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That Thin, Wild Mercury Sound

Dylan, Nashville, and the Making of Blonde on Blonde
Narrated by: Graham Halstead
Length: 7 hrs and 51 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (16 ratings)
Regular price: $17.49
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Publisher's Summary

That Thin, Wild Mercury Sound is the definitive treatment of Bob Dylan's magnum opus, Blonde on Blonde, not only providing the most extensive account of the sessions that produced the trailblazing album but also setting the record straight on much of the misinformation that has surrounded the story of how the masterpiece came to be made. Including many new details and eyewitness accounts, as well as keen insight into the Nashville cats who helped Dylan reach rare artistic heights, it explores the lasting impact of rock's first double album.

Based on exhaustive research and in-depth interviews with the producer, the session musicians, studio personnel, management personnel, and others, Daryl Sanders chronicles the road that took Dylan from New York to Nashville in search of "that thin, wild mercury sound." As Dylan told Playboy in 1978, the closest he ever came to capturing that sound was during the Blonde on Blonde sessions, where the voice of a generation was backed by musicians of the highest order.

©2019 Daryl Sanders (P)2018 Tantor

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It was great!

I bought the book before I started using audible. I hadn’t read the book yet, but I found it on here and loved it! Some reviewers didn’t like the narrator, but he was good I thought. I don’t regret this purchase and would listen again!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Sometimes I forget how great Blonde on Blonde is

I'll admit like most Dylan fans, that my opinion of a favorite Dylan album changes constantly. Street Legal, sentimentally, as the first album that I ever purchased, Blood on the Tracks for its heartbreaking brilliance, Time Out of Mind, for the amazing resurrection of the master storyteller. Not to mention, periods when I feel nothing other than listening to John Wesley Harding on a loop, or Desire, or Infidels. So, it's easy to forget how genius an album Blonde on Blonde is. It's almost too perfect musically, and historically, so I guess I kind of put it aside thoughtlessly.

This book chronicles the Nashville sessions creating Blonde on Blonde, and it's thoroughly enjoyable. I feared an overly technical account of the times (to be fair, it does go a bit Wikipedia in moments). But digressions into speculation on the origins of the songs are kept reasonably limited. A few references are made to Sara, Edie Sedgwick or Nico, and to whom a particular song is directed. But thankfully, not a lot of time is spent on that, more on the music and the musicians.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Great Book...But the Narrator?

Daryl Sanders' book is amazing. He puts you in the moment, a ringside seat at Dylan's mercurial decisions about personnel, lyrics, rhythm, and venues. But why wasn't he hired to narrate his own book? I've heard him talk--he is informed, engaged, with a voice that's authentic. Who is Graham Halstead? Every time he pronounces Johanna as Jo-Anna it's like fingernails across a blackboard. Dude, have you not listened to this song ONCE??? This is an entire book about Blonde on Blonde and I get the distinct impression that you've never listened to the album, that the cuts have no history for you at all. Please, Audible. Let more authors read their own work.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Jesse
  • 11-18-18

Good book, highly detailed and new facts. Poor narrator.

Good read, even for the amateur dylanologist - a lot of details about each and every blonde on blonde session. One gripe is with the narration, as the orator doesn’t know how to pronounce many key terms, including Dylan song names (e.g, Visions of Johanna becomes “Joe-anna”). Makes one wonder about the editing or quality control.