Friends Will Disappear: Studio Sessions (Take 2) (Hollow Horn Recording Artist Vol. 7)
Disc 1 (79:15): Sideman Sessions 1972-1977: I’m So Restless, (Is Anybody Going To) San Antone, Blues Stay Away From Me, Me And Paul, On The Banks Of Old Pontchartrain, Hey Good Lookin’, Columbus Stockade Blues, The Blues Walked On In, Tennessee Blues, The Crippled Cow, Stormy Weather Cowboy, It’s Not The Spotlight, Silver Moon, Minstrel Show, Big City Woman, Who Love (If Not You Love), Don’t Go Home With You Hard On, Pledge My Head To Heaven, Airplane Blues, Rising Sun, Go ‘Way Little Boy
Disc 2 (78:43): Sideman Sessions 1980-1996: We Are The World, No Name On The Bullet, Ain’t Gonna Play Sun City, Street Rock, The Factory, Love Rescue Me, Hawkmon 269, Spirit Of Rock ‘n’ Roll, Boots Of Spanish Leather, Trust Yourself, Just Like A Woman, Tragedy Of The Trade, Masquerade, Interfere, King Of Kings, Home
Friends Will Disappear continues where Friends Will Arriveleaves off, documenting more of Bob Dylan’s sideman sessions over a twenty-five year period, from 1972 to 1977. And just like volume six, volume seven moves in chronological order and all of the tracks are in excellent sound quality.
It picks up with Dylan’s activities in the autumn of 1972. He plays harmonica on “I’m So Restless,” recorded with Roger McGuinn in September. The following eight tracks, from “(Is Anyone Going To) San Antone” to “Tennessee Blues” all come from sessions in October 1972 for Doug Saim and his band, the same one that produced “Wallflower” on disc one of volume six. On the eight songs he runs the gamut from backing vocals to harmonica to piano to organ to guitar (and some in combinations too).
Another significant section is devoted to sessions in August 1973 for Barry Goldberg. Five songs, from “Stormy Weather Cowboy” to “Big City Woman” appear on Barry Goldberg. Dylan provides back up vocals on them all and even plays percussion on “It’s Not The Spotlight.” The rest of the first disc contains many really rare and obscure sessions like singing back up on Leonard Cohen’s “Don’t Go Home With Your Hard On” in 1977, playing harmonica on Keith Green’s “Pledge My Head To Heaven” in March 1980 (singing on a gospel tune during the born again phase), and playing harmonica on the Cruzados’ “Rising Sun” in 1983.
Disc two picks up in the mid eighties and has several of the big charity tunes of he day. It starts off with “We Are The World,” recorded in Los Angeles in January 1985 and also “Ain’t Gonna Play Sun City,” another charity tune recorded later that summer. Perhaps the strangest session is him singing back up vocals on “Street Rock” by the seminal rapper Kurtis Blow. Recorded in April 1986, Dylan can be heard primarily at the beginning rapping a capella before the music kicks in.
By the late eighties he is backing up bigger artists again. He appears on two U2 tracks from Rattle And Hum: “Love Rescue Me,” where he plays harmonica and “Hawkmoon 269” where he plays organ. “Spirit Of Rock And Roll” was recoded between August 1986 and January 1987 for Brian Wilson’s album Sweet Insanity. Dylan sings co-lead vocals on the track but, when the LP was presented to Wilson’s record label Sire, it was rejected and it remains unreleased. The master tapes were apparently stolen, sourcing the many bootlegs with this material.
The next thee tracks are covers of his own songs where he participates in the recording. He plays harmoncia on “Boots Of Spanish Leather” sung by Nanci Griffith in 1992, sings backing vocals on “Trust Yourself” by Carlene Carter in 1993, and guitar and harp on “Just Like A Woman” covered by Stevie Nicks in the winter of 1993.
There are two tracks for Gerry Goffin from the winter of 1995. Dylan provides backing vocals and guitar on “Tragedy Of The Trade” and “Masquerade” from Back Room Blood. He is given co writing credit on both of these songs. “Interfere” and “King Of Kings” are from Ron Wood’s Not For Beginners in 1996. Both tracks are instrumental, guitar duets between Dylan and Wood. The final track moves seven years to January 2002. Dylan plays piano and is credited as co writer for “Home” by Gary “Mudbone” Cooper, appearing on Fresh Mud. Hearing a collection like this reveals the great diversity of Dylan’s interests and the styles and performers he has worked with. Friends Will Disappear is packaged in the digipack with photos and is an interesting and informative way for Hollow Horn to close its project.If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)