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Pashalis

Ambassador
Ambassador
FOTCM Member
A couple of months ago I heard the following tune for the first time ever in my life on radio while driving home and I got goosebumps all over because of the stellar music arrangement as well as the incredibly talented/difficult way the singer handled the quite stunning lyrics. It was only later that I learned that it was Bob Dylan's song called "Hurricane" that he had written and performed after the imprisonment of Rubin "Hurricane" Carter for a murder he apparently never committed.

Here is the song on youtube with lyrics. I'll still try to get my hand on a better quality, since the version on the radio seemed better in audio quality:


Wikipedia said:
In his autobiography, Carter maintained his innocence, and after reading it, Dylan visited him in Rahway State Prison in Woodbridge Township, New Jersey.[2]

"Dylan had written topical ballads such as 'The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll' and Bob wasn't sure that he could write a song [about Carter]... He was just filled with all these feelings about Hurricane. He couldn't make the first step. I think the first step was putting the song in a total storytelling mode. I don't remember whose idea it was to do that. But really, the beginning of the song is like stage directions, like what you would read in a script: 'Pistol shots ring out in a barroom night.... Here comes the story of the Hurricane.' Boom! Titles. You know, Bob loves movies, and he can write these movies that take place in eight to ten minutes, yet seem as full or fuller than regular movies".[3]

After meeting with Carter in prison and later with a group of his supporters, Dylan began to write "Hurricane". The song was one of his few "protest songs" during the 1970s and proved to be his fourth most successful single of the decade, reaching #33 on the Billboard Hot 100.[4]

Controversy and re-recording

Dylan first recorded the song in late July 1975; it featured Scarlet Rivera on violin and Vinnie Bell on Danelectro Bellzouki 12-string guitar. Dylan was forced to re-record the song, with altered lyrics, in October 1975 after concerns were raised by Columbia's lawyers that references to Alfred Bello and Arthur Dexter Bradley (the two star witnesses of the case) as having "robbed the bodies" could result in a lawsuit. Bello and Bradley had never been accused of such acts. Because there was too much leakage on the multitracks to make a vocal "punch in," Dylan decided to re-record the entire song. At this time, he was already rehearsing for his upcoming tour, and the musicians from the Rolling Thunder Revue were still at his disposal. Dylan took violinist Rivera, guitarist Steven Soles, bassist Rob Rothstein, drummer Howie Wyeth, and percussionist Luther Rix back into the studio, and a new, faster version of "Hurricane" was recorded with Don DeVito again producing, and Ronee Blakley providing a harmony vocal. (There is a noticeable mistake in the 8-minute recording at 4:02 where the backing singer (Blakley) gets her line wrong. She sings: "Remember you saw (said) you saw the getaway car.") The final version of the song, which runs over eight minutes, was spliced together from two separate takes completed on October 24, 1975.[5]

Even though some offending lyrics were removed, the song still drew legal action from eyewitness Patricia Graham (Patty) Valentine, who believed that it portrayed her as part of a conspiracy to frame Carter. However, her lawsuit was dismissed by a federal district court, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit affirmed the dismissal.[6][7] More generally, even with the revised lyrics, "Hurricane" was accused of factual errors. The song included a description of Carter as the "number one contender"; according to the May 1966 issue of The Ring, he was ranked ninth around the time of his arrest and had never been ranked higher than third. Reporters for the Herald News, a New Jersey newspaper published not far from the scene of the crime, questioned Dylan's objectivity at the time of the song's release and accused him of excessive poetic license. Dylan biographer Howard Sounes praised the song but noted "there was no reference to his antagonistic rhetoric, criminal history, or violent temper."[8]
 

SlipNet

Jedi Council Member
Henry Rollins is totally hardcore. He's best known for his anatomy of a psychopath track "Liar", but for me he reaches his best on this anti gun track called "Civilized". Awesome heavy playing and a terrific lyric from Rollins.

 

SlipNet

Jedi Council Member
I'm into heavy music this week, so here's "Exterminator" by Primal Scream. They got together with ace bass player Mani from the Stone Roses on this record, and his bass line is basically the riff that underpins the song. A great lyric featuring working class clairvoyance, mind control and a miasma of a mass media, it's a proper head job this track. I love it though, it's a kind of techno punk thing.

 
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