"The thing about rock'n'roll is that for me anyway it wasn't enough... There were great catch-phrases and driving pulse rhythms... but the songs weren't serious or didn't reflect life in a realistic way. I knew that when I got into folk music, it was more of a serious type of thing. The songs are filled with more despair, more sadness, more triumph, more faith in the supernatural, much deeper feelings" - Bob Dylan
My history with Bob Dylan begins with only a vague knowledge of him in the 1960s. I was brought up largely on British chart pop, so Dylan sort of passed me by, unlike The Tremeloes or Manfred Mann. I first became aware of him properly with the 1973 single Knockin' On Heaven's Door which I bought aged fourteen. Next up for me was On A Night Like This from Planet Waves. Thus began an exploration into his back catalogue that found me seeking out the single releases of Like A Rolling Stone and The Times They Are A-Changin'. I was hooked, line and sinker.
Lucky was I that Dylan's next release was Blood On The Tracks. You can't ask for much better for my proper introduction into Dylan's albums. Thereafter followed a wonderful journey into the great sixties albums, and Desire, Street Legal and Slow Train Coming. Pretty soon I had everything he had released to date and subsequently bought the new releases as they appeared. I have stuck with him all those years, not as long as some have, of course, but it still seems like a long time. There have, as anyone will tell you, been ups and downs along the way, but I can honestly say that on every album, there are always one or two tracks that really do it. It has been a great journey. The man's music has provided a recurring soundtrack in my life
Dylan may let one down here and there but let's be honest, the man is a genius, possibly the greatest lyricist popular music has ever known, certainly one of the most innovative, thoughtful, expressive and poetic. I can't actually find the words to do him and his work justice. It speaks for itself.
I am certainly no Dylanologist, or would ever claim to be. Most of what I say about Dylan is probably horse shit, to be honest. None of us really know what went on in his head, it is endless fun trying to figure it out through his words and music.
This is where a lifetime of albums began. The music speaks for itself.