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Today(5/24) one of the, if not THE most influential songwriters and musical artists turns 80 years old.  

Born ROBERT ALLEN ZIMMERMAN on May 24, 1941,  and later adopting the surname Dylan, he broke into New York's Greenwich Village folk scene in the very early '60's and quickly made a name for himself among his contemporaries.  After being brought to Columbia records producer JOHN HAMMOND he recorded and released his eponymous debut LP in 1962.

And the rest, as they say, is music history.   From typical humble beginnings, an American music icon emerged.

 

Whitefang(Dylan "freak" since '63)

 

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Edited by Whitefang
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Whitefang, I saw a comment you left on the Neil Young thread and have to ask you...you like Dylan but not Neil? I find this interesting. Whilst Dylan is obviously a great lyricist and songwriter (though not all the time), his voice is possibly the worst sounding voice in history! I could never get past the talky moaning sound he produces. At least Neil could sing pretty well when he could be bothered - check out the Comes A Time album or his voice on Massey Hall.  I like Dylan songs when covered by other artist who can sing, but the originals are tough to hear! I can sing better than Bob and I'm not a great singer! Most buskers you see on the street can sing better than Bob! I respect him for his songwriting, but there was no need for him to sing.

Edited by cody78
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gotta say Dylan voice to me was great, not technically wonderful

timbre but inspiring and relatable, Neil as well,  BOTH  are great guitar players as well, happy b day to Bob and thanks to him for his work

happy Victoria day....

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Bob was a sponge of music genres and styles in his younger days (before his recording days) and managed to master many of them.  And there WAS a time Bob could actually sing pretty well.

For instance (from that debut LP)..... 

And too, many years after that he still showed hints of smooth vocal ability.

I never heard Bob sound as if he was stuck mid yodel.   Neil however...............  :rolleyes:

Whitefang

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Hard Rain and the Rolling Thunder box, once a month, whether I need to or not.  Theee finest examples of Drunken Brawl Rock And Roll.  Ever.  I know I know, the Dylan Cognoscenti and the studly critics all trash these as his worst.  But man, what a band, warts and all.  Imagine being 16 years old or so and watching Hard Rain on the television machine thinkin "hey!  we do that one better than him!!!".  Good Times Indeed.

rct

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I was never a fan of Neil, (even though we worked together a few times), and I would never have put Dylan in my 'favorites'....but you have to admit Dylan might be the best songwriter of our generation, (followed closely by Townes and John Prine....maybe Paul Simon too).

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1 hour ago, rct said:

Hard Rain and the Rolling Thunder box, once a month, whether I need to or not.  Theee finest examples of Drunken Brawl Rock And Roll.  Ever.  I know I know, the Dylan Cognoscenti and the studly critics all trash these as his worst.  But man, what a band, warts and all.  Imagine being 16 years old or so and watching Hard Rain on the television machine thinkin "hey!  we do that one better than him!!!".  Good Times Indeed.

rct

If you have ever seen him live you would wished you hadn't. He now sings like he has a mouth full of marbles instead of just half of a mouthful.

John Wesley and Blood On The Tracks are essential. And I never want to hear Rainy Day Woman ever again.

Edited by Sgt. Pepper
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1 hour ago, Sgt. Pepper said:

If you have ever seen him live you would wished you hadn't. He now sings like he has a mouth full of marbles instead of just half of a mouthful.

John Wesley and Blood On The Tracks are essential. And I never want to hear Rainy Day Woman ever again.

You tend to be very critical of bands I like, so thanks for that. The Stones are probably the worst sounding band I've ever seen live, but concerts by these old bands are an event. If you go to hear a great performance, you will be disappointed. The last Eric Clapton concert I went to, the crowd was so loud and inattentive, I could hardly even hear the band.

I was learning Dylan songs as a preteen, and I'm nearly 70. If that seems like a long time ago, it was.

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2 hours ago, Sgt. Pepper said:

If you have ever seen him live you would wished you hadn't...

Naahhh.  I wouldn't waste his or my time going to actually see him.  Just that record, that concert event on television, that's enough for me.  In fact, that's the only Dylan I have ever owned.  I've seen enough of him in recent decades to know how bad he can be.

SOY BOMB!

rct

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1 hour ago, zigzag said:

You tend to be very critical of bands I like, so thanks for that. The Stones are probably the worst sounding band I've ever seen live, but concerts by these old bands are an event. If you go to hear a great performance, you will be disappointed. The last Eric Clapton concert I went to, the crowd was so loud and inattentive, I could hardly even hear the band.

I was learning Dylan songs as a preteen, and I'm nearly 70. If that seems like a long time ago, it was.

I am very critical. I am critical of bands "I" really like as well. It aggravates me when bands phone it in. At least now we can stream something before we go out and buy it, if in fact you are going to buy it. Back in the day you either heard your friends copy or it was just your band and you bought the album. You may have heard a song or two on the radio when it came out.

And yes The Stones are atrocious live. There is no need for The Stones to ever record again and a lot of other bands too. I love Yes, but there is no original member in that band and they are a lame caricature of what was once a great Prog Band.

I've seen Dylan live three times and four of them I wish I could have back.

Edited by Sgt. Pepper
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The one and only time I ever saw Dylan or the Band was during his Before the Flood tour (74?). Even then, I much preferred his albums. He's always been known for his crummy voice and inflection, like it or not, but that's who he is, that's his style.  I've always gotten the impression that Dylan never much liked being or performing in public.  

Happy birthday, Bob. You're an icon. Thanks for the music.

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22 hours ago, Whitefang said:

Bob was a sponge of music genres and styles in his younger days (before his recording days) and managed to master many of them.  And there WAS a time Bob could actually sing pretty well.

For instance (from that debut LP)..... 

And too, many years after that he still showed hints of smooth vocal ability.

I never heard Bob sound as if he was stuck mid yodel.   Neil however...............  :rolleyes:

Whitefang

'Stuck in mid yodel'...haha!

I was surprised by the version of 'Gospel Plow' you posted, I could actually listen all the way through without feeling like I needed to turn it off as soon as he started singing! Not sure about 'Lay Lady Lay' though. I never much liked that song, but it's ok I guess. 

I think Dylan sometimes had the stronger lyrics, but Neil had the better songs. Did Dylan ever write a song as good as 'Cowgirl in the Sand'? If he did, I haven't heard it yet! 

Cowgirl in the Sand (Live) - YouTube

Came back to edit to say, actually Boots of Spanish Leather is a fantastic song and my favourite by him, but I still much prefer Cowgirl in the Sand. Now, if Neil sang Boots of Spanish Leather that might be better...

Edited by cody78
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So you don't like Leonard either?  I had to laugh at that.  

I saw Bob 3 times in the UK;  IOW 1969, Blackbushe (like the 2nd coming), and Earl's Court on the 'Slow Train' tour I think it was.

I still have 4 LPs from the 60s too, and "Blood On The Tracks". 

He made people think; or he made them aware of something they weren't aware of before.  At least he did to me.  Some of his stuff was brilliant, great, some was good and some of it wasn't so good.  Dylan as a target is a mile wide.  If you have a huge output over more than half a century there will be some uneven-ness there. 

I'm glad I was here at the same time.   Happy Birthday and I hope he sees many more.

And he, or someone like him, is needed in America - and the World - now more than ever IMO.  But he's old,  he's done his bit and sold his songs.  Is there a 'new Dylan' around somewhere? If so, are we going to listen? What sort of music would it have to be to get through to so many now in the way that he did back then?  And as I'm old would I be open to hearing it?

Edited by jdgm
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1 hour ago, jdgm said:

And he, or someone like him, is needed in America - and the World - now more than ever IMO.  

We had our chance.

All those kids rolling around in the mud at Woodstock saw the writing on the wall less than a year later when Kent State proved that any challenge to oppressive authority would have dire consequences.  In a few years those same kids were climbing aboard The Love Boat to the saccharine sounds of adult contemporary radio — "New Morning", anyone?.

Happy Birthday, Bob Dylan. 

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5 hours ago, cody78 said:

'Stuck in mid yodel'...haha!

I was surprised by the version of 'Gospel Plow' you posted, I could actually listen all the way through without feeling like I needed to turn it off as soon as he started singing! Not sure about 'Lay Lady Lay' though. I never much liked that song, but it's ok I guess. 

I think Dylan sometimes had the stronger lyrics, but Neil had the better songs. Did Dylan ever write a song as good as 'Cowgirl in the Sand'? If he did, I haven't heard it yet! 

Cowgirl in the Sand (Live) - YouTube

Came back to edit to say, actually Boots of Spanish Leather is a fantastic song and my favourite by him, but I still much prefer Cowgirl in the Sand. Now, if Neil sang Boots of Spanish Leather that might be better...

OY!  What an unimpressive tune that is.  There's been Neil tunes I thought were much better.   Better written and sung.  And although I'm fond of saying that picking a favorite Dylan tune is hard for me, I can be honest enough to say perhaps my best loved song by him was also one that articulated a lot of what I was thinking and feeling at the time it came out but that I couldn't put into words as well   And that's----

More of a still relevant dissertation on our culture than just a song IMHO

Whitefang

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18 hours ago, Whitefang said:

OY!  What an unimpressive tune that is.  There's been Neil tunes I thought were much better.   Better written and sung.  And although I'm fond of saying that picking a favorite Dylan tune is hard for me, I can be honest enough to say perhaps my best loved song by him was also one that articulated a lot of what I was thinking and feeling at the time it came out but that I couldn't put into words as well   And that's----

More of a still relevant dissertation on our culture than just a song IMHO

Whitefang

Cowgirl in the Sand uninpressive? One of Neil's most famous and well written tunes? 🙄

The tune you posted is certainly interesting lyrically, but musically not so much.

Sorry, but Neil beats Dylan in so many ways IMO. I guess we have to agree to disagree on this one! 

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21 hours ago, jdgm said:

So you don't like Leonard either?  I had to laugh at that.  

I saw Bob 3 times in the UK;  IOW 1969, Blackbushe (like the 2nd coming), and Earl's Court on the 'Slow Train' tour I think it was.

I still have 4 LPs from the 60s too, and "Blood On The Tracks". 

He made people think; or he made them aware of something they weren't aware of before.  At least he did to me.  Some of his stuff was brilliant, great, some was good and some of it wasn't so good.  Dylan as a target is a mile wide.  If you have a huge output over more than half a century there will be some uneven-ness there. 

I'm glad I was here at the same time.   Happy Birthday and I hope he sees many more.

And he, or someone like him, is needed in America - and the World - now more than ever IMO.  But he's old,  he's done his bit and sold his songs.  Is there a 'new Dylan' around somewhere? If so, are we going to listen? What sort of music would it have to be to get through to so many now in the way that he did back then?  And as I'm old would I be open to hearing it?

About the best thing I can say about Dylan is that after hearing one of his songs, I don't suffer the bottomless feeling of depression that Cohen's insufferable droning causes when his dreck is being played.

See? There is something good I like about Dylan.

RBSinTo

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1 hour ago, RBSinTo said:

About the best thing I can say about Dylan is that after hearing one of his songs, I don't suffer the bottomless feeling of depression that Cohen's insufferable droning causes when his dreck is being played.

See? There is something good I like about Dylan.

RBSinTo

harsh dude, these and other folk dont deserve such put downs.

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2 hours ago, RBSinTo said:

About the best thing I can say about Dylan is that after hearing one of his songs, I don't suffer the bottomless feeling of depression that Cohen's insufferable droning causes when his dreck is being played.

See? There is something good I like about Dylan.

RBSinTo

lol,  made me laugh ...  

 

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1 hour ago, jvi said:

harsh dude, these and other folk dont deserve such put downs.

I think it was sarcasm.  Bagpipes to Banjos -  every instrument can be poked now and then.  Harmonicas, harps -   no instrument is 'perfect'.   Except, of course "The Mouth Harp"  aka "The Jews Harp".   

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34 minutes ago, fortyearspickn said:

I think it was sarcasm.  Bagpipes to Banjos -  every instrument can be poked now and then.  Harmonicas, harps -   no instrument is 'perfect'.   Except, of course "The Mouth Harp"  aka "The Jews Harp".   

I think he meant it, and it's funny. lol. 

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