Sunday, November 13, 2011
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Once more unto the breach, dear friends.
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Author's note: Well, I *was* planning on my next post being about Tour '74, but something I read caught my fancy, and you're getting this instead. Hopefully this is of some (any) interest.
Thursday, March 17, 2011
The amusing thing about Bob Dylan's Tour '74 is that, because of the simply sprawling range of Dylan's entire career, a small offshoot of said career (if you can call something of Tour '74's magnitude "small" - after all, the tour grossed over $90 million, nearly twelve million people applied for the half million seats available, and it was widely considered the biggest tour in rock's nascent history up to that point) is pretty much forgotten by the public at large while still debated and argued over in the Dylan community to this day. And with good reason - the sound that Dylan and his gang of hoodlums cooked up over the two-month jaunt across America is the kind that makes you feel like you have to choose sides, both in its gutbucket rock electric form and the strum-and-snarl acoustic form Dylan adopted for the tour. And from that sound, and its evolution on stage, comes any number of arguments: "Is Before the Flood any good?" "Did Dylan do his fans a disservice with his shouty acoustic style?" "Did The Band do Dylan's fans a disservice with their shouty rock style?" "Why are the first shows on the tour so much better?" "Does the lack of variety kill the shows?" And so on, and so forth.
Saturday, February 12, 2011
And so we come to the close of Planet Waves with one of the most interesting songs of Dylan's career, a song that puts a lot of its potential meaning directly in the title (why wouldn't you immediately think of Dylan's own marriage upon hearing that title?) and also is imbued with a whole different meaning after Dylan's next album came out ("wow, what the hell happened between then and now?"). On top of that, this is one of the precious few Dylan songs since Bringing It All Back Home that is purely acoustic, and from the sounds of things Dylan recorded it more or less in the same slapdash style as he did his acoustic albums (you can hear Dylan's hand slapping against the guitar, or perhaps the guitar hitting the buttons on his shirt, near the end; Dylan plays the third line of every verse differently, to both the song's benefit and detriment; and there are definitely moments where Dylan seems to be searching for words). It's kind of an odd way to end an album that's been billed as a collaborative effort, and yet a fitting way to end an album that has given so much of its lyrical content to love and devotion and such things. In short, it's kind of what you'd expect from our man Bob - a mass of contradictions that still manages to add up to the image we have of him as a whole.