Yesterday, whilst sat having a coffee in my local (to the office) Java Cafe Bar, they were playing Desire by Bob Dylan. Wow! It must be more than 20 years since I’d heard that album. I realised I still knew all the lyrics too (I used to listen to it a lot). Or at least the lyrics to the three or four tracks I heard whilst drinking my coffee. I also remembered, eventually, that the haunting violin work was by Scarlet Riviera, and backing vocals by Emmylou Harris!
After I found myself still singing snatches of the songs today, I realised two things: One, I rarely hear songs which tell a story these days, and pretty much every song on that album tells a story; and two, I really need to go buy a copy!
Desire was the first contemporary album I listened too. Back in 1975 (I think) when it was a new release, my sister Carole’s boyfriend, Mike, left a copy at our house. I listened to it over and over again. Prior to that the only LPs (12 inch vinyl records to you youngsters) I had access to were Carole’s Elvis albums, my Mum’s Perry Como, Andy Williams, and Frank Sinatra albums, and my Dad’s John Denver collection. All good grounding for appreciating talented singers, but Desire was something else entirely. Later Mike also left a copy of Cat Stevens’ Tea for the Tillerman, another great album I no longer own.