Bob Dylan Countdown #106: “Emotionally Yours”

I know people will get on this song for sounding too ’80’s, but my formative years were spent in that decade, so I don’t consider that necessarily such a bad thing. Sure, “Emotionally Yours” could have done with a few less synth horns and the production is a bit overblown, but that was the style. Dylan’s lovely piano work at the beginning is what leaves the most lasting impact anyway.

Honestly, “Emotionally Yours” sounds like it could have been the love theme to an 80’s action flick, maybe even a duet with Dylan joined by Kim Carnes or somebody like that. And, again, there’s no insult in that statement at all. My point is mainly that the craftsmanship is top-notch on this track, as if Bob was showing all the hacks that he could handle the big-hearted ballad with aplomb.

There is also real, unmitigated sweetness in this song. No irony, no obfuscation. Bob has his heart on his sleeve and he doesn’t care who knows about it. I guess people expect him to be super-dynamic all the time, but that’s just silliness. Sometimes music can get by on heartfelt sentiment alone, and “Emotionally Yours” has that in spades.

Is there a better way to show your complete and utter devotion and depth of feeling than by telling someone, “I will always be emotionally yours?” I think not. Is it sappy? Damn right it is. But it’s sap Dylan-style, and that’s good enough for an unrepentant 80’s apologist like me.

(E-mail the author at countdownkid@hotmail.com.)

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4 Comments on “Bob Dylan Countdown #106: “Emotionally Yours””

  1. Kevin says:

    Ive listened to Bob just about everyday for the last 35 years and Emotinally yours has always been one of my favourites

  2. Tim Kelly says:

    Emotionally Yours is dreadful. Lyrics are pap and the melody dull. The overuse of ‘baby’ is painful from a man in his 40s regarded as a good lyricist.

  3. Paul Templeton says:

    I was about twenty when the album came out and while not into a couple of the songs (like CCK which didn’t meld well with the other songs) absolutely loved Emotionally Yours and most of the other songs. Who cares about the production, this song and others like Somethings Burning, Tight Connection are brilliant and Dark Eyes was awesome.


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