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Oh Mercy Original recording remastered

25 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 22 2004)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: Sony Music Canada
  • ASIN: B00026WU3M
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  LP Record
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #13,161 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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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

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!

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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most helpful customer reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Peter Uys HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on April 30 2007
Format: Audio CD
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 the poignant Where Teardrops Fall is melancholy and uplifting at the same time, very much like Leonard Cohen.

Since this album was released in 1989, the song Everything Is Broken now seems to be prophetic and truer than ever. The arrangement stands out, as well as the impressive instrumental textures. With its appealing organ touches, the slow song Ring Them Bells has an anthemic quality and gospel undertones.

The atmospheric story-song Man In The Long Black Coat is followed by the introspective Most Of The Time, a reflection upon lost love and lingering memories. What Good Am I is similarly sad and reflective with thought-provoking lyrics, and the same goes for Disease Of Conceit.

I love the appearance of the harmonica on some of the songs like Shooting Star; it reminds me of his legendary 1960s work. With its heavenly melodies, evocative imagery and inspired production by Lanois, Oh Mercy is Dylan at his very best.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dan Collins on 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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Format: LP Record
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. But does it really stand up to the heaps of praise so many people were anxious to bestow upon the record? Well, first let's examine why the critics were so pleased by the record. A little bit of history is required to understand this album's critical reception

By 1989, when OH MERCY was released, a lot of people had given up on Dylan. Ever since 1983 with Infidels, a decent enough record but one marred by deleting the best tracks recorded at the sessions, Dylan floundered in a wasteland of rather bizarre, very dated production techniques and some just atrocious records. The overall critical consensus (one that I disagree with), finds the 1985 EMPIRE BURLESQUE a poor release. Personally, I think EB is a great record. KNOCKED OUT LOAD, DOWN IN THE GROOVE, and the live DYLAN & THE DEAD were all panned, and for good reason. The Dylan/Dead tour of 1987 was also lambasted by critics and fans alike. The shows where so shambling and Dylan and the Dead so out of it that they were barely listenable. Dylan was at his all time lowest professionally.

In steps Daniel Lanios of U2 fame. He is known for atmospheric, moody music, and, like Phil Spector, has a very definitive "sound" that he brings to all his projects, regardless of the artist. While Dylan would later on express dissatisfaction with Lanois's sound on their second collaboration, TIME OUT OF MIND, Lanois made Dylan's music sound artier and more sharply produced than it had been in decades.
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Format: Audio CD
Ol' Mr. Zimmerman's career had been lagging for sometime in both the critical establishment (but what do they know anyway?) and the buying public (ah, but they have the dollar, they have power as well). The comeback album of the 1980s, coming at the end of what is generally regarded as the worst decade in Dylan's career. A little bit of history may be required to understand this album's critical reception: coming off the tails of such critically panned works as KNOCKED OUT LOADED and DOWN IN THE GROOVE (the later I own but do not know well and the KNOCKED OUT LOADED I haven't heard), and then the DYLAN AND THE DEAD album which umercifully kills seven Dylan songs with all of them sounding really stoned, many people had thought Dylan had come to the end of his rope. Not me though. That's because I've only been listening to him a year. =)

Anyway, much of the credit goes to Lanois of U2 fame. For once, Dylan's lyrics sound focused and forceful, singing wiht conviction about politics, Israel (with the Man in a Black coat being a rabbi), two relationship songs and one questioning the narrator's self-worth. The rest of the material stands out as well, proving Dylan's inspiration could still ring true. One thing I'd disagree with, which is the disc's sore thumb being "Where Teardrops Fall", which I personally like.

My complaints are three. I personally think the placement of "Disease of Conceit" ruins the running order of this, with songs 7, 8, and 9 being, at least to me, being of the same type and something of a song cycle with the mood they create. It should have been placed before "Most of the Time", which stands as one of Dylan's best "painful" songs.
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