“Bob Dylan had crucial second thoughts just as he was about to release “Blood on the Tracks,” the indelible 1975 album filled with songs of separation, heartache, sorrow, rage and regret. Now it’s getting a revealing close-up. “More Blood, More Tracks: The Bootleg Series Vol. 14,” […] unveils all of the initial sessions: the solo, duo and small-group versions of songs that Dylan replaced, for half of the album, with more extroverted full-band recordings. There are an exhaustive deluxe six-CD version with every surviving take and a one-CD compilation of alternate versions of the album’s 10 songs plus one that was omitted, “Up to Me. […] The [set] includes a hardcover volume featuring a trove of Dylan lore: a page-by-page reproduction of a spiral notebook of lyrics, full of cross-outs and alternatives.”

The New York Times

Why critics of the Nobel Committee’s nomination are missing the point
Bob Dylan in the 1960s.
Bob Dylan in the 1960s.

On 13 October, I was surprised and delighted to hear that Bob Dylan was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. The Nobel Committee selected Dylan ‘for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition’. Few would question the songwriter’s contribution to the cultural landscape of the twentieth-century. His albums for Columbia Records in the 1960s document a deep knowledge and respect for American folk music, blues music, and poetry; Dylan adapted and reworked these forms to forge a compelling picaresque of the post-war American landscape.

“[…] literature, when traced back to its earliest forms, began as a poetic oral tradition frequently linked to rhythm, music, and song.”

There have been some who have responded to Dylan’s Nobel nomination with dismay, even anger. Some cite that his status as a songwriter might justify a place in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, but is not a ticket into the literary canon. Such detractors often fail to acknowledge that in addition to his music, Bob Dylan has also published poetry, experimental prose, and even a memoir. That’s to say nothing of his influence on countless more traditional literary figures. But this kind of categorization seems to miss the point. Those who reject Dylan’s candidacy for the Nobel forget that literature, when traced back to its earliest forms, began as a poetic oral tradition frequently linked to rhythm, music, and song. (more…)

Charlotte Jansen (AnOther) on a new book of photographs by Daniel Kramer

In 1964, American photographer Daniel Kramer met a little-known 23-year-old singer and songwriter from Minnesota. His name was Bob Dylan. “I certainly never imagined the extent to which we would work together that year,” Kramer says, “let alone the impact the year of work would have for both of us.” From 1964 to 1965, Kramer would photograph Dylan extensively – and it was during that time that the musician would first synthesise acoustic folk and blues to rock pop, producing what is widely regarded as his most original and influential body of work. The songs he made in that period, from It Ain’t Me Babe to Mr Tambourine Man, would change the course of pop music forever, and go on to inspire countless musicians for decades to come, from John Lennon, Paul McCartney and Neil Young to Bruce Springsteen, David Bowie and Patti Smith.


From Justin Juozapavicius, Associated Press:

Bob Dylan

TULSA, Okla. — More than 6,000 items of Bob Dylan memorabilia such as handwritten lyrics to Tangled Up In Blue and his first contract with a music publisher have found a home in Oklahoma near a museum honoring one of his major influences, folk singer Woody Guthrie.

The archives from Dylan’s six-decade career, acquired by the George Kaiser Family Foundation and the University of Tulsa for between $15 million and $20 million, also include early recordings from 1959 and a wallet that contains Johnny Cash’s former address and phone number.

Dylan, who’s originally from Minnesota, said he’s glad the archives found a home and the Tulsa location makes a lot of sense, “to be included with the works of Woody Guthrie and especially alongside all the valuable artifacts from the Native American Nations.”

“It’s a great honor,” Dylan said in a statement. [Read More]

Yvonne Baby spoke to the American filmmaker in Paris on 17 May 1979. While Malick has often shunned the media spotlight, he spoke candidly about the process of making his 1978 film, Days of Heaven