Bob Dylan Rankings, #96: One More Night

There is one very important question imposed by Nashville Skyline: Can giving up cigarettes really change someone’s voice that much? That was, of course, Dylan’s explanation for the almost unrecognizable voice that appears on this album, and on “One More Night.” I’ve never smoked (unfortunately), but I can’t imagine this explanation can account for so much.

What’s more likely is that Dylan was affecting, at least partially, more of a country music baritone. Whatever the explanation, it almost makes Dylan sound like a good singer. There is an interview clip somewhere where a reporter asks him if he considers himself more of a songwriter, since he doesn’t sing very well. Dylan, as usual, does not take it well: “I think I’m an excellent singer.” Come on, Bob. There’s nothing I would change about his voice, but he’s no Sinatra.

“One More Night,” showcases this voice in a simple country number. This song fits somewhere between the instrumental modesty of “Nashville Skyline Rag” and the more poignant sound of “Lay Lady Lay.” And it’s more towards the former.

This isn’t to say the song is bad or lacking, just that it lacks any specific transcendent push. The song certainly captures the essence of a break-up song, and deftly uses the newfound croon of Dylan’s voice, but it also seems a little like a generic country song at times.

2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by James Schneider on November 29, 2009 at 11:30 PM

    What do you like about Dylan if you don’t like his voice?(that was rhetorical)


  2. […] already used this series to defend Dylan’s much-maligned voice, and I think this song is a great illustration of what that voice can do. Against the sound of the […]


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