Tag Archive: Columbia Records


Fifty-one years ago today (19 March 1962), Bob Dylan’s debut album ‘Bob Dylan’ was unveiled to a largely disinterested United States. They’d soon change their tune as Dylan spread his artistic wings, but this album stands up as a snapshot of where he was at the time – mainly in a Greenwich Village café, cribbing Woody Guthrie’s notes. Here are some red-hot facts compiled by Matthew Horton for NME.com you might not know.

Bob Dylan

1. The album’s producer, John H. Hammond, was instrumental in Dylan signing to Columbia Records in 1961 after he heard his harmonica work on folk-revivalist Carolyn Hester’s third album.

2. In a pleasing piece of symmetry, Hammond also signed Bruce Springsteen – Dylan’s natural successor – to Columbia in 1972.

3. Check out any 60s Dylan cover that features the Columbia logo and you’ll see that it’s on left. The photo on the cover of ‘Bob Dylan’ has been flipped so the neck of the guitar doesn’t obscure it.

Bob Dylan

4. The cap Dylan’s wearing on the sleeve was a regular element of his walking, talking homage to hero Woody Guthrie.

5. ‘Song For Woody’ makes full use of its tribute status, basing itself on Guthrie’s own 1941 ballad ‘1913 Massacre’. David Bowie would make a Russian doll of it, aping Dylan’s “Hey hey, Woody Guthrie, I wrote you a song” with “Oh hear this, Robert Zimmerman, I wrote a song for you” on Hunky Dory’s ‘Song For Bob Dylan‘. As for songs about David Bowie, Bowie’s got that covered.

6. The album reputedly cost $402 to record.

7. Dylan had another go at ‘See That My Grave Is Kept Clean’ – originally recorded by Texan bluesman “Blind” Lemon Jefferson in 1927 – with The Band in 1967. It didn’t make the official release of ‘The Basement Tapes’ but was familiar to Dylan bootleggers.

8. Leading up to the recording of the album, Dylan immersed himself in listening to the Folkways label’s ‘Anthology Of American Folk Music’, an exhaustive collection of cuts that had been recorded between 1926 and 1932 but forgotten in the intervening years.

Bob Dylan

9. The liner notes on the original inner sleeve were written by a “Stacey Williams”. This turned out to be New York Times critic Robert Shelton – whose favourable live review had brought Dylan to label attention – moonlighting under a pseudonym.

10. ‘Gospel Plow’ is a traditional tune based on Luke 9:62 – “Jesus replied, ‘No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.'” So there you go.

11. UK blues band The Animals claimed Dylan stopped playing his version of ‘House Of The Risin’ Sun‘ when The Animals hit big with theirs, because he was accused of ripping them off.

12. The line in ‘Talkin’ New York’ – one of only two Dylan originals on the album, alongside ‘Song For Woody’ – that goes “Now, a very great man once said/That some people rob you with a fountain pen,” is yet another fanboy reference to Guthrie. Specifically ‘Pretty Boy Floyd’, Guthrie’s 1939 ballad to the 1930s gangster.

13. The cover image was shot by Columbia in-house photographer Don Hunstein, later responsible for the iconic sleeve photos for ‘The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan‘ and Simon & Garfunkel’s ‘Sounds Of Silence’.

14. ‘Fixin’ To Die’ is a cover of a track by delta blues dude Booker T. Washington “Bukka” White, but Dylan messed about with the melody and lyrics. When asked on a radio show in 1962 exactly how much of the recorded version was his, he replied, “I don’t know. I can’t remember.” That’s that cleared up then.

15. After the album shifted just 5,000 copies in its first year, reaching No.13 in the UK and absolutely nowhere in the States, Dylan was nicknamed “Hammond’s Folly” by waggish Columbia execs. They’d soon be eating their leopard-skin pill-box hats.

16. John H. Hammond himself was investigated by FBI Director J Edgar Hoover for alleged communist activities. In reality he was a determined campaigner against race discrimination in the music industry, cutting his teeth with the launch of Billie Holiday’s career.

Bob Dylan

17. “I first heard this from Rick Von Schmidt/He lives in Cambridge/Rick’s a blues guitar player/I met him one day in the green pastures of Harvard University,” goes the spoken opening of ‘Baby, Let Me Follow You Down’. That’s folkie Eric Von Schmidt, who was mistakenly credited as the writer of the song but had adapted it from a Blind Boy Fuller number.

18. Opening track ‘You’re No Good’ was incorrectly listed as ‘She’s No Good’ on the original record label.

19. ‘A Man Of Constant Sorrow’ is of course most famous for its appearance in the Coen Brothers’ movie O Brother, Where Art Thou? where it’s performed by the fictitious Soggy Bottom Boys, named in tribute to the Foggy Mountain Boys, the bluegrass duo who were know to perform several Dylan songs in the 60s. No, there’s nothing tenuous about that.

20. ‘Pretty Peggy-O’ is adapted from the Scottish folk song ‘The Bonnie Lass o’ Fyvie‘ and would later be tackled in various shape-shifting forms by Joan Baez, Simon & Garfunkel and former hairspray-rockers Jefferson Starship.

 

David Bowie’s first album in 10 years, The Next Day, is now streaming on iTunes two weeks ahead of its official release date.

Read more here about Bowie‘s new album: http://bit.ly/149FP1Z

The Next Day officially hits stores March 12th via Columbia Records (pre-orders are ongoing). Below, watch the video for the album’s latest single, “The Stars (Are Out Tonight)”, which stars Bowie himself and Oscar-winning actress Tilda Swinton.

The Next Day Tracklist:
01. The Next Day
02. Dirty Boys
03. The Stars (Are Out Tonight)
04. Love Is Lost
05. Where Are We Now?
06. Valentine’s Day
07. If You Can See Me
08. I’d Rather Be High
09. Boss Of Me
10. Dancing Out In Space
11. How Does The Grass Grow
12. (You Will) Set The World On Fire
13. You Feel So Lonely You Could Die
14. Heat
15. So She (Deluxe Track)
16. I’ll Take You There (Deluxe Track)
17. Plan (Deluxe Track)

 

Following the release of the new record, Depeche Mode will embark on an already-announced European tour, opening May 7 in Tel Aviv, to be followed by a full North American trek later in the summer or in early fall, details of which are still to be announced.

New Studio Album ‘Delta Machine’ Set For Release March 26th on Columbia Records

  • Depeche Mode to Debut Video for First Single ‘Heaven’ on VEVO Next Friday, February 1st

    (Columbia Records; New York, NY; January 24, 2013) – Depeche Mode have announced they will release their highly anticipated 13th studio album, entitled Delta Machine, on March 26th worldwide via Columbia Records. The album, recorded over the last year in Santa Barbara, California and New York City, was produced by Ben Hillier and mixed by Flood. In addition to the album announcement, Depeche Mode have also confirmed that the video for the first single “Heaven” will debut on VEVO next Friday, February 1st. Alongside a standard CD format, Depeche Mode will release Delta Machine in an exclusive Deluxe Edition with four additional new tracks and accompanied by a 28 page hardcover book including photos by longtime artistic collaborator Anton Corbijn (please see track listing, as well as album and single configurations below).

    Martin Gore said of the release, “Writing this album was incredibly daunting as I wanted the sound of this collection to be very modern. I want people to feel good about listening to this record, to get some kind of peace. It’s just got something magical about it.”

    Dave Gahan added, “With this release we’ve completely shifted our idea of how to create an album. When we hit a wall where we realize the album is beginning to sound too normal, we’ll mess it up and really give it that organic Depeche Mode Sound. Delta Machine is no different, and I can’t wait for all of our fans to hear it.”

    Following the release of their new album, Depeche Mode will embark on a European stadium tour, kicking off in Tel Aviv’s Hayarkon Park on May 7th. They will perform 34 shows in 25 European countries, featuring appearances at Milan’s famed San Siro Stadium, the Stade De France in Paris, and Moscow’s Locomotive Stadium before wrapping up the European leg of their tour in Minsk, Belarus on July 29. A full North American tour will follow, with details to be announced in the coming weeks.

    The tracklisting for Delta Machine is as follows:

    STANDARD:
    1 – Welcome To My World
    2 – Angel
    3 – Heaven
    4 – Secret To The End
    5 – My Little Universe
    6 – Slow
    7 – Broken
    8 – The Child Inside
    9 – Soft Touch / Raw Nerve
    10 – Should Be Higher
    11 – Alone
    12 – Soothe My Soul
    13 – Goodbye

    DELUXE EDITION: (includes hardcover 28-page booklet)

    DISC 1
    1 – Welcome To My World
    2 – Angel
    3 – Heaven
    4 – Secret To The End
    5 – My Little Universe
    6 – Slow
    7 – Broken
    8 – The Child Inside
    9 – Soft Touch / Raw Nerve
    10 – Should Be Higher
    11 – Alone
    12 – Soothe My Soul
    13 – Goodbye

    DISC 2
    1 – Long Time Lie
    2 – Happens All The Time
    3 – Always
    4 – All That’s Mine

    The tracklisting for the “Heaven” CD single is as follows:

    “Heaven” CD SINGLE:
    1 – Heaven
    2 – All That’s Mine (b side bonus track)

    “Heaven” CD MAXI:
    1 – Heaven
    2 – Heaven (Owlle Remix)
    3 – Heaven (steps to heaven rmx)
    4 – Heaven (Blawan Remix)
    5 – Heaven (Mathew Dear vs Audion Remix)

source depechemode.com, image slicinguptheeyeballs.com

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