Last night, Bob Dylan released the tenth track from his forthcoming album Fallen Angels.
“Melancholy Mood” is itself as simple and clean as the record spinning around: just Dylan’s voice and the instruments, unembellished and unadorned.
The song, by Vick Knight Sr. (who also gave us “I Love Coffee, I Love Tea”) and Walter Schumann (composer of the eerie score for The Night of the Hunter), was indeed sung by Frank Sinatra once upon a time. Dylan has recently performed it live, and seemed to be enjoying himself immensely as he did so:
Other songs on Fallen Angels, a tracklist for which has now been released, were recorded by Sinatra as well. But bear in mind, as you should have with Dylan’s last studio album, Shadows In The Night (2015), these aren’t “Sinatra covers” but songs sung by very many people. “That Old Black Magic,” for example, belongs to Louis Prima and Ella Fitzgerald and Fred Waring’s orchestra, too. And, perhaps, Dylan has in his head the exceptional performance by Marilyn Monroe in Bus Stop (1956). Stay tuned for the way Dylan revels in it himself. He’s performed it live in Japan this past week.
The EP Melancholy Mood, comprising four songs from the new album, will let you hear “That Old Black Magic,” “Come Rain or Come Shine,” “Melancholy Mood” and “All Or Nothing At All” on Record Store Day 2016. The EP is already released in Japan, and its rollicking, jingle-jangle, skiffly-beat version of “That Old Black Magic” knocks your socks off. The moment near the end where Dylan, on the refrain, adds a “ha” (listen for it) makes me singularly happy.
Here’s the full tracklist for Fallen Angels. Now enjoy some versions of yore, because these are bona fide classics by folks you know and love: