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Album: Blood On The TracksReleased: 1975
"Idiot Wind" boasts some of Dylan's most malicious lyrics: "I can't feel you anymore/I can't even touch the books you've read/Every time I crawl past your door/I been wishin' I was somebody else instead." This song was written in the summer of 1974, when Bob was separating from his then-wife, Sara. Although Dylan has reportedly since denied this song is about his former wife, Bob and Sara's son, Jakob, claims this, and many other songs on Blood on the Tracks, are "his parents talking."
Dylan re-recorded this in Minnesota while visiting his brother, David. Local musicians were brought in to play with Dylan, while David helped out with production. Dylan liked the results and decided to redo 4 other songs on the album, including "Tangled Up In Blue."
Of the songs Dylan reworked, this one changed the most. Dylan gave it different lyrics and a faster pace than the version he first recorded in New York.
The musicians who played on this were not credited on the album because the packaging had already been printed with the musicians from the New York sessions getting the credit.
The line, "From the Grand Coulee Dam to The Capitol" indicates the length of the United States. The Grand Coulee Dam is in Washington State, The Capitol is on the other side of the country in Washington, D.C. The line is also a nod to Woody Guthrie, who wrote a song called "Grand Coulee Dam
Dylan performed "Idiot Wind" on May 23, 1976, at Hughes Stadium in Fort Collins, Colorado. The performance is remembered for its angry, almost boisterous delivery. Sara Dylan was reportedly front row at the concert, prompting fans to believe this is why Dylan sang it with such snarling ferocity. The recording of the Fort Collins concert can be found on the live album, Hard Rain.
Blood On The Tracks was the first album Dylan recorded under his new contract with Columbia Records, which paid him a lot more than his old one. Dylan left Columbia a year earlier to sign with David Geffen's label, Asylum Records.