Bob Dylan has given a long interview to Bill Flanagan on BobDylan.com. In it, he discusses his forthcoming Triplicate in detail.
But one thing he says early in the interview is worth noting:
Each disc is 32 minutes long — you could have put it all on 2 CDs. Is there something about the 10 song, 32 minute length that appeals to you?
Sure, it’s the number of completion. It’s a lucky number, and it’s symbolic of light. As far as the 32 minutes, that’s about the limit to the number of minutes on a long playing record where the sound is most powerful, 15 minutes to a side. My records were always overloaded on both sides. Too many minutes to be recorded or mastered properly. My songs were too long and didn’t fit the audio format of an LP. The sound was thin and you would have to turn your record player up to nine or ten to hear it well. So these CDs to me represent the LPs that I should have been making.
Most people don’t realize – especially those who think vinyl sounds so great – that the way LPs work, the sound degrades as the grooves get closer to the center. Because of this, a 15-minute side sounds fine, but when you try to go to 20 or 25 minutes, it sounds thinner. It’s interesting that Dylan still considers this to be the ideal length for a recording.
One other notable comment:
An awful lot of greats have died in the last year, Muhammad Ali, Merle Haggard, Leonard Cohen, Leon Russell. Any of them hit you especially hard?
Sure, they all did — we were like brothers, we lived on the same street and they all left empty spaces where they used to stand. It’s lonesome without them.
You can listen to about one third of the album here.