- Audio CD (Sept. 11 2001)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Label: Sony Music Canada Inc.
- ASIN: B00005NI5Y
- Other Editions: Audio CD | LP Record
- Average Customer Review: 320 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #51,712 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Love & Theft
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At once relaxed and rocking, romantic and roguish, this 2001 album thrilled fans and instantly placed itself alongside the best albums in his oeuvre. These still sound fresh and inspired a decade later: Mississippi; Summer Days; High Water (for Charley Patton); Po' Boy; Sugar Baby; Lonesome Day Blues , and more!
When we last left the ever-confounding saga that is Bob Dylan's now-superhuman recording career, he'd reunited with producer Daniel Lanois, with whom he cut 1997's Time Out of Mind, his most coherent and appealing collection in nearly a decade. Now the still-reigning prince of musical contrariety and potent wordplay is back with his most focused, well-played collection since 1989's Oh Mercy, another Lanois production. One listen to the fade-in of the opener "Tweedle Dee & Tweedle Dum" and it's clear that all Dylan's roadwork has shaped him and his band (including guitarist Charlie Sexton) into a mighty musical weapon. And while his craggy howl continues to resonate, it's the songs here that astonish. A sturdy midtempo melody makes "Mississippi" the equal of the best numbers on Time, which it was actually written for. He convincingly puts over the R&B swing (yes, swing) number "Summer Days." "Honest with Me" ("I'm not sorry for nuthin' I've done / I'm glad I fight, I only wished we'd won") is a driving rocker that packs a genuine punch. And the light, lounge-like "Bye and Bye" and the southland ramble "Floater (Too Much to Ask)" show extraordinary confidence. He's labeled these songs "blues-based," but in typical Dylan fashion what would promise to be the most overtly blues number here--"High Water (for Charlie Patton)"--sounds like a banjo-based gunfighter ballad. But then that's this artist's gift: confounding expectations. --Robert Baird
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“Love and Theft” by Bob Dylan, released by Columbia Records from US in 2001, contains 12 songs. I have compiled a song listing (including album label & number, chart position & year of release)(BB200=Billboard Hot 100; UK ALBUM=UK Album Chart):
LP “LOVE AND THEFT” (Bob Dylan)(Columbia Records 85975)(BB200 5/2001; UK 3/2001):
01 Tweedle Dee & Tweedle Dum (4:46)
02 Mississippi (5:21)
03 Summer Days (4:52)
04 Bye and Bye (3:16)
05 Lonesome Day Blues (6:05)
06 Floater (Too Much To Ask)(4:59)
07 High Water (For Charley Patton)(4:04)
08 Moonlight (3:23)
09 Honest With Me (5:49)
10 Po' Boy (3:05)
11 Cry A While (5:05)
12 Sugar Baby (6:40)
1 Following his last studio release “Time Out of Mind” in 1997, “Love and Theft” was the follow-up release with a hiatus of 4 years. It featured backing by his touring band of the time, with keyboardist Augie Meyers added for the sessions. It continued Dylan's artistic comeback following 1997's release. The album won the Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Folk Album at the 44th Annual Grammy Awards. It was nominated for Album of the Year and the track "Honest with Me" was nominated for Best Male Rock Vocal Performance.
2 The sound is very well remastered, unlike his latest release, “Fallen Angels” with no remastering at all!
1 No singles were generated from this album.
“Love and Theft” was Bob’s 31st studio album release, with great sound. Although it peaked higher than his 1997’s release, “Time Out of Mind,” it only achieved “gold” status, whereas “Time Out of Mind” was certified “platinum” in US. The entire set is enjoyable and is recommended to all Bob Dylan’s fans.
Many are curious about Dylan's newest album, LOVE AND THEFT. Its qualities are myriad and must be experienced firsthand. This review deals specifically with the limited edition and what the two bonus tracks bring to this release. For those who have the opportunity, pick up the limited edition as it helps you better understand LOVE AND THEFT.
The central thesis artistically of LOVE AND THEFT is this:
"Remember the past while progressing toward the future."
Dylan said in an interview recently that the music of today is hideous. Dylan once again becomes the voice of a generation, pointing us in the direction our art should be going but is not. Most of the new bands no longer pay attention to tradition. Dylan shows us on this album how rich music can be if we acknowledge what has gone on before yet still maintaining a creative and fresh approach to art, which he does here.
Dylan has always maintained a fresh attitude toward tradition while striving for his own music. He's constantly changing his sound but all his albums have a respect for what has gone on before. Identity is a major issue to him (as SELF-PORTRAIT proved), and he always wants to evolve, so when listening to Dylan the journey becomes really part of the pleasure of listening to him. He proves once again his incredible skills of diversifying and shaking things up. Nothing is a clone in the Dylan catalogue, which is amazing considering his forty year career as a recording artist, and this proves no exception. One of the most amazing things about Dylan is his ability to make for every one of his albums its own identity, even the bad ones. KNOCKED OUT LOADED and DOWN IN THE GROOVE, his most embarrassing releases, do certainly have their own feel to them.
The opening track starts things off with an mid-range tempo with Dylan's lyrics floating by on the guitar liquid lines. Those who are afraid it may harken back to the UNDER THE RED SKY release, have no fear. Why this listener personally likes that record, I know both the critical establishment and much of the fan base panned that album. Although Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum may start out as not that bad, in the end you wouldn't want to be within ten miles of these thugs.
"Mississippi", a song cut from TIME OUT OF MIND and rerecorded here, is the only song that sounds like it could fit right in with those songs. Dylan makes this song mean so much emotionally. Sheryl Crow's version bites the dust after listening to this.
"Lonesome Day Blues," a song Eric Clapton would be proud of, is a pretty rockin' song of missing old love and has the memorable line: "you can't make love all by yourself." "Honest With Me," and "Cry A While" are Dylan exploring his psyche and the hurt that others have caused him, and with "Cry a While" he's going to thinking about inflicting pain on a lover, and the song itself cannot decide what tempo it wants to keep as it keeps alternating. "Sugar Baby," the last cut, is a slow blues number given with passion and one of the LOVE AND THEFT cuts that will enter the (massive) classic Dylan songbook. The rest, especially "Floater," and "Po' Boy," are really, really good.
In a few of the cuts Dylan sings about his parents, and in "Lonesome Day Blues" he laments that his mother has died, which she did recently. This theme of parents becomes one of the key facets to understanding this album. His mother's death effected Dylan and his performances, and a certain air of melancholy became prevalent immediately afterward throughout in his concerts. His parents being gone has really effected his art, and for the first time in Dylan's career his relationship to them have been put on prominent display.
This being said, do not expect this to be a BLOOD ON THE TRACKS confessional about his parents. This is more of Dylan grieving and going through that particular process. In "Lonesome Day Blues," he sings his wishes his mother had not died. There are a few other songs that tell about his family. One of the most interesting songs dealing with family is not even on the album, but rather on the bonus disc which this limited edition includes. Because of the prevalence of family imagery, I think this is the reason why "I Was Young When I Left Home," was included. Dylan's parents are on his mind.
In the same sense, this album is all about Dylan examining his roots. If you refer to my other review of the regular edition, I go more into this central facet purpose of LOVE AND THEFT. Dylan turns old musical traditions into amazingly accomplished songs that, while still retaining their vast historic backdrop, become modern music at its finest. This is Dylan recasting those old traditions and those roots into his own classic style. This is one reason why Dylan's parents keep showing up in the songs. From this album it is reasonable to conclude that not only on a personal level does Dylan miss his parents, but on an artistic level his personal relationships and his ascetic sensibilities are in sync. He is giving his parents honour and also giving the music that has vastly influenced him honour.
That's why the limited edition adds to the already instant classic by including the 1961 cut. The alternate version of "Times" also has an important place in the album too. Although the times are changing, this fact does not allow you to forget your roots. Don't plagiarize, but rather acknowledge them and make use of them. By including these two bonus tracks from the early 1960s, Dylan even more clearly demonstrates his undeniable brilliance and ability by making them relevant to what he is doing with LOVE AND THEFT.
I can understand if someone doesn't like his singing. Although his voice has just about disintegrated at this point, he's far from being as out of tune as he can be heard on other albums. I think it's actually one of his better singing albums, within the limits of the quality of his voice of course.
I recommend to give the album a second chance if you've tried it once and not liked it. It has really grown on me.
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