License to Kill

The concept of having a “license to kill” is popular in espionage fiction and films. The origin of that device is commonly thought to be from the James Bond novels by Ian Fleming. In the first James Bond novel, 1953’s Casino Royale, Fleming introduces the “00 Section” of MI6, Britain’s secret service. This “00” sectionContinue reading “License to Kill”

Just Like a Woman

The song “Just Like a Woman” was recorded in Nashville in March 1966 for the album Blonde on Blonde: As recounted previously on Recliner Notes, Blonde on Blonde was primarily recorded in Nashville with the first-call “A-team” of Nashville musicians. The masterful utility of this group of musicians has been explored best by Tyler MahanContinue reading “Just Like a Woman”

Jokerman

Let’s start with the sidemen: Dylan’s 1983 album Infidels featured Sly Dunbar on drums and Robbie Shakespeare playing bass. Both are from Kingston, Jamaica and make up the duo Sly & Robbie. The pair have recorded many solo records, released records as a duo, produced albums by other artists, and have played on countless recordsContinue reading “Jokerman”

Foot of Pride

Like “Blind Willie McTell,” “Foot of Pride” was originally recorded in 1983, left off of Infidels, and finally released on The Bootleg Series, Vol 1-3: Rare & Unreleased 1961-1991. The song has a slinky groove with minimal instrumentation; the only musical solos are occasional harmonica flourishes by Dylan. The song maintains this spare sound throughoutContinue reading “Foot of Pride”

Every Grain of Sand

In 1985, Cameron Crowe asked Bob Dylan about the song “Every Grain of Sand” for the Biograph box set. Dylan said: “That was an inspired song that came to me. It wasn’t really too difficult. I felt like I was just putting words down that were coming from somewhere else, and I just stuck itContinue reading “Every Grain of Sand”

Blind Willie McTell

There’s a running joke for those of us who regularly listen to WTF with Marc Maron Podcast. Maron talks for an hour twice a week with comedians, actors, and musicians. The joke is the understanding that when he talks with a musician, eventually, Maron will talk about how music always comes back to the blues,Continue reading “Blind Willie McTell”