From The Desk Of The Yawpers: Dylan’s Overlooked ’80s (With Suggested Listening)

Working-class rock—and that’s the bell the Yawpers ring again and again on American Man (Bloodshot)—has gone through a lot of permutations through the decades. This music is all over the map, stylistically; “Doing It Right” skews to amped-up speedway boogie, while the title cut and “Beale Street” bring more country trappings, though it’s a revved up country that would be totally alien to CMT. And there are left-field moments like “Kiss It” that go full-on dirty blooze hard rock. For all that variety, the music works well on its own merits. The Yawpers—singer/guitarist Nate Cook, guitarist Jesse Parmet and drummer Noah Shomberg—will be guest editing all week.


Cook: As everyone with even a passing interest in rock ‘n’ roll knows, Bob Dylan caught some major shit for going electric at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival, and even at subsequent appearances. Myth holds that screams of “Judas” peppered his concerts. Similarly, post-conversion Dylan catches a bad rap. The difference, of course, being that retrospect hasn’t swung opinion of his Christian era to his favor as it has done for his electric years. Even after his “Christian Trilogy” (Slow Train Coming, Saved, Shot Of Love), his work is still not looked at with as high of regard as it deserves. As demonstration, here’s a few choice cuts from his conversion (’79) to the end of the ‘80s. Dig:

“Gotta Serve Somebody” Slow Train Coming
“Gonna Change My Way of Thinking” Slow Train Coming
“Saved” Saved
“The Groom’s Still Waiting at the Altar” Shot Of Love
“In The Summertime” Shot Of Love
“Trouble” Shot Of Love
“Jokerman” Infidels
“Union Sundown” Infidels
“Clean Cut Kid” Empire Burlesque
“Dark Eyes” Empire Burlesque
“You Wanna Ramble” Knocked Out Loaded
“Got My Mind Up” Knocked Out Loaded
“Ugliest Girl In The World” Down In The Groove
“Silvio” Down In The Groove
“Political World” Oh Mercy
“Everything Is Broken” Oh Mercy
“Man In The Long Black Coat” Oh Mercy
“Disease Of Conceit” Oh Mercy
“What Was It You Wanted” Oh Mercy
“Shooting Star” Oh Mercy

Video after the jump.