I Shall Be Released

Bob Dylan

About I Shall Be Released

"I Shall Be Released" is a 1967 song, written by Bob Dylan. The Band recorded the first officially released version of the song for their 1968 debut album, Music from Big Pink, with Richard Manuel singing lead vocals, and Rick Danko and Levon Helm harmonizing on the chorus. The song was also performed near the end of The Band's 1976 farewell concert, The Last Waltz, in which all the night's performers except Muddy Waters, plus Ringo Starr and Ronnie Wood, appeared on the same stage. Additional live recordings by The Band were included on the 1974 concert album Before the Flood and the 2001 expanded CD reissue of Rock of Ages. Dylan recorded two primary versions. The first recording was made in collaboration with The Band during the Basement Tapes sessions in 1967, and released on The Bootleg Series Volumes 1–3 in 1991. A remixed version of the 1967 recording was rereleased with a preliminary take on The Bootleg Series Vol. 11: The Basement Tapes Complete in 2014. Of the initial demo, Rolling Stone's Jann Wenner said, "Curiously enough the music in this song and the high pleading sound of Dylan's voice reminds one of the Bee Gees."In 1971, Dylan recorded the song a second time with a different arrangement and altered lyrics. He was accompanied by Happy Traum and the song was released on Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits Vol. II. 


Year:
1974
3:19
254 
#1

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They say everything can be replaced
Yet every distance is not near
So I remember every face
Of every man who put me here
I see my light come shining
From the west unto the east
Any day now, any day now
I shall be released

They say every man needs protection
They say every man must fall
But I swear I see my reflection
Some place so high above this wall
I see my light come shining
From the west unto the east
Any day now, any day now
I shall be released

Yonder down here in this lonely crowd
Is a man who swears he's not to blame
All day long I hear him shout so loud
Crying out that he's been framed
I see my light come shining
From the west unto the east
Any day now, any day now
I shall be released
Any day now, any day now
I shall be released

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Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan ( /ˈdɪlən/; born Robert Allen Zimmerman; May 24, 1941) is an American singer-songwriter, musician, author, poet and artist. He has been an influential figure in popular music and culture for more than five decades. Much of his most celebrated work dates from the 1960s when he was an informal chronicler and a seemingly reluctant figurehead of social unrest. A number of Dylan's early songs, such as "Blowin' in the Wind" and "The Times They Are a-Changin'", became anthems for the US civil rights and anti-war movements. Leaving his initial base in the culture of folk music behind, Dylan's six-minute single "Like a Rolling Stone" has been described as radically altering the parameters of popular music in … more »

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Written by: Bob Dylan

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind


12 facts about this song

Song's Creation
"I Shall Be Released" is a song written by Bob Dylan. It was written in 1967, during his "Basement Tapes" period.
Notable Performances
Bob Dylan's version of the song was never officially released until inclusion in 'The Bootleg Series Volumes 1-3' in 1991. It was made famous by The Band who recorded it for their debut album 'Music From Big Pink' in 1968.
Lyrics Interpretation
"I Shall Be Released" is often interpreted as a song about freedom, release from different kinds of imprisonment - literal or metaphorical, such as love, time, and even one's soul.
Diversity of Covers
The song has been covered by a large number of artists over the years, including Joe Cocker, Nina Simone, Bette Midler, and Neil Diamond.
Version Differences
There are different versions of "I Shall Be Released," and some may include Dylan's changes in lyrics and arrangements, keeping the song fresh via re-worked presentations.
Legacy & Influences
It is one of his most popular works that has been covered by various artists and has become a standard in rock, folk and pop music.
Concert Participation
The song was performed as the finale of The Band's 1976 farewell concert, with Dylan and various guests performing. The concert was filmed by Martin Scorsese and released as a documentary and concert film called 'The Last Waltz.'
Live Album Performance
"I Shall Be Released" was included in Dylan's 1974 live album 'Before the Flood,' performed with The Band.
Noteworthy Recognition
Rolling Stone magazine named the Band's version of "I Shall Be Released" #244 on their list of "the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time."
Famous Tributes
Many well-known artists have rendered this song live in tribute to Dylan, including U2, Alicia Keys, and even former president Jimmy Carter who read the lyrics aloud during Dylan's MusiCares tribute.
Fund-Raising Song
The song was performed at The Concert for Bangladesh in 1971, where it was sung by George Harrison and Ringo Starr among others as an encore, helping raise funds for UNICEF.
Influential Demo
Dylan's early demo of this song, featuring Richard Manuel on the piano, was among the widely-circulated home tapes that had a major influence on other artists.

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