Friday, 4 September 2009

Somewhere down the crazy river - Robbie Robertson

When asked about the inspiration for the song 'Somewhere down the crazy river', producer Daniel Lanois commented: 'Robbie Robertson was describing what it was like to hang out in Arkansas with Levon Helm in his old neighbourhood. He was telling me about the hot nights and fishing with dynamite, and was asking someone for directions for someplace somewhere down the crazy river... I had presented him with this toy instrument that Eno introduced me to called the Suzuki Omnichord, like an electric autoharp. He found a little chord sequence with it that was sweet and wonderful. As he was developing his chord sequence I recorded him and superimposed his storytelling, which I was secretly recording, on top. That was the birth of 'Somewhere down the crazy river.' It's kind of like a guy with a deep voice telling you about steaming nights in Arkansas.'

The song was released as a single and became notable as Robertson's only solo hit in the UK, reaching number 15 on the UK singles chart. In the Dutch Top 40, it did even better, peaking at number 9.

My collection: 7" single no. 1540
Found: Record fair, October 27, 1991
Cost: 2 guilders
Tracks: 'Somewhere down the crazy river' / 'American roulette'

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