Bob Dylan’s latest album titled Fallen Angels will be released on May 20th. This has officially been confirmed by the promotional image which shows Bob Dylan’s upcoming tour with Mavis Staples in June and July. (“For every pair of tickets purchased, you will receive a redemption code to receive a Compact Disk of Bob Dylan’s forthcoming album ‘Fallen Angels.’”)
On Record Store Day, April 16, Bob Dylan will have a 7” red vinyl EP released containing the songs “Melancholy Mood,” “All Or Nothing At All,” “Come Rain Or Come Shine,” and ”That Old Black Magic.” All four songs are from Fallen Angels and the release is limited to 7000 copies. The cover of the record, written underneath the English in Japanese katakana (used for the Japanese pronunciation of English words), ties in with the upcoming April tour in Japan.
Frank Sinatra sang all four songs, meaning that the speculation circling the internet is most likely correct in assuming that Fallen Angels will be another album of standards which Sinatra performed. Bob and his band already played “Melancholy Mood,” “All Or Nothing At All,” and “Come Rain Or Come Shine” on tour last year.
Twenty-three songs were recorded during the sessions for Shadows In The Night, so it might be possible that the songs on Fallen Angels are the ‘second batch’ of songs recorded back in 2014. It is also possible that some of the songs on Fallen Angels were rerecorded in the sessions that Al Schmitt, the engineer, revealed were taking place just this February. We’ll have to wait and see: Al Schmitt simply revealed to Billboard that Bob was recording a follow up album, without mentioning the previous thirteen outtakes from Shadows In The Night.
Multiple sources reported last year that the outtakes from Shadows In The Night included these songs: (Original Source: Searching For A Gem)
- All Or Nothing At All
- All The Way
- Come Rain Or Come Shine
- Didn’t He Ramble
- It Had To Be You
- Maybe You’ll Be There
- My Melancholy Baby
- On A Little Street In Singapore
- Polkadots and Moonbeams
- Stormy Weather
- That Old Black Magic
The Bob Cats Newsletter reported that the song “Young At Heart” by Johnny Richards and Carolyn Leigh was also recorded.
On Expectingrain, way back in October 2014, a user named Geezerfreak accurately reported the songs on the then unreleased Shadows In The Night, as well as the outtakes, and also later mentioned “Young At Heart.” Since the only song missing from this list is “Melancholy Mood,” it seems that many of these songs from the Shadows In The Night sessions could end up on Fallen Angels.
Responses to news of the upcoming album have been mixed. Some dislike the idea of yet another album full of ‘Sinatra covers’, blaming it on a lack of inspiration on Dylan’s part and comparing the current state of affairs with some of the most unproductive periods of Dylan’s career.
The type of music, as well as the way Dylan has presented himself singing it, are certainly different in quite surprising ways compared to most of what he has done in the first decade of the century. Of course, there is no pleasing everyone – but even putting personal taste aside, this kind of critique seems unjustified. If anything, Dylan is putting more effort into polishing and perfecting his music than before, both in the studio and in his recent live performances. He is exerting a control which just years ago might have seemed out of reach. That does not indicate a lack of inspiration or musical ideas, but rather a deliberate and significant change in his approach.
How well this coming album will go over remains to be seen, but it is probably good to keep in mind that generally speaking, Shadows In The Night was received very well, both by critics and by the audience. So even if you were not a fan of Shadows In The Night, it’s probably a wise idea to keep an open mind – at least until the record is actually out. There might be a few surprises on there still. This is Dylan, after all!
-Nick Kniola and Jesper Doolaard