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Posts Tagged ‘1990s’

Ever since the announcement a few weeks ago that Bob Dylan has been awarded the 2016 Nobel prize for literature, I’ve been making an effort to listen to a wider variety of his songs. Unlike some of the famous people who praised his getting the Nobel prize, I am not someone who listens to his music every day, even though he is my favourite songwriter. In fact, I probably don’t even listen to him every week, and I’ve realised that when I do listen to his music I’ve been tending to listen to the same five or six albums from his vast catalogue.

So, over the last few weeks I’ve been making a conscience effort to listen to a wider variety of his songs, and one of my favourites of his recent albums (last 20 years!) is his 1997 album Time Out of Mind. This is the album which contains “Make You Feel My Love”, a song made famous by Adele on her first album 19. I have blogged about their respective versions of that song here. Most people who know Adele’s version don’t know that it is a Dylan song, but that has always been true of Dylan’s work. When The Byrds had a hit with “Mr. Tambourine Man” in 1965, many people did not know that it was a Dylan song. Ditto Peter, Paul and Mary’s hit with “Blowin’ in the Wind” in 1963, and Guns ‘n’ Roses 1991 hit with “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door”.

Another beautiful song on Time Out of Mind is this one, “Not Dark Yet”. It is such a haunting song, with both a beautiful melody and sublime lyrics.

ndy2

The song “Not Dark Yet” is from Bob Dylan’s 1997 album Time Out of Mind.

Although most of Dylan’s songs are, sadly, not available on YouTube (this one is!), all of his lyrics can be found on his official website. Here is the link to the lyrics for this song. In addition to being able to read the lyrics of each of his songs on his website, you can also see on which album or albums the song is available, including alternative versions.

Amazingly, a particular page for a given song also keeps a tab of how many times Dylan has performed the song in concert, including the first date on which he performed it and the date of his latest performance of that song. As Dylan has been on tour almost continuously for the last 20 years, it is not surprising to see that this song “Not Dark Yet” has been performed over 150 times, but sadly it would seem that he has not performed it since 2012.

To me, “Not Dark Yet” speaks of a weariness and, possibly, tiredness with life, with existence. The man in the song (maybe a facet of Dylan himself?) seems to have lost his ability or desire to enjoy life. He feels like life has become too hard; he has become too weary, unfeeling and cynical. I find the lyrics captivating; such a moving expression of lost youth, lost passion and lost hope. The lines “Well, my sense of humanity has gone down the drain / Behind every beautiful thing there’s been some kind of pain” crystallise the sentiments of the song.

Shadows are falling and I’ve been here all day
It’s too hot to sleep, time is running away
Feel like my soul has turned into steel
I’ve still got the scars that the sun didn’t heal
There’s not even room enough to be anywhere
It’s not dark yet, but it’s getting there

Well, my sense of humanity has gone down the drain
Behind every beautiful thing there’s been some kind of pain
She wrote me a letter and she wrote it so kind
She put down in writing what was in her mind
I just don’t see why I should even care
It’s not dark yet, but it’s getting there

Well, I’ve been to London and I’ve been to gay Paree
I’ve followed the river and I got to the sea
I’ve been down on the bottom of a world full of lies
I ain’t looking for nothing in anyone’s eyes
Sometimes my burden seems more than I can bear
It’s not dark yet, but it’s getting there

I was born here and I’ll die here against my will
I know it looks like I’m moving, but I’m standing still
Every nerve in my body is so vacant and numb
I can’t even remember what it was I came here to get away from
Don’t even hear a murmur of a prayer
It’s not dark yet, but it’s getting there

Here is the official video of this haunting song. Enjoy!


Which is your favourite Bob Dylan song from the last 25 years of his work?

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Today I thought I would share this song “Stand by Me” by Oasis. Not to be confused with the 1961 song by Ben E. King, this song was released by Oasis in September 1997 and got to number 2 in the DUK charts. It was the second single release from their album Be Here Now, following on from “D’You Know What I Mean?”. “Stand by Me” was kept from reaching number 1 by Elton John’s song “Candle in the Wind”, which he re-wrote and re-recorded as a tribute to Diana, Princess of Wales.

stand_by_me_oasis

“Stand by Me” was released by Oasis in September 1997 and got to number 2 in the Disunited Kingdom charts.

“Stand by Me” was written by Noel Gallagher, and was apparently inspired by a bout of food poisoning which he contracted when he first moved to London from Manchester and tried to cook himself a Sunday meal. He says that after that first attempt at cooking, he resorted to living off Pot Noodles!

Made a meal and threw it up on Sunday
I’ve got a lot of things to learn
Said I would and I’ll be leaving one day
Before my heart starts to burn.

So what’s the matter with you?
Sing me something new … Don’t you know
The cold and wind and rain don’t know
They only seem to come and go away

Times are hard when things have got no meaning
I’ve found a key upon the floor
Maybe you and I will not believe in the things we find behind the door

So what’s the matter with you?
Sing me something new … Don’t you know
The cold and wind and rain don’t know
They only seem to come and go away

Stand By Me — Nobody knows the way it’s gonna be
Stand By Me — Nobody knows the way it’s gonna be
Stand By Me — Nobody knows the way it’s gonna be
Stand By Me — Nobody knows, yeah, nobody knows the way it’s gonna be

If you’re leaving will you take me with you
I’m tired of talking on my phone
There is one thing I can never give you
My heart will never be your home

So what’s the matter with you?
Sing me something new … Don’t you know
The cold and wind and rain don’t know
They only seem to come and go away

Stand By Me — Nobody knows the way it’s gonna be
Stand By Me — Nobody knows the way it’s gonna be
Stand By Me — Nobody knows the way it’s gonna be
Stand By Me — Nobody knows, yeah, nobody knows the way it’s gonna be
The way it’s gonna be, yeah

Maybe I can see, yeah…Don’t you know
The cold and wind and rain don’t know
They only seem to come and go away

Hey, hey

Stand By Me — Nobody knows the way it’s gonna be
Stand By Me — Nobody knows the way it’s gonna be
Stand By Me — Nobody knows the way it’s gonna be
Stand By Me — Nobody knows, yeah, nobody knows the way it’s gonna be

It is possible that the song title was inspired by John Lennon’s cover version of Ben E. King’s “Stand by Me”, which Lennon recorded in 1975 on his Rock ‘n’ Roll album. Here is the official video of this song. Enjoy!

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Today I thought I would share this wonderful song by The Beautiful South – “The Prettiest Eyes”. It is from their fourth studio album Miaow, and is the fifth track on the CD. It is also on their compilation album Carry On up the Charts. The album was recorded in the spring of 1993, and released in March 1994. I don’t have any more detail about the song itself, but if someone reading this knows more feel free to add more information in the comments section below.

The_Beautiful_South_-_Prettiest_Eyes

“The Prettiest Eyes” is a song by The Beautiful South which appears on their fourth studio album Miaow.

The song is a lovely love song, the lyrics speak for themselves.

Line one is the time
That you, you first stayed over at mine
And we drank our first bottle of wine
And we cried

Line two, we’re away
And we both, we both had nowhere to stay
Well, the bus shelter’s always OK
When you’re young

Now you’re older and I look at your face
Every wrinkle is so easy to place
And I only write them down just in case
That you die

Let’s take a look at these crow’s feet, just look
Sitting on the prettiest eyes
60 25th of Decembers
59 4th of Julys
Not through the age or the failure, children
Not through the hate or despise
Take a good look at these crow’s feet
Sitting on the prettiest eyes

Line three I forget
But I think, I think it was our first ever bet
And the horse we backed was short of a leg
Never mind

Line four in a park
And the things, the things that people do in the dark
I could hear the faintest beat of your heart
Then we did

Now you’re older and I look at your face
Every wrinkle is so easy to place
And I only write them down just in case
You should die

Lets take a look at these crow’s feet, just look
Sitting on the prettiest eyes
60 25th of Decembers
59 4th of Julys
You can’t have too many good times, children
You can’t have too many lines
Take a good look at these crow’s feet
Sitting on the prettiest eyes

Well, my eyes look like a map of the town
And my teeth are either yellow or they’re brown
But you’ll never hear the crack of a frown
When you are here
You’ll never hear the crack
Of a frown
Of a frown
Of a frown
Of a frown

Here is the official video of this lovely song. Enjoy!

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At number 76 in BBC Radio 2’s 100 greatest guitar riffs is “A Girl Like You” by Scottish singer-songwriter Edwyn Collins. This song was released in 1995, and appears on his third album “Gorgeous George”.



At number 75 in BBC Radio 2's 100 greatest guitar riffs is "A Girl Like You" by Edwyn Collins.

At number 76 in BBC Radio 2’s 100 greatest guitar riffs is “A Girl Like You” by Edwyn Collins.



“A Girl Like You” got to number 4 in the Disunited Kingdom singles charts, to number 32 in the US, and was a hit in many other countries. It topped the charts in Belgium. It remains his best known hit.


I’ve never known a girl like you before
Now just like in a song from days of yore
Here you come a knockin’, knockin’ on my door
And I’ve never met a girl like you before

You give me just a taste so I want more
Now my hands are bleeding and my knees are raw
Cos now you’ve got me crawlin’, crawlin’ on the floor
And I’ve never known a girl like you before

You’ve made me acknowledge the devil in me
I hope to God I’m talkin’ metaphorically
Hope that I’m talkin’ allegorically
Know that I’m talkin’ about the way I feel
And I’ve never known a girl like you before

Never, never, never, never
Never known a girl like you before

This old town’s changed so much
Don’t feel like I belong
Too many protest singers
Not enough protest songs

And now you’ve come along
Yes, you’ve come along
And I’ve never met a girl like you before

It’s alright, yeah (x29)


Here is the international version of the video of this song (the video released in the US was different, you can find it on YouTube). Enjoy!



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At number 9 in Rolling Stone Magazine’s 500 greatest songs of all time is “Smells Like Teen Spirit” by Nirvana. This song was released in September 1991, and I distinctly remember hearing it for the first time on the radio. It wasn’t really like any song I had heard before, and I liked it straight away. The song got to number 7 in the Disunited Kingdom, and to number 6 in the US.

I went on to buy “Nevermind”, the album from which the song is taken, and it is still one of my favourite albums of the 1990s. I blogged about Nevermind here, as it is at number 17 in Rolling Stone Magazine’s list of the 500 greatest albums. I also blogged about this song in that post, but you can’t get too much of such a wonderful song.

The grunge-sound which Nirvana spearheaded became the sound of the early 1990s, but with Kurt Cobain’s sad suicide in April 1994 the band came to an abrupt end.



At number 30 in Rolling Stone Magazine's '500 Greatest Songs of all Time' is "I Walk the Line" by Johnny Cash.

At number 9 in Rolling Stone Magazine’s ‘500 Greatest Songs of all Time’ is “Smells Like Teen Spirit” by Nirvana.




Load up on guns, bring your friends
It’s fun to lose and to pretend
She’s over bored and self assured
Oh no, I know a dirty word

Hello, hello, hello, how low? [x3]
Hello, hello, hello!

With the lights out, it’s less dangerous
Here we are now, entertain us
I feel stupid and contagious
Here we are now, entertain us
A mulatto
An albino
A mosquito
My libido
Yeah, hey, yay

I’m worse at what I do best
And for this gift I feel blessed
Our little group has always been
And always will until the end

Hello, hello, hello, how low? [x3]
Hello, hello, hello!

With the lights out, it’s less dangerous
Here we are now, entertain us
I feel stupid and contagious
Here we are now, entertain us
A mulatto
An albino
A mosquito
My libido
Yeah, hey, yay

And I forget just why I taste
Oh yeah, I guess it makes me smile
I found it hard, it’s hard to find
Oh well, whatever, never mind

Hello, hello, hello, how low? [x3]
Hello, hello, hello!

With the lights out, it’s less dangerous
Here we are now, entertain us
I feel stupid and contagious
Here we are now, entertain us
A mulatto
An albino
A mosquito
My libido

A denial! [x9]


Here is the official video of this amazing song. Enjoy!






Which is your favourite Nirvana song?

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At number 98 in BBC Radio 2’s 100 best guitar riffs is “Loser” by Beck. This song was released in March 1993, and then re-released in February 1994. I think I first heard it several years later, in about 1998 or 1999, and decided to have a listen to Beck’s back catalogue of work. I have to admit that, apart from this song, I have never been able to get into his early stuff. The only album of his that I like (so far) is “Sea Change”, which is a superlative album and well worth listening to. But, I’ve never been able to get into his other albums, but maybe I need to give them more time.



Beck's "Loser" is at number 98 in BBC Radio 2's list of the 100 best guitar riffs.

Beck’s “Loser” is at number 98 in BBC Radio 2’s list of the 100 best guitar riffs.



Beck was, back in the 1990s, referred to as the “new Bob Dylan”. As far as I knew he had been pretty quiet these last several years, but was back in the news just last week at the Grammys as his album “Morning Phase” won the album of the year award. His getting this award was also notorious for that idiot Kanye West storming the stage and saying that Beyoncé should have got the award!


In the time of chimpanzees
I was a monkey
Butane in my veins
So I’m out to cut the junkie
With the plastic eyeballs,
Spray-paint the vegetables
Dog food stalls with the beefcake pantyhose
Kill the headlights
And put it in neutral
Stock car flaming’ with a loser
And the cruise control
Baby’s in Reno with the vitamin D
Got a couple of couches,
Sleep on the love seat
Someone keeps saying’
I’m insane to complain
About a shotgun wedding
And a stain on my shirt
Don’t believe everything that you breathe
You get a parking violation
And a maggot on your sleeve
So shave your face
With some mace in the dark
Saving’ all your food stamps
And burning’ down the trailer park

(Yo. Cut it.)
Soy un perdedor
I’m a loser baby, so why don’t you kill me?

(Double-barrel buckshot)

Soy un perdedor
I’m a loser baby, so why don’t you kill me?

Forces of evil in a bozo nightmare
Banned all the music with a phony gas chamber
‘Cuz one’s got a weasel
And the other’s got a flag
One’s on the pole, shove the other in a bag
With the rerun shows
And the cocaine nose-job
The daytime crap of the folksinger slop
He hung himself with a guitar string
Slap the turkey-neck
And it’s hanging’ from a pigeon wing
You can’t write if you can’t relate
Trade the cash for the beef
For the body for the hate
And my time is a piece of wax
Falling’ on a termite
Who’s choking’ on the splinters
Soy un perdedor
I’m a loser baby, so why don’t you kill me?
(Get crazy with the cheeze whiz)
Soy un perdedor*
I’m a loser baby, so why don’t you kill me?
(Drive-by body-pierce)
(Yo, bring it on down)
Soooooooyy….
[Chorus backwards]
(I’m a driver; I’m the winner;
Things are gonna change
I can feel it)
Soy un perdedor
I’m a loser baby, so why don’t you kill me?
(I can’t believe you)
Soy un perdedor
I’m a loser baby, so why don’t you kill me?
Soy un perdedor
I’m a loser baby, so why don’t you kill me?
[Repeat]
(Sprechen sie Deutsch, baby?)
Soy un perdedor
I’m a loser baby, so why don’t you kill me?
(Know what I’m saying’?)


Here is a video of this great song. Enjoy!





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Today I thought I would share this song, “Ring the Bells” by the English band James. It is the second track on their 1992 album “Seven”, and was released as a single, getting to number 37 in the Disunited Kingdom singles charts.



Ring+The+Bells+Front

I bought the album “Seven” in 1992, the year it was released. But, I don’t remember now how I became aware of it. Although they had had a hit single in 1989 with “Sit Down” (which only got to number 77 but, when re-released in 1991 got to number 2), I don’t remember making the connection between that song and a new album by the band. I think I just stumbled across this album somehow, but I am glad I did because I like nearly every song on it.

Somehow I mislaid (lost?) the CD that I had originally bought, so a few years ago I bought it again and was pleased to discover some bonus tracks had been added, including a wonderful acoustic version of “Protect Me”. The bonus tracks lessened my frustration at having lost my original copy! 🙂


Ring ring the bells
Wake the town
Everyone is sleeping
Shout at the crowd
Wake them up
This anger’s deeper than sleep

Got to keep awake to what is happening
I can’t see a thing through my ambition,
I no longer feel my God is watching over me
Got to tell the world we’ve all been dreaming
This is not the end, a new beginning
I no longer feel my God is watching over me

Break break the code
Concentrate
Let the doors swing open
See through all your walls
All your floors
Now you’re in deeper than sleep

Got to keep awake to what is happening
I can’t see a thing through my ambition,
I no longer feel my God is watching over me
Got to tell the world we’ve all been dreaming
This is not the end, a new beginning
I no longer feel my God is watching over me

When you let me fall
Grew my own wings
Now I’m as tall as the sky
When you let me drown
Grew gills and fins
Now I’m as deep as the sea
When you let me die
My spirit’s free
There’s nothing challenging me


Here is a link to this great song. Enjoy!





Which is your favourite James song?

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