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Empire Burlesque

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Audio CD, October 25, 1990
$6.50 $0.24

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$8.50 + $3.99 shipping Only 1 left in stock. Ships from and sold by rickies.

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  • Bob Dylan: "The 'Queen of the Folksingers,' that would have to be Joan Baez... The sight of her made me high. All that and there was her voice. A voice that drove out bad spirits. It was like she'd come down from another planet." Read more musical excerpts from Chronicles, Vol. 1 on our Music You Should Hear page.

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Editorial Reviews

Out of print in the U.S.! Originally released in 1985, Bob is backed by a stellar band including Ron Wood, Mike Campbell, Al Kooper, Mick Taylor, Benmont Tench, Sly & Robbie and others. 10 tracks. Sony.

1. Tight Connection To My Heart (Has Anybody Seen My Love?)
2. Seeing The Real You At Last
3. I'll Remember You
4. Clean Cut Kid
5. Never Gonna Be 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 Details

  • Audio CD (October 25, 1990)
  • Original Release Date: 1985
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sony
  • ASIN: B00000264S
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (72 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #317,209 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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(Columbia Records; New York, NY; December 9th, 2014) – Columbia Records announced today that Bob Dylan's new studio album, Shadows In The Night, will be released on February 3, 2015. Featuring ten tracks, the Jack Frost-produced album is the 36th studio set from Bob Dylan and marks the first new music from the artist since 2012’s worldwide hit Tempest.
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Customer Reviews

It's one of his best acoustic songs, and it's a great way to close the album.
Grigory's Girl
I love his words and music and can listen to him for hours and hours and never get tired of his stories and his songs.
The songs aren't the problem (as the alternate takes on the "Bootleg Series Vol 1-3" revealed), it's the production.
James J. Lundy Jr.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

57 of 60 people found the following review helpful By P. Nicholas Keppler on January 1, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Empire Burlesque has one thing in common with Self Portrait, Street Legal and every other Bob Dylan album that is panned more often than not: If it had been released by an little known upstart, it would have been accepted, maybe even acclaimed. The expectations are so perennial high for Dylan to produce another Blood on the Tracks that average, decent or even good albums he releases are often condemned to a negative responce because they do not stand-up to his highest accomplishments.
Empire Burlesque rattles the expectations critics continuously hold for Dylan in two specific ways: 1) Instead of poetry, it features mostly simple, straight-forward rock lyrics. 2) Instead of an unadorned, organic feel, it possesses a slick, well-produced atmosphere. Although, we all would prefer another "Gates of Eden" or "I Shall Be Released," the love and relationship-centered songs of Empire Burlesque are nothing to scoff at. Clever, true and free of clichés that would trap lesser songwriters, songs such as "Tight Connection to My Heart," "I'll Remember You" and "Emotionally Yours" are excellent representations of Dylan's more pop-orientated prowess. Granted, the thick production and hefty accompaniment are a bit much. Every song on Empire Burlesque, with the exception of the gorgeous finale, "Dark Eyes," which Dylan performed unaccompanied, could have benefited from being giving some breathing room with the elimination of one or a few back-up vocals or instruments. A complete stripping, however, would rob the album of the instances in which such sonic density work. On "Something's Burning Baby," the heavy accompaniment, especially Anton Fig's jangling drums, bolsters the song's sense of power and urgency and on the spicy "Clean Cut Kid," Dylan mirrors the success of the large ensemble with which BB King usually plays. Although far from perfect, Empire Burlesque is a fine addition to Dylan's discography.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Scot P. Livingston on November 5, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Usually the nicest thing anyone can say about Empire Burlesque is that the songs would've been pretty good without Arthur Baker's production. In fact, bootlegs of pre-Baker-ized tunes would fetch a pretty penny. But personally, I think the synthesizer-laden sound actually adds a lot to the album. Maybe it's just because I was ten and totally unaware of the album when it first came out, that I am able to see it as not so much of a crass commercial attempt to jump on the latest fad. For me the cheesy `80s production is no more anachronistic that his `60s sound. Of course, his `60s sound wasn't exactly the dominant style of the period, especially the anti-psychedelic John Wesley Harding. But that's what makes this album so fascinating, never had Dylan tried so hard (and failed) to pander to his audience. Check out the Miami Vice threads on the cover. It certainly shows the most time and care spent in the studio since Self-Portrait. Just take a look at "When The Night Comes Falling From the Sky" (my favorite track on here). Now compare it to the E-Street Band backed version on The Bootleg Series 1-3, which is far closer to the kind of arrangement you would expect from Bob, without being nearly as good. But thanks to Arthur Baker, the song becomes far more memorable and fascinating (and not just like a car crash that you can't help but look at). Just listen to those octagonal electronic drums! You can also do a side-by-side comparison of "Tight Connection To My Heart (Has Anybody Seen My Love)" with the earlier unreleased "Someone's Got A Hold Of My Heart". In my mind, there's no contest. One of the biggest disappointments of Infidels was despite having Sly and Robbie produced by Mark Knopfler, you don't really get a Reggae-Dire Straits sound. It just sounds like any other Dylan album.Read more ›
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29 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Paul Montag on August 20, 2005
Format: Audio CD
When Green Day changed up their sound around the mid-90's and came through with a more slickly produced, commercial sound, a lot of their loyal fans didn't like it. But what they seemingly forgot to look at amidst their curious anger is that Green Day's new stuff sounded really good ('Warning' especially), even though, yeah, it sounded quite a bit different.

When it comes to Bob Dylan, die-hard fans compare an album like Empire Burlesque (and probably a couple before it) with the likes of Highway 61 Revisited and Bringing It All Back Home, and a lot of them not only don't like the change but are agitated with their sneaky hero, though his status as 'constantly-looked-up-to' remains in tact.

Granted, as much as I like Empire Burlesque, it has to be careful with itself because as it goes from one song to the next you almost feel like you're going to hear this as a soundtrack for a really syrupy Cameron Crowe movie, and that's no good. But Dylan's sensibilty doesn't go quite that far down the wimpy direction as he remains hard-hearted and overly introspective, even if fairly non-sensical at times.

I love songs like 'Tight Connection to My Heart' 'I'll Remember You' 'Emotionally Yours' and 'Never Gonna Be The Same Again.' Though the disk sounds slicker than usual, it's a mistake to think the authenticity level dropped at all. If anything, he seems to be connecting with these songs at a higher degree than what is usual with him.

Another great thing about this album is that it's pretty consistent. A couple of the tunes are slighter but none of them are bad and they're all at least a litte above mediocre, with a high portion of it ranging from good to excellent. And that's saying a lot for someone like Dylan, who is so terribly inconsistent.
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