The Bob Dylan is (A) God Thread
Despite my avatar :o) I absolutely love all kinds of music.
One of my favorites is Bob Dylan.....The guy is a genius.
Many people cant get past his singing, but his songwriting and importance to music in the last 40 years is undeniable.
He is one of my absolute heroes.......
This is one my favorites:
"Went to Church on Sunday
And She Passed By
My Love For Her
Is Taking Such a Long Time To Die"
You've got a PM.
I won't try to take anything away from his genius or the appreciation many of us have for him.
But I'll take a swipe at a little criticism just the same.
The frustrating thing with Dylan is that he seems to have no capacity to evaluate the relative brilliance of his own work, putting out ... er, "weaker efforts?" ... such as Self Portrait with the same apparent conviction as something like Blood on the Tracks (despite some attempts later to reframe).
Of late, he seems to require the focus a good producer can offer (Oh Mercy comes to mind) to attain the stratosphere on record.
What an amzing contribution he has made - musically, artistically, socially; as cataloger, writer, performer - easily recognized from his first appearance, though it isn't until Another Side came out that I thought he had found his own voice. I love that album.
I can't count the songs he has written that are just plain incredible, though I find I tend to prefer the songs when covered by others as a rule. His "bootleg" live recordings of '64 and '66 are very satisfying (though, as might be obvious, I tend to appreciate his earlier work over his later).
He has a voice that can be like falling into a cool feather mattress - he wrote Tambourine Man, a modern masterpiece that would validate any writer's existence.
I applaud his blazing his own trail, and know his history (at least what's been written about him) - I just wish for a little more consistency, I guess.
I was just relieved when he ended his flirtation with Born-Again-ism.
Fair critique, Void.
^ Oh, Tangled Up in Blue - I lurv it. Indigo Girls do a great cover!
I did not know that. I am looking it up on YouTube.
Good points Void....I really agree with much of what you said.
He has put out a lot of albums that I was disappointed in also....he got very "streaky" after his amazing start.
Self Portrait is a great example - that is such a weak effort, especially coming off of what might be my favorite album, Nashville Skyline.
(I hate to say I have a favorite since everything before Self Portrait is totally brilliant IMO)
He really blew his rep in the late 70's and 1980's I thought by "mailing it in" on more than a few albums. Even those albums have some treats though, just due to the immense talent he has. Some of the albums are like, "Cmon Bob, you are SO much better than that" - I have the same feeling toward Lennon, some of the albums were pretty spotty considering the brilliance you know they were capable of.
One thing that I am grateful for is the last 4 albums - they have been a breath of fresh air to me. (Excluding the Christmas album )
Time out of Mind and Love and Theft can stand up there with some of his greatest works....the songs are just fantastic.
The producer, Jack Frost really did a great job - of course JF is Dylan - I think he really found his latter day sound by working with Lanois (as you mentioned Oh Mercy)
"Cold Irons Bound", "Make You Feel My Love", "Mississippi", "Honest With Me" - those are just great tunes.
I'm just glad he is bookending his career with some top notch music.
Great Stuff! I love discussing music.....