Robbie Robertson's self-titled album was the first thing he had put out since The Band's The Last Waltz, and it had a couple of the best things Robertson has ever (or will have ever) written. It was produced by Daniel Lanois. Bono and The Edge (who names their kid "The Edge?") are featured on a couple of tunes for you U2 fans. But the two songs that are masterpieces here are "Fallen Angel" and "Somewhere Down the Crazy River." Peter Gabriel sings backup on "Fallen Angel," which was dedicated to Richard Manuel, one of The Band who didn't make it thru the rehab clinic of life. One of the BoDeans, Sammy (a weird-looking little guy), sings some awesome backup in "Somewhere Down the Crazy River."
The video for "Somewhere Down the Crazy River" was the most provocative thing I'd ever seen on TV back in 1987 when MTV was showing it. It was a hazy, pinkish fog, with Robertson singing on one side of the screen and this babyfaced blonde with unshaven armpits, wearing a thin slip, dancing like she was in a trance of sex on the other side of the screen. I shudder now, just to think about it.
The song had verses which were spoken in a David Lynch, Twin Peaks, sort of way. And the choruses were sung, with that dude from the BoDeans adding what sounded like an American Indian peyote-induced howl of a chant as he sang the words along with Robertson.
You might want to listen to this song one day. Here's a sampling of the lyrics.
Take a picture of this:
The fields are empty, abandoned '59 Chevy.
Laying in the back seat listening to Little Willie John.
Yea, that's when time stood still.
You know, I think I'm gonna go down to Madam X
And let her read my mind.
She said, "That Voodoo stuff don't do nothing for me."
I said, "No, I like it. I like it, it's good."
She said "You like it now
But you'll learn to love it later."