Empire Burlesque

Empire Burlesque

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Empire Burlesque

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Empire Burlesque is singer-songwriter Bob Dylan's 23rd studio album, released by Columbia Records in June 1985. The album peaked at #33 in the US and #11 in the UK.

Fans and critics continue to debate the album's merits, especially when compared to the styles he pioneered in the 1960s and 1970s. It is one of Dylan's most controversial albums in terms of quality, having a distinct "80s style" production to the songs. The album was unavailable on iTunes until 2006, when it was added as a part of the The Collection series, but when that was discontinued in 2009, it was made available by itself.

The recording sessions

Before embarking on a European tour in the summer of 1984, Dylan had spent a substantial amount of time recording demos of new songs in his Malibu home, accompanied at times by other musicians.

In rehearsals for the tour, Dylan attempted at least three of these new songs, and he occasionally found time to polish their lyrics during the tour.

When the tour was over, Dylan returned to New York and began work on his next studio album. As Clinton Heylin reports, Dylan recorded in sporadic sessions, as had become his norm, rather than "block-booking studio time" and recording in one concentrated period. The result was "an unprecedented expenditure of" time for recording a Dylan album, from July 1984 to March 1985.

To accommodate the casual nature of this process, Dylan chose to produce the sessions himself.Arthur Baker, who had previously...
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