Masked and Anonymous / Ltd. Edition

Masked and Anonymous / Ltd. Edition

by Bob Dylan
     
 

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When Bob Dylan turns his attention to film, the results are always, to put it as mildly as possible, offbeat. That surreal vibe extends to Masked and Anonymous, Dylan's latest foray into cinema, in which he stars, alongside Jeff Bridges and John Goodman, as troubadour Jack Fate. The soundtrack to this musical adventure revisits the fringes of Dylan's backSee more details below

Overview

When Bob Dylan turns his attention to film, the results are always, to put it as mildly as possible, offbeat. That surreal vibe extends to Masked and Anonymous, Dylan's latest foray into cinema, in which he stars, alongside Jeff Bridges and John Goodman, as troubadour Jack Fate. The soundtrack to this musical adventure revisits the fringes of Dylan's back catalogue -- or, more accurately, drop-kicks those older tunes into other dimensions altogether. Dylan reprises his own past on the Basement Tapes gem "Down in the Flood," which takes on a new sense of urgency via the amped-up arrangement (keyed by a neo-surf bass line) and Dylan's own, ever raspier delivery. When he turns the reins over to fellow travelers like Los Lobos -- who churn out a sexy, low-riding rendition of "On a Night like This" -- the ambience is ripe for top-down cruising. Things get a little stranger, though not in a negative way, when Dylan favorites take a trip down the canals of Venice, via Italian-language versions of "Like a Rolling Stone," by Articolo 31, and "If You See Her Say Hello," by Francesco de Gregori, both of which are redolent of espresso grounds and wistful memories. Dylan takes his own side trips as well, reaching deep into the soil for a rending, complicated version of the Confederate anthem "Dixie" and a brittle, intense take on the traditional "Diamond Joe." In the words of his old compadres in the Grateful Dead -- who appear here with "It's All Over Now, Baby Blue," alongside Jerry Garcia's solo version of "Señor (Tales of Yankee Power)" -- Masked and Anonymous is a long, strange trip. But it's definitely a trek that makes all the attendant whiplash worthwhile.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Throughout his career, Bob Dylan has delighted in confounding expectations and reveled in being cryptic, but few projects have been as deeply confounding and cryptic as his 2003 film, Masked and Anonymous, where he stars as rock legend Jack Fate, who has been jailed in a post-apocalyptic, "mythological third-world America" (the words of the film's director, Larry Charles) in the throes of a civil war, but is let out of prison to perform at a "dubious benefit concert" (the words of Alan Light, who contributes necessary but still confusing liner notes). Within this scenario pass scores of celebrity cameos, all eager to be seen onscreen with the legend himself, particularly after the career revival of Love and Theft, along with numerous Bob Dylan songs, only a handful of which are sung by him and most of which are in radical reinterpretations (several sung in different languages). Perhaps this all makes sense within the film -- Light claims it does in his liner notes and Salon.com's Stephanie Zacharek raved about it, both citing a sequence where a young girl sings an a cappella version of "The Times They Are A-Changin'," which is absent from the soundtrack (for the record, they were virtually the only two voices praising the film; most critics called it bizarre and embarrassing) -- but condensed to a soundtrack, it's merely baffling. Some of the interpretations are no more radical than Dylan's own reworkings of his songs -- it is no great stretch to have Shirley Caesar sing "Gotta Serve Somebody" and the Grateful Dead's loping version of "It's All Over Now, Baby Blue" is hazily familiar, while Sertab emphasizing the inherent Mideastern vibe of "One More Cup of Coffee" makes sense (though it is not as compelling or risky as recent covers of the tune by Robert Plant and the White Stripes) -- but these are overshadowed by such oddities as the Magokoro Brothers singing an ethereal version of "My Back Pages" in Japanese and Articolo 31's Italian rap version of "Like a Rolling Stone." Standouts include a rollicking bilingual "On a Night Like This" from Los Lobos, the Dixie Hummingbirds recording of a new Dylan tune, "City of Gold," and four new tracks by Bob and his crack touring band of the early '90s, highlighted by a muscular "Down in the Flood" and a new version of "Cold Irons Bound." These, of course, make this necessary to the Dylanphiles who would have bought such an odd album anyway, but their presence makes it hard not to wish for a full album.

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Product Details

Release Date:
07/22/2003
Label:
Sony
UPC:
0827969053621
catalogNumber:
90536

Tracks

  1. My Back Pages @@Magokoro Brothers
  2. Gotta Serve Somebody @@Shirley Caesar
  3. Down In The Flood @@Bob Dylan
  4. It's All Over Now, Baby Blue @@Grateful Dead
  5. Most Of The Time @@Sophie Zelmani
  6. On A Night Like This @@Los Lobos
  7. Diamond Joe @@Bob Dylan
  8. Come Una Pietra Scalciata (Like A Rolling Stone) @@Articolo 31
  9. One More Cup Of Coffee @@Sertab
  10. Non Dirle Che Non E' Cosi' (If You See Her, Say Hello) @@Francesco De Gregori
  11. Dixie @@Bob Dylan
  12. Señor (Tales Of Yankee Power) @@Jerry Garcia
  13. Cold Irons Bound @@Bob Dylan
  14. City Of Gold @@The Dixie Hummingbirds

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Bob Dylan   Primary Artist,Guitar,Vocals
Charlie Sexton   Guitar,Background Vocals
Larry Campbell   Guitar,Background Vocals
Larry Campbell   Guitar,Background Vocals
Tony Garnier   Bass
George Recile   Drums

Technical Credits

Bob Dylan   Arranger
Biff Dawes   Engineer
Kevin O'Connor   Drum Technician
Jeff Rosen   Producer
Mark Wilder   Mastering
Debbie Sweeney   Producer
Jill Meyers   Sample Clearance
Diane Lapson   Producer
Jules Aerts   Monitor Engineer
Nigel Sinclair   Executive Producer
Lynne Okin   Producer
Larry Charles   Executive Producer

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