This Wheel’s on Fire

Highly Appreciated

“This Wheel’s on Fire”  is a song written by Bob Dylan and Rick Danko.  It was originally recorded by Dylan and The Band during their 1967 sessions, portions of which (including this song) comprised the 1975 album, The Basement Tapes.  The Band’s own version appeared on their 1968 album, Music from Big Pink.  (More from Wikipedia)
Great White Wonder opened up a whole world for me.  To me, many of these songs are now as familiar and as solidly in the Bob Dylan canon as anything that I have heard on the Columbia Records studio albums released in the 1960’s, “The Death of Emmett Till” (a great old-school protest song), “Only a Hobo” (my favorite song on Great White Wonder and one of the earliest songs by anyone about the plight of the homeless), Black CrossQuinn the Eskimo (The Mighty Quinn)If You Gotta Go, Go Now (Or Else You Got to Stay All Night)”, Poor Lazarus”, “Baby, Please Don’t Go”, “I Shall Be Released”, “Open the Door, Homer”, “This Wheel’s on Fire”, “I Ain't Got No Home”, and “(As I Go) Ramblin’ ’Round” (the last two being Woody Guthrie songs) among them. 
What attracted the most attention on Great White Wonder were seven songs recorded by Bob Dylan with the Band, probably at a house called Big Pink that is referenced in the name of the debut album released by the BandMusic from Big Pink (1968).  They are clustered mostly on Side 4 and also include the last two songs on Side 2; in order (as listed on the Great White Wonder labels), they are “Mighty Quinn”, This Wheel’s on FireI Shall Be Released, “Open the Door, Richard!”, “Too Much of Nothing”, “Nothing Was Delivered”, and “Tears of Rage”.  All great songs, no question; but this was barely a quarter of the music, and many people seem to think that the earlier acoustical songs that I loved equally well didn’t matter.  I have never felt that way myself; Great White Wonder is great from one end to the other to these ears. 
(September 2017)
Last edited: March 22, 2021