In this fourth episode in our Series on the new book release Song & Dance Man: The Art of Bob Dylan (Vol.1) we talk to author Michael Gray about Chapter Four: Dylan’s Use of Language: Toward Complexity. We discuss the changes on songs seen over the course of Dylan’s first seven albums – from Bob Dylan through Blonde on Blonde.
The changes Bob Dylan went through from 1962 through 1966 are myriad, as everyone who has listened to the run of albums and live shows from that period knows. Dylan started playing primarily covers of folk songs and other ballads, and quickly became a distinctive songwriter (with early songs including the notable Song to Woody and Blowin In The Wind) who then grew and changed at perhaps the most incredible pace ever (literally) recorded.
** There is an Extended Version and Video of this episode available. Details below. **
**S02.14 is a Pt.2 – Another 40 Minutes – Discussing This Chapter – Available to FM+ Subscribers**
One of the many things going on in this period is a trend towards complexity of lyric. It’s a long way from ‘How Many Ears Can One Man Have’ to ‘Your Matchbook Songs and Your Gypsy Hymns’. Michael Gray talks about these changes, illustrates them, and highlights the most interesting of them.
As in the prior episodes, we’ll listen to passages from the book and then Michael comments, adds new thoughts, and answers questions. The selections for Chapter Four are read in this episode by Anne Margaret Daniel, a writer and professor and author from Woodstock NY.
Song & Dance Man: The Art of Bob Dylan was first released in 1972 in the UK, and 1973 in the US. It was updated twice before, in the early 80’s and late 90’s – eventually growing to over 900 pages. It’s been loved by Dylan Scholars and fans for all these decades – The Observer (London) Said: “A mammoth work of scholarship, often enthralling and never less than illuminating.” After over a decade out of print, is is being re-issued in three volumes for it’s 50th Anniversary – with the full text and extensive footnotes of the Third Edition reproduced in full.
ABOUT THE READER: ANNE MARGARET DANIEL (@VenetianBlonde)
Anne Margaret is a widely published writer on Bob Dylan – teaches at The New School in NYC and at Bard College. Anne has edited several volumes of F. Scott Fitzgerald, including the WW Norton edition of The Great Gatsby, and a complete collection of his short stories. Links to her writing and website.
- Song & Dance Man: The Art of Bob Dylan Vol.1 (Amazon)
- Song & Dance Man – Book Website
- Michael Gray Website
- Pod Dylan – Michael Gray on ‘Too Late’
- Music Books Podcast – Michal Gray on Song & Dance Man
- Anne Margaret Daniel Website
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Featuring “Blues Walking With Billie” by Michael Kobrin