Recorded November 4, 2018.
The song was recorded in New Orleans on March 14, 1989 in 8 takes with vocal redubs coming in April. Dylan notes how this song just came to him:
The song came to me complete, full in the eyes like I’d … just found it. It was illuminated.
This is our fourth song off of Oh, Mercy and we’re only two seasons into the show! This song has been played 126 times, from June 9, 1990 to August 1, 2013.
Song Itself (9:00)
We listened to two versions: Oh, Mercy (featuring Brian Stoltz on guitar, Tony Hall on bass, Willie Green on drums, and Daniel Lanois on dobro) and Unplugged, recorded on November 18, 1994 (featuring Bucky Baxter on pedal steel guitar & electric slide guitar, John Jackson on guitar, Brendan O’Brien on keyboards, Tony Garnier on bass, and Winston Watson on drums).
Daniel and Kelly felt Unplugged was stronger: great musicianship (namely O’Brien’s keyboards and Dylan’s harmonica) and Dylan’s vocals (especially the drama in the bridge that isn’t captured on Oh, Mercy).
Does it work in 2018?
Absolutely. Though they talk about the religious aspects and Revelations, on a personal level, this song is just simple, plain heartbreak. If you’ve ever lost someone — permanently or just in time and space — this is a song of moving on, accepting reality, atoning for mistakes. The song’s closing verse
Guess it’s too late to say the things to you
That you needed to hear me say
is an all-timer and a great way to end Season 2!
The episode’s playlist
Welcome back to the playlist: At the Drive In, NIN, Mastodon, Bowie, Portishead, and Chatham County Line.
Welcome for the first time: Reel Big Fish, Swearin’, Tenement, Two Cow Garage, Bright Eyes, MIDICRONICA, The Horrors, The Weeknd, DJ Sorama, Metric, Foxygen, and Public Service Broadcast.
For the final time this year, Kelly recommends Public Service Broadcasting to head into 2019. Daniel recommends books, books and more books!
No selection this week! We’ll be back to officially close out Season 2 with our annual Christmas episode where we listen to Christmas in the Heart so join us there to see what Season 3 has in store.