is no musical genius (no ''O'' in genius,people !!!!!!!!) but he is a genius exploiter.he duped a generation of hippies into believing his junk.its been said before,put some other drunk guys name on any of bobs cds and not one person would buy it.except for tom waits but that goes without saying. "

-Silly rabbit.

So is Time out of mind the best album of the nineties or just one of the best albums of the nineties? Let me know below.


  1. Absolutely the best album of the nineties!! and one of the best ever!!

  2. I don't quite get why a lot of people, including this blogger, always have to repeat that the eighties was such a terrible decade for Dylan. I'd say it's a myth. Yes, there were some bad songs and some sub par records, but hell, what are we comparing them to? If Blood On the Tracks is the standard, everything is bound to fall short. What people should understand though, is that Dylan made an enormous lot of good music in the eighties. The Christian records have got a lot of decent songs. Infidels was not a bad record (and it's even better if you consider unreleased gems like Blind Willie McTell, easily one of Bob's best songs). And even on some of the worst records you have songs like Brownsville girl. The stuff he did with Traveling Wilburys should not be forgotten. And lastly you have Oh Mercy. Bad decade? Hell no!

  3. So why does it hurt when I pee?

  4. It is THE best album of the 90's...Silly rabbit.

  5. definitely the best dylan album of '97!

  6. HIS MUSE says: IT IS THE BEST!!!