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Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll: "Like a Rolling Stone"

Monday, July 20: 9:45 a.m.
Posted by Rock Hall

After his grueling 1965 British tour, Bob Dylan rented a Woodstock cottage from Peter Yarrow's mother and "vomited" what would become "Like a Rolling Stone":  "It was ten pages long.... just a rhythm thing on paper all about my steady hatred.... In the end it wasn't hatred.... Revenge, that's a better word. I had never thought of it as a song, until one day I was at the piano, and on the paper it was singing 'How does it feel?' in a slow motion pace, in the utmost of slow motion. It was like swimming in lava. In your eyesight you see your victim swimming in lava. Hanging by their arms from a birch tree.... Seeing someone in the pain they were bound to meet up with. I wrote it. I didn't fail. It was straight."  

Dylan first attempted the song in waltz time. But the 4/4 version cut on June 15, 1965 was as straightforward as the song's motive.

The recording also featured the debut of Al Kooper on organ. As Kooper recalled, "If the other guy hadn't left the damn thing on, my career as an organ player would have ended ...

continue Categories: Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll, Inductee

Today in Rock: The Beatles hit Number One with "Come Together/Something"

Tuesday, November 29: 3 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Axl Rose and Bruce Springsteen perform the Beatles' "Come Together" at the '94 Rock Hall Inductions

On November 29, 1969, the Beatles were at the top of Billboard's Hot 100, earning their first two-sided Number One single with "Come Together/Something." It became the Fab Four's 18th Number One single – one more than Elvis Presley's 17, which he reached on November 1 that year with "Suspicious Minds." On the week of November 29, Billboard changed the way it calculated its charts, ranking both sides of double-sided singles in the same position rather than separately. This was key to the Beatles' Number One climb, as the previous week saw "Come Together" fall to Number Seven and "Something" hold strong at Number 3.

"Come Together" and "Something" appeared on Abbey Road, the Beatles' 11th studio album, released in the United States on October 1, 1969. George Harrison's "Something" was the first of his musical compositions to be released as an A-side to a Beatles' single. In Harrison's partial autobiography, I, Me, Mine, he explained of "Something": "This I suppose is my most successful song with over 150 cover versions. My favorite cover version is the one by James Brown – that was excellent." Ray Charles, Smokey Robinson, Shirley Bassey, and Booker T. and the ...

continue Categories: Hall of Fame, Inductee, Today in Rock
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