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Empire Burlesque [CD]

Bob Dylan Audio CD
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
Price: 4.79 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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BOB DYLAN Biography by Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Bob Dylan's influence on popular music is incalculable. As a songwriter, he pioneered several different schools of pop songwriting, from confessional singer/songwriter to winding, hallucinatory, stream-of-consciousness narratives. As a vocalist, he broke down the notion that a singer must have a conventionally good voice in order to ... Read more in Amazon's Bob Dylan Store

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Empire Burlesque + Knocked out loaded + Shot Of Love
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Product details

  • Audio CD (4 Feb 1991)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Sony Music CMG
  • ASIN: B000025RLO
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 36,815 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Tight Connection To My Heart (Has Anyone Seen My Love)
2. Seeing The Real You At Last
3. I'll Remember You
4. Clean Cut Kid
5. Never Gonna The Same Again
6. Trust Yourself
7. Emotionally Yours
8. When The Night Comes Falling From The Sky
9. "Something's Burning, Baby"
10. Dark Eyes

Product Description


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 'Empire Burlesque' - a symptom of the times 3 Sep 2006
Format:Audio CD
Although it's fair to say all well established artists should have their own well defined style/priniples when it comes to the creative process, the mid - eighties was a very strange time generally on the music front. Bob Dylan's own brand of singer/songwriter ideals at the time was deeply unfashionable and like Mick Jagger, Neil Young and Lou Reed he felt the only way for his music to be heard was to make concessions to the contemporary sounds of the day. The fact that Bob was not on top form in a songwriting sense at that time anyway may be purely coincidental or as a result of feeling completely at odds with the musical climate of the time. Producer Arthur Baker's sound and the general eighties instrumentation was quite uncompatable when revealing the true strengths of Bob's talent.
The opening and closing tracks are my favourites 'Tight Connection To My Heart' and 'Dark Eyes' although the first song was far more effective in its original form when demoed for 'Infidels' as 'Someone's Got A Hold Of My Heart'. It's not necessarily a truly bad album but it is a piece of works which fails to reflect those things that make Bob a unique artist.
'Empire Burlesque' is probably at its most enjoyable if the listener is unaware of Bob's pedigree - it can then be listened to on its own terms and perhaps be occasionally enjoyed.
Unfortunately 'Empire' represented the beginning of a very uninspiring period for Bob in which he'd release 'Knocked Out Loaded', 'Down In The Groove' and the live 'Dylan And The Dead'.
Really though 'Empire Burlesque' is merely a symptom of its time when Bob decided it was probably best to stop swimming against the tide. When the musical landscape changed somewhat in the nineties and singer/songwriters and more traditional sounds were more accepted again Bob once again returned to what he does best and released some cracking albums.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
This 1985 album is the twenty-third from icon Bob Dylan. It comes right in the middle of a run of less than impressive albums that ran from 1979's `Slow Train Coming', and ended in 1997 with `Time Out Of Mind', with only the brief respite of 1989's `Oh Mercy'. In fact this album marks the start of a run of three albums that I rate as the worst of Dylan's career.

Following 1983's `Infidels', where Dylan had managed to update his sound, though had failed to marry that with any interesting songwriting, here he went the whole hog and embraced the worst of the eighties with lots of synthesizers and drum machines in evidence. It makes the music very detached and soulless. Added to which, Dylan just hasn't written any interesting songs. Or if they have then they are smothered in overproduction. Another cardinal sin is that his second greatest asset (after his writing) his distinctive voice is totally lost in the mix. It's an uninteresting, soulless and totally forgettable album. Having listened a few times there are no tracks that have lodged in my mind. Even `Self Portrait' had a couple of genius tracks, here there is nothing for me. One star only, this was the real nadir of his career for me.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent CD 19 Jan 2014
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
The quality is excellent, and the CD is a must for my Dylan collection, bought at a great price; delivery was fast. Very Satisfied.
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5.0 out of 5 stars It's Wonderful 11 Aug 2013
By Vaughan TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD
I wouldn't usually post a review of an album that already has 20+ reviews. And even a review of a Dylan album, with diehard fans and all. But there are just to many negative remarks about this album, which is a recording I have always loved.

Let me be upfront about this - the main problem with this is the sound. It's "of its time", with silly bits of synthesizer and booming drunks at times. I admit this, and can make no excuse for it. On the other hand, what Dylan albums don't sound dated? I mean Times They are a Changing is a fantastic album, but you wouldn't mistake it for a contemporary release. Besides, the songs here are wonderful.

For starters you get some uptempo songs, starting with Tight Connection, and including Clean Cut Kid, and When the Night comes Falling. All are driving tunes, with good lyrics. At the other end of the scale are some real diamonds in the ballad department - I'll Remember You, Never Going to be the Same Again, and Emotionally Yours. These alone make this album worth buying. The lyrics are quite direct, and therefore strike me as more heartfelt. The melodies are wonderful, and you'll soon be signing along with Mr. Dylan.

In the mid-tempo department we have Seeing the Real You at Last, Trsut Yourself, Something is Burning. The album wraps up with an anomaly, an all acoustic Dark Eyes.

So why is this album a winner? In a word, it's the melodies that make it special. Each song is wonderfully crafted, individual, and bridge the sometime gap between Dylan's work and popular music. These are Dylan songs that you find yourself humming as you walk along the street.

Okay, the cover is a bit.....you know.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Thump, thump, douche! 18 Feb 2012
Format:Audio CD
For a long time, I found this album almost unlistenable and thought Arthur Baker was a pariah for splashing so much pointless crap over Bob Dylan songs. As was the trend at the time, the drums are mixed way too high and sound like somebody bashing an empty cardboard box with a wooden spoon; either that or those new-fangled electronic drums that sound like 'douche!' every time they're hit.
Dylan wasn't on his own. Just about every artiste who emerged in the sixties were releasing albums that sounded like this; Neil Young, Eric Clapton, John Martyn et al. This was either corporate pressure for saleable product, or a genuine desire to sound so. In Dylan's case, I reckon it was the former. But time can do strange things to music, and the 80's don't sound quite as dated as they did ten years ago, quixotic as that sounds.
The album itself was quite a long, drawn out process, so it is a shame that only about half of the songs are what you might call 'good Dylan'. A handful are actually very good indeed, including Tight Connection, Seeing The Real You At Last and the surprising all-acoustic closer, Dark Eyes. Given the price you can pick it up for these days, its worth getting for these songs alone. One song really grates, though....When The Night Comes Falling. Particularly so after hearing the version on Bootleg Series Vol 3, which is excellent. The version on Empire Burlesque is a horrible Frankenstein's monster of a song, the aural equivalent of somebody rattling a money tin right up to your ear.
It is not a truly bad album, but it isn't great either. I would recommend for those who applaud it wholeheartedly to listen to Highway 61 Revisted again for a reality check.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars EMPIRE BURLEQUE-BOB DYLAN
Published 10 months ago by tony ellis
5.0 out of 5 stars Too many critics
What are all these people talking about?
Listened to as a collection of new songs at least there's nothing as jarring as Hurricane or Knoxville Girl
Does it really matter... Read more
Published on 16 April 2012 by Richard
2.0 out of 5 stars Bob's nadir
If music lovers new to Dylan are curious about what is meant by "Bob had a bad eighties" then this album should tell them all they need to know. Read more
Published on 26 Mar 2012 by Chiantibeatle
3.0 out of 5 stars Not great overall, but some wonderful, typically-Dylan lyrics...
First and foremost, I must confess this album is disappointing, WHEN COMPARED TO OTHER DYLAN OUTINGS, but the album is still a whole lot better than most popular albums around in... Read more
Published on 19 Feb 2012 by Sam Hopkins
4.0 out of 5 stars the empire strikes back
This is one of a number of Bob Dylan albums that are looked down upon by "Dylan purists" i.e. those fans who love his earlier or more famous stuff so much that they scorn anything... Read more
Published on 5 Feb 2012 by housedoctor
1.0 out of 5 stars His worst ever
I don't normally like live albums anyway but this must be the worst ever by a talented singer/songwriter just prooves how bad a live album can be thankfully even he has done better... Read more
Published on 29 Nov 2011 by malmac
4.0 out of 5 stars A great Bob Dylan album
This is a great Bob Dylan album.This is another another side of Bob Dylan.A new audacious sound to loose him more devotees but in truth the sound of an artist not wanting to repeat... Read more
Published on 9 Jun 2011 by paulc
3.0 out of 5 stars Ouch, the eighties....
Mr.Zimmerman certainly did take a few strange turns in the eighties, much like (as the reviewer above notes) other great singer-songwriters. Read more
Published on 29 Jun 2009 by T. Ackerman
2.0 out of 5 stars Hang your head in shame Mr.Arthur Baker!!!!!
This could have been a great album, but Dylan must have had a brainstorm when he decided to hand it over to Arthur Baker. Read more
Published on 3 Dec 2008 by Stephen Vallely
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