Bob Dylan Birthday
May 24, 2011 by Post Team
Bob Dylan Birthday, Is Bob Dylan’s birthday today? He is 70. I got a call yesterday from a journalist looking to write a story about Bob’s birthday. I asked if it was “monumental.” And I said no, I do not think it was. But I liked the use of the word monumental. And I think we, for better or for worse, the obvious anniversaries and milestones to pay tribute, to be reminded or remind others of the work, to pay tribute.
He said something along the lines of how what was “monumental” was not so much Bob Dylan turns 70, was the fact that his career is monumental and it still is. There are people in their 20 years still hearing Dylan for the first time. There are people 15 or 26 or the case 36 or 45 or 50 or even 70 could soon become aware of Dylan.
Although I think most people 30 years and over are aware of it, aware of his music. (That’s if they want to be.)
Dylan has released a horrible music. It was a bit of live performances terrible. But, to steal a phrase from Robbie Robertson, has often been the one that was top of the hill and shone the brightest torch.
It was when the reporter noted that Dylan’s career was monumental for the fact that people are still discovering – continues to find many things that are lost, love – I thought it was worth writing a bit about Dylan and my interest in it.
He is mentioned a lot here – as is fitting, since the title of this blog is a reference to my favorite Dylan album. A couple of years I got everyone to talk about his favorite album of Dylan / s. I imagine that, beyond that, it referred to every day, every time I get something in the blog on the banner of topics.
Volatility was the Bootleg Series. 1-3, a three-disc set of outtakes and rarities spanning 1961-1991, which was my introduction to Bob Dylan – my entry to the fans.
From there build masterpieces filled in some gaps in the planned Bootleg (besides presenting full versions of some of the pieces of demonstration.)
After that I held on to any Dylan albums were available. My first was one of his worst moments, Under the Red Sky, which did not stop me. I’ve collected everything that Dylan has been published during the Bootleg series (so far volume nine) and a fair few real bootlegs. All live and studio versions. I’ve seen him play live three times. There was no magic on the screen – moments of magic, anyway – in the three performances. I do not think I saw a good night’s fiasco of him, not a real inspiration. I think probably floating in its own space between the two ends now, unable to give a true inspiration and a live performance these days really serious.
Dylan’s music has meant so much to me over the years. These days I forget it (in a relative sense) for days, weeks, and months. Years can go by where I’m not actively listening to your music – I have a lot of it in my head and in my physical collection. It is always there for me to return. And I always do.
Still bear the label of anything vaguely Dylanesque troubadour. Any vocal pinched, nasal be compared, flatteringly or otherwise, to Bob. And he is still seen as a sign of quality – indeed, an impressive sign of strength – as a writer. If a singer / songwriter compared to Dylan, given some version of Dylan’s new label (which, in reality, only one or two have earned, and only really ever delivered such a) is a high honor. It has come to feel like a backhanded compliment or a curse, sure, but the intent; often the award is a huge prize. Could, in fact, that is too wide – hence the (inevitable), not the recipient.
Dylan is a career that cannot be replicated. Indifference, carelessness, confidence, work ethic. Those are the aspects that stand out for me: principles that make it an independent fighter, a war hero in a war of words, an iconoclast worth so much of the purple prose that has inspired.
But it all comes down to work. And the way it has approached the job. Dylan was never interested in being a pop star. Dylan, in his inimitable fashion, retaining much of the mystery. He remains, perhaps more than ever, an enigma. He travels the world without stopping, giving the people what they want in that regard. But I’ll only ever give them, every night, what he wants. Dylan is to please their fans. But it’s also nice to you. I like that. Like you’ve always done this.
Just as it became more accessible than it had in years – through a satellite radio show – which played up the enigma of state for delighting in the incongruity of Woody Guthrie go to LL Cool J and across all intermediate points. In that sense I think everything is an influence of Bob Dylan, everything is of influence. And everything is changeable, everything is monumental.
An intensive course of Dylan, of course, involves listening to the albums and compilations I’ve mentioned here (except for Under the Red Sky). And, of course, should be directed to The Freewheelin ‘Bob Dylan, Bringing It All Back Home, Highway 61 Revisited, Blonde on Blonde, Desire, Slow Train Coming, Infidels and Time Out of mind.
But that would be to forget the times are changing, ‘Another Side of Bob Dylan, John Wesley Harding, Nashville Skyline, New Morning, Pat Garrett & Billy The Kid, Planet Waves, The Basement Tapes, Street Legal, Oh, Mercy, good as I was for you and World Gone Wrong.
I think Dylan discography huge, sometimes confusing and disconcerting. But I think that is one of the most impressive collections of songs of any artist unique. One of the most inspiring for me and for me. And clearly it is a collection of albums – and songs – that continues to provide inspiration for those who want to one day take steps in the right direction to walk a mile in their shoes, but also continues to provide the influence and inspiration as an organ of the song worth covering – and greed.
For I find inspiring.
Happy 70th Bob.
What do you think of Bob Dylan? What are your favorite songs or albums? Were never a fan – or has always been a fan? What was your path to your music? Or have you stayed away from any road that leads to Dylan? How have you if that’s the case? What do you think is his only classic album? And what do you feel the album has been underrated / undervalued? (I definitely think Oh, Mercy is important to return to form, a total of eight years before Time Out Oo mind seemed to be that Dylan has the train back on track.)
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