Bob Dylan releases first original album in almost a decade
The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Bob Dylan releases first original album in almost a decade
In this file photo taken on July 22, 2012 Bob Dylan performs on stage during the 21st edition of the Vieilles Charrues music festival in Carhaix-Plouguer, western France. Legendary US folk singer Bob Dylan releases his first album of original songs in eight years on June 19, 2020, with the ten-track "Rough and Rowdy Ways."Dylan's 39th studio album features a 17-minute ballad about the assassination of John F Kennedy, as well as a tribute to American electric bluesman Jimmy Reed. Fred TANNEAU / AFP.

by Peter Hutchison

NEW YORK (AFP).- US folk and rock legend Bob Dylan released his first album of original songs in eight years on Friday with the ten-track "Rough and Rowdy Ways."

Dylan's 39th studio album, which comes 58 years after his first, features a 17-minute ballad about the assassination of John F Kennedy, as well as a tribute to American electric bluesman Jimmy Reed.

"Rough and Rowdy Ways" is the Nobel winner's first collection of new material since "Tempest" in 2012, although he has released a number of cover albums in the interim.

It sees Dylan mix gritty blues with folksy storytelling, his signature raspy voice delivering lyrics that switch between bleakly haunting and darkly humorous.

At times he sounds warm, at other times scathing.

In the album's opening song "I Contain Multitudes," the 79-year-old grapples with mortality.

He starts by singing tenderly, "Today and tomorrow and yesterday too / The flowers are dying like all things do."

Later he says: "I sleep with life and death in the same bed."

Dylan was asked about the lyrics in a recent interview with The New York Times, his first since he won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2016.

"I think about the death of the human race. The long strange trip of the naked ape," he replied.

"Not to be light on it, but everybody's life is so transient. Every human being, no matter how strong or mighty, is frail when it comes to death. I think about it in general terms, not in a personal way."

The songs run through 20th century pop culture, touch on myths and refer to historical and fictional figures -- some light, others tragic.

In "I Contain Multitudes," Dylan cites Indiana Jones, Anne Frank and the Rolling Stones in the same verse.

"Murder Most Foul," first revealed in March, retells the shooting of President Kennedy in Dallas, Texas while describing the evolution of 1960s counterculture.

The song, which rose to the top of the Billboard chart, is packed with artist name-drops including the Eagles, Charlie Parker, Stevie Nicks, Woodstock and The Beatles.

'Absolute classic'
Dylan -- some of whose most-loved songs from the 1960s and 70s addressed police brutality and racism, such as "Hurricane" -- also mentions the Tulsa race massacre of 1921.

The "Birdman of Alcatraz," a convicted murderer who became a respected ornithologist raising birds in prison, gets a mention, too.

Recounting Kennedy's slaying, Dylan sings: "We're gonna kill you with hatred, without any respect / We'll mock you and shock you and we'll put it in your face / We've already got someone here to take your place."

In "False Prophet," the album's six-minute second track, Dylan sounds cocky and unapologetic as he addresses his own mythology.

"I ain't no false prophet / I just said what I said / I'm just here to bring vengeance on somebody's head," he sings over a slow blues riff.

British music magazine NME called the album "arguably his grandest poetic statement yet."

In a review on its website, critic Mark Beaumont wrote "Rough? Perhaps, but it certainly has the warmth and lustre of the intimate and home-made."

Rolling Stone magazine hailed it an "absolute classic," calling it one of Dylan's "most timely albums ever."

"As Dylan pushes 80, his creative vitality remains startling -- and a little frightening," wrote critic Rob Sheffield.

Despite his years, Dylan, awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Barack Obama in 2012, has toured almost non-stop for the past three decades.

The coronavirus crisis forced him to cancel a string of dates in Japan and North America this spring and summer, but he has promised to be back on the road as soon as it's safe to do so.

© Agence France-Presse

Today's News

June 20, 2020

Images of a stolen Van Gogh give experts hope it can be recovered

Microbes could 'help save Old Masters' and catch forgers

Jean Dubuffet's Pourlèche Fiston to highlight Christie's sale

Leonardo's 'quick eye' may be key to Mona Lisa's magnetism

George Rodrigue's iconic pup breaks records at Modern & Contemporary Art Sale

Rare first newspaper printing of The Star Spangled Banner achieves $325,000

Bob Dylan releases first original album in almost a decade

Spain's 'Shadow of the Wind' author Ruiz Zafon dead at 55

Dee Dee Ramone Fender Precision Bass and Prince's Purple Rain Yamaha DX7 synthesizer sold at auction

YouTube hit with discrimination suit by black video artists

Flamenco clubs plead for help as iconic Madrid locale shuts

Paris Ritz sells off its silver... and ashtrays

The Portland Museum of Art promotes Shalini Le Gall to Chief Curator

Note to dancers: 'Drop your self-consciousness' and get into it

For classical music, spring was the season of solos

'Lord of the Rings' and 'Alien' star Ian Holm dies aged 88

New Museum presents "Bedtime Stories": A digital project initiated by Maurizio Cattelan

Dealers of NAADAA come together to launch first Online Art & Antiques Fair

Cities want to remove toxic monuments. But who will take them?

Seeking Shakespeare in the Park this summer? Turn on your radio.

National Museum of Women in the Arts launches new website

Christie's Post-War and Contemporary online-sale series totals $6.6 million

The Rubin Museum launches participatory installation "The Lotus Effect"

Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center cancel fall performances

4 Great Games to Play With Your Partner

4 Most Iconic Chronographs of the Last Decade

6 Things Small Business Marketers Should Do On Twitter

How to win Slots: A Complete Guide for Beginners

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez
Writer: Ofelia Zurbia Betancourt

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. Hommage
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful