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Oh Mercy [Original recording remastered]

Bob Dylan Audio CD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 9.22 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

Oh Mercy + New Morning (Vinyl) + Nashville Skyline
Price For All Three: CDN$ 53.32

Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought

Product Details

1. Political World
2. Where Teardrops Fall
3. Everything Is Broken
4. Ring Them Bells
5. Man In The Long Black Coat
6. Most Of The Time
7. What Good Am I?
8. Disease Of Conceit
9. What Was It You Wanted
10. Shooting Star

Product Description


The '80s was a particularly shifting, uncertain decade for Bob Dylan's creative voice. But he capped it off with his first album of all-original material in several years and his best since Infidels. A lot of the credit for Oh Mercy's distinctive appeal has been given to producer-musician Daniel Lanois (who backs Dylan on all but one cut), and there's no denying the effect of his magnetic, fog-thick sound sculpturing here. Overlays of lap steel, dobro, and mercy keys along with a slithering subterranean bass evoke a complete sonic climate, and the synergy between Lanois and Dylan would have a huge payoff with 1997's devastating Time Out of Mind. But however tightly produced, Oh Mercy also displays Dylan at the peak of his songwriting craft, fracturing words and phrases for the things-fall-apart jeremiads of "Political World" and "Everything Is Broken" and stringing images together for the noirish ballad "Man in the Long Black Coat." There's the usual dichotomy between Dylan's slashing accusatory mode ("What Was It You Wanted") and the self-effacement of "What Good Am I?" Aside from the miscalculated, sappy "Where Teardrops Fall" (the disc's sore thumb), this album has the classic staying power of Dylan's finest efforts. --Thomas May

Product Description

Daniel Lanois brought as much imagination to the production on this 1989 LP as Dylan did to the images and poems within these striking songs. Lots of gems to be discovered here: Everything Is Broken; Ring Them Bells; Disease of Conceit; Shooting Star; Most of the Time; Political World , and more!

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars insert pun about album title here- Dec 18 2006
Format:Audio CD
How do you rate a Bob Dylan album? It's tough. I was going to say that this one was definitely in the top five since the sixties. But what about all the great music that you would have to leave off that list? But I will say it nonetheless.

This is a man finding his form even as the eighties tried to steal the soul of the songs. It starts off with Political World a decent song that is a little repetitious. The When Tear Drops Fall which is a ballad. It really hits it's stride on track four Ring Them Bells. This song features just a piano and it soars. It has great honesty and smart lyrics and a great melody. Then Man In The Long Black Coat follows it. A great sing songy, almost spoken melody that hits deep. And then the greatest song he recorded in the eighties Most Of The Time. Produced by Daniel Lanois, this track almost feels like it should have been done by U2. It's melody is carried by a tasteful synth that adds rather than overloads the track. There is a great amount of subtlety to song and it makes me listen over and over.

What Was It You Wanted and Shooting Star are also fantastic.
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By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
This is the first of two Dylan albums produced by Daniel Lanois. Lanois definitely puts his stamp on everything he produces: Peter Gabriel's SO, Robbie Robertson's first album, Emmylou Harris's WRECKING BALL, and more famously his work with U2. Those albums don't sound like the artists' previous work, but they all share a similar atmosphere. The same can be said of OH MERCY, which sounds nothing like Dylan's previous work. Everything has plenty of space around it, yet it's drenched in warm, wet reverb, especially the bright, ringing guitars, and there's a spartan but rock-solid bottom to this whole album. A few critics complained about Lanois 'messing' Dylan's songs, but I agree with the majority who applauded the production. It is refreshing to hear even after all these years. While I'm not a fan of some of the things Lanois has done, though his hand is in every nook and cranny of this album, he doesn't overdo it.
My only complaint is the songs. Like "Infidels," "Oh Mercy" has been criticized heavily for its song selection, and for good reason. The first two tracks are weak cuts. "Political World" is a cynical diatribe that goes nowhere nor is it particularly enlightening, but goes down easy. "Where Teardrops Fall" is pretty lame and corny. Lanois wanted to open with "Series Of Dreams" (later released with an unfortunate crossfade on BOOTLEG SERIES VOL. 1-3 and intact on GREATEST HITS VOL. 3), but Dylan vetoed it at every turn. Too bad, because it would've been the best track, and a better opening, a grand, epic production that rolls and thunders along in a wall of reverb, surrounding Dylan's evocative verses. Lanois also wanted "Dignity," but that was left off. It was butchered and remixed for GREATEST HITS VOL.
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5.0 out of 5 stars I love this album like a brother May 4 2004
Format:Audio CD
I don't know why Time Out of Mind is given all the credit when there are 'songs' like Till I Fell In Love With You and 'Make You Feel My Love'. The guy tries to sing and it fails. But Oh Mercy is so quiet, it seems Bob is almost unwilling to let the listener in. And that's good - his voice for once sounding like it did back in the days of Blood on the Tracks. The production is superb - those who criticise must be deaf. Compare this production to Shot of Love's and you'll see just how beneficial a good producer is to bringing out the best in the songs.
This record is designed to be listened to in a dark room with headphones. It's so relaxing and beautiful. Few Bob Dylan albums are beautiful, but this is. Each song is a peach. The only complaint might be that What Was It You Wanted is a little long, but that's petty when considering something as overblown as Highlands on Time Out of Mind. Not that I dislike it, it's just that Love and Theft is the party album, and Oh Mercy is the reflective album. Time Out of Mind is both. Oh Mercy is the perfect length too - 40 minutes. It's so good I listen to it twice in a row if I can. Buy this album. It took me 12 Dylan albums until I mustered up the courage. But now it's in my top 5 at least. Blonde on Blonde, Highway 61 Revisited, The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan and Blood on the Tracks beat it. And those albums are outstanding. This album ranks alongside those albums with ease. Don't be put of by the fact that it was made in the 80's. This context actually helps you understand why Bob sounds so sad on Oh Mercy. This also helps make it a great album.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Back in business Feb. 9 2004
Format:Audio CD
Bob Dylan's first collaboration with producer Daniel Lanois isn't as strong as their second-go-round (the Grammy winning "Time Out of Mind") but it's a winner all the same. Lanois creates an aural landscape that brings out the best in some of the strongest songs Dylan wrote in the 80s.
From the opening track, "Political World," you know Dylan has gotten back down to some serious business after the aimlessness of "Knocked Out Loaded" and "Down in the Groove." He charges ahead with the even stronger "Everything Is Broken" and keeps the momentum going right through to the closing ballad, the beautiful "Shooting Star," a heartbreaker whose lyrics make you wonder whom he is addressing (his late father, perhaps?)
Other highlights include "Most of the Time," a winning ballad about love lost, and the epic "Man in the Long Black Coat."
"Oh Mercy" represented a comeback of sorts. It reached number 30 on the Billboard album chart (Dylan's highest showing in six years), and earned a lot of critical praise. Unfortunately, it didn't have quite the impact it deserved, and it would be another eight years (!) before "Time Out of Mind" reawakened the world to the news that Dylan was still a force to be reckoned with. Those of us who heard this album weren't so surprised.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Gift
Gift for my Brother.
Published 25 days ago by ralph a hollingsworth
3.0 out of 5 stars Great record, but a tad bit overpraised, October 10, 2007
When OH MERCY came out in 1989, it was largely hailed as the second coming (or third, or fourth, but whose counting?) of Bob Dylan. Read more
Published on Sept. 1 2012 by Mike London
4.0 out of 5 stars Dylan's classic comeback album, but TOOM is a lot better, June 8, 2001
Ol' Mr. Zimmerman's career had been lagging for sometime in both the critical establishment (but what do they know anyway? Read more
Published on Aug. 31 2012 by Mike London
5.0 out of 5 stars Not a bad song on this one.
I love this album. I don't think any of the tracks are "weak" as stated in one of the other reviews. Read more
Published on Nov. 11 2011 by purringmorris
5.0 out of 5 stars First of the great final phase albums
First of all I am a Bob Dylan fan. I have heard every album and some I hate and some I loved and now I hate. Read more
Published on Nov. 4 2011 by Hohenbalken
5.0 out of 5 stars Tuneful and stirring
Produced by Daniel Lanois, this graceful work was Dylan's final statement of the 1980s. The uptempo Political World delivers a profound message over an urgent rolling rhythm whilst... Read more
Published on April 30 2007 by Pieter Uys
5.0 out of 5 stars One of his best! Well from the 80's
This CD was Bob Dylan's comeback in the late 80's (1989 was the year it first came out). It was the first time Dylan worked with Canadian producer Daniel Lanois (Who also produces... Read more
Published on Feb. 13 2007 by Stephen Bieth
4.0 out of 5 stars An intimate bluesy gem
I was scanning more recent Dylan tunes for a birthday gift of a long time Dylan fan - who only had the early days on disc. Read more
Published on June 29 2004
4.0 out of 5 stars An intimate bluesy gem
I was scanning more recent Dylan tunes for a birthday gift of a long time Dylan fan - who only had the early days on disc. Read more
Published on June 29 2004 by Seadancer
5.0 out of 5 stars Hidden Gem
I avoided this Dylan album for a long time--but eventually, when you own more than 30 Dylan albums, you end up with Oh Mercy. What a fool I was to wait! Read more
Published on June 22 2004 by Richard Nelson
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