Shadows in the Night

Shadows in the Night

by Bob Dylan


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Other people's songs have long been a staple for Bob Dylan, who first made his name in Greenwich Village by singing folk songs in the early '60s and often returned to old tunes as the years rolled by. Sometimes, he'd dip into the pre-WWII collection of standards known as the Great American Songbook, peppering set lists with unexpected selections as early as the '80s and even covering Dean Martin's "Return to Me" for The Sopranos in 2001, and he's made no secret of his affection for old-fashioned crooning on the records he's made since 2001's Love and Theft, but even with this long history of overt affection for pre-rock & roll pop, the existence of 2015's Shadows in the Night might come as a surprise. Shadows in the Night finds the songwriter whose work marks the divide where artists were expected to pen their own material finding sustenance in the Great American Songbook, with every one of its songs recorded at some point by Frank Sinatra. Its songs are old and Shadows in the Night is appropriately a defiantly old-fashioned album: a record the way they used to make them, long before Dylan had a recording contract of his own. Archaic though it may be -- it's a mere ten songs lasting no longer than 35 minutes, just like all the long-players of the '50s -- it's hard to call it musty, not when Dylan invested considerable energy in adapting these songs to the confines of his five-piece road band. Occasionally, this roadhouse crew is augmented by horns but the brass coloring bleeds into the sweet, mournful slide of Donnie Herron's pedal steel, accentuating that these renditions aren't nostalgic covers but reflections of Dylan's present. His voice shows gravelly signs of wear but he knows how to use his weathered instrument to its best effect, concentrating on the cadence of the lyrics and digging deep into their emotional undercurrent. In that sense, Shadows in the Night is a truer Sinatra tribute than the stacks of smiling, swinging empty tuxes snapping along to "It Had to Be You," for Dylan inhabits these songs like an actor, just like Frank did way back when. What Dylan is saluting is not the repertoire, per se -- none of these songs is heavily associated with the Chairmen of the Board -- but rather the mournful intimacy of Sinatra's "saloon" songs, the records he made to be played during the pitch black of the night. Four of the songs here can be found on 1957's Where Are You?, one of the very best of its kind, and that connection accentuates how Dylan has made a saloon song album with a band that could be heard at a saloon: just a guitar quintet, taking a moment to breathe, sigh, and perhaps weep. The fact that the feel is so richly idiosyncratic is a testament to just how well he knows these tunes, and these slow, winding arrangements are why Shadows in the Night feels unexpectedly resonant: it's a testament to how deeply Dylan sees himself in these old songs.

Product Details

Release Date: 02/03/2015
Label: Sony
UPC: 0888750579621
catalogNumber: 750579
Rank: 6313

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Bob Dylan   Primary Artist,Vocals
Charlie Sexton   Guitar
Tony Garnier   Bass
Alan Kaplan   Trombone
Andy Martin   Trombone
Joseph Meyer   French Horn
Francisco Torres   Trombone
Larry Hall   Trumpet
D.J. Harper   Conductor
George G. Receli   Percussion
Daniel Fornero   Trumpet
Stu Kimball   Guitar
Dylan Hart   French Horn

Technical Credits

Irving Berlin   Composer
Frank Sinatra   Composer
Cy Coleman   Composer
Matt Dennis   Composer
Jimmy McHugh   Composer
Richard Rodgers   Composer
Haven Gillespie   Composer
Oscar Hammerstein   Composer
Buddy Kaye   Composer
Johnny Mercer   Composer
Jerome Moross   Composer
Jacques Prévert   Composer
Schmitt   Engineer
Jack Wolf   Composer
Harold Adamson   Composer
Joseph Kosma   Composer
Tom Adair   Composer
Carolyn Leigh   Composer
Joel Herron   Composer
Ted Mossman   Composer
Joseph McCarthy   Composer
Beasley Smith   Composer
D.J. Harper   Horn Arrangements,Horn Conductor
Moross   Composer
Jack Frost   Producer

Customer Reviews

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Shadows In The Night (Bob Dylan) 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this album. Having listened to Dylan's music from his first album until now, I think these songs just show more of his richness of spirit and his love for and unique interpretation of good music. Many of these older songs, recorded by Sinatra and others, have a poignant ring that Dylan expresses straight from his heart, such as when he sings, "That Lucky Old Sun" and "What'll I do." One could say sometimes he sounds almost weary, but that can surface from the understanding one can gain through many years of life's experiences. This is a quiet and satisfying album.
Miami-Slim More than 1 year ago
Wicklowman More than 1 year ago
A beautiful album. Similar in a way, to Billie Holiday's "Lady In Satin".
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Thank goodness for the short track examples.  I was gung-ho to buy this CD because, you know, it's Dylan.  But the first review is correct.  This is not quality material.  I gave it 2 stars because, you know, it's Dylan.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I can only hope this is a Dylan put on. If not well Don't buy it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I do not like saying negative things about anybody or anything, but this is an exception. This is bad music. I could not listen to it, after hearing shrot snips of each track. Dylan is off key most of the time. I think he is trying to imitate Willie Nelson's Stardust album, but fails miserably. I am taking the CD to my local resale shop and hope they take it. Sorry