I have invented a very tenuous link to work for this blog just to give us an excuse to say 70th Happy Birthday to Bob Dylan.
Bob Dylan is musical marmite.You either love or loathe him.There is no inbetween.
Even for kids of the 1960s when Dylan invented the rule book for intelligently written song poems, and it could be argued pretty much created rock music, (as opposed to the “pop” which came before him) there were lots of people who didnt get on with his weird voice or his “songs with too many words” (as one friend of mine described them.)
At 20 years old Dylan sang like a wise old man,a traveller,the lonesome hobo he had portrayed himself as.
By the time I saw him live ten years ago at Manchester Apollo the voice and the phrasing had reached such an extreme that my missus, who likes but does not love the mans music, asked as Dylan was half way through the first song “Do you know this one?” To which I had to reply “Yep…its All Along The Watchtower!” “I would not have recognised that” she said.
So even for fans Dylan can be a challenge (as anyone who has struggled through some of his lesser albums will attest to) but there is no song writer who can compete with the incredible run of songs that Dylan has written.Memorable classics across several decades covered by hundreds of artists.Albums like Blood On The Tracks,Highway 61 Revisited,Blonde On Blonde,Desire,Time Out Of Mind,Oh Mercy,Another Side Of etc etc are all albums I have lived with and loved for years.
My Auntie bought me Desire when I was first learning acoustic guitar aged thirteen and when I was fourteen and had a Saturday job in a pub I used to buy a Dylan album pretty much every week.I remember walking to Sheffields Bradleys Records on Chapel Walk in foot deep snow to buy Freewheeling.
The Dylan Biograph Boxed set cd is just about the best compilation CD you can buy.
Treat yourself its only £12 on Amazon!
It was the first boxed set to be done properly with a greatest hits and perfect unreleased gems.The first of the Bootleg series is three CDs choc full of unreleased songs which most musicians would have based a carear around.
Anyway I am a fan and just wanted to take some time to say Happy Birthday to Bob Dylan.
How am I going to relate this to work?
Adele is hugely popular and several brides and grooms have chosen her cover of Dylans ” Make You Feel My Love” as their first dance.A few have asked LMM bands to play and sing a version of it.Overs have chosen this song for a DJ to play.Its a beautiful song and one which stopped me in my tracks the first time I heard it (sung by Garth Brooks as Dylans version had somehow passed me by during a period when I was not listening to much Bob Dylan.) Not everyone would realise that its a Bob Dylan song but they would all recognise that its a moving piece of music and from the many cover versions on shows like the X Factor and American Idol it appears its one which lots of people want to sing.
A few months ago I went with a friend to see his daughter, who is eleven, having her piano lesson.She sang us “Make You Feel My Love” and played piano along with her singing.
I’m pretty much a born cynic but it was it was a lovely moment.
Happy Birthday Bob Dylan.