Long Bob Dylan Interview about His Forthcoming Album Triplicate

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.

Triplicate is to be released on March 31. (Amazon.com, Amazon UK)

You can listen to about one third of the album here.

Source: Q&A with Bill Flanagan | The Official Bob Dylan Site

Coming Soon: New Bob Dylan Album, Triplicate

Dylan triplicateBob Dylan has been doing what he wants, lately, releasing two albums of standards, mostly songs that Frank Sinatra covered: Shadows in the Night (Amazon.com, Amazon UK) and Fallen Angels (Amazon.com, Amazon UK).

But word on the street was that Dylan had recorded a lot more than the 22 songs on those two records. Now, on March 31, he is going to release Triplicate (Amazon.com, Amazon UK), a triple album with lots more of his recordings of the great American songbook. It will be available on CD, and in a limited vinyl edition (Amazon.com, Amazon UK), as well as the usual download and streaming formats.

Each of the three discs presents a thematic 10-song sequence.

Here’s the contents of the album:

01. I Guess I’ll Have to Change My Plans
02. September of My Years
03. I Could Have Told You
04. Once Upon a Time
05. Stormy Weather
06. This Nearly Was Mine
07. That Old Feeling
08. It Gets Lonely Early
09. My One and Only Love
10. Trade Winds

01. Braggin’
02. As Time Goes By
03. Imagination
04. How Deep is the Ocean
05. P.S. I Love You
06. The Best is Yet to Come
07. But Beautiful
08. Here’s That Rainy Day
09. Where is the One
10. There’s a Flaw in my Flue

01. Day In, Day Out
02. I Couldn’t Sleep a Wink Last Night
03. Sentimental Journey
04. Somewhere Along the Way
05. When the World Was Young
06. These Foolish Things
07. You Go to My Head
08. Stardust
09. It’s Funny to Everyone but Me
10. Why Was I Born

More info on BobDylan.com.

Here’s Bob singing I Could Have Told You.

Bob Dylan’s The Beaten Path: Selling the Brooklyn Bridge – Goon Talk

The beaten path

The Beaten Path is the largest Dylan info dump of new material in years. There are over two hundred paintings and drawings, as well as the titles of these works, to consider. Dylan’s foreword merits an examination. Even the bio of Dylan in the catalog reveals mysteries when looked at closely.

This detailed investigation of Bob Dylan’s new Beaten Path series of artwork looks an Dylan’s influences, finds the sources for many of the works, and looks at the way Dylan describes the artwork. It’s a brilliant piece of detective work.

Source: Bob Dylan’s The Beaten Path: Selling the Brooklyn Bridge

Which eight songs would Bruce Springsteen take to a desert island? – BBC Radio 4 – Desert Island Discs

“When I inducted Dylan into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, I said ‘the snare drum that opens this song feels like someone kicked open the door to your mind.’ Like a Rolling Stone feels like a torrent that comes rushing towards you. Floods your soul, floods your mind. Alerts and wakes you up instantaneously to other worlds, other lives. Other ways of being. It’s perhaps one of the most powerful records ever made and it still means a great deal to me along with all of Dylan’s work.”

Unsurprisingly, this is the one record Bruce Springsteen would save should a storm ever hit his desert island.


Source: BBC Radio 4 – Desert Island Discs, Bruce Springsteen – Which eight songs would Bruce Springsteen take to a desert island?

Watch the Nobel Prize Award Ceremony Stream Today

So Bob Dylan isn’t going to today’s Nobel Prize ceremony, but Patti Smith will be there, performing a song, and someone will be reading Bob’s speech. (There is some speculation that this will be Israel Goldman “Izzy” Young, the head of the Folklore Center in Greenwich Village, who Dylan has known since the early days.

You can watch the ceremony live on YouTube at 3 pm GMT. I think a lot of the program will be uninteresting, but seeing Patti Smith sing for the Nobel committee, and hearing Bob’s speech, will be worth it. (Though I’d much rather have had Bob sing, but that’s not his thing.)

New Edition of Bob Dylan’s Lyrics Now Available

Bob dylan lyricsAbout two years ago, a very large edition of Bob Dylan’s Lyrics Since 1962 was released. The original book is 12″ square, and contains large pages with notes, and full-size reproductions of album covers. It was also very expensive; the list price was $200, and it’s now selling for $299. It’s a great book, but it takes up a lot of space.

A new smaller edition has been released, at a much nicer price: list price is $60, but on Amazon, it’s currently about $38. (Amazon.com, Amazon UK) This book is a lot smaller, doesn’t have the album covers, and doesn’t contain the notes and variants. But for most people, this is a great way to discover the poems of this Nobel prize winning poet and musician.

This is a perfect Christmas gift for your favorite Dylan fan or poetry lover.

Bob Dylan Writes About His New Artwork

Bob Dylan has not often been one to explain himself. He’s written little about his music, and has generally evaded any questions about the meaning of his lyrics. But for a new exhibit of his artwork at the Halcyon Gallery in London, called The Beaten Path, Dylan has penned an essay about these works, discussing his intentions.

Endless highway
In the essay, published in Vanity Fair, Dylan explains that:

For this series of paintings, the idea was to create pictures that would not be misinterpreted or misunderstood by me or anybody else.

He goes on to say:

The watercolors and acrylics done here purposely show little or no emotion, yet I would say they are not necessarily emotionally stringent. The attempt was made to represent reality and images as they are without idealizing them. My idea is to compose works that create stability, working with generalized, universal, and easily identifiable objects.

This is Dylan’s most arresting series of paintings, and one that is likely to make more people appreciate his skills as a visual artist.

You can take a virtual tour of part of the exhibit and see more of the works. In this tour, you see two versions of Endless Highway, the image pictured above. I’ve ordered a print of this; it’s by far the most impressive of the fifteen prints that have recently gone on sale (and sold out) from the collection. I hope that the second Endless Highway becomes available as a print in the future.

The Meaning of Bob Dylan’s Silence – The New York Times

To be a Nobel laureate, however, is to allow “people” to define who one is, to become an object and a public figure rather than a free individual. The Nobel Prize is in fact the ultimate example of bad faith: A small group of Swedish critics pretend to be the voice of God, and the public pretends that the Nobel winner is Literature incarnate. All this pretending is the opposite of the true spirit of literature, which lives only in personal encounters between reader and writer. Mr. Dylan may yet accept the prize, but so far, his refusal to accept the authority of the Swedish Academy has been a wonderful demonstration of what real artistic and philosophical freedom looks like.

An interesting comparison between Dylanesque aloofness and Sartrian individualism.

Source: The Meaning of Bob Dylan’s Silence – The New York Times

Bob Dylan criticised as ‘impolite and arrogant’ by Nobel academy member – The Guardian

A prominent member of the academy that awards the Nobel literature prize has described this year’s laureate, Bob Dylan, as arrogant, citing his total silence since the award was announced last week.

The US singer-songwriter has not responded to repeated phone calls from the Swedish Academy, nor reacted in any way in public to the news.

“It’s impolite and arrogant,” said the academy member, Swedish writer Per Wastberg, in comments aired on SVT public television.

How is this arrogant? Bob Dylan is a very public person who likes to remain private. He puts himself onstage about a hundred times a year, but shuns interviews and public events. He never asked for this prize, and certainly doesn’t need it.

What if they had attributed the prize to J. D. Salinger, when he was alive, and Salinger ignored it? As an author who was famously reclusive, no one would have been surprised. I think people are mistaking Dylan’s public persona as a performer for the way he might be expected to act off stage.

No, the arrogant ones are the members of the Swedish Academy who expected Dylan to fawn after the prize was announced.

Source: Bob Dylan criticised as ‘impolite and arrogant’ by Nobel academy member | Music | The Guardian

Why The Nobel Needs Bob Dylan More Than Dylan Needs The Nobel – Scoop Whoop

Ever since the announcement of the prize, a lot of words have been shed on “literary merit”, without people realising that it has little to do with the Nobel Committee and its decisions. The committee honours the words in a private citizen’s will about how he intended to divest his privately earned fortune. The accountability that we, in this great era of democracy, have thrust upon the Nobel Prize is our own doing and our own problem. The prize never sought out to be the pinnacle of literary recognition; it was meant to award “in the field of literature the most outstanding work in an ideal direction”–a vague enough diktat worthy of Dylan. It is perhaps not surprising then that it has overlooked widely regarded literary masters such as Tolstoy, Proust or Joyce, and awarded non-literary writers such as Russell, Bergson and Churchill.

Bishan Samaddar is an editor at Seagull Books, a small publishing company that has published, in English, a number of Nobel prize winners.

In 2016, it gave the prize to Dylan “for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition”. This statement is unimpeachable. You cannot fault the Nobel Committee for staying true to what it believes is its prerogative. When people say that “song” is not literature, one might remember that this is not the first time that a song-writer has been so recognised. It happened also in 1913. It’s fine to say that Rabindranath Tagore wrote all kinds of things, but his lasting legacy is Rabindrasangeet. Words sung are much older than words written down. The printed word, by which we identify literature today, is a comparatively recent phenomenon. There is a special value to words that are heard, and to say that it doesn’t form literature is not simply to limit its scope but actually to be untrue to it.

Yes, there seems to be a literary establishment that has come to assume that literature has been defined once and for all as prose and poetry, and, perhaps, drama. Yet the earliest literature was song and performance poetry.

Samaddar’s take is a lot more cogent than that of some novelist who thinks the prize is meant as a marketing tool.

Source: Why The Nobel Needs Bob Dylan More Than Dylan Needs The Nobel – Scoop Whoop