Mudcat Café message #257374 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #8683   Message #257374
Posted By: McGrath of Harlow
13-Jul-00 - 08:48 PM
Thread Name: The Bob Dylan Mystique
Subject: RE: The Bob Dylan Mystique
Horses for courses. I love Planet Waves.

Actually, part from most of Self portrait (and I like some of that even), there's not a Dylan record I don't love.

I remember something someone once wrote or said which summed it up for me. It might even have been the lad himself. The truth is, he isn't really a song writer in the sense that somoene like Ewan McColl, and a few of the other people mentioned were or are. He's a coiner and collector of phrases which he sticks together, like a sort of verbal collage.

In his best songs, he takes phrases which have various kinds of association, various kinds of reverberations in your mind, and he sticks them together with other phrases in a way that seems almost random at times. But it somehow works, and sets you thinking along some individual track that is personal to you,

In the late 60s I was working on a movement paper, and we used to find that with almost any story, you could pick a headline out of a Dylan song that would fit it, and would change the way you thought about the song afterwards.

You don't have to choose sides - it's not like some kind of contest where you pick your candidate and rubbish the rest. Appreciating Bob Dylan doesn't mean you have to discard Phil Ochs or Tom Paxton or Ewan McColl or Vin Garbutt or Colum Sands. But if you don't appreciate Dylan, you're missing out on something. Seriously.

Interesting that Andrew Motion the English Poet Laureate gets quoted as saying Dylan's a significant poet. Actually I reckon he's a long long way more significant than Andrew Motion is, but it was good of the man. Now if Seamus Heaney were to say he reckoned Dylan as a poet, that would be something indeed...(He may well have. He's about the same age, as I am. "Talkin' about my generation"... )