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Three years ago this week, Bob Dylan tipped his hat to Frank Sinatra with his critically acclaimed 36th studio album for Columbia Records, Shadows In The Night. The intimate album was done live in one or two takes and recorded in famed Capitol Studio B, where the Chairman had recorded so much of his classic work. Shadows consists of ballads recorded by Frank in the late 50s and 60s, songs that explored the emotions of heartache and melancholy. The album debuted at #1 on the UK Album charts and at #7 on the Billboard Top 200 and was nominated for “Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album” at the 58th Annual Grammy Awards.
Because there were no earphones or overdubs used in the recording, engineer Al Schmitt moved the musicians (Tony Garnier – double bass, Donny Herron – pedal steel, Charlie Sexton – electric guitar, Stu Kimball – acoustic guitar, George Receli – drums) around in the room in a semicircle around Dylan who was facing them to get the right balance in the room. “I used Capitol’s Neumann U47 on Bob’s vocals. The very same microphone that was used on Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Nat King Cole. I’ve used it on Paul McCartney and Diana Krall too.” says Al.
“Bob loves these songs and put his heart and soul into singing them. If there was something slightly off-pitch it didn’t matter, because his soul was there and he laid the songs open and bare the way they are.” continued Schmitt. Stunning all around!
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Written by Cy Coleman & Joseph A. McCarthy. Published by Notable Music Co. Inc (ASCAP)
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