Dylanology

Bob Dylan. Another year, another set of out-takes, almost always curiously better than the originals. His Vol. 8 (1989-2006) comes out any day now – 2 discs, or for an extra £60, three. What’s that about? (You also get a book of photos and a box.) It is probably designed to catch completists like me.

Not this time.

Oddly, for someone my generation, I’ve only seen BD live on one occasion – and that was about 4/5 years ago in Cardiff. He wore a pink suit and his voice wasn’t in good shape. But at least I can say I’ve seen him (who to, though? My daughter? Er…)

But I do worship at the shrine, all the same. I first heard him when I was 12 (‘Bringing It All Back Home’). What I remember most about that is that I had not a clue what the words were, and cared very little about that. What I liked, instantly, was his voice. I liked its unpredictable sneer, and for the most part, I still do. Maybe not ‘Nashville Skyline’, but I think it’s time to forgive and forget.

I bought Uncut again this month – as per usual, for the CD. I subscribe to too many magazines, and yet I am sure I’d be better off with a subscription to Uncut. This month’s is a selection of out-of-copyright songs featured on Dylan’s radio show, including a great Guy Lombardo song from 1949 – ‘Enjoy yourself,’ sings Guy, ‘It’s later than you think.’ I am going to have that played at my funeral. However, my funeral is getting longer in this respect. It may take several hours. Or years, if my whole record collection is played.

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