Tag: Bob Dylan

  • Lily, Rosemary And The Jack Of Hearts – Layers of Meaning

    This post is a response to Tom’s comment on a previous post, where he asserts the following about the Dylan song Lily, Rosemary And The Jack Of Hearts: But I think it’s right to say that Dylan produces atmosphere but that’s about all isn’t it? So, I like the Virginia Woolf quote as well [‘It […]

  • 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 […]

  • 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 […]

  • Cambridge Forum Radio: Christopher Ricks on Bob Dylan

    Here’s something to check out if you’re interested in serious analysis of Bob Dylan’s work. In fact it’s worth listening to anyway, as an excellent example of literary analysis. And it’s free on the iTunes music store – if you have iTunes on your PC or Mac, click on ‘launch application’ when prompted and it […]