Song of the Day by Eric Berman – “No Time to Think” by Bob Dylan
Street Legal is one of the most underrated records in Bob Dylan’s canon.
Before proper recording of the album ensued, Dylan began rehearsing his band for a tour of the Far East that resulted in the release of the Live at Budokan. The tour was dubbed “The Vegas Tour” by the time the live album surfaced because of Dylan’s copious use of background vocals and the garish outfits he wore on the road.
Street Legal was recorded in a warehouse space Dylan rented in Santa Monica, California which was dubbed Rundown Studios. The album was recorded entirely live in the studio with only minor overdubs during the break between the Far East and U.S. tour stops and featured some of Dylan’s most impassioned vocals.
When Street Legal came out in 1978 before the Live at Budokan album, it had the tough task of following both Desire and Blood on the Tracks, two of Dylan’s most respected studio albums and comparatively speaking, it did not fare so well only climbing to #11 on the U.S. album charts.
In retrospect, the album features some of Dylan’s greatest songs including “Senor (Tales Of Yankee Power)” (which the Jerry Garcia Band regularly performed), “Changing Of The Guard,” “New Pony” (later covered by Jack White with Dead Weather), “Is Your Love In Vain?” and today’s Song of the Day by Eric Berman. Dylan’s band on the album included Billy Cross on lead electric guitar, Stevens Soles on rhythm guitar, Jerry Scheff (from Elvis Presley’s band) on bass guitar, Alan Pasqua on keyboards, Ian Wallace on drums, Bobbye Hall on percussion, David Mansfield on violin and mandolin, Steve Douglas on saxophone, Steve Madaio on trumpet and Jo Ann Harris, Helena Springs and Carolyn Dennis on background vocals.
Dylan would later secretly marry Carolyn Dennis, one of his background singers on the album and the tour, in 1986.