Song: Cold Irons Bound
Artist: Bob Dylan
In 1997 Bob Dylan releases his 30th album, Time Out Of Mind, produced by Daniel Lanois. Dylan later says he's not too sure of Lanois’ contribution and proceeds, in all of his subsequent albums, to produce his own recordings. For his part, Lanois himself admits to having had a tough customer in Dylan, citing him as "eccentric" and saying “you just never know what you're going to get."
No matter. It's a brilliant album in which Dylan takes his work to another level. This is his first release in almost a decade that has real staying power. The toughest, grittiest, rootsiest, most flat-out rock song on the album is this one: Cold Irons Bound. The song is one among many on the collection showing Dylan still has what it takes. Here the musical bedrock is stripped-down, raw-boned electric blues. It opens up soft yet strangely expectant, then the drums kick in, the guitars drop down and then you're strapped in for a rattling, grimly honest down a rural highway, clocking a hundred and ten. It feels dangerous, ominous and horribly fatalistic - and so much fun it’s impossible to ignore.
The sheer energy of the band, the power of the electric guitars and the distorted, swelling grooves of the organ - all of it drives this song relentlessly forward. I don't know what I love more - the pithy lyrics delivered in his craggy, gravelly, clapped-out yet still radiantly passionate voice, or the electrifying atmospherics provided by the backing music. It’s a wild ride - yet another classic from the phenomenon known as Bob Dylan.
Posted by Max MacDonald