Bob Dylan: The Usual (1987)

 |   |  1 min read

Bob Dylan: The Usual (1987)

Although in these days of online-everything there could be very few Bob Dylan songs described as rare, this one isn't too readily available . . .  unless you have the soundrack to the Eighties film Hearts of Fire on which it appeared.

The movie itself -- in which Dylan plays an elusive and reclusive rock star, in very bad Eighties clothes -- was widely disparaged and didn't even get theatrical release in the US. The phrase "straight to video" is the one you use about it.

Dylan contributed three songs to the soundtrack and this --a bristling cover of a John Hiatt song -- is highly noteworthy, especially given the parlous state of his career at the time.

This was the late Eighties and the Knocked Out Loaded/Down in the Groove period. As Elsewhere has previously noted, every now and again a few rock writers put their heads together and try to offer up Dylan's lost decade as worthy of reconsideration.

Actually even when you try very, very hard there's still not a lot to be said for his albums in the Eighties, but yes . . . we concede there were the odd gems (largely unreleased at the time as the Bootleg Series Vol 1-3 proved).

But here is one song worth discovering.

Dylan turns in a vigorous and engaged performance, and it has -- so far -- not appeared on any of the albums under his own name.

It's enough to make you want to go and find his theme song to the movie Band of the Hand.

Ho ho ho. 

For a consideration of Bob Dylan's film career go here.

For more oddities, one-offs or songs with an interesting backstory check the massive back-catalogue at From the Vaults.

.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   From the Vaults articles index

Oasis: The Shock of the Lightning (2003)

Oasis: The Shock of the Lightning (2003)

With the Gallagher brothers Liam and Noel going their own ways, at least for the time being (and some might wonder why they hadn't split up previously), you could almost get nostalgic for the glory... > Read more

Juanes: La Camisa Negra (2005)

Juanes: La Camisa Negra (2005)

Unless you follow Latin pop then La Camisa Negra/The Black Shirt might be the biggest hit you never heard by a global star don't even known about. Juanes from Colombia has sold 15 million... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Hanoi, Vietnam: Milking it

Hanoi, Vietnam: Milking it

Marcel was so French you could spot it across the cafe. The shrug of the shoulders, the downturn of the mouth and sulking bottom lip, the sleepy eyes and cigarette permanently attached. He was a... > Read more

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE SONGWRITER QUESTIONNAIRE: Derek Jacombs

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE SONGWRITER QUESTIONNAIRE: Derek Jacombs

Derek Jacombs is the frontman for a band we are now officially allowed to describe as “long-running”. His band Kokomo are celebrating their 25th year in business and – as... > Read more