Category: Music

  • Bill Bailey Reunited With The Famous Five

    Bill Bailey, the well known actor, comedian, musician and polymath, was reunited with myself and other members of the pop band The Famous Five on BBC2’s Comedy Map Of Britain. I’ve captured the relevant footage below. As for me (Tim), I’m on the far right at the table in the Moles club scene. But can…

  • 50 Reasons To Love Bob Dylan’s Blood On The Tracks

    ‘I was burned out from exhaustion, buried in the hail, poisoned in the bushes, blown out on the trail, hunted like a crocodile, ravaged in the corn’ (Shelter From The Storm) – Dylan’s use of symbolic language here is perfect, reflecting back to the ‘creature void of form’ who comes in from the wilderness. It…

  • Song Structure in Bob Dylan’s Blood On The Tracks

    In many of the songs on Blood On The Tracks, Dylan adopts what I call a ‘single-stanza’ structure, which he uses very skillfully to highlight the emotional and thematic resonances of the lyrics. Tangled Up In Blue, Simple Twist of Fate, You’re A Big Girl Now, Lily, Rosemary and The Jack Of Hearts, Shelter From…

  • Blood On The Tracks and the Quest for Salvation

    Michael Gray, in his book Song And Dance Man III, sees in Blood On The Tracks a crucial transformation in Dylan’s quest for salvation. From Blood On The Tracks onwards, Dylan shifts from woman as saviour: and to trace this process is to hear his slow train in the distance – to find his quest…

  • Free Beethoven and Mozart Recordings via Podcast

    The following post at Open Culture – Open Culture: Free Beethoven and Mozart Recordings via Podcast – promotes free classical recordings available by podcast on the iTunes music store. If the iTunes links in the above blog post don’t work for you (I got ‘failed to find the application’ error messages), go to the music…

  • Themes of Identity in Blood On The Tracks

    Aidan Day’s book Jokerman: Reading The Lyrics Of Bob Dylan provides some of the best analysis of Dylan’s work I’ve read (coincidentally, the same Aidan Day is also the editor of my Penguin edition of the Selected Poems of Tennyson). Day sees Tangled Up In Blue and Shelter From The Storm as of a type…

  • Defying Time in Bob Dylan’s Blood On The Tracks

    Blood On The Tracks is an album of songs concerned totally with ‘the inexorable disintegration of relationships and with the dignity of keeping on trying to reintegrate them against all odds’ (Michael Gray, Song and Dance Man III). To express this theme he uses a finely honed craft and a conscious and very specific approach…

  • Bob Dylan’s Desolation Row and Tangled Up In Blue – From Complexity to Simplicity

    Michael Gray, in his superb book on Bob Dylan’s art, Song and Dance Man III, sees Dylan’s use of language in the 1970s developing towards a new simplicity, after the complexities that make up much of his 1960s output. This process began immediately after the infamous motorcycle crash in 1966, following his critically and commercially…

  • Blood On The Tracks – Dylan’s Best Album?

    I know many fans consider Blood On The Tracks Bob Dylan’s best album. It’s certainly a contender. The latest poll of Dylan’s album, in the January 2007 issue of Mojo magazine, has Blood On The Tracks at number 3 in a countdown of the top 50 Dylan albums, after Blonde On Blonde (no.1) and Highway…

  • Andras Schiff Plays and Discusses the Complete Beethoven Piano Sonatas – Free Downloads

    It’s not too late to get the entire set of mp3s from the Guardian, featuring reknowned pianist Andras Schiff playing and discussing the complete Beethoven Piano Sonatas. They’re free to download, and you can subscribe to the podcast to receive them automatically as they get uploaded. It’s a rare chance to get a master musician’s…