013 – “God Knows”

Episode 13. “God Knows.” Under the Red Sky. The Bootleg Series, Vol. 8: Tell Tale Signs. The Apartment. May 25, 2017. Rainier.

“God Knows” was officially released on 1990’s Under the Red Sky but was originally recorded for Oh, Mercy (those cuts being heard in 2008 on The Bootleg Series, Volume 8: Tell Tale Signs).

In Under the Red Sky, Dylan set out to write an album for his 4-year old daughter (which I when Daniel realized… he’s the same age as his daughter cause he was 4 at the time too!) so he went with a nursery-rhyme style. The record is dedicated to her as Gabby Goo Goo.” If that wasn’t strange enough, Dylan studded this record with so many guest stars: Jimmie Vaughan, Slash, Elton John, George Harrison, David Crosby, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Bruce Hornsby, to name a few.

Our reactions to the song were mixed. Daniel liked the thumping bass, more so on the Tell Tale Signs version. Yet it still stands out from Under the Red Sky because it came from a different, better album. Kelly wasn’t so taken. This was also the first instance of “God,” formally, in our podcast.

Michael Gray sums it up well:

(The best thing about God Knows’ being the way the shape of the song mocks the sermonising inside it, perhaps unintentionally, the singer has to rant more and more to squeeze the lines in as it works itself up like a sermon: and as soon as he starts to rant, they start fading him out. For the listener, it’s as if you’re slowly but surely closing the door on a Jehovah’s Witness.)

Recommendations. Kelly (and Daniel) spent the week binge-watching season 2 of  Master of None 

 while Daniel listened to Wavves You’re Welcome and Daniel Romano’s Modern Pressure.

Endings. We’re down a minuscule 652 songs. Kelly guessed #43 – “Seven Curses” but it was #594 – “Wallflower”.

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