Song And Dance Man: The Art Of Bob Dylan
Song and Dance Man: The Art of Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan is the greatest and most controversial star of rock music. Others may have imitated, but Dylan has always led, refusing to be dependent upon the fashions that followed him. There is no single definitive album because Dylan has never stopped; he has remained, alone of the rock stars, a poet whose vision has developed with his life.
Michael Gray argues that Dylan should not be judged on the strength of a few albums or a few songs; rather that Dylan has given us a coherent, growing body of work that can be discussed alongside that of the finest poets and writers in the English language. He shows - with extensive quotation from the songs - how Dylan has exploited the idioms of contemporary American life, traditional folk and blues, literature and rock music to create a radically new musical awareness: that Dylan 'unchained public taste' and made art possible in pop.
Besides developing this theme of Dylan's originality and stature the text provides an introduction to and appreciation of his work from 1962 to 190. It looks at the way Dylan uses language and music through the different songs and albums, at how his vision has changed from Protest Singer to Born Again Christian and illuminates what are the common interests and motifs throughout. Above all it is a book about listening to Dylan; about Bob Dylan's art and an appreciation of that artistry.
A previous edition, published in 1972, won critical acclaim on both sides of the Atlantic.
Michael Gray has written extensively on music in Britain and American magazines and papers including the Guardian, Rolling Stone, Crawdaddy and New Musical Express. He has also worked inside the music business both for a record company and in artist management. He lives in England.