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Bob Dylan — Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again
Album: Blonde on Blonde
Avg rating:
6.6

Your rating:
Total ratings: 2154









Released: 1966
Length: 7:00
Plays (last 30 days): 1
Oh, the ragman draws circles
Up and down the block.
I'd ask him what the matter was
But I know that he don't talk.
And the ladies treat me kindly
And furnish me with tape,
But deep inside my heart
I know I can't escape.
Oh, Mama, can this really be the end,
To be stuck inside of Mobile
With the Memphis blues again.

Well, Shakespeare, he's in the alley
With his pointed shoes and his bells,
Speaking to some French girl,
Who says she knows me well.
And I would send a message
To find out if she's talked,
But the post office has been stolen
And the mailbox is locked.
Oh, Mama, can this really be the end,
To be stuck inside of Mobile
With the Memphis blues again.

Mona tried to tell me
To stay away from the train line.
She said that all the railroad men
Just drink up your blood like wine.
An' I said, "Oh, I didn't know that,
But then again, there's only one I've met
An' he just smoked my eyelids
An' punched my cigarette."
Oh, Mama, can this really be the end,
To be stuck inside of Mobile
With the Memphis blues again.

Grandpa died last week
And now he's buried in the rocks,
But everybody still talks about
How badly they were shocked.
But me, I expected it to happen,
I knew he'd lost control
When he built a fire on Main Street
And shot it full of holes.
Oh, Mama, can this really be the end,
To be stuck inside of Mobile
With the Memphis blues again.

Now the senator came down here
Showing ev'ryone his gun,
Handing out free tickets
To the wedding of his son.
An' me, I nearly got busted
An' wouldn't it be my luck
To get caught without a ticket
And be discovered beneath a truck.
Oh, Mama, can this really be the end,
To be stuck inside of Mobile
With the Memphis blues again.

Now the preacher looked so baffled
When I asked him why he dressed
With twenty pounds of headlines
Stapled to his chest.
But he cursed me when I proved it to him,
Then I whispered, "Not even you can hide.
You see, you're just like me,
I hope you're satisfied."
Oh, Mama, can this really be the end,
To be stuck inside of Mobile
With the Memphis blues again.

Now the rainman gave me two cures,
Then he said, "Jump right in."
The one was Texas medicine,
The other was just railroad gin.
An' like a fool I mixed them
An' it strangled up my mind,
An' now people just get uglier
An' I have no sense of time.
Oh, Mama, can this really be the end,
To be stuck inside of Mobile
With the Memphis blues again.

When Ruthie says come see her
In her honky-tonk lagoon,
Where I can watch her waltz for free
'Neath her Panamanian moon.
An' I say, "Aw come on now,
You must know about my debutante."
An' she says, "Your debutante just knows what you need
But I know what you want."
Oh, Mama, can this really be the end,
To be stuck inside of Mobile
With the Memphis blues again.

Now the bricks lay on Grand Street
Where the neon madmen climb.
They all fall there so perfectly,
It all seems so well timed.
An' here I sit so patiently
Waiting to find out what price
You have to pay to get out of
Going through all these things twice.
Oh, Mama, can this really be the end,
To be stuck inside of Mobile
With the Memphis blues again.
Comments (515)add comment
Nope. No matter how hard I try, it just doesn't work for me.

I suppose this is how my wife feels about Phish.
Went downstairs for a potty break, came back and Bob's still banging on. 
 dc_zee wrote:
The comments seem (understandably) focused on the lyrics.  I find the cadence of the song between the refrains to be so of the time (1966 release I believe) and wonder if musicians could enlighten me further on that?
Proclivities wrote:

By "of the time", do you mean it sounds like it was recorded in 1966?  I'm not sure which cadence you mean by "between the refrains".  I assume by "refrain" you mean the chorus ("Oh, mama, can this really be the end.......with the Memphis blues again")  The parts between them (the verses) sound like the phrasing of a lot of Dylan's stuff and that other folk singers of that time.
 
I've always thought part of Bob's brilliance was how his timing and phrasing changes subtlety throughout a song (esp. on this cut) and the use of that technique provides part of the story of the song.  Repeating the chorus in this song many times is sort of an expression of the idea of being 'stuck' and yet even when one is stuck things can change, if ever so slightly, and that to me is the beauty of this song.  I'm sure my discussion here is not well expressed...and my guess is that 'experts' have written A LOT about this exact idea already.  Still....that's how my ears/brain feel it and that's the whole point, right?  LONG LIVE RP and Bob Dylan!!  10→11!! 
 dc_zee wrote:
The comments seem (understandably) focused on the lyrics.  I find the cadence of the song between the refrains to be so of the time (1966 release I believe) and wonder if musicians could enlighten me further on that?
 
By "of the time", do you mean it sounds like it was recorded in 1966?  I'm not sure which cadence you you mean by "between the refrains".  I assume by "refrain" you mean the chorus ("Oh, mama, can this really be the end.......with the Memphis blues again")  The parts between them (the verses) sound like the phrasing of a lot of Dylan's stuff and that other folk singers of that time.
The comments seem (understandably) focused on the lyrics.  I find the cadence of the song between the refrains to be so of the time (1966 release I believe) and wonder if musicians could enlighten me further on that?
Man, this album and this track in particular still speak to me.

Bill, I played this on my radio show last Friday.  Are you listening?


Its Friday! Where are the debutantes! And what do they need? 
brilliant. you have to have been stuck to understand the lyric and the urgent bitterness. classic dylan. 
 lizardking wrote:

you and I might be the few 10 raters for this track, apparently not so many also like BD; an overall 6.5 rating, seriously?

What I think is amazing about BD the performer, is not just how many freaking songs he knows, but that he can (for the most part) remember the lyrics to all of them.  That's some crazy lifelong obsession to music there (or as he has stated, a soul selling deal with the devil allows him all these talents) and I for one appreciate the hell out of his music.

Long Live RP and Bob Dylan!

PS - When BD dies in the next decade or so, I hope to be able to attend his funeral.  And no other famous person has ever elicited that sort of reaction from me (since Jim M died before I was born :-( )



 
Me too on the PS.  Always enjoy your comments, and will track you down at the funeral!  Have always loved this song, BTW.
 On_The_Beach wrote:

{#Roflol}  Oh yah, Bobby's up all night counting his "likes" on Facebook!

 
Yes, that title "Blonde on Blonde" probably meant something different then than it does now so he would get lots of click bait on Youtube!
 
 idiot_wind wrote:
Uh oh.  It appears that Bob's songs have some people irritated, annoyed, and maybe upset. 

Wow...that's never happen before. I'm sure Bob will change his musical approach as to stay trendy and perhaps get some tweets, and get mentioned on various forms of social media.        
 
{#Roflol}  Oh yah, Bobby's up all night counting his "likes" on Facebook!
Uh oh.  It appears that Bob's songs have some people irritated, annoyed, and maybe upset. 

Wow...that's never happen before. I'm sure Bob will change his musical approach as to stay trendy and perhaps get some tweets, and get mentioned on various forms of social media.         
Oh mama can it really be PSD time again?

{#Jump}
Aaawww, Momma, Can This Really Be The End? Down and Out in Vegas, with Amphetamine Psychosis Again?  — H.S. Thompson, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (Part 2.10)
 kurtster wrote:
Funny how no one notices the musicianship behind stuff like this.  This is a superb riff, hooky even.  Some crazy drumming, a wistful organ.  Much more going on besides Bob's singing.

 
Key words here "no one".  The rest of us notice.
Funny how no one notices the musicianship behind stuff like this.  This is a superb riff, hooky even.  Some crazy drumming, a wistful organ.  Much more going on besides Bob's singing.
Almost 25 years ago I lived in an apartment building on 3rd St. in Brooklyn. Neighbors on my floor would have regular Dylan singalong parties. 6, 8 people knew most of the lyrics and they'd be in the unit across the hall Rolling Stoning Rainy Day Womening Memphis and Tombstone Bluesing until midnight. The knowledge and the passion was incredible. 
Still sucks!{#Zip-lip}
Aaarrrrgh!  Why does this song never end??  AAAAAAAAAHHHHHH!
When I saw Bob in concert in Oct, he did not have his Nobel prize in display. Bummer.

However, he did have a grammy showcase on his piano.  

Gosh...what an ego!
Please make it stop.
Please make it stop.
Saw him live 2 mths ago for the first time and he blew me away with his creativity...
 idiot_wind wrote:
Just once, I wish I could meet a debutante.

But how would a person figure out what she wants and not need?

Ahhhhh....the age old insights raised by Bob Dylan.

Perhaps Bob will do more of this at his upcoming Nobel Prize event.  
    

 
you and I might be the few 10 raters for this track, apparently not so many also like BD; an overall 6.5 rating, seriously?

What I think is amazing about BD the performer, is not just how many freaking songs he knows, but that he can (for the most part) remember the lyrics to all of them.  That's some crazy lifelong obsession to music there (or as he has stated, a soul selling deal with the devil allows him all these talents) and I for one appreciate the hell out of his music.

Long Live RP and Bob Dylan!

PS - When BD dies in the next decade or so, I hope to be able to attend his funeral.  And no other famous person has ever elicited that sort of reaction from me (since Jim M died before I was born :-( )



Mr. Dylan’s lecture

S
uper Artist : )
 hakuindude wrote:
Play it louder! Genius is an acquired taste.
 
Agreed.
Bob's music is not for the simple-minded.
Stop! Stop! Stop! Make it end already! Thank Goddess for the mute button.
Whomever keeps stepping on the cat's tail... please stop, right now!
 
He's going to pick up his Nobel soon, seeing as he'll be stuck in Stockholm agin.
Thank Goddess for the mute control.
 talus wrote:
this song gave me a headache
 


 pontfarrer wrote:
I so wish RP didn't play Bob Dylan ... I don't get him at all ....

 
Neither did I until I was challenged by a writing teacher.

Sometime, go stand on a corner and try to write allegories or metaphors to fit your observations.  Afterwards, I expect you'll have a new appreciation.

 
Just once, I wish I could meet a debutante.

But how would a person figure out what she wants and not need?

Ahhhhh....the age old insights raised by Bob Dylan.

Perhaps Bob will do more of this at his upcoming Nobel Prize event.  
    
 pontfarrer wrote:
I so wish RP didn't play Bob Dylan ... I don't get him at all ....

 
Too bad is all I can say.  I LOVE this song.  Maybe you just had to be there..  or actually lived some of this..  hard to explain, but I love that RP plays things like this.  But I sort of get it - I don't get Talking Heads..  or Opera..
 jab49 wrote:

Agreed! Maybe Dylan is the real voice-over for Mr Burns?
Burns giving advice to Homer, playing Golf, when Homer is stuck in a bunker:  "Use an open-faced club - a sand wedge" . Homer: "Mmm, open-faced club sandwich!"

 
{#Roflol} {#Roflol}. I'm visualising Mr. Burns recording many many songs in a studio and then replaying it over and over again at the nuclear plant to all his beloved workers {#Cheesygrin}
 danayork wrote:
that Mr Burns comment is the most accurate thing i've ever heard

 
Agreed! Maybe Dylan is the real voice-over for Mr Burns?
Burns giving advice to Homer, playing Golf, when Homer is stuck in a bunker:  "Use an open-faced club - a sand wedge" . Homer: "Mmm, open-faced club sandwich!"
that Mr Burns comment is the most accurate thing i've ever heard
STUCK inSIDE of MObile WITH the MEMphis BLUES aGAIN

 
 aspalathin wrote:
Sounds like Mr. Burns singing

 
LMAO! Ugh! My ears. Make it stop. 
Sounds like Mr. Burns singing
Play it louder! Genius is an acquired taste.
what a tune {#Music}
 marklaw wrote:

Nice sum up.  Commenting on Dylan's singing is like, well, commenting Leonard Cohen's singing,  What's the point?  That's not what they are about or what they bring to the table IMO.

 
Spot on Marklaw - one has to "see" beyond the voice which surprisingly, on such an eclectic station, so many appear to not have this ability
The singing is so annoying that I gave it a 7 for the attempt to get us all annoyed and not notice the fairly good lyrics.
Einmal ist keinmal.


https://goo.gl/X2Eo2z

hey Abilene,

How does it feel? To be stuck in inside of Abilene with the Dylan blues again?. 
 pontfarrer wrote:
torture, pure torture ... it doesn't end ... !!!!!

 
Gotta agree with you. 
 bam23 wrote:

"...when 'as (sic, I suppose) he built a fire on main street and shot it full holes." is what I suspect is the blown/missed lyric referred to. I've always noticed this odd vocal gap. Considering that this happened after numerous takes, I guess it was seen as acceptable, even though 40+ years later the oddity still remains. What I find odd is the strong dislike this song elicits from so many listeners to this eclectic station. In a world where Arrowsmith songs still pollute the air in apparent perpetuity, I feel there is no shame in appreciating genuinely transgressive music. So there, you PSD types!

 
Nice sum up.  Commenting on Dylan's singing is like, well, commenting Leonard Cohen's singing,  What's the point?  That's not what they are about or what they bring to the table IMO.


 treatment_bound wrote:


Thanks for the thumbs up, tkosh.

Just listened to it again on some vinyl...where's the "blown lyric"? 

 
"...when 'as (sic, I suppose) he built a fire on main street and shot it full holes." is what I suspect is the blown/missed lyric referred to. I've always noticed this odd vocal gap. Considering that this happened after numerous takes, I guess it was seen as acceptable, even though 40+ years later the oddity still remains. What I find odd is the strong dislike this song elicits from so many listeners to this eclectic station. In a world where Arrowsmith songs still pollute the air in apparent perpetuity, I feel there is no shame in appreciating genuinely transgressive music. So there, you PSD types!
Ohhhhhh Mama ,,,, this song is at an end....
 pontfarrer wrote:
I so wish RP didn't play Bob Dylan ... I don't get him at all ....

 
Same here. I understand the poetry but not how he manages to pass off as a singer at all.
 pontfarrer wrote:
torture, pure torture ... it doesn't end ... !!!!!

 
Mr. Zimmerman is definitely an acquired taste. I had a guitar teacher years ago that was a Bob Dylan wack a doo. He spent more time talking about ol Bob than teaching guitar. Drove me nuts and back to my drum kit.   {#Drummer}
torture, pure torture ... it doesn't end ... !!!!!
I so wish RP didn't play Bob Dylan ... I don't get him at all ....
Almost broke my neck lunging for the PSD button.
 tkosh wrote:

I always thought, too, because of the one blown lyric, this was recorded in one take.  Very interesting!

 

Thanks for the thumbs up, tkosh.

Just listened to it again on some vinyl...where's the "blown lyric"? 
Everybody in my alien space craft loves this song...  we be dancing like Willy Shakes...

for information about Bob Dylan's album that was released 46 years after this song, look here... 
 treatment_bound wrote:

According to Wiki, they recorded this song 20 times...BELIEVE IT OR NOT!
>>All twenty takes of "Stuck Inside of Mobile" were recorded on February 17, 1966, in Columbia's Music Row Studios in Nashville. Earlier that day, Dylan had been writing, and he continued to do so in the studio, revising lyrics and changing the song's structure as he recorded different takes. Eventually, a master take, the twentieth and final take, was chosen after recording the song for three hours.  Take five would eventually be released on The Bootleg Series Vol. 7.

 
I always thought, too, because of the one blown lyric, this was recorded in one take.  Very interesting!
git ya some of that.. {#Cheesygrin}
Opinion on this runs the gamut, but consider the times it was released into! Radical! Having fun! I really liked hearing it in a set with Hey St. Peter; it's so fun to hear how vocal inflections and timing can be used as part of the instrumentation/ arrangement of a song...
 mollie1202 wrote:
I'm politely asking, please stop playing Bob Dylan's "Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again"
I am seriously going crazy every time you play this song. (also it's a very long song...)

 
Go do something else.  I ran to my computer to turn up the volume so I could enjoy this incredible song one more time (of many dozens).  Thanks RP for playing great music.
 akdavey wrote:
uck .. add me to the list of haters. again.

 
Ah come on now....
 treatment_bound wrote:

According to Wiki, they recorded this song 20 times...BELIEVE IT OR NOT!




>>All twenty takes of "Stuck Inside of Mobile" were recorded on February 17, 1966, in Columbia's Music Row Studios in Nashville. Earlier that day, Dylan had been writing, and he continued to do so in the studio, revising lyrics and changing the song's structure as he recorded different takes. Eventually, a master take, the twentieth and final take, was chosen after recording the song for three hours.  Take five would eventually be released on The Bootleg Series Vol. 7.



 
Hard to believe he could come up 20 takes as bob has that nasal tone perfected {#Cheesygrin}
uck .. add me to the list of haters. again.
 msymmes wrote:
I get distracted from work every time this song comes on RP !     I can picture these guys recording this in one take.  It just seems spot on thoughout !

 

 
According to Wiki, they recorded this song 20 times...BELIEVE IT OR NOT!




>>All twenty takes of "Stuck Inside of Mobile" were recorded on February 17, 1966, in Columbia's Music Row Studios in Nashville. Earlier that day, Dylan had been writing, and he continued to do so in the studio, revising lyrics and changing the song's structure as he recorded different takes. Eventually, a master take, the twentieth and final take, was chosen after recording the song for three hours.  Take five would eventually be released on The Bootleg Series Vol. 7.


 steeler wrote:
Complaints about this song's length are akin to complaining that a fine novel would have been better and more easily digested as a comic strip.  

 
Oh Mama! 

I love it when this song comes on RP!  48 years of Bob Zimmerman' haters always come out of the woodwork.
Complaints about this song's length are akin to complaining that an engrossing novel would have been better and more easily digested as a comic strip.  
I get distracted from work every time this song comes on RP !     I can picture these guys recording this in one take.  It just seems spot on thoughout !

 
 meauclaire wrote:
Do his songs ever end?  I think 40 verses is quite enough.
 
Sadly, they do - I love this song
I'm politely asking, please stop playing Bob Dylan's "Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again"
I am seriously going crazy every time you play this song. (also it's a very long song...)
Oh mama can this horrible nasal whine EVER end? ARRRRRRRGH!   Thank Goddess for the mute control.
 akdavey wrote:
Just such an annoying song. This is the type of Dylan song that turns people away from him.

make it stop.  

 
no, it's you.
 akdavey wrote:
Just such an annoying song. This is the type of Dylan song that turns people away from him.

make it stop.  

 
Contrary to your statement, this is one of the few Dylan songs that I don't want to turn off right away.
Just such an annoying song. This is the type of Dylan song that turns people away from him.

make it stop.  
{#Cheers} One of the finest albums ever made   {#Cheers}
 Krakus wrote:
Every time I listen to Dylan, I can't get a picture of Floyd the Barber out of my head.

 
oh andy yes yes ooohhh
 Krakus wrote:
Every time I listen to Dylan, I can't get a picture of Floyd the Barber out of my head.

 

Thanks a lot, I got it now.{#Headache}{#Lol}
 Biscobret wrote:
. . . 1970 Dylan would punch 2014 Dylan in the face after seeing that Chrysler commercial! . . .
 
Just checked it out online. It's a stylish 2-minute spot, gushing Americana, and I'd like to think he's promoting Chrysler because he actually believes in the company, but still, you can't help but cringe a little when you know that ultimately, it was just an easy paycheque.
I wanna hear it again now.  What a great songwriter he was.  Again, again!!

{#Daisy}

(That being said, 1970 Dylan would punch 2014 Dylan in the face after seeing that Chrysler commercial!)
{#Beat}
 meauclaire wrote:
Do his songs ever end?  I think 40 verses is quite enough.

 
That's 39 verses better than the typical lame song that gets written today.
Do his songs ever end?  I think 40 verses is quite enough.
Every time I listen to Dylan, I can't get a picture of Floyd the Barber out of my head.
Such is genius..!
Sorry to besmirch the spirit of an acknowledged classic, but I keep thinking of a famous photo of Alexander Calder crossing a street carrying one of those contraptions - you know what it's called.
What's the matter with you people... it's DYLAN. Even at his worst he is better than anyone.
one of my favorite Dylan songs!
I really like this song.  It's the playing and not the singing nor the lyrics that turns my crank.
 
 MilesW wrote:
Worst Dylan song ever....

 
With all due respect...you're being redundant with your comment. Bob Dylan's endings are the best! They lead to a different song entirely.
why is he singing like that? is he doing an impression of himself?
Worst Dylan song ever....
 rdo wrote:


I don't want to sound too anti-education, because I would never board an airplane that was not designed by someone who I knew had a degree that taught him how it should be designed...but the notion that I need to pay $100,000 each year for 4-6 years in order to read a novel (!) is such a strange notion to me, that it leaves me dumbfounded.  Sorry kcar, but I really think you might have been brainwashed by this idea of academic legitimacy/imprimatur. I actually tend to think these people (academics) are the least qualified to judge art.  These are all the robotic A-students who swallow whatever the other robotic A-student professors cram down their throats.  They are required to agree with them, or they will not get a degree. There is no room in there for honest debate about the value of art.  Don't get me wrong kcar, I respect scholarship very much.  You can see my shout-outs to scholarly writers here all the time.  But the idea that a professional decides what is "good" or "bad" is wrong.  You should know better.  Academics are useful in that they do hard research, but the decision behind this research reflects what the real aesthetes in the public have already validated.   To answer your question, neither my reading of Proust, nor his reputation, had anything to do with academics.  Of course books were assigned to me in school, like all students, but not him.  His reputation is what it is because millions of readers like me have read and loved him and sang him praises from the mountaintops.  That is the reason academics decided to study him (it's after the fact, as it is in all similar cases).  You have it backwards.

 
Too often in your debates with me you resort to sweeping, unsupported generalizations.

"These are all the robotic A-students who swallow whatever the other robotic A-student professors cram down their throats.  They are required to agree with them, or they will not get a degree. There is no room in there for honest debate about the value of art." 

Exhibit A. Wow. Putting aside issues of financial and opportunity costs related to studying art, music, literature, etc. in college, the value gained from the experience is up to student's diligence and the competence of the professor. Personally, I disagreed with my literature professors when I wanted to and at times disagreed strongly. My professors never insulted me for or dropped my grades for it. I have never read of cases supporting your assertion that "there is no room in there for honest debate about the value of art." Christ, debates rage within college departments and between university faculties over critical theories and interpretative approaches.

But you claim that professors force all students to toe the line of critical theories in order to succeed. Sorry, NO. It's such a ridiculously overgeneralized and undeveloped claim that I would be embarrassed to publicly assert it. 

"Academics are useful in that they do hard research, but the decision behind this research reflects what the real aesthetes in the public have already validated."  

And just who are these "real aesthetes" ? Who made them the collective fount of wisdom? What makes them real? Did their genius erupt spontaneously from within them like Athena emerging from Zeus's head? Did they gain their aesthetic insights and authority without any formal education, or did they somehow all escape the collegiate robot-factories you feverishly dream about and smash away the dogmas that threatened to enchain them? And how do you distinguish academics from "real aesthetes", especially when academics write highly influential reviews, champion a work or artist and otherwise look a helluva lot like "real aesthetes"? Your distinction between the two groups rings false. And then you throw in "professionals"--a third group? Are "real aesthetes" not "professionals"? Are they independently wealthy do-gooding freelancers, like Batman?

"His (Proust's) reputation is what it is because millions of readers like me have read and loved him and sang him praises from the mountaintops.  That is the reason academics decided to study him (it's after the fact, as it is in all similar cases)."

I'm very impressed with your millions of readers, because the latest English translation of À la recherche du temps perdu apparently holds the Guinness World record for longest novel. Maybe there are secret Proust boot camps where drill sergeants force recruits to read 100+ pages of Marcel a day. And they all fucking love him by the end of their ordeal. 

Look: we've had this debate before, mostly about music and I doubt you want to rehash it. I fully agree with your apparent assertion that the public has a large hand in determining which works are great and enduring, and that academics study these works because the public has determined they are great. However, it actually is OK for the direction of influence to go in the opposite direction and it does happen quite a bit. Critics and academics do bring artists to the attention of the public, which in turn come to embrace those artists' works. William Faulkner was largely out of print by WWII and the critic Malcolm Cowley helped re-establish him as a literary figure. Faulkner was intensely grateful to Cowley for his influence: "I owe Malcolm Cowley the kind of debt no man could ever repay.” I doubt James Joyce or TS Eliot could have succeeded commercially without positive critical reception and the attention of academics prior to their becoming famous. 

I don't know how well "In Search of Lost Time" sold at first. My guess is that when the second book won the Prix Goncourt in 1920, the public began to notice and buy Proust's work. Winning a literary prize like the Nobel, Pulitzer or Prix Goncourt make sales skyrocket. While some prizes are given to works that have had popular success--the Pulitzer often goes to works that have already sold well--most of the time a small group of people determine the awarding of those prizes on that group's determination of merit. Critics, "real aesthetes", and academics award those prizes, which in turn drive sales and enduring recognition. 

And certainly even great writers such as these need later critics and academics to repeat words of their greatness in order to remain in print. The public doesn't sing the praises the of Proust from the mountaintops all on its own down the track of time. It needs to be reminded from time to time by publishing houses, other writers, critics and gosh yes academics that Proust was amazing and that his 4000+ tome is still worth reading. The fame of Proust doesn't thrive on its own and neither do sales of his books. Commercially popular and well-reviewed writers do OTOH disappear from public memory (John Dos Passos says hi; he's becoming more popular now that the USA Trilogy got re-published). 

There is a give and take between art and the public. Some art requires you to stretch, to look at or listen to it more than once before you understand and like it. We both agree on that I think. I think that artists owe it to their audiences to help them perceive or learn the purpose of a work and its underlying structure so that those audiences can better appreciate those works. It's up to the individual to determine how hard s/he wants to work to understand a work of art; some people simply don't see the point of reading thousands of pages of Proust before the narrator presents his theory about remembering lost time. Others do and are willing to learn how to think about Proust from "real aesthetes", critics and those goddamned academics--either because they see advertising for the new translation of Proust or because they have a vague (and yes, possibly dangerous) notion that really getting Proust will make them smarter, more enlightened, cultured, etc.

No one is forcing those readers to agree with the "experts." Even massive, complex works like "In Search of Lost Time" and "Ulysses" can be enjoyed merely by reading them and not consulting other books (Joyce believed that the popular public could love "Ulysses" just like that).  There is no cultural Gestapo...well, maybe in North Korea and other such places where yes you are told to love certain works of art and your life as well as your grade depend on toeing the line. But I do think that people who care about literature and other forms of art do pay some attention to what "experts" think is great art; it's not all just bandwagoning off of Amazon sales and pretty four-color ads. 

What I'm saying to you, rdo, is this: over time, you went from reading stuff like Beatrix Potter to really enjoying Proust. You did not get there on your own and I doubt you discovered Marcel all on your own, prior to someone (a friend, a "real aesthete" ) mentioning him as a Great Writer. I invite you to think about how you became such a sophisticated, intelligent and patient reader that you can sincerely enjoy such a tough work. (I really believe that you love Proust).  My guess is that your appreciation of all forms of art comes from a mix of sources, including "experts" or "real aesthetes" or "academics" who persuaded you that you could accept and absorb some of their opinions about Proust et al. as your own. Whether you've been brainwashed at some point is up for you to decide. My guess is that you've listened to people, perhaps academics, put out opinions about art and have rejected some of those opinions. But you've likely agreed with such people at least some of the time...

But I do wish you would get over this notion that there are groups of people (academics, non-real aesthetes, cultural and artistic bullies) who demand and get obedience to their notions of what constitutes true and great art. The worst you'll get these days for herd-thinking about art is peer pressure ("Dude, how can you like that sucky band?"). I just don't see in our society this fear of being shamed by a critic or cultural figure that you've made reference to elsewhere. If people today don't like Proust's work after hearing someone gush over him or seeing an ad, they say so and put the bloody book down. 

 
 kcar wrote:

I have a split personality. I give "Stuck" a 10 but the other bastard won't go above a "2." {#Fight}


rdo--you assume, apparently, that ratings on RP reflect members' honest, uninfluenced opinions of a work. That they don't vote higher than they intended for a song because it's a highly rated "classic." Or vice versa for a song that leaves you indifferent but revolts your fellow listeners. I've felt that sort of peer pressure when I go to rate something a "6" but other RPers have posted comments about how that song is a life-affirming "10" for them. 

Generally I agree with you that RP ratings reflect honest feelings about songs, at least among those who "rate like adults". (May I offer you this delightful {#Chillpill} mint?). But it's not so easy to be sure that opinions on the Web are honest. Authors can buy a crowd of five-star ratings on Amazon for their work or product.  And as we've discussed at much length elsewhere on RP, it's not always so easy to separate out your feelings for a work of art from what you've been taught or told about that art form, specifically about what constitutes a great work. 

I agree with your opinion stated elsewhere that education can be a straitjacket dictating what you should think is great, perhaps even pushing to say you like a song or book that you don't really like. But rdo, do you really think you would have liked Proust if first introduced to him in 4th grade? Can you state with certainty that you've not been conditioned to like Proust, perhaps falsely, through formal education? How did you come to appreciate such a difficult but rewarding writer? 

 

I don't want to sound too anti-education, because I would never board an airplane that was not designed by someone who I knew had a degree that taught him how it should be designed...but the notion that I need to pay $100,000 each year for 4-6 years in order to read a novel (!) is such a strange notion to me, that it leaves me dumbfounded.  Sorry kcar, but I really think you might have been brainwashed by this idea of academic legitimacy/imprimatur. I actually tend to think these people (academics) are the least qualified to judge art.  These are all the robotic A-students who swallow whatever the other robotic A-student professors cram down their throats.  They are required to agree with them, or they will not get a degree. There is no room in there for honest debate about the value of art.  Don't get me wrong kcar, I respect scholarship very much.  You can see my shout-outs to scholarly writers here all the time.  But the idea that a professional decides what is "good" or "bad" is wrong.  You should know better.  Academics are useful in that they do hard research, but the decision behind this research reflects what the real aesthetes in the public have already validated.   To answer your question, neither my reading of Proust, nor his reputation, had anything to do with academics.  Of course books were assigned to me in school, like all students, but not him.  His reputation is what it is because millions of readers like me have read and loved him and sang him praises from the mountaintops.  That is the reason academics decided to study him (it's after the fact, as it is in all similar cases).  You have it backwards.
 stevendejong wrote:
Maybe this brings back fond memories for some people.
Or maybe the lyrics are brilliant.
Or maybe we have to love everything Dylan did for introducing the Fab Four to certain substances.

But let's just judge this song by what it is. This song on it's own is simply bad. The vocals are preposterous, and that's objective.

Bluuuud... cigariiit... iiiind... 

  No that's opinion.

YES.....{#Bananajumprope}   ........{#Nyah}   ..the best that exist's                                                                                                      
 rdo wrote:

No.  We can point to song with high ratings on RP and say “that’s a reputable work”.  This matters. Reputation is crucial to art.  I would never have read Proust had it not been for his reputation. How much poorer my life would be without that joyful experience. No one would know which works of art are worth checking out without reputation.  We’d each be forced to sort through and endure every single work that every delusional hack ever produced.  Talent would go unrecognized and unrewarded.  I think what you mean to suggest is this: Should a song’s high or low rating influence your own opinion of it?  The answer is no, of course not.  Not for me any way.  For most people, though, it clearly does influence how they rate and view art. The sacred cow, or halo effect is very evident when you look at the ratings of some songs here.

 



 
I have a split personality. I give "Stuck" a 10 but the other bastard won't go above a "2." {#Fight}


rdo--you assume, apparently, that ratings on RP reflect members' honest, uninfluenced opinions of a work. That they don't vote higher than they intended for a song because it's a highly rated "classic." Or vice versa for a song that leaves you indifferent but revolts your fellow listeners. I've felt that sort of peer pressure when I go to rate something a "6" but other RPers have posted comments about how that song is a life-affirming "10" for them. 

Generally I agree with you that RP ratings reflect honest feelings about songs, at least among those who "rate like adults". (May I offer you this delightful {#Chillpill} mint?). But it's not so easy to be sure that opinions on the Web are honest. Authors can buy a crowd of five-star ratings on Amazon for their work or product.  And as we've discussed at much length elsewhere on RP, it's not always so easy to separate out your feelings for a work of art from what you've been taught or told about that art form, specifically about what constitutes a great work. 

I agree with your opinion stated elsewhere that education can be a straitjacket dictating what you should think is great, perhaps even pushing to say you like a song or book that you don't really like. But rdo, do you really think you would have liked Proust if first introduced to him in 4th grade? Can you state with certainty that you've not been conditioned to like Proust, perhaps falsely, through formal education? How did you come to appreciate such a difficult but rewarding writer? 
 richlister wrote:


It's actually only 2:13 long. It's just that it's so f**king annoying that it seems to go on forever.

 

you must be 12, or 13, maby  just not enough drum machine bass and dissssssssssssssss ?
 stevendejong wrote:
Maybe this brings back fond memories for some people.
Or maybe the lyrics are brilliant.
Or maybe we have to love everything Dylan did for introducing the Fab Four to certain substances.

But let's just judge this song by what it is. This song on it's own is simply bad. The vocals are preposterous, and that's objective.

Bluuuud... cigariiit... iiiind... 

 

idiot
more bob is needed............{#Bananapiano}
Maybe this brings back fond memories for some people.
Or maybe the lyrics are brilliant.
Or maybe we have to love everything Dylan did for introducing the Fab Four to certain substances.

But let's just judge this song by what it is. This song on it's own is simply bad. The vocals are preposterous, and that's objective.

Bluuuud... cigariiit... iiiind... 
 WonderLizard wrote:

Ratings are meaningless, yes?

 

No.  We can point to song with high ratings on RP and say “that’s a reputable work”.  This matters. Reputation is crucial to art.  I would never have read Proust had it not been for his reputation. How much poorer my life would be without that joyful experience. No one would know which works of art are worth checking out without reputation.  We’d each be forced to sort through and endure every single work that every delusional hack ever produced.  Talent would go unrecognized and unrewarded.  I think what you mean to suggest is this: Should a song’s high or low rating influence your own opinion of it?  The answer is no, of course not.  Not for me any way.  For most people, though, it clearly does influence how they rate and view art. The sacred cow, or halo effect is very evident when you look at the ratings of some songs here.

 



marvelous...  love it...
 
 rdo wrote:

Not true...i was referring to people who abuse ratings...as in only rating songs one or ten...or rating multiple times for a song...by no means was i suggesting that some peep do not legitimatel consider this a one...if i could not rate songs a one...dear god..what would i do about ray charles or coldplay...i have wore out the one rateing with those sucko barfo machines...
 
I like a good argument...or a good contrary point. I understand what you mean rdo. Thanks for clarifying this. I had to laugh when you referred to RC or Coldplay as "sucko barfo machines". Though I certainly don't feel that way about those two artists...I think your description was rather funny. Thank you.

P.S. I can't believe this S.B.Machine is still playing...like a long headache that doesn't go away.
 RipperP wrote:
Oh, c'mon...a 6.5 average rating?!?

 

Not even anymore... (And, no, I didn't rate this song.)
Luckily I just missed this song from BD
Most Bob Dylan songs sound as if he sung then while he was busy on the toilet. This one is a good example.
 rdo wrote:


When you see a big spike in the 1s, it means the haters have ruined the song-rating.  I would seriously be in favor of RP terminating the ratings options of people who abuse it.  If you cannot rate songs like an adult, then please don't rate at all.  This also goes for people who rate everything a 9 or 10.

 
Ratings are meaningless, yes?
Masterpiece which never gets old. 10, of course
Bob Dylan's music is one of the few rewards for getting old.  I particularly like listening on PR because I can read the lyrics along with the song.
 ziakut wrote:

According to this rant...adults don't dislike Bob Dylan or give songs they love a 9 or 10 even if they truly love it. What seems suggested by the comment is censorship. 

 
Not true...i was referring to people who abuse ratings...as in only rating songs one or ten...or rating multiple times for a song...by no means was i suggesting that some peep do not legitimatel consider this a one...if i could not rate songs a one...dear god..what would i do about ray charles or coldplay...i have wore out the one rateing with those sucko barfo machines...
OHHHH, when you said the album title just now, I figured out what the lyrics "I've got Blonde On Blonde on my portable radio" reference. Cool! Thanks!
I've got the I'm Sick To Death Of Dylan Even Though He's Greatest Blah Blah Blah blues again.
Everybody on my couch loves this song...

Everybody in my church loves this song...
 
Classic BD.  Love it. An American original.
 rdo wrote:


When you see a big spike in the 1s, it means the haters have ruined the song-rating.  I would seriously be in favor of RP terminating the ratings options of people who abuse it.  If you cannot rate songs like an adult, then please don't rate at all.  This also goes for people who rate everything a 9 or 10.

 
Wow, I'm glad I only rated it a 2 and not a 1!  Dodged a bullet there.

Absolutely love this song...

Bob Dylan's latest album is called Tempest...  for information about the album, look here... 
 rdo wrote:


When you see a big spike in the 1s, it means the haters have ruined the song-rating.  I would seriously be in favor of RP terminating the ratings options of people who abuse it.  If you cannot rate songs like an adult, then please don't rate at all.  This also goes for people who rate everything a 9 or 10.
 
this makes me want to rate it...
Time to go out for an Ex- Benedict.