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"Visions of Johanna" is a song by Bob Dylan from the 1966 album Blonde on Blonde. Considered among Dylan's greatest works, Dylan referred to it as his favorite song on the album which captured that "thin, wild mercury sound".  The song is ranked #404 on the Rolling Stone magazine's list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. There have been a number of speculations about the meaning of the song of which none have been supported by statements made by Dylan. Commenting on this song, Marqusee characterises it (p. 196) as 'Dylan's definitive treatment of "strandedness"', and notes that 'in contrast to most of the material in "Blonde on Blonde", he brought it to the studio as a finished composition'. He later comments 'In VoJ Dylan is stranded between extremes - total freedom and abject slavery.' Others have subjected the words to poetic 'close reading' and have found in it a wealth of allusion, for example, to William Blake; thus Thakkar  says 'My claims will be these: Louise represents the earthly, the prosaic, the finite; and Johanna represents the pure, the poetic, the infinite'. The song was originally titled "Seems Like a Freeze Out"; studio recordings from Blonde on Blonde's' early New York sessions, released on bootleg, have a much faster tempo (more similar to Most Likely You'll Go Your Way And I'll Go Mine) and, in the fifth verse, contain the additional line, "He examines the nightingale's code". Two slower versions were recorded in New York, one with a march-like tempo (which was released on the No Direction Home soundtrack), and another with a more conventional rock tempo, closer to the album version recorded in Nashville. Two live versions of the song recorded during Dylan's 1966 tour of England have been released. One version appeared on Biograph, released in 1985. A second version was recorded at the Manchester Free Trade Hall concert, released as the fourth volume of the Bootleg Series, which was titled The "Royal Albert Hall" Concert as a jab at bootleggers who had erroneously referred to the Manchester concert as such for years prior. Many critics and fans have come to regard these stark, evocative live recordings as superior to the album version. In Perth, during the Australia tour of 1966, Dylan treated the audience to an otherwise unknown verse of "Visions of Johanna". This verse introduces two new characters, Amelia, who describes Australia as "God's favourite failure", and "A Maya with gloves", who talks about love and chocolate. There is no indication that Dylan has performed this verse on any other occasion. 1- Lyrics from the Australian performance Amelia, when asked "Was it awesome, your stay in Australia?" Said, "Sort of, but short, this land must be God's favourite failure I left after finding out that even here, even here there is daily a Dawn, I could just as well choose Vancouver or the Ivory Coast" I said "Yes, but in places like those There are no kangaroos." A Maya with gloves, once said "Love is like cacao beans" Well, these visions of Johanna are the darkest pralines. Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply.
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