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 soundtrack 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

Music of Bob Dylan - Aug 14, 2020

We are actively promoting a link to this interesting topic on The Bob Dylan Project at:
https://thebobdylanproject.com/Song/id/3233/The-Usual

If you are interested, we are a portal to all the great information related to this topic.

Join us inside Bob Dylan Music Box.

post a comment

More from this section   From the Vaults articles index

Ann-Margret: It's a Nice World to Visit But Not to Live In (1969)

Ann-Margret: It's a Nice World to Visit But Not to Live In (1969)

The actress Ann-Margret wasn't much such great shakes as a singer, but she had other . . . attributes? She certanly had a decent movie career for a while (she even wasn't bad in one of Elvis'... > Read more

Jerry Butler: Mr Dee Jay, I Got A Heartache (1968)

Jerry Butler: Mr Dee Jay, I Got A Heartache (1968)

Jerry Butler, one of the greatest soul singers to emerge out of Chicago, came up through the usual route: gospel in church, inspired by Sam Cooke and the Soul Stirrers, formed a group (the... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Darren McShane of Superturtle

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Darren McShane of Superturtle

Darren McShane has been a serial offender in the New Zealand music scene, and we've all been the better for it. Way back he formed Stick No Bills (brilliant name, you'd see it everywhere) and then... > Read more

BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN AT 60: Still running through America

BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN AT 60: Still running through America

Sometimes we forget just how huge Bruce Springsteen has been: between '75 and '85 alone he sold in excess of 50 million albums (one of them, The River, was a double) and although he deliberately... > Read more