Posts Tagged ‘Nashville Skyline’

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. Continue reading

Ranking Bob Dylan Songs, #121: Nashville Skyline Rag

 

OK, this is kind of cheating. “Nashville Skyline Rag” isn’t really a song, it’s more like an album interlude. It’s completely instrumental, and mainly serves to pace the album, like Radiohead does with “Treefingers” or “Fitter Happier,” or The Beatles do with several songs on The White Album.

The difference between those songs and “Nashville Skyline Rag,” though, is that OK Computer, The White Album and Kid A are all generally considered “high concept” albums. The interludes are (hypothetically) necessary to maintain the album’s sense of flow. Nashville Skyline is really just a simple country album. It’s only 27 minutes long, and three of those minutes are a pretty basic country beat without lyrics.

I don’t profess to be a country music expert, but this is a pretty humble, some might even say trite, composition.

What makes the song forgivable, and the Nashville Skyline album as a whole interesting, is the sense that Dylan is having fun. After his seminal work of the mid-60s and a debilitating motorcycle accident, this album, combined with The Basement Tapes, sounds like Dylan has moved beyond the pressure of trying to be brilliantly innovative and unpredictable with every album. And sometimes, I guess, the only way to get beyond that pressure is to do something completely unbrilliant and predictable like “Nashville Skyline Rag.”