Movies Books Music Food Tv Shows Technology Politics Video Games Parenting Fashion Green Living more >


"Desolation Row" is a 1965 song written and sung by Bob Dylan. It was recorded on August 4, 1965. It is the closing track to Dylan's sixth studio album, Highway 61 Revisited and has been covered by many artists, including a version by My Chemical Romance for the Watchmen film adaptation in 2009.

The album version of Desolation Row was recorded on August 4, 1965, in Columbia's Studio A in New York City. The two takes spliced for the album were the second and third time Dylan had sung the song. Nashville guitarist Charlie McCoy played an improvised acoustic guitar part on the recording. It is the album's only track not to feature an electric guitar.

The song was first recorded as an electric version with the full band on July 30, 1965, but Dylan's guitar was out of tune. It was recorded again on August 2, 1965, during a 2AM session with electric bass and guitar, but the final decision was to close the album with an acoustic version.

In an interview with USA Today on September 10, 2001, the day before the release of his album Love and Theft, Dylan claimed that the song "is a minstrel song through and through. I saw some ragtag minstrel show in blackface at the carnivals when I was growing up, and it had an effect on me, just as much as seeing the lady with four legs."

It has been suggested that the title is a reference to Jack Kerouac's novel Desolation Angels and John Steinbeck's Cannery Row.[citation needed] Suggestions over the exact "location" of "Desolation Row" include Dylan's response to an interviewer on a television press conference on December 3, 1965 that it was "someplace in Mexico" and Al Kooper's (who played organ and piano on the album) assertion it was New York City's Eighth Avenue.

Many suggestions have been made as to the different inspirations for the song's lyrics, including, at least in part, the Duluth lynchings. Dylan was born in Duluth and would have known the story of the hangings.  His father, Abram Zimmerman, was nine years old in June 1920 and lived two blocks from
edit this info


Music, Songs, Bob Dylan, Desolation Row, Highway 61 Revisited


Select a category and then fill in some basic details that someone might want to know about this topic.
What's your opinion on Desolation Row?
Be the first to rate!
You have exceeded the maximum length.
desolation row
Related Topics
Bob Dylan's Hurricane

A song by Bob Dylan about Reuben "Hurricane" Carter.

Chronicles Volume One

The first part of Bob Dylan's planned 3-volume memoir.

Bob Dylan

American singer-songwriter, author, musician, poet, and arti

Baby Got Back

#1 (5 weeks) hit single by Sir Mix-a-Lot.in 1992

© 2015 Lunch.com, LLC All Rights Reserved
Lunch.com - Relevant reviews by real people.
This is you!
Ranked #
Last login
Member since