Empire Burlesque (1985)

1. Tight Conncection to My Heart 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


This album begins, for me anyway, the worst period of the history of Bob Dylan's music. Yes, he would occasionally record some clunkers, but they were usually isolated. It needs to be said that the mid to late 1980's really didn't produce that much of anything worth value, and it seemed that the older the artist, the harder the time they had struggling to fit into what could be described as an ill-fitted suit.

Yes, the younger generation had heard of this man, but none were really familiar with his work, and, well let's just say that none of them were holding their breath waiting for new material. I doubt the older fans were that interested either. This album screams eighties music. The production is downright awful with synthesized production and blaring keyboard effects throughout. If any of the songs were the slightest bit salvageable, it might have been somewhat o.k. He does sound like he's at least trying though - unlike some of the early seventies albums that many are convinced he purposely wanted them to sound awful. The only thing slightly palatable is the track Emotionally Yours.

You may have heard the saying "you can't judge a book by its cover". Sadly, you can on this album. One look at the preposterous album cover tells you exactly what you will get inside the package. Well, at least the man was doing something with his life. He even has a lot of great musicians in the studio helping him including many of Tom Petty's Heartbreakers (they would tour as his backup band for a spell around this time). I should point out that many critics were very impressed with this effort. I've listened to it many times, probably at least once a year to see if I've "missed something", and I still can't figure out what anyone sees in this record.

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