Slightly early but tomorrow Bob hits 80. Legend, nearly sums him up.As he wrote, "Time is a jet plane, it moves too fast".
Ok, so I haven't kept you guys updated with my Dylan thoughts, because I kinda stopped listening after revisiting Blonde on Blonde, as I got stuck into The River Tour 2016 and got back on track with watching films. However something has happened, and is happening over the last few weeks, and I've gotta tell you about it.
I think one of the reasons I halted was because I wanted to listen to the albums in chronological order, but wanted to watch Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid before listening to Bob's soundtrack. I still haven't gotten up to that album, but I watched Peckinpah's film at the start of the month, and oh my God have I been enjoying listening to Bob over the last two or three weeks. Partly inspired by the film's soundtrack and my rekindled love for "Knockin' on Heaven's Door", I'm finding myself playing select songs and loving them instead of listening to one album after the next, and to be perfectly honest I think that's what I've wanted in all of those past attempts to try and become a 'fan'.
I adore "It's All Over Now, Baby Blue", it's now my favourite song of his (sorry "Masters of War"), but coming in hot is "Desolation Row". The latter didn't click in past plays of Highway 61, and I only ended up listening to it three times in a row after an instinctive play - because I wanted to listen to it. Again, that's what I've wanted!
Tonight, after a riveting weekend of No Nukes, I've been listening to a couple of songs from albums I haven't gotten up to yet; "Ring Them Bells" (of which I've loved the Sarah Jarosz cover since Bruce first played it on My Home to Yours #1), "Murder Most Foul", and right now "When I Paint My Masterpiece". I'm finding myself reading through his Wiki, reading small snippets of his long career, and I'm just excited. "Murder Most Foul" I did play what with it being the anniversary of JFK's assassination, and scrolling up to see that verse from "I Shall Be Free" I posted in May, and realising that was written when JFK was alive is a staggering reminder of Bob's longevity and legacy. Woah.
Got "I Shall Be Released" on as I write this paragraph. I 'forgot' he wrote this one, but it's another one I love a cover of, as Kirk Ross' rendition at the end of Captain Fantastic is, well yeah, and remembering I still have the albums of this and "Bells" to get to is adding to that excitement.
So much more to ramble on about, what's for sure is that it won't be another six months before my next Bob update.
I've said quite often in the past that I've tried with Dylan, as well as many other artists, but only to fail to connect to him/them in the same way I have with Springsteen.
Anyway, I was scrolling through YouTube on Thursday and noticed you can preview songs (on TV, not sure about on desktop) and skimmed over "Like a Rolling Stone". Strangely, that drumbeat flicked a switch in my head, and at a point where I'm enjoying finishing up my High Hopes Tour reviews, but kinda bored with listening to only Live Downloads - Archive Series releases on my walks, I decided I'd try it again:
I will listen to all of Bob Dylan's albums from start to finish.
Last year I finally watched The Sopranos, I finally watched most of those notable films that I hadn't seen, hell at some point I'm gonna try and read a bunch of notable books, but now my focus is Bob. I've told myself the goal isn't to get a replacement. I'm not looking for my next Bruce Springsteen (haha). All I want is to properly listen to his albums and songs like I probably should have done a long time ago.
As I write this I'm over halfway into Bringing It All Back Home, about to play "115th Dream" again because I had to pause it and I regret it. And up to now I have to say I've really enjoyed these listening experiences. I know I'm only repeating what thousands (millions?) have said over the last sixty years, but listening to this music chronologically is a thoroughly enjoyable journey through American History. I've tried mostly to focus on the words - yes he's certainly a poet, and he definitely didn't blow it - and it's staggering listening to songs on these first five albums knowing he hadn't even written and released certain other songs yet. "Rolling Stone" and all.
Is it wrong of me to say he actually isn't that bad of a singer either? I imagine/know his vocals are gonna get much worse, but up to now I think I've genuinely underestimated him all my life.
Oh, and I think I really need to watch Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid over the next few days too.
I'm not the biggest Dylan fan. I have a cross section of albums but am far from familiar with much of the catalogue.
Infact, it was only after recently remembering Bruce mentioned it as an inspiration for Lucky Town that I listened to Bob's "Series Of Dreams". Wow... that track really blew my mind.
His legacy certainly looms large, one of them being some of the incredible cover versions of his songs done by so many. One of my current favourites in this regard...
Bruce: "Bob Dylan is the father of my country". Bob Dylan is not only by far the most important artist in the history of rock music, his songs will be sung long after the genre itself is outdated.
Bob Dylan: 80 things you may not know about him on his 80th birthday
How can this man be 80?
Happy Birthday maestro.
He taught me English - at the age of 14 I tried to figure out the words to Positively 4th Street and Like a Rolling Stone. Nearly drove my mother mad because I played the record over and over again.
Years and years later records came with text sheets. But I always remember trying to understand Bobby's mumblings as a labour of love.
Silly me .... I could not figure out why our college radio station was playing so much Dylan yesterday .....I always worry that someone died. I enjoyed this.