There was a time when the songs would come three or four at the same time, but those days are long gone... Once in a while, the odd song will come to me like a bulldog at the garden gate and demand to be written. But most of them are rejected out of my mind right away. You get caught up in wondering if anyone really needs to hear it. Maybe a person gets to the point where they have written enough songs. Let someone else write them.
Off the back of 'Acadie' I slavishly followed Daniel Lanois' productions; falling for Emmylou's 'Wrecking Ball' in particular.
I've admired Dylan but never loved him; he was recommended to me rather than discovered by me, so was always someone else's joy. I admired 'Highway 61' and 'Blonde on Blonde' and dug the heartache of his 'break up' record; I knew what he was talking about on 'Blood on the Tracks'.
Then came 'Time Out of Mind'.
Dylan addresses mortality face on and uncryptically and it's all rather... moving. Lanois' productions work best with simple chords; allowing him the sonic space to create his wonderful washes of sound; 3 chord blues abounds but there are ballads you'd murder for.
Lanois dried things up, in line with the arid articulations; there's a wonderful organic clatter and thrum to it all: "When Bob read me the lyrics of this record we were at a hotel room here in New York city. The words were hard, were deep, were desperate, were strong.... That's the record I wanted to make."
Although Dylan wasn't totally happy with the album he did hold it up against his earlier work: