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Out of print in the U.S.! 1970 return to form for Mr. Zimmerman after the disasterous Self Portrait. Features Bob backed by a stellar band including David Bromberg, Al Kooper and others. 12 tracks. Sony.
By 1970, after his infamous motorcycle accident and a mess of an album called Self-Portrait, Dylan had lost his remarkable consistency, but not his talent. New Morning, a collection of songs that lacks the urgency of the singer's '60s material or the country cohesiveness of Nashville Skyline, is nonetheless rewarding in a laid-back way. Dylan, still affecting his low Johnny Cash imitation, sings strongly on the piano-heavy "Winterlude." "If Not For You and "Time Passes Slowly," which never became signature songs by any means, are two of his most underrated performances. Cocktail jazz piano and Martha Stewart's background scat-singing on "If Dogs Run Free" add to the album's experimental spirit. --Steve Knopper
- Lost in the wake of Self-Portrait
I truly believe had this album not come after Self-Portrait, it would have been much more highly regarded. In fact, I was still surprised, and very disappointed, that it did not get the SACD remaster treatment, and such albums as Street Legal did. This is a little gem of an album. True, it does not have the lyrical complexity that graces most of Dylan's albums, but neither did Nashville Skyline, and this is eons better than that album. It is the most overlooked album in Dylan's ouvre, and still impresses today. Though Bob Johnstone is listed as producer, Al Kooper actually was, and does a great job, giving the songs a muscality rare in Dylan's work. An overlooked jem....more info
- The Poet Laurent of Three Generations
My dad says that when this record came out that once again Dylan's fans were disappointed. I don't why though, because I love this record. Mr. D plays a lot of piano on it and maybe he's no virtuoso, but he's plenty good. "If Not for You," made into a huge hit by Olivia Newton John and on of the best songs on George Harrison's "All Things Must Past," triple LP, is one of the best songs on the record. "Father of Night," is a gospel type number that tells or warns us, depending on your point of view, about Dylan's Christian period that we'll see a couple records on down the road. Dylan is different on this record, but then he's different on most of his records. He's not one of those artists that's boringly the same, album after album, Dylan keeps growing and changing, sometimes we like him, sometimes we love him and sometimes we hate him. He's the poet of three generations and "New Morning" has some of his greatest poems on it, five stars.
Reviewed by Stephanie Sane...more info
- Justt beyond the Nashville Skyline
I was looking for a Dylan album that was similar in mood and music to Nashville Skyline. This meets expectations. My favorite tunes are New Morning and Man in Me. Great music for the fall....more info
- (not so) Minor pleasure
"New Morning" is one of Bob Dylan's most neglected and overlooked records. Released right after the universally panned "Self Portrait" record, "New Morning" finds Dylan still tangled up in country, but easing himself back into rock territory. It's a laid-back, charming, slight record full of enjoyable tunes, with Bob in good humor and his voice back to its usual state (apparently due to a cold during time of recording). Most of the songs are piano-driven and tentatively arranged, which gives the record an endearlingly ramshackle feel. It all comes together on "Sign on the Window", the album's best track. Beautiful piano progression, one of Bob's most disarmingly melodic vocal melodies, country boy lyrics: it all adds up to a true classic. Thankfully, the record is of a consistent high quality. There's no bizarre imagery or literate protest songs to be found here, just simple, enjoyable country rock. A handful of the songs are a little too slight for their own good, but for the most part this record is on par with Dylan's previous countrified efforts: Think "Nashville Skyline" if it rocked. I must confess, I reach for this record more often than I do much of Dylan's classic 60's records, just because I enjoy the light atmosphere so much. I urge anybody who doesn't own this record to seek it out, I can't imagine any Dylan fan not enjoying it. ...more info
- A really good, somewhat underexposed album
"New Morning" is not one of Bob Dylan's best-known records, but it was hailed as a comeback when it came out back in 1970, the follow-up to the critically lambasted "Self Portrait".
It opens with a real classic, the lovely, folkish "If Not For You", easily the most famous song off "New Morning". But not the only good one...other highlights include the title track, "Day Of The Locusts", the Elvis Presley-parable "Went To See The Gypsy", the slightly country-flavoured folk ballad "Winterlude", the superbly groovy blues-rock of "One More Weekend", and the lyrical masterpiece "The Man In Me", a really enjoyable, partly tounge-in-cheek slice of ersatz R&B, set to a catchy melody. Dylan even "la-la-la"s his way through the intro, and he really sounds like he's having a ball singing it.
The scope of these songs may not be as grand as classics like "Blonde On Blonde" or "Highway 61 Revisited", and it doesn't hold quite as many genuine classics; rather "New Morning" is an charming, intimate record, filled with laid-back, melodious country-rock, folkish narratives and bluesy rock n' roll.
It is not quite on par with Dylan's best works, but, really, what is? Even Dylan can't be expected to release a new "Blood On The Tracks" every time, and "New Morning" is very a fine album in its own right. Go get it....more info
- Up and Down Album
Most of the Amazon reviewers have taken an unusually forgiving stance to this album in spite of its obvious flaws. Its best songs are quite good, but its worst songs are embarrassing and unlistenable. "If Dogs Run Free" may be the worst song in the Dylan canon with its laughable guest scat singer (!) while "Winterlude" features the worst use of the word "dude" in musical history.
On the bright side, the piano-driven "Time Passes Slowly" is wistful and evocative, and "Sign on the Window" is a forgotten masterpiece. "If Not For You" may be the album's best known track; this song and the title track show Dylan to be uncharacteristically chipper and eager to please.
The fatal flaw here is the album's inability to establish a coherent tone. Every brilliant moment threatens to be undermined by an egregious lapse in taste. This album is a must for the afficionado, a maybe for the less-committed fan, and a no for the newly converted....more info
- Dylan's most underrated and forgotten album?
I bought this record when it came out and I still listen to it 30yrs. later. It is hard to believe I have been listening to this album for thirty years and yet I would be sad if I never heard this record again. This is one of those desert island records that I would have to take along, because it has been such a part of my life, and because, as I said, I would be sad if I never heard these songs again.
This is an album that will appeal to those willing to abandon preconceived ideas about what Dylan's music should sound like and how it should fit into the neat and tidy confines of a particular genre. Its genius is that he incorporates rock, popular, country, and even a little jazz into an album that manages to coalesce into a suite of nicely interrelated songs. But that is what makes it so special: it has got to be taken on its own terms. These are just great songs that last and stay with you and never sound trite or tired.
It's funny, of Bob Dylan's albums, I think this is my favorite. I am not really a Bob Dylan fanatic, as such, but a music lover with eclectic tastes. Freewheelin', Blonde on Blonde, and Highway 61 Revisited are probably better albums and Nashville was certainly a great album, and some of his later records are also good. In the end though, New Morning is a side of Bob Dylan that is unique to this point in his musical career. He never really sounds like this on his later albums. John Wesley Harding and Planet Waves are similar to this in musical content, but New Morning seems to have a certain exuberance lacking in all the others. This album has a relaxed sense of humor that is hinted at in Nashville Skyline. However, on New Morning he is not bound by the musical constraints of the recording venue and his humor is revealed in touches like the wonderful scat singing and the honky tonk piano both of which just sound right in these songs and which are essential to their eclectic nature.
This may not be Dylan's best record, but it is my favorite.
- Excellent Record, Very Pleased
I absolutely love Dylan's new style in this record. It has great moments, and in my opinion is a very easy record to listen to. I feel this album is unrated and is better than people claim. It's full of gospel, country, folk, you name it. And just like most Dylan records, you need to be in the right setting or mood. I mean it's kind of hard to go from listening to Freewheelin' Dylan to Modern Times. I highly recommend this album to anybody, it's almost a masterpiece....more info
- Taking himself less seriously
While not as finely tuned as some of his stronger compositions, this period shows Dylan having some fun again. It is certainly not amongst his most convincing offerings, but there is a genuine spirit in most tracks, even if he was recycling some past ideas. ...more info
- Leading up to "Blood on the Tracks"
At the time of this album's release, the critics and Dylan-obsessed viewed it as another disappointment, another stinging reminder that the Bob Dylan of "The Times They Are a-Changin'" and "Like a Rolling Stone" was gone. It generated rounds of mourning. Sure, it was a little better than the awful "Self-Portrait," and less corny than the baffling "Nashville Skyline," an album in which Dylan was so determined to conceal himself, he literally changed his voice. It had a grittier feel, musically, but it another one of those "love and marriage" albums. That was a genre unto itself back then--a genre lots of more politically minded rock fans despised. First Paul McCartney, then Van Morrison, now, omigod, Bob Dylan, singing songs of domestic contentment like "Sign on the Window."
The release of "Blood on the Tracks" should have caused a re-evaluation of "New Morning," along with its successor, "Planet Waves." In fact, Dylan was battling just as furiously during this period, and writing about it just as candidly, but this was a battle where the stakes were personal--trying to keep his family together in the face of the overwhelming, dehumanizing pressures of the outside world. It is a story that resonates more broadly, perhaps, than his earlier work. And it's a tragic story. With "Skyline" and "Self Portrait," Dylan built a wall to protect his family. In "New Morning," the key songs describe the life he was living behind that wall--with his wife and children, in a somewhat idyllic world that gives him time to muse on "what life's all about." But there's a subtle edge of desperation; he can't quite relax. The tension grows in the next album, "Planet Waves," and then explodes as the relationship is demolished in "Blood on the Tracks." The sage continues in "Desire," in which he continues the battle to win her back.
Now that I'm older and have lived several lives, it is these albums by Dylan that make the most sense to me. I still enjoy the classic 60s disks, and like everyone else, can pick out some great songs among his work in the 80s and 90s. But if you are a listener who thinks "Blood on the Tracks" is Dylan's greatest poetic and musical expression, I suggest you try this album and "Planet Waves," playing them in chronological order with "Blood..." and "Desire." This was Dylan's greatest period.
Why just four stars? There are few clunkers, like "One More Weekend," and "The Man in Me." But "If Not for You," "Time Passes Slowly," the odd "If Dogs Run Free," "Three Angels" and the title song each rank with his greatest. They are simpler, more direct, less flashy in a lyrical sense, but they cut to the heart of his subject matter, and confirm his genius. ...more info
- WHY ONLY 2 STARS
Why only two stars in a great Bob Dylan CD...
the reason is that the album is not re-remastered, the sound quality is not as good as it could have been if the album had had the same tratment as Blood on the Tracks and Blonde on Blonde..... and the cd is also silver, without that red beautiful Columbia painting on it.... I guess we should have been warned that this CD, and also the others 2008 Dylan reissues is just it, a reissue, without any sound or grafic improvement.... disappointing for fans such myself, that for a long time has been waiting for a decent record........
Marcelo Frota - Rio Grande do Sul - Brazil...more info
- Still Phasing After All These Years
Martha Stewart is scat singing on "If Dogs Run Free?" I didn't know that...
Anyway, over the past 30 years, at different points in my life, this album has centered me. I have bought the vinyl, cassette, and CD versions of this through my life. No, it's not one of Dylans's most inspiring albums, but I find it very settling. Each track says something different, in a different way, which I find uplifting and fun. It's an album for listening, not dissecting or finding world truths. No, not perfect, but extremely satisfying.
Once again, thanks, Mr. Z....more info
- New Morning
New Morning being the 11 studio album and it was relased by Columbia Records in 1970. This is a good example of Bob Dylan being more laid back. Gone is the politics and anger of his earlier releases. On this album we hear Dylan having fun and I love the track If not for you. I really like the cover photo of Dylan. For once Dylan has picked a competent photographer, i.e., Len Siegler. 4/5.
- One of the least understood
Never rated very highly, this album is one of dylan's most nuanced.
I've been listening to it for the past thirty years or so and it consistently astounds me. Not unlike the basement tapes, it takes you into a fictional, weird, and very personal America, to paraphrase Griel Marcus. I don't take to these reviews much, but I've always felt that this album, is in fact one of Dylan's better "experiments." Of course, the albums that aren't "experimental" are the least interesting...more info
- A Good Record and Perhaps a New Beginning for Bob Dylan
This record came out only four months after what many considered to be the disaster that was "Self Portrait" and those fans who thought Dylan went south with that record were glad to have him back with this one. So much so, that they perhaps over praised the record. It is good, this record is, but it's no "John Wesley Hardin'" or "Highway 61 Revisited." Still it's a five star recording of all original material that chronicles where Bob Dylan was in 1970.
"If Not for You", which was covered beautifully by George Harrison on "All Things Must Pass" and by Olivia Newton John, who had a huge hit with it, is a love song that I've played over and over again. It's just simply beautiful. " "The Day of the Locusts" is a four minute dirge about when Dylan had to put on a cap and gown (he didn't want to) and go to Princeton to accept an honorary diploma. "Time Passes Slowly" is a song about time passing. Duh. "Time passes slowly when you're lost in a dream." "Time Passes slowly when you're searching for love." "Time passes slowly when you're lost in the daylight." "Time Passes slowly, then fades away." Only Dylan could string ideas like that together in a little over two minute song.
"Went to See the Gypsy," is a nice song about Dylan's meeting with Elvis Presley and "The Man in Me," seems to be a song about how a man sees himself through his lover's eyes. But the real gem on this record is "Sign on the Window." "Sign on the porch says three's a crowd." Was Dylan talking about his fans and how they wouldn't leave him alone. Seems that way to me, but what do I know? Maybe it's about what my good friend Sophie says it is, a New Beginning for Bob Dylan. "That must be what it's all about." So says Dylan, So says Sophie. Either way, it's a great song. Actually the whole record is pretty good....more info
- This One Misses The Band
Some excellent songs such as Time Passes Slowly, and Went to See Gypsy coupled with some inferior material, Day of the Locusts, Father of Night. Dylan is in fine voice and the best songs seem to capture life's warm and wistful moments. Given that this came out in 1970, this would have benefitted from The Band, his partners on the Basement Tapes, who would have added crisper musicianship, choruses and some additional songs. They really would have added drive to the title track....more info
- Great Dylan
New Morning was quickly recorded after Dylan's previous album (Self-Portrait) was panned by critics. While this is a solid album, it does lack the ambition of his work in the Sixties. All these songs, however, have a laid back charm. Dylan mixes elements of country, gospel, soul, and Lennon-McCartney - and it comes off perfectly. My favorite song is "Day of the Locusts" a humorous account of Dylan receiving an honorary degree from Princeton. "Went to See to the Gypsy" is a nostalgic, but melancoly song, about his meeting with Elvis (a boyhood hero). Other songs like "One More Weekend", "The Man in Me", and "Sign on the Window" celebrate marriage and family. Nearing 30, Dylan was already married with children and this album deals with that transition to a more settled life - although as eveyone knows this tranquil time would not last. All Dylan fans should admire this album, while non-Dylan fans may be pleasently surprised by its upbeat nature....more info
- Let's All Grow a Beard!
sweet nessie and the good time band, there is a type of cornbread that I cook while listening to New Morning, it is called HOTWATER CORNBREAD. You have to soak your hands in icewater before you cook it or your hands will burn. This CD grew naturally out of the earth on the foothils of the Smoky Mountains, Bob Dylan cultivated it in a small wooden house for only one week and shuffled off to the recording studio. Man oh man is it a good one! Watch out for the dust flies!...more info
Ranked against Dylan's own music I give this 4 stars, but ranked against a lot other popular music I give it a 5. ...more info
- Decent effort. Big comeback from Self Portrait
This is a good effort at redemption from Dylan after "Self Portrait". However, it lacks the immediacy and necessity of most of his earlier work - he seems to be on cruise control.
Dylan fans were just happy to have Bob back at say, 67% of his past....more info
- Old New Morning
Most Bob Dylan fans I have spoken with ether do not like or have not heard of this work. For me it is the only Dylan I like enough to buy. The arangments have more depth than the typical Dyan sound, country and jazz infuances are worked with. Too bad this stuff did not sell better it would of be good to see Dylan's work of this nature fostered insted of more of the same.---If you kind of like Dylan this is an outstanding work---If you like a majority of Dylan sells, you will not like it. ...more info
- his best, by far
i love this album. in fact, it's the only dylan album i listen to. i'd have to say it's one of my top 10 favorite albums. reccommended without reservation. by the way, there's an import version that came out recently that sounds wonderful. costs under $20....more info
- Worse than Self Portrait
This CD does contain some good tracks but is not listenable.
I find I skip tracks which is not a sign of a consistent album.
One of Bobs weaker CDs....more info
- Transitional Dylan
Bob released this album in October of 1970, mere months after the double-LP disaster that was Self Portrait, and I think it could be safely said that this is one of his many albums that rank as good, but not great.
Dylan during the years 1969-74 was beginning that long period of hit-and-miss records, wherein he occasionally released an LP without a clunker in sight (e.g. Blood on the Tracks, Infidels, Oh Mercy) and others that were nothing but clunkers (e.g. Self Portrait, Saved, Under the Red Sky [although I did think "It's Unbelievable" was a decent, salvageable track]). In between, he had transitional records such as this one, where you have a few good tracks and a fair amount of filler--although, to be fair, even Dylan's filler wasn't necessarily bad.
Best tracks on New Morning would include "If Not For You" (the hit single, and even if it is a tad saccharine, it's still catchy and hooky), "Day of the Locusts," and "If Dogs Run Free," wherein Dylan attempts a bit of spoken-word poetry over the music and doesn't do too badly. (It's not the talking blues of his first two albums, but Bob had grown and was moving on. That's to be expected with a good, creative artist who isn't bound by formulae.) Much of the rest is, as others have pointed out, Dylan having achieved domestic bliss with his then-wife Sara and their small-but-growing brood of children (which would be complete the following year when Jakob--the future Wallflower and star in his own right--was born). As such, it's pleasant but forgettable.
This is a good one to have if you're a Dylan completist. If not, you'll be fine with cherry-picking the best tracks from here that usually show up on the compilations (Greatest Hits, Vol. 2 for example, or Dylan, the 3-CD retrospective from 2007 that may very well be the best collection of tracks from the Knowne Worlde of Dylan)....more info
- Vastly underrated Dylan album
I have been a big Bob Dylan fan for 40 years, and I have always found "New Morning" to be one of his most underrated albums. Yes, it does represent a major change for the reclusive troubador, who keeps reinventing himself, but it is a good change. The songs on this album have great depth, and the songs are very listenable---except for perhaps "If Dogs Run Free", which is just a fun little diddy which reminds me of hanging out in a smoky bar in the early 60's. listening to "beat" poetry. Ginsberg and Ferlinghetti must have loved the tune.
This is one to pick up, if only for the beautiful "If Not For You", covered by both George Harrison and Olivia Newton-John. ...more info
- One of the greatest folk-rock albums I've heard
Because Bob 'made it' as a folk singer, this country tinged folk-rock album is seen as a 'poor album' since it isn't straight folk music. Pity. I love folk rock. This is my favourite folk-rock album ever, I think. I haven't heard them all yet! Stadnout's are the beautiful love song 'If not for you', the relaxing, easy-listening folk-rock of 'the day of the locusts' and 'Went to see the Gypsy', 'New Morning', the majestic 'Father of night' and the bluesy numbers 'One more weekend' and 'The man in me'. 'Winterlude' and 'Time Passes Slowly' have a simple beauty rarely found in music. The other songs a great too. With this record, Bob Dylan explores many easy-listening styles and give most of them a folk edge. A very simple record, the lyrics really capture a relaxed, laid-back atmosphere. They also have a beautiful appreciation for the simple things, like 'the Locusts sang, such a sweet melody'. Dylan even reveals a more spiritual side of himself in 'Three Angels' and 'Father of Night'. Highly recommended listening to anyone...more info
- Decent Dylan, No Better
This was the first of Bob Dylan's many "comeback" albums, necessarily so because "Self Portrait," which preceded it, was so dreadful. Highlights include Bob's version of "If Not For You," the title song, the jubilant and salty "One More Weekend," and the hilarious "Went to See the Gypsy." "Day of the Locust" is a cynical view of academia, reflecting on Dylan's receiving an honorary degree from Princeton. Other than that, as in "Went to See the Gypsy," a lot goes on here, but very little happens. A big step up from "Self Portrait," but far below the standards Dylan set for himself in the 60's....more info