Friday, July 17, 2020

Wait/Don't Wait: Bob Dylan - Can't Wait

purchase [ Can't Wait ]

Dylan's <Can't Wait> went through various gestations before appearing on Time Out of Mind. There was a gospel version, a "Pink Floyd" version, and a country version. From SongFacts: Engineer Mark Howard recalled to Mojo Magazine July 2010: "Dan wanted to get back to the gospel version of 'Can't Wait' we cut in Oxnard. We cut three or four different versions and named every take. The 'Pink Floyd' version's quite psychedelic and the 'Rag Doll' version is country rock. Bob's like, 'I don't wanna hear this song any more, we got a version down.' Dan was trying to get to the original. " The Tell Tale Signs album includes 2 unreleased versions of the song.

Myself ... Nashville Skyline was the best of his albums. Maybe Blonde on Blonde rates next. I really liked Slow Train Coming, too. Time Out of Mind? Welp ... I guess I had kind of tired of Dylan by then. Lots to say, but lots of the same. *yawn* . Rolling Stone labels this period starting around the 1980s as Dylan "casting about for a purpose". More recently, he has more purpose: "world-weary ... hard boiled ... talk[ing] about truths in unambiguous terms".

<Can't Wait> is from back before the millenium. Like much about Dylan, the lyrics and more have been dissected both for the greater meaning and for insight into the "bard's" frame of mind. Examined line for line, word for word, because ... he speaks for us all. As he has done since the 60's.
But <Can't Wait> on Time Out of Mind is world-weary. It's blues in a minor key - somewhat uncommon - and the effect enhances the sense of gray desperation that Dylan vocals bring to life:
I left my life with you somewhere back there along the line
I thought somehow that I would be spared this fate
But I don’t know how much longer I can wait
(The version at the top appears to be pretty faithful to the Time Out of Mind version)

<Can't Wait> on Tell Tale Signs carries a different feel. (The version below appears to be rendered in this style)

And if you haven't yet listened to this, you might enjoy the hard boiled commentary of Murder Most Foul this past spring. Lengthy, but filled with references that - to a 60+ person of American heritage - were filled with emotions (not facts?) I could relate to.

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