Street-Legal (album)

Article

December 8, 2021

Street-Legal is Bob Dylan's 18th studio album, released on June 15, 1978 by Columbia Records. The album differs from his previous album, for Dylan uses a large pop-rock band including female background vocalists. After receiving very good reviews on his previous album, Desire, Dylan was met with a more lukewarm critique for Street-Legal, even though the album was commercially successful and received a gold record in the US, platinum in the UK and gold in Norway. It also received a No. 3 position on the VG list in Norway. Many critics gave the album a better review after a remixed and remastered edition was released in 1999.

Background

In 1977, Dylan was involved in the divorce case with his first wife, Sara. He also edited the film Renaldo and Clara, which was shot in the autumn of 1975. It is a four-hour film that has an improvisational and imaginative plot spun around the Rolling Thunder Revue tour. He took a break from editing and went to his farm in Minnesota to write new music. Work was halted on August 16, 1977, when news broke that Elvis Presley had died. He later stated that he did not speak to anyone in a week after this. Before he could start recording, he had to put together a band, and he contacted several musicians, including former Rolling Thunder Revue members Steve Soles, David Mansfield, Rob Stoner and Howie Wyeth. They went to Los Angeles in late November with Walter Davis jr. and Otis Smith, but even though the band was assembled, Dylan was not ready to rehearse. Dylan was in the middle of a divorce battle over the children, and the premiere of Renaldo and Clara was imminent. The band waited a week or two, but Dylan did not show up, and when he finally arrived he was stressed and distracted. He was always dumb, chain smoked and was in a bad mood, so it did not work. Renaldo and Clara premiered and received some of the worst reviews Dylan has received in his career. The negative reception the film received obviously irritated Dylan, but when the film was finally released and legal issues settled, Dylan was finally ready to rehearse. Drummer Howie Wyeth withdrew, and Dylan had to audition for ten to twelve drummers. Denny Seiwell was elected. He had briefly played with Paul McCartney and the Wings.

Tracklist

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Employees

Musicians

Bob Dylan - vocals, rhythm guitar Steve Douglas - tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone David Mansfield - violin, mandolin Alan Pasqua - keyboard Billy Cross - electric guitar Steven Soles - rhythm guitar, background vocals Jerry Scheff - bass guitar Ian Wallace - drums Bobbye Hall - percussion Carolyn Dennis, JoAnn Harris, Helena Springs - background vocals Steve Madaio - trumpet on "Is Your Love in Gain?"

Technical personnel

Don DeVito - "Captain in Charge" Beef Dawes - Techniques Stan Kalina - Master Techniques at CBS Recording Studios in New York City Michael H. Brauer, Ryan Hewitt - remixing engineering (1999 edition) Filmways / Heider - recording studio Mary Alice Artes - "Queen Bee" Larry Kegan - "Champion of All Causes" Ava Megna - "Secretary of Goodwill" Arthur Rosato - "Second in Command"

References

External links

(en) Street-Legal at Discogs (en) Street-Legal at MusicBrainz (en) Street-Legal on Spotify (en) Street-Legal at AllMusic

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