Robbie Robertson (real name: Jaime Royal Robertson) is perhaps best known for being the guitarist/principal songwriter of The Band, a highly influential group that were active mainly from 1968 to 1977. Robertson has also a solid reputation as a solo artist, film composer and producer.
With the election of Donald Trump as the 45th President-Elect of the USA, commentators have remarked that perhaps this era will also see the return of the protest song, prevalent during the tenure of hardline conservative leaders like Ronald Reagan (USA) and Margaret Thatcher (UK) in the 1980s.
The album cover is a lost art now. In this feature, we celebrate some of our favourites (and the people behind them) over the course of rock history.
Incredibly, this past week 50 years ago, saw the release of two landmark pop albums that changed the face of rock music viz. The Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds and Bob Dylan’s Blonde on Blonde.
Seems appropriate to start this series with Bob Dylan, doesn’t it? Considering that The Beatles are currently not on any streaming service, Dylan deserves top billing. After all, can one imagine talking about singer-songwriters without mentioning Dylan’s massive influence?
The man is the very definition of the modern folk troubadour but more than that, Dylan’s legacy extends to rock as well, of course. For me personally, I remember hearing Dylan on the radio when I was a kid – especially his well known early folk songs but I really got into his work (ironically enough) – with his controversial Christian conversion album Slow Train Comin’ (1979), which explains why I kick off the playlist with “Precious Angel” (which also features incandescent guitar work from Dire Straits’ Mark Knopfler). Including “Make You Feel My Love” was necessary to provide Dylan’s continuing relevance as Adele’s cover version proved conclusively. The rest of the playlist focuses mainly on his seminal 60s/70s works. Enjoy!
… still there’s more …
I guess you could say this is a ‘big deal’ – especially if you are a Bob Dylan fan and of the individual members of the supergroup that is The New Basement Tapes viz. Elvis Costello, Rhiannon Giddens (Carolina Chocolate Drops), Taylor Goldsmith (Dawes), Jim James (My Morning Jacket) and Marcus Mumford (Mumford & Sons).
The New Basement Tapes and producer T Bone Burnett convened in March 2014 at Capitol Studios in Hollywood to write and create music together for 26-year old Bob Dylan’s long-lost lyrics. The complete album, Lost On the River: The New Basement Tapes, will be released by Electromagnetic Recordings/Harvest Records on November 10.
So far, three tracks have been released with Costello, James and Mumford taking turns at vocals/melody writer. This time around it’s Giddens and the song is “Spanish Mary”. Check out the video below.
Additionally, the original documentary Lost Songs: The Basement Tapes Continued will premiere on SHOWTIME on Friday, November 21st at 9 P.M. ET/PT. See what I mean? A. Big. Deal.