Listen Up! Rock
Review by Bob Popkoff
The Milwaukee Journal — Sunday, August 10, 1986
Bob Dylan — “Knocked Out Loaded” — Columbia
“Knocked Out Quickly” may be an appropriate title if you wanted to be less than charitable, since the only consistent feature here is the complete disregard for consistent programming.
On the eight different songs there are eight different bands, two solo Bob Dylan compositions, three collaborations, two covers, and one tune, “Precious Memories,” that is an odd but affecting reworking of a traditional gospel song that cruises along on a modified Caribbean beat with no less than three steel drum players.
If you were looking forward to a collaboration with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, the one song written with Tom Petty and featuring all the Heartbreakers is “Got My Mind Made Up.” With its Bo Diddley beat underpinned by acoustic slide guitars, it is like nothing either of them has ever done before.
The unqualified highlight is “Brownville Girl.” Co-written over two years ago with Sam Shepard, this 11-minute opus is worth the price of admission. The rambling, half-spoken, half-sung fable unfolds across a large, surreal landscape where the plot of a western film collides with the ups and downs of the narrator’s own life.