Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Bob Dylan, American Poet-Songster

Bob Dylan has shaped and reflected the American character since the early 1960s.  He was one of the singer-songwriters of the "Folk Music Revival" of the 1950s and 1960s that developed in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of New York City.  A new addition to the Music collection is a CD made from a New York City radio program that Dylan appeared on in 1962, just after he recorded his first album:  "Folk Singer's Choice" Compact Disc 22622

Early years:
In 1961 Dylan dropped out of the University of Minnesota to move to New York City, where folk singers he admired were recording folk songs as part of the "folk music revival" based in the Village.  His influences included folk revivalists such as Woody Guthrie and Delta Blues singers such as John Lee Hooker.  He changed his name to Bob Dylan (from Robert Zimmerman) and recorded his first album (Bob Dylan) in 1962.  He had a hit with his second album, Freewheelin' Bob Dylan (1963), which included protest songs such as "Blowin' in the Wind."  He continued to blend folk style with the Civil Rights Movement sentiments with the song, "The Times They Are A-Changing" in 1964.

Electric years:
Fifty years ago, in 1965, Dylan shocked his acoustically-minded fans and colleagues by playing an electric guitar at the Newport Folk Festival.  This marks the shift from his identity as a folk music icon to a rock musician. His album Bringing it all Back Home acoustic on one side and electric on the other, reached the top ten on the Billboard charts.  Having crossed over from the folk movement, he achieved more success with the song "Like a Rolling Stone," from the album Highway 61 Revisited.  His 1969 song, "Lay, Lady, Lay" was another hit.  But he continued to be socially conscious, and in 1971 performeed at the Concert for Bangladesh at Madison Square Garden.

Christian years:
In 1979 Dylan declared himself a born-again Christian and soon released the first of his three gospel albums, Slow Train Coming.  He also gave several speeches, which have been collected in Saved! The Gospel Speeches of Bob Dylan  BT 752 .D94 1990

Later years:
From 1983 to the present Dylan has involved himself in a variety of projects, including 1985's Live Aid concert, tours with The Grateful Dead and Willie Nelson, and  painting.   He wrote his memoirs and also turned his attention to film making and painting.  Rather than touring to promote specific albums, he began a "Never Ending Tour"  which continues today.  His Drawn Blank Series of paintings was exhibited in Europe in 2007-2008. (exhibition catalog:  ND 1839 .D95 A413 2007)

Dylan songs that were hits by other artists:
From the 1960s to the present many diverse artists have covered his songs.  From fellow folk music enthusiasts like Peter, Paul and Mary, The Clancy Brothers, Pete Seeger and Judy Collins to rock giants like Guns n' Roses, Cher, Elvis Presley, David Bowie, Rod Stewart, Pearl Jam, and Maroon 5, Dylan's songs speak to the human condition across genres and generations.  These are just a few of his songs that were covered by other artists:
  • All Along the Watchtower
  • Blowin' in the Wind
  • Don't Think Twice, It's All Right
  • Farewell, Angelina
  • Forever Young
  • Girl from the North Country
  • I Shall Be Released
  • If Not for You
  • It Ain't Me Babe
  • Just Like a Woman
  • Knockin' on Heaven's Door
  • Make You Feel My Love
  • Mr. Tambourine Man
  • Outlaw Blues
  • Quinn the Eskimo (The Mighty Quinn)
  • The Times They are A-Changing'
  • This Wheel's on Fire
  • Tomorrow is a Long Time
1962:  Folksinger's Choice (Live Radio Show)  Compact Disc 22622
1963:  The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan   Compact Disc 17236
1964:  Another Side of Bob Dylan  Compact Disc 17246
1965:  Highway 61 Revisited   Compact Disc 42
1965:  Bringing it All Back Home  Compact Disc 15726
1966:  Blonde on Blonde   Compact Disc 45 & 21960
1968:  Any Day Now  Compact Disc 16147
1969:  Nashville Skyline  Compact Disc 44
1974:  Planet Waves  Compact Disc 21851
1975:  Blood on the Tracks  Compact Disc 18239
1975:  Before the Flood   Compact Disc 66
1975:  Desire  Compact Disc 10699
1979:  Slow Train Coming   Compact Disc 7814 & 10696
1983:  Infidels  Compact Disc 41
1984:  Real Live  Compact Disc 10695
1985:  Empire Burlesque  Compact Disc 6247
1986:  Knocked Out Loaded   Compact Disc 10694
1995:  MTV Unplugged  Compact Disc 20516
1997:  Time Out of Mind  Compact Disc 15057
1999:  Street-Legal  Compact Disc 10697
2001:  Love and Theft  Compact Disc 11637
2006:  Modern Times  Compact Disc 16620

Biograph (1962-1981) Compact Disc 1097 and Compact Disc 13134
Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits, 1962-1966  Compact Disc 18329
Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits, Volume II (1971)  Compact Disc 8088
Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits, Volune III (1994)  Compact Disc 8089
The Bootleg Series, I-III: 1961-1989  Compact Disc 19318
The Bootleg Series, IV:  Live 1966  Compact Disc 21993
The Bootleg Series, VII: No Direction Home: Bootlegs from 1959-1966  Compact Disc 18506

Listen to "Chimes of Freedom" (Compact Disc 21564) for a wide variety of performances of Dylan songs in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of Amnesty International.  Performers include Queens of the Stone Age, Elvis Costello, Cage the Elephant, Maroon 5 and Ke$ha.

Another album of covers is "A Nod to Bob: An Artists' Tribute to Bob Dylan on His Sixtieth Birthday" (Compact Disc 11151)


The Songs of Bob Dylan: From 1966 Through 1975  M 1630.18 .D94 S6 1976

Videos (Educational Technology & Resources Collection):
No Direction Home:  Bob Dylan, directed by Martin Scorsese  DVD Video 1873
Bob Dylan: Don't Look Back (1965 concert tour)  DVD Video 8300

Articles (Ball State Log-In Required):
"Dylan, Bob." Encyclopedia of Popular Music, 4th ed.  Ed. Colin Larkin

Kenneth S. Habib"Dylan, Bob." Grove Music OnlineOxford Music OnlineOxford University Press

RILM Search for Bob Dylan (subject search for academic articles in English):
persistent link

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