VOn Adorno is narrated that he occasionally so attuned his audience: "When I give a lecture on the 'Introduction to Philosophy', then it is clear that I do not lecture on the introduction to philosophy." What then did he do? The intellectual level simply did not allow it to be introduced into something merely; The personal format ensured from the outset that the object was hoisted to previously unknown levels, as it were transcended.
Similarly, if Bob Dylan does country music then it's clear that he does not do country music. His move to the genre in 1967/69 certainly marked one of the most significant cuts in his career. The pale Beatnik with the hard-to-read lyrics seemed, after his motorcycle accident in the summer of 1966, suddenly quite trusting, yes, to have become almost warm-hearted, now matured to ingenious simplicity. In fact, the record "John Wesley Harding" published in December 1967 and the "Nashville Skyline" published in April 1969 marked one of the most spectacular and influential changes of direction in rock and pop music; even if one should not forget that the former is only partly country and there was the country rock before, for example at the Byrds and at Buffalo Springfield. Dylan made him, like so many things, only bearable, which means: also commercially profitable. He was by no means first in Nashville; already "Blonde On Blonde", which certainly does not sound like that, he had recorded here.
Not exactly simple music
If this style change is to be seen with such limitations – what is so special about it? Well, it was Dylan who did it! The fact that he did it just in 1967 makes the thing memorable: this was the pinnacle of psychedelics, it released "Surrealistic Pillow" by Jefferson Airplane, the first two Doors records, the debuts of Velvet Underground and Pink Floyd, Hendrix '"Are You Experienced ", Creams" Disraeli Gears ", from the Rolling Stones" Their Satanic Majesties Request "and of course" Sgt. Pepper "by the Beatles – not exactly simple music, the weather conditions were all about the rainbow. Of course everyone wondered what Bob Dylan would do next. And Dylan came and went in the opposite direction, to where, according to popular opinion, Fox and Rabbit still said "good night". Nashville was pretty much for everything that the then so-called counterculture was not and did not want.
Musically this meant: small cast and conceivably unspectacular arrangements, instead of the thin, mercurial sound of "Blonde On Blonde" now a decidedly warm, soft, instead of the formerly sprawling lyric in expression now very concise, sometimes cryptic, as well as the verses without rock typical chorus , "Handmade" is not an expression, for both plates needed, as in the country has always been usual, a net nine or twelve hours. This is all the more remarkable as not everything has been published by the sessions.
What is also to be heard, half a century later, is probably the most recent bootleg delivery "Bob Dylan Featuring Johnny Cash – Travelin 'Thru: The Bootleg Series Vol. 15 1967-1969" (Columbia / Sony). It is, qualitatively, not quantitatively, one of the richest of all, if only because the producers and editors of the dazzling power of the label unreleased, which has already dragged on some postage, not only familiar and therefore refrained from presenting the most important songs in an exaggerated many different versions. That is only appropriate. Dylan had gone to Nashville with precise ideas and had the ideal producer in Bob Johnston; just do nothing superfluous, economy was the top priority.