Sep 19

Simple Twist of Fate

On this day (September 19) in 1974 Bob Dylan recorded ‘Simple Twist of Fate’ in New York City. It’s been reinterpreted by artists as varied as Jerry Garcia and Diana Krall. 

I’ve always been attracted to this song. Perhaps one reason is that Dylan’s lyric notebook reveals that it was originally titled “4th Street Affair” referring to a time when he lived in an apartment on West 4th Street in Greenwich Village. I lived around the corner on Cornelia Street in the early ’70’s while I was at NYU.

In my opinion, this is an example of one of the ways Dylan changed song writing by throwing out conventions.  Even without the need for any words, chorus or bridge, he had (has) me with the just the song name and the simple repetitive 5-chord progression that is evocative of nostalgia of the title ‘Simple Twist of Fate’ . I’ve included the first 4 verses that seemingly describe a fleeting one night affair.

I look at this song as kind of a minimalist musical mantra, another example of Dylan’s genius.

This performance is dedicated to my patient Barbara M.


Dr. Weiss

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Bosendorfer piano sound: for this recording I’m playing a Yamaha Clavinova – which has the same keyboard action as a traditional acoustic piano, but there are no strings. Pressing a key activates (in this case) a sound which was sampled from a Bösendorfer Imperial Concert Grand piano. Try listening to it with a good set of headphones! It sounds better than any piano I’ve ever owned!!