Monday, February 20, 2006

Bob Dylan

I discovered Dylan in 2000. Time magazine had featured him on its list of most influential entertainers of the century. I saw a photo of Dylan and about a year later bought my first Dylan album - Live in 1966. Many songs on the B side were so noisy, I could harldy hear Dylan. But tracks on the A side were superb and I was hooked.
Then a friend played me songs from Biograph, especially Blowin' in the Wind. We even tried to use the song on a documentary about Naxalites in Kerala that a group of us made together. But that didn't quite work out.
Then I was gifted a copy of Biograph myself. It is not Dylan's best collection, but it's very comprehensive.

Dylan is not a very good singer, in my opinion. But he is brillant songwriter and can emote words really well. Just listen to him on the Jerry Maquire soundtrack. It's hard to understand Dylan as a rocksinger, because he is anything but one. No rock star that I know of writes songs quite like him. Visions of Johanna, Desolation Row and To Ramona are my favs. I recently began reading Chronicles: Vol One, which is Dylan's memoirs. One of best books on him, we can say, written by himself.

Btw, Dylan didn't sing in the Royal Albert Hall in 1966. The concert actually took place in another hall nearby. Why it's advertised as the Royal Albert Hall concert, well I never did quite find out.