Bob Dylan: 1978-1989 – Both Ends of the Rainbow

4 out of 5

$19.95

SKU: B0016GLZ42 Category:

Description

Documentary profile of Dylan’s career during one of his most controversial periods – his Christian fundamentalist phase. The period covered runs from late 1978 through to what many regard as his return to form – 1989’s ‘Oh Mercy’ – and includes rare Dylan footage alongside live and studio…

Reviews

  1. Robert K.

    As noted by another reviewer, this is the third Dylan documentary in the series produced by UK-based Chrome Dreams. This one is far superior to the first (“Tales from a Golden Age” – which covers the same period, but certainly not as well, as “No Direction Home”) and better than the second (“After the Crash”). It benefits from improved filming techniques and access to album versions of several songs being discussed. These are accompanied by music videos, and must reflect easier legal access to those as opposed to the album cuts themselves. In the earlier documentaries, music performances (where they existed) were essentially limited to televised live versions, with notations that the “original version” was on this or that album. This documentary features much less involvement by Clinton Heylin, and his contributions were obviously filmed at the same time as those included in the first two documentaries. That said, this films opens with the same statement by Mr. Heylin that closed “After the Crash,” which nicely ties the two together.The film offers some fascinating insights into the albums. I would not say that I agree with all of the interviewees about the quality of one or another album. Having come to appreciate Dylan much more recently, I have had the advantage of looking at his work as a whole, all at once. Thus, I do not have the visceral reaction to some of the albums that others have. Also, as a child of the `80s, that decade does not offend me, as it seems to have many of the individuals in the film.The documentary covers, in quite a good depth, a little discussed period in Dylan’s biography. However, although segments of it were certainly filmed subsequent to Dylan’s Chronicles, Vol. 1, the documentary does not benefit from access to “Tell Tale Signs,” as the commentators will occasionally lament the unavailable of other versions of some of the songs that do appear on that collection. That said, it is important to understand that this is a documentary about the process of the making of Dylan’s music, the critical response to it at the time of its release, and a reassessment of it with the passage of time. The film touches on Dylan’s biography only to the extent that it touches on the songs themselves. If that is what you are looking for, then you will be well pleased with this film. If you are looking for something else, however, then you should look elsewhere.

  2. Austin Reader

    Top-tier documentary with commentary and historical perspective from people who know what they are talking about.This documentary gives the best (short) rationale for and delineation of the so-called “Gospel Years” of ANY Dylan documentary, book, or commentator that I have ever experienced. If you are like me and have been waiting for something other than resentment, vitriol, or even the intentional ignoring of the “Gospel Years,” be sure to watch this documentary.But the insight does not stop there. Beyond the “Gospel Years,” this film extends through the 80s and some of Dylan’s darkest years as an artist. Sometimes the commentary is a little savage (and frankly, I am not sure why it is necessary to devote such time and savagery to “We Are The World”), but almost always insightful. If you learn nothing new (and I did), you will at least hear old things put in a different way and examined from a different perspective.This film is not for the beginner. It assumes a bit of knowledge of Dylan and his career. But if you sort of have the outlines, you will “get” this and it is likely to be a transformative discussion of a very neglected period in the career of Bob Dylan. If you are just starting off learning about Dylan, I recommend a more general film first which sketches the entire career of the man in order to get maximum benefit out of this film. But just be sure that you watch this one, as well!

  3. JayJay

    Top-tier documentary with commentary and historical perspective from people who know what they are talking about.This documentary gives the best (short) rationale for and delineation of the so-called “Gospel Years” of ANY Dylan documentary, book, or commentator that I have ever experienced. If you are like me and have been waiting for something other than resentment, vitriol, or even the intentional ignoring of the “Gospel Years,” be sure to watch this documentary.But the insight does not stop there. Beyond the “Gospel Years,” this film extends through the 80s and some of Dylan’s darkest years as an artist. Sometimes the commentary is a little savage (and frankly, I am not sure why it is necessary to devote such time and savagery to “We Are The World”), but almost always insightful. If you learn nothing new (and I did), you will at least hear old things put in a different way and examined from a different perspective.This film is not for the beginner. It assumes a bit of knowledge of Dylan and his career. But if you sort of have the outlines, you will “get” this and it is likely to be a transformative discussion of a very neglected period in the career of Bob Dylan. If you are just starting off learning about Dylan, I recommend a more general film first which sketches the entire career of the man in order to get maximum benefit out of this film. But just be sure that you watch this one, as well!

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