Positively Bob Dylan

Fine Bob Dylan stuff. Since 1997.

Desolation Row [Live 1994]

(Bob Dylan)

From the album: MTV Unplugged (1995)

 4.2/5 (22 votes)


Rob I think Dylan is a genius in his phrasing; similar to Nina's comment in that I'm thinking here of the last verse, but the words that Dylan and only Dylan could deliver with such precise aptness are "when you asked how I was doing.... was that some of joke?!" Nov 21, 2014
Bill Cohen This is a song of confusion and dispair. Dylan' fame, all the yes men following him, thinking that he was the The Jesus of rebellion was overwhelming. This was a young man from a gentile town in Minnisota. His family were the only Jews in this God forsaken part of the country. Iron ore, mines, freezing cold. He had read all about New York, Listened to Leadbelly, Woody Guthrie, Cisco Huston, Blind Lemmon Jefferson, black folk singers and the real messages they had to offer about life and the suffering. To read about it, and dream about is is one thing. To actually come to New York is overwhelming for any Midwest person .It is like shock therapy. As he became successful, he became upset, ripped apart, and depressed. The song talks about confusion, a mixture of people, an avalanche of confusion, and aloneness. He is talking about trying to get away from it all. He says - yea, I know them all, they are all quite lame. The message of the song is just don't contact me, leave me alone. Don't write to me except from Desolation row. In oher words, if you don't understang what I am feeling and that you are feeling the same, leave me alone. I need to get away from this chaos and sort things out. Mar 22, 2006
Nina I'm with whoever also rated this performance a 5. What's really magical about this performance is the way it grows from a pretty unremarkable opening into an amazing, riveting, terrifying vision/sound by the last verse. By the time he's singing"...unless you mail them from desolation row.." I find myself just gaping. May 15, 2005
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Related songs & albums

All songs on MTV Unplugged
Track Song
1 Tombstone Blues (Live 1994) (Bob Dylan)
2 Shooting Star (Live 1994) (Bob Dylan)
3 All Along the Watchtower (Live 1994) (Bob Dylan)
4 The Times They Are A-Changin' (Live 1994) (Bob Dylan)
5 John Brown (Live 1994) (Bob Dylan)
6 Desolation Row (Live 1994) (Bob Dylan)
7 Rainy Day Women #12 & 35 (Live 1994) (Bob Dylan)
8 Love Minus Zero/No Limit (Live 1994) (Bob Dylan)
9 Dignity (Live 1994) (Bob Dylan)
10 Knockin' On Heaven's Door (Live 1994) (Bob Dylan)
11 Like a Rolling Stone (Live 1994) (Bob Dylan)
12 With God on Our Side (Live 1994) (Bob Dylan)
Desolation Row appears on these albums
Year Album
1965 Highway 61 Revisited
1995 MTV Unplugged
1998 The Bootleg Series Vol. 4 - Live 1966
2005 The Bootleg Series Vol. 7 - No Direction Home: The Soundtrack
2015 The Bootleg Series Vol. 12: The Cutting Edge (1965-1966)