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21. On the Road With Bob Dylan
22. Studio A: The Bob Dylan Reader
23. Bob Dylan: A Biography
24. Man Gave Names to All the Animals
25. Shelter from the Storm: Bob Dylan's
26. The Bob Dylan Scrapbook, 1956-1966
27. Bob Dylan and Philosophy (Popular
28. Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits: Complete
29. Like a Complete Unknown: The Poetry
30. Revolution in the Air: The Songs
31. Like a Rolling Stone: Bob Dylan
32. The Songs He Didn't Write: Bob
34. Bob Dylan Anthology: Guitar Tab
35. Miss O'Dell: Hard Days and Long
36. No Direction Home: The Life and
37. Song and Dance Man III: The Art
38. ISIS: A Bob Dylan Anthology
39. Highway 61 Revisited: Bob Dylan's
40. Bob Dylan: Intimate Insights from

21. On the Road With Bob Dylan
by Larry Sloman
Paperback: 480 Pages (2002-08-27)
list price: US$14.95 -- used & new: US$6.90
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1400045967
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
"The War and Peace of Rock and Roll." —Bob Dylan

In 1975, as Bob Dylan emerged from eight years of seclusion, he dreamed of putting together a traveling music show that would trek across the country like a psychedelic carnival. The dream became reality, and On the Road with Bob Dylan is the ultimate behind-the-scenes look at what happened when Dylan and the Rolling Thunder Revue took to the streets of America.

With the intimate detail of a diary, Larry "Ratso" Sloman’s mesmerizing description of the legendary tour both transports us to a celebrated period in rock history and provides us with a vivid snapshot of Dylan during this extraordinary time. This reissue of the 1978 classic resonates more than ever as it chronicles one of the most glittering rock circuses ever assembled, with a cast that includes Joan Baez, Robbie Robertson, Joni Mitchell, Allen Ginsberg, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, and a wild entourage of groupies, misfits, sinners, and saints who trailed along for the ride. Sloman candidly captures the all-night revelry and musical prowess—from the backstage antics to impromptu jams—that made the tour a nearly mystical experience.

Complete with vintage photos and a new introduction by renowned Texas musician, mystery writer, and Revue member Kinky Friedman, this is an unparalleled treat for Dylan fans old and new. Without question, On the Road with Bob Dylan is a remarkable, revealing piece of writing and a rare up-close and personal view of Dylan on tour. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (12)

2-0 out of 5 stars The Amazing Adventure of Ratso Slocum
The title of my review is the title of the book I imagine Larry Sloman originally submitted to his publisher. He refers to himself in the third person and by the pseudonym "Ratso Slocum" throughout most of the book which alone makes it nearly unreadable.Somewhere hidden within ON THE ROAD WITH BOB DYLAN is a really interesting, 60 page look at Dylan's Rolling Thunder Review.Unfortunately the actual published book is nearly 500 pages.Eighty percent of the book is composed of anecdotes of Mr. Slocum's adventures following the Rolling Thunder Review.Very little of it directly relates to the artists on tour or Bob Dylan himself.Ironically, "Ratso Slocum" might be the most unlikable character of all (and there are lots of them in these pages).Very little attention is paid to the music and the performances (literally Mr. Slocum doesn't pay attention to most of the concerts.He talks through them, gets kicked out of them or has one of his adventures during them that you won't care about anyway).Wasted opportunity all around.I recommend Paul Williams' PERFORMING ARTIST books for a look at Dylan as an artist.

4-0 out of 5 stars still reading, and geting used to it
Since Dylan came, I've been there.So have lots of us.He's the iconic figure that helps connect the dots for everybody 50 or 60 years old.I've read, collected, listened, copied, imitated, shunned, exhorted, and every other kind of recognizable mental acknowledgment an attitude for the times.I like finding out new facts about the real Bob Dylan.The more I read about Bob, the more it seems the same stories keep resurfacing with a different twist.Everything is a version of what some "out of the dark" associated person may have said or for sure, according to quotes, did say.Who knows?Before I began plowing into this "On The Road One",I just finished another Dylan book, "Behind The Shades, Revisited", .So far, it's very interesting reading, except for the fact I stay confused about this Ratso fellow.He never seems to show up in any other Dylan biographies, although he writes as if he was continuously on the scene. For me the Rolling Thunder sections of the other Dylan histories represented a boring aspect of the times.Especially when the outsiders are brought into the fold and they are illuminated for the reader's interest.I think the Rolling Thunder aspect of Dylan's history is a large pathetic waste of Dylan's life and performances.There's very little quality listen able music from those times.The jam band, drug infested, hedonistic debacles staged every night throughout the World's stages seem boring.I guess you had to have been there, and probably on stage.So I'm going to continue digging through this first person Dylan tale, and see if Ratso becomes more bonified, and maybe even give the "Renaldo and Clara" episodes more thought.

1-0 out of 5 stars Sloman's Whine Fest
This book should have been called, "On the Road with Larry Sloman."This has to be the WORST book ever written about Bob Dylan because it has little to do with Dylan, there is very little in the book about Dylan and is ALL about the writer (Sloman) to the degree, at some point in the middle, he starts referring to himself,annoyingly, in the third person.It is about the dislike of his presence by Dylan's people, his difficulty as being a reporter as a wannabe and is self serving. The only redeemable aspect of this book is his coffee shop conversations with Joni Mitchell at the end of the book.

If you enjoy page after page after page of incessant whining and childish, pouting by an author then by all means buy it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Obviously Five Stars
Sloman's rant cuts to the bone and shares more than enough scraps from the feast of Dylan's mid '70's rock n' roll circus. His gonzo inspired adventure and inside/outside perspective are essential to understanding the status system of the stars on tour and the underbelly of the music industry. He writes with passion, humour, and desire. To be sure, he seems a pathetic sycophant at times, often treated like a mascot by the musicians and promoters, but his honesty and sincerity in not shying away from a less-than-flattering portrait of his situation makes one believe all the more in the truth of his tale. Anyone who feels that the book needs more Dylan and less Sloman clearly misses the point. His descriptions of Dylan as mystery man, his cogent intuitions about Rubin Carter, and his revelations about Joni Mitchell's songwriting process are bang-on. This is decidedly NOT a biography of Dylan, it is a story of one man's journey ON THE ROAD with a Bob Dylan tour. Any attempt on Sloman's part to disguise his experience behind a false veil of objectivity would render the story mute and destroy its delightful spirit. Hat's off to Ratso for a brilliant rendering of the Rolling Thunder Review.

4-0 out of 5 stars far more depth than most rock books
i read a LOT of books on music, and though a solid Dylan fan, i wouldn't call myself a fanatic.This book really stands out in the level of detail it relates, and i would say it's as good as any writings about what it's actually like to be on a big rock tour.Sloman (also the ghostwriter of howard stern's 2 books) tape recorded 100s of hours of backstage chatter, so you do really get an accurate picture of the personalities here.Yes, its' slanted to the positive, since Ratso is certainly a superfan, but it's by no means a snow job.i'd compare it to "spanish tony" sanchez's book on the Stones insofar as you get far better insights to the players involved from this kind of account as you do a typical bio.i've read 5 or 6 other dylan bios and found this to be most enjoyable and insightful.The only reason i woudn't give it 5 stars is that you really have to be a pretty big fan of Dylan, folkies, or the rock touring world in general, because the level of depth here also means it's not for the more casual fan etc. ... Read more

22. Studio A: The Bob Dylan Reader
Paperback: 288 Pages (2005-11-21)
list price: US$15.95 -- used & new: US$10.29
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0393327426
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
"The most absorbing, wide-ranging and stimulating body of writing about the mighty Bob that's ever been assembled."--Salman RushdieHailed by Publishers Weekly as "not only the best writing on the ever-changing folk singer, but also some of the best writing about any musician around," Studio A presents Bob Dylan's unique literary legacy in a collection that is quintessentially Dylan: mosaic, offbeat, poetic. This "astutely chosen and intelligently annotated" collection (Time Out London) gathers over fifty articles, poems, essays, speeches, literary criticisms, and interviews; many previously unpublished. Individually, these pieces offer insight into the man and his time, but collectively they reveal the coming-of-age of American cultural criticism in their "sweeping view of both Dylan and the changing times he so eloquently captured in his music" (Publishers Weekly). With Sam Shepard, Bruce Springsteen, Allen Ginsberg, Johnny Cash, Greil Marcus, Joyce Carol Oates, Gary Giddins, Rick Moody, Tom Piazza, Barry Hannah, and Dylan himself on the list of contributors, Studio A is truly "a vital document" (New York Times) for all fans. 8 pages of photographs ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Dylan Resource
Studio A: The Bob Dylan Reader is all you could really ask for in terms of a Bob Dylan reader. As a music writer myself, I checked this book out for some Dylan research. It has proved much more helpful to me than other Dylan resources, even the 1,000 page Bob Dylan Encyclopedia. The materials you'll find inside range from interviews to reviews to poetry to literary analysis. I would have liked to have read more analysis, but that is just personal taste. I would say that Hedin chose the pieces very well, skirting the line between an actual college-level "reader" and something that is entertaining to read. It reminds me of the Popular Philosophy series that is out now (like Battlestar Galactica & Philosophy, Seinfeld & Philosophy, Radiohead & Philosophy, etc.), but it is more extensive and more interdisciplinary.

I recommend it. ... Read more

23. Bob Dylan: A Biography
by Anthony Scaduto
Paperback: 350 Pages (2001-11-01)
list price: US$17.95 -- used & new: US$181.17
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1900924234
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Reissue of definitive biography that covers Dylan's rise from James Dean-obsessed teenager to Woody Guthrie acolyte, through the Greenwich folk days to the rock super-stardom of "Like A Rolling Stone" and onwards. The author draws exclusively on first hand interviews with Dylan himself-unlike all subsequent biographies-as well as Joan Baez, Phil Ochs and other friends and insiders. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (8)

5-0 out of 5 stars Classic starting point
Though it is cleansed and somewhat sanctioned, it is one of the first bios of Dylan. It's age has made it seem quaint, but if you are interested in Dylan it is a must read.

4-0 out of 5 stars Tony's Bob
This is a real gem of a book, no one can call themselves a Dylan fan without a copy of this on their shelves.This book contains countless interviews with friends,peers and lovers but most importantly it also contains many interviews with Bob Dylan himself- these interviews were conducted by Scaduto.While reading the book you may find extra little bits added to stories that Dylan told Scaduto about.Dylan talks at length about his childhood, his influences, the 60s, and even a little bit about his family!I loved this book and so did Bob Dylan 'I rather enjoyed it, it was very straight and some of it was exactly the way it was'. The only short coming of this book as that it does not reach the present day, the book was published at the dawn of the 70s in the Dylan era.

5-0 out of 5 stars mostest with the firstest
With all due respect to the Village Voice's Toby Thompson, Tony Scaduto got there firstest with the mostest in the Dylan bio sweepstakes.Shelton, Spitz and Heylin built on this foundation.Ms. Ponsonby's claim regarding Dylan's disagreements is belied by his having cooperated at the time.Certainly Scaduto's interpretations are problematic, as are those of his sources; but his information remains undisturbed by his successors in interest.Not to cast it as a substitute for the wilder vintage interviews, no other Dylan book conveys the authentic flavor of the period with anything like Scaduto's journalistic integrity.Still indispensable.

4-0 out of 5 stars VALUABLE RESOURCE
Although there are some dubious sources for this work, overall it gives a fascinating insight into the development of the Bob Dylan persona. I wish that someone would write such book following up to the present day. Thereader needs to bear in mind that Dylan thought a lot of this book untrue!

5-0 out of 5 stars when we were kings
this book tells all about the golden era of dylan,before he ever made a bad,indifferent or,worst of all,meaningless record.out of print for years and cherished by fans,it's nice to see this title in print again ... Read more

24. Man Gave Names to All the Animals
by Bob Dylan
Hardcover: 32 Pages (2010-09-07)
list price: US$17.95 -- used & new: US$8.96
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1402768583
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description

Whimsical and witty, “Man Gave Names to All the Animals” first appeared on Bob Dylan's album Slow Train Coming in 1979. Illustrator Jim Arnosky has now crafted a stunning picture book adaptation of Dylan's song that's a treat for both children and adults, with breathtaking images of more than 170 animals plus a CD of Dylan's original recording.
The revered musical legend rarely allows his songs to be illustrated, and Arnosky has done the song proud with a parade of spectacular creatures ready to receive their names-until the surprise ending, when children get to name an animal themselves!
... Read more

Customer Reviews (8)

3-0 out of 5 stars strictkly for Bob Dylan fans.
Bob Dylan's song `Man Gave Names to All the Animals' from his album `Long Train Running' is the text in this illustrated book for children. The drawings by Jim Arnosky are colorful and eye catching sure to interest very young non-readers. Unfortunately Arnosky's presentations have creatures from different biomes appearing in the same pictures. Granted this is not a biology book but children w/b presented with a variety of misleading information in their young lives, why not at minimum present something factual? Also, the lyrics to the song are written phonetically. When Dylan pronounces `I' as `Ah', the printed text reflects the pronunciation. Again, why have misleading information in a children's book? Also, at the end of the book there is a listing by name of the animals that appear in the book but no cross-reference to help readers put names w/pictures. (There was one animal drawing I could not identify). One positive aspect of this volume is that the book does contain a cd of Dylan singing the original song so new readers can follow the text while listening to the words. Nice method for word recognition.
Dylan fans will likely pick this item up, read it once, then consign it to their `Dylan shelf'. Strictly for Bob Dylan fans.
*This review refers to the 2010 edition.*

5-0 out of 5 stars New Edition with Illustrator Jim Arnosky is amazing!
This book is beautifully illustrated, but the story/song is also fantastic.It's the Bob Dylan song (that many are familiar with!) and it comes with the CD with the song on it.It's actually a children's CD that I don't go crazy listening to after the 500th time! And trust me, we have probably really listened to it 500 times!My kids love it!I put it in and the first time they just dance around.Then the second time they sit and look at the gorgeous pictures in the book.And then, they usually play it about 10 more times before taking a break.They read the book alone as well.Well, they just look at the pictures since they can't read, but soon they will have it all memorized and can at least pretend to read it!
I can say that as a parent this book is perfect.I can read/sing it to them pretty quickly and the illustrations are beautiful and you find new animals every time. Like I said, the CD isn't annoying (who doesn't like Bob Dylan?!) and I don't go crazy listening to it over and over.The book can keep the kids entertained by itself if the CD were to break.
This has been THE BOOK for the past week since it arrived on our front porch.We got other books too but this is the one they are so focused on they haven't even paid attention to the others!
I have the new edition illustrated by Jim Arnosky.I didn't even know about a previous edition but looking through reviews it becomes apparent that there was one!

4-0 out of 5 stars Bold and masterful
A bold, masterful and colorful representation of of the song.Kiddos will love guessing each animal as it is revealed and will find them just as appealing as will their parents. Jim Arnosky provides a plethora of wildlife and plants in all varieties coexisting from around the world crafting a striking visual of God's abundant creation.See if you can find all the animals listed! -Biblio Reads Children's Book Review

5-0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, brilliantly illustrated book, an ideal gift!
On August 20, 1979, Bob Dylan dropped "Slow Train Coming" on which there was a song, "Man Gave Names to All the Animals." The song was not an allegory; it had no deep, hidden meaning. It simply told of man walking along, observing animals, and naming them. It's not the only simple song that Dylan ever wrote, but with its island-like beat, it is infectious. This is a Bob Dylan song that can be shared with very young children, requiring little explanation. And it's a great one to get up and jump around to, or -- if you prefer -- dance.

Award-winning children's illustrator Jim Arnosky has taken Dylan's lyrics and paired them with a beautifully vibrant storybook, "Man Gave Names to All the Animals," that captures the happy, funky sound of the original song.

Packaged with the book is a CD with the song performed by Bob Dylan. It warms my baby-boomer heart to imagine three-year-olds rocking to classic Dylan. Can "Maggie's Farm" be far behind?

Arnsoky has populated his book with an astounding variety of animals (yes, even a flamingo) from all parts of the world.There are fish, birds, insects, and mammals that would never see each other in life (except on Animal Planet) gathered together on the pages of "Man Gave Names to All the Animals," and the effect is enchanting.

While most of the animals are familiar, there are sure to be a few that stump readers. There are more than 170 animals illustrated, and they are listed at the end of the book, alphabetically. Those who need clues so that they, too, can name the animals can go to [...].

"Man Gave Names to All the Animals" is a fun book for adults and children to share, made even better by the inclusion of the CD, making it perfect for a sing-along -- or a silly-along if you prefer. Keep this lovely hardcover book in mind for holiday gift-giving...and don't forget the kazoos!

Bottom Line: Would I buy "Man Gave Names to All the Animals"? You better believe it! (Hitting the street September 7, it is now available for pre-order.)

Originally appeared on [...].

4-0 out of 5 stars Great addition to a collection
This is a great book, but unfortunately out of print.I had been searching prices, and amazon had a vendor that was excellent.This is a great addition for a Bob Dylan collector. ... Read more

25. Shelter from the Storm: Bob Dylan's Rolling Thunder Years (Genuine Jawbone Books)
by Sid Griffin
Paperback: 256 Pages (2010-06-30)
list price: US$19.95 -- used & new: US$12.12
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1906002274
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description

In the fall of 1975 and spring 1976, Bob Dylan led a travelling retinue of musicians around America on the two legs of the Rolling Thunder tour. Along for the ride were Joan Baez, Roger McGuinn, Ramblin' Jack Elliott, David Blue, Kinky Friedman, T-Bone Burnett, Allen Ginsberg, Sam Sheppard, Mick Ronson, and dozens more musicians, friends, family and hangers-on. The circus was documented in the film Renaldo and Clara, the live album Hard Rain, and a TV concert special of the same name, while in between the two legs of the tour Dylan released the classic Desire album. It is this period of heightened creativity and personal drama that Dylan-authority, author, and musician Sid Griffin examines in Shelter from the Storm. Interviewing many of the tour’s participants, including musicians Roger McGuinn, T-Bone Burnett, Arlo Guthrie, and Ramblin' Jack Elliott, and tour manager Louie Kemp, Griffin mixes meticulous musical analysis into a gripping narrative in this definitive account the Rolling Thunder years.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars A 'must' for any Dylan fan
SHELTER FROM THE STORM: BOB DYLAN'S ROLLING THUNDER YEARS offers a survey of a specific time in Dylan's life, when his Rolling Thunder Revue, a gypsy caravan troupe, re-invented the traveling troubadour tradition and delivered amazing live performances to audiences across the country. During this time his personal life became shambles even as his career was expanding to enter the acting realm. Musician and author Sid Griffin covers all aspects of these years in a survey that's a 'must' for any Dylan fan and collection covering his life and times.

5-0 out of 5 stars Another great read from Sid Griffin
Sid Griffin writes with the assuredness of the quintessential insider and yet with a smart and folksy angle that illuminates where the spotlights don't shine. He spares no-one - praiseworthy or otherwise - while maintaining an audacious objectivity. Neither party-liner nor mudslinger I can only surmise to say that if Mark Twain was alive today and writing about Bob Dylan (which I'm sure he would be) this would be that book. Great read and a wonderful companion to Million Dollar Bash.

5-0 out of 5 stars Shelter From The Storm...a terrific read!
Once again, noted author (and fine musician in his own right), Sid Griffin, has delivered another gripping take on the curious but celebrated Rolling Thunder Revue, Bob Dylan's brief but historic journey with his traveling music troupe back in 1975/1976. Sid has a knack for telling the tale as if he and the reader were right there on the bus and on the various stages in the Northeast US, Florida and Colorado with such luminaries as Joan Baez, Ramblin' Jack Elliott, Roger McGuinn, Mick Ronson and the rest of Dylan's rag-tag gypsy gang. It is factual and well-researched and is another jewel in the Jawbone Press collection, as was Sid's previous novel Million Dollar Bash about Dylan, The Band and The Basement Tapes. I HIGHLY recommend this book as a fascinating artifact of the times and yet another critical glimpse into the life of one of the most gifted, yet enigmatic poets and musicians of our generation. Included are revelatory takes on Dylan's strange and spooky Renaldo & Clara movie and the two (different) US and Japanese Hard Rain televison specials during that brief period. You will not be disappointed and Shelter From The Storm would make a wonderful gift for the Bob-ophile in your life! ... Read more

26. The Bob Dylan Scrapbook, 1956-1966
by Bob Dylan
Hardcover: 64 Pages (2005-09-13)
list price: US$45.00 -- used & new: US$31.75
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00104I6ZG
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
"The Bob Dylan Scrapbook" is the highly collectable illustrated biography of Dylan's life during the 1950s and 60s. Created in association with Bob Dylan, the Scrapbook is crammed with features including rare photographs, facsimiles of handwritten lyrics and rare memorabilia. The text includes interviews with Dylan and his friends and fellow musicians to form a uniquely personal view of the greatest singer songwriter of his generation. A special bonus audio CD contains sixty minutes of early interviews and a rare performance. In the bestselling tradition of "Lennon Legend" and "Elvis Treasures", "The Bob Dylan Scrapbook" is an altogether handsome slipcased hardback with over 100 photographs and illustrations,and is guaranteed to delight every Dylan fan.Amazon.com Review
Created as a companion piece to Martin Scorsese's PBS documentary No Direction Home: Bob Dylan, The Bob Dylan Scrapbook, 1956-1966 is a visual and educational treat for old and new Dylanphiles alike. Written by Robert Santelli, the director of Seattle's Experience Music Project and curator of the museum's Bob Dylan's American Journey exhibit, the book is very well researched and presented in a scrapbook format filled with removable reproductions, including handwritten lyrics of "Gates of Eden," "Blowin' in the Wind," and "Chimes of Freedom," programs of Dylan's historical performances, various bits of memorabilia, and endless amount of photographs.The Bob Dylan Scrapbook, 1956-1966 will provide the new Dylan fan with loads of background information and anecdotes that were left out of Scorsese's film.Lifelong Dylanphiles will likely know Dylan's late 1950s to mid 1960s history already, and will be enchanted by the endless reproductions that are strategically placed throughout the book. If that wasn't enough, the book also includes a 45 minute CD of 18 interviews, ten of which appeared in the No Direction Home documentary. If you ever want to open someone up to the world of Bob Dylan there is no better place to point them to this incredible trifeca: No Direction Home: Bob Dylan on DVD, No Direction Home: The Soundtrack (The Bootleg Series Vol. 7) on CD, and this wonderful book. --Rob Bracco ... Read more

Customer Reviews (36)

5-0 out of 5 stars Essential
Released in tandem with the No Direction Home documentary/album, The Bob Dylan Scrapbook is a must for fans. Like those projects, it covers the era from 1956, when Dylan was a small town, Little Richard-worshipping high school student, to 1966, when his famous motorcycle crash brought the height of his brilliant career to a proverbial screeching halt. Like typical scrapbooks, it begins with family background but soon jumps into Dylan's incredible career. To see him go from unknown to superstar is truly astonishing, and this in many ways illustrates it better than the many biographies. There is text - by Robert Santelli, curator of Seattle's Experience Music Project, which hosted a companion Dylan exhibit -, but though useful, it has very little or nothing that fans do not already know. The real treat is the scrapbook material:many excellent photos of Dylan and related people, memorabilia, advertisements, newspaper articles, sales charts, and much more. These give a very interesting look into the Dylan phenomenon that would be hard to convey in words. Reproductions of complete handwritten lyrics for several songs are probably the biggest attraction, and others include an article with The Beatles praising Dylan at their own expense, a sales chart showing the peak of "Like a Rolling Stone" alongside a bevy of covers and imitators, and even a stand-up Dylan. Though only a little over 60 pages, the book has a wealth of material and is also very high quality - coffee table size with a slipcase. In addition, we get a CD with several Dylan interviews, including his first radio one. No serious fan can be without this, and casuals intrigued by No Direction or Dylan's own Chronicles will also like it.

5-0 out of 5 stars A True Treasure Chest
Reading this book is like going into the Bob Dylan attic and discovering a treasure chest. Each page contains some new and unexpected delight. Robert Santelli's prose is precise and clear and useful.

The other reviewers have listed the sections and the materials. The reproductions are excellent, and you get a real sense of handling original material.

The stuff here almost creates a new dimension to appreciating Dylan, and so this is a must-have for Dylan fans.

--Lawrence J. Epstein, author of Political Folk Music in America from Its Origins to Bob Dylan

1-0 out of 5 stars False advertisement
When it says "International delivery available" , you wonder why you receieve a message after you have paid that reads: "We cannot ship to your destination"! However, I did get my money back, hence the one-star rating.

5-0 out of 5 stars So Cool!
I got this for a friend who is a huge Bob Dylan junkie.It was perfect, and about as close to stalking him as she'll get.

5-0 out of 5 stars The book I forgot
I forgot this book and then I saw it on a clearance aisle. Seriously, who would put this book in the clearance aisle? I snatched the book up like a thief. This book is just like Sinatra Treasures and very fun to look at. I highly recommend this to any Dylan fan. ... Read more

27. Bob Dylan and Philosophy (Popular Culture and Philosophy)
Paperback: 225 Pages (2005-12-16)
list price: US$17.95 -- used & new: US$8.70
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0812695925
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
The legions of Bob Dylan fans know that Dylan is not just a great composer, writer, and performer, but a great thinker as well. In Bob Dylan and Philosophy, eighteen philosophers analyze Dylan’s ethical positions, political commitments, views on gender and sexuality, and his complicated and controversial attitudes toward religion. All phases of Dylan’s output are covered, from his early acoustic folk ballads and anthem-like protest songs to his controversial switch to electric guitar to his sometimes puzzling, often profound music of the 1970s and beyond. The book examines different aspects of Dylan’s creative thought through a philosophical lens, including personal identity, negative and positive freedom, enlightenment and postmodernism in his social criticism, and the morality of bootlegging. An engaging introduction to deep philosophical truths, the book provides Dylan fans with an opportunity to learn about philosophy while impressing fans of philosophy with the deeper implications of his intellectual achievements. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (8)

5-0 out of 5 stars Born again Bob -- it really happened
Of special interest to Dylan fandom, in this frank and brutally honest book, are chapters 12 and 13: "With God (and Socrates and Augustine) on Our Side," by James S. Spiegel; and "Busy Being Born Again: Bob Dylan's Christian Philosophy," by Francis J. Beckwith.Until this book came along (_Bob Dylan and Philosophy_), all of Dylan's fans just tried to pretend it never happened--that Bob never turned his heart over to Jesus. Sorry, folks: it's true.

Rock stars have quite the reputation, but they can surprise you.I'll never forget 1978, when Dylan first got born again.My two best friends, Belial and Beelzebub, were so upset they could not even talk about it!

I thought Dylan's conversion was just a publicity stunt.I made a bet with Belial -- my signed 1965 glossy of Dylan at KQED San Francisco, against Belial's mint 1963 vinyl of The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan -- that Bob would chuck Christianity within three months.

Instead Jesus kept Dylan hangin' on for three years.So I lost that wager.

Meanwhile, Beelzebub was so embarrassed by the loss of Bob Dylan to the cause of Christ that he put out a rumour, throughout the music industry, that the Dylan albums, _Slow Train Coming_ (1979), _Saved_ (1980), and _Shot of Love_ (1981), were not really about past sins, recent conversion, and future salvation at all; but were rather about sexual dysfunction, welcome medication, and eventual, glorious release.(And there might even be some truth in that.One of the side effects that evangelists rarely tell you about, when you first accept Jesus Christ as your lord and saviour, is that personal salvation may interfere with your sexual pleasure.Believe me, I've seen it happen a million times.)

(Well, I mean, I have not "seen it," not with my own eyes, but I do know about the problem.)

Dylan's Christian phase was not like Ron Santo of the Chicago Cubs: Santo got born again in April, in hopes of batting .400 that season; and then chucked religion in September, after batting only .289. For Dylan, it was the real deal, and it lasted for three years.

1,243 days after he found Jesus, Dylan finally gave up on Christianity and returned to our side.I'll never forget that day: Belial put on some Dylan vinyls, and the three of us were cool again.But let the good Lord have mercy on Dylan's soul, because I never will: not unless Belial returns my autographed KQED glossy.But I just know I won't ever won't get it back.


4-0 out of 5 stars Incisive and Intelligent
This is a good book if your goal is to think about Dylan's oeuvre and/or from his lyrics. If you're looking for an eulogistic volume, escape this one. The book as a whole is very clear in its purpose, all the essays included in it are interesting. From ethics to metaphysics, through aesthetics, Bob Dylan and Philosophy (50% of Dylan, 50% of philosophy, which is really good) is also a nice teacher ressource. Finally, if you like Bob Dylan's work and you like reading philosophy, yes: this is your book. I enjoyed very much.

3-0 out of 5 stars Jim Spiegel philosophically rocks!
So what do John Calvin, Bob Dylan, and Jim Spiegel all have in common?They all rock out Augustinian style!Yes, that is right.Within this philosophic volume exploring the themes and thought patterns of Bob Dylan, Jim Spiegel explores Bob Dylan's stance on God's sovereignty.How cool is that?You get three great minds converging in one essay in addition to many other essays for the price of less than $[...].

In case any of you are not familiar with Jim Spiegel, he is a professor of philosophy at Taylor University who teaches a wide variety of philosophic disciplines such as epistemology, ethics, history of philosophy from ancient to modern (two different semesters), philosophy of mind, and of course one of his favorite "Taylormade" course aesthetics.Normally, one would have to enroll as a undergraduate student to enjoy the philosophic theatrics of Dr. Spiegel, but here featured within this volume the public is able to catch just a brief glimpse at the Spiegel-geist manifesting himself in one of his favorite topics aesthetics, which, of course, according to the Spiegel definition is the study of rock 'n roll as it emerges out of philosophy.

According to Spiegel, philosophy truly begins with rock 'n roll insofar as Aristotle sketches out the first rough outlines of the rock 'n roll program.Yes, it is true that there is not a single cultural movement that cannot be first attributed to Aristotle.Seriously, if it was not for Aristotle's album de anima where would Thomas Aquinas really be today?I can say this he would not be the most hard-core theologian of the medieval period.

Anyway, Spiegel traces out the theological dilemmas of Bob Dylan within the lyrics of his early and late career.Spiegel points out that Bob Dylan has not always held a consistent Calvinistic position.In some cases, Bob Dylan is overwhelmed with the immediate circumstance and is therefore unable to see God's sovereignty in specific circumstances of his life.This is a position to Spiegel labels as weak sovereignty.In other more positive cases, Dylan is able to rejoice in the fact that God has brought him through troubling circumstance towards a more firm understanding of things.This position Spiegel labels as strong sovereignty.Spiegel notes that the problem with too strong of the view of sovereignty is that sometimes Dylan is unable to see his own participation in the sovereign plan of God.

Spiegel then brings out what he calls compatiblism.This is a view that wholeheartedly understands God wonderful and sovereignly good plan without negating individual moral responsibility.Admittedly, Dylan does not always achieve this balanced understanding, but there are rare glimpses of sovereignly enabled freedom within the thoughtful lyrics of his songs.If you enjoy reading Spiegel's article, make sure to check out some of his books on Amazon such as: How to Be Good in a World Gone Bad, The Benefits of Providence: A New Look at Divine Sovereignty, and Hypocrisy: Moral Fraud and Other Vices

4-0 out of 5 stars Fun stimulating pastiche
I picked this book up on a whim - interesting title, attractive cover - and I skimmed a bit in the library.I am glad I took it home.I think you are likely to be a bit disapointed if you are looking for a book about Bob Dylan - and certainly there are plenty of others to choose from.As the Introduction to the book says, Dylan's work is used as a starting off point to look, with a philosophical perspective, at various themes in Dylan's work as a way of introducing philosphical concepts and methods to a broader audience.I don't get the impression that the idea is to be definitive, rather these generally easy to read essays are thought provoking and a rather fun way to learn about philosophy.While I have read all of the Platonic dialogues, I do not know very much about current trends in philosophy.I have particularly enjoyed the material in this book which touches on Post Modern philosophy, specifically as it relates to the Enlightenment ideals.There are a number of authors and sources which I plan to have a closer look at.In this way, as a fun introduction to what can only be described as a frequently stodgy subject (at least in its academic form) I highly recommend this book.You may not agree with all of the opinions expressed within, but they are nevetheless quite stimulating.After all, it is still fun to think - isn't it? ;)And what better excuse do you need to dust off some of your old Dylan LP's and give them another spin?Enjoy!

5-0 out of 5 stars fascinating
highly recomended for any serious Dylan fan. book is easy to read and well worth it. there are some briliant insights that i have never read anywhere else. ... Read more

28. Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits: Complete
by Music Sales, Bob Dylan
Paperback: 168 Pages (1998-06-01)
list price: US$29.99 -- used & new: US$16.82
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0825615976
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All 3 greatest hits albums in one volume! Includes 45 classic Dylan tunes including: Blowin' in the Wind, All Along the Watchtower, I Want You, Knockin' On Heaven's Door, She Belongs To Me, Silvio, Hurricane, Dignity, Series of Dreams, I'll Be Your Baby Tonight, Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues, and more. ... Read more

29. Like a Complete Unknown: The Poetry of Bob Dylan's Songs, 1961-1969
by John Hinchey
Paperback: 277 Pages (2002-10-23)
list price: US$20.00 -- used & new: US$13.49
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0972359206
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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This study explores the poetry of Dylan’s songs from his first album, Bob Dylan (1962), through Nashville Skyline (1969). It covers all the officially released albums of new material from that period. Some attention is given to almost every original song on those albums, and to some songs--singles, outtakes, demos, and other stray songs--not included on the albums.

The first chapter treats only a single song, "Like a Rolling Stone," and the second covers Dylan’s first two albums, both of which are miscellanies. After that, each chapter treats a single album (though the discussion of Blonde on Blonde takes up two chapters), and in these chapters, some attention is given both to the individual songs and to their place in the context of the album. Decisions about what to emphasize and what to gloss over are based partly on Hinchey’s judgments about the relative worth of each song or album and partly on his instinct for what is interesting or undiscovered about them.

Given Dylan’s history of perpetual self-transformation as an artist, the critical approach is necessarily flexible, varying from album to album and even song to song. But there is a recurrent theme. The most distinctive feature of Dylan’s poetry, Hinchey argues, is the way it is implicitly shaped by the changes (as Dylan imagines them) that are induced in his listener in response to the song as it unfolds. As the lyric unfolds, "you," the listener, are changed by what "you" hear, and anticipating these changes in the "you" he is addressing, Dylan’s perception of and attitude toward "you" changes correspondingly. Moreover, these changes in his perception of "you" provoke in turn adjustments in his perception of and attitude toward himself. Dylan’s characteristic song is seen as a duet for solo voice. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

1-0 out of 5 stars This Hard Read is gonna fall
Hinchey doesn't make it easy to read this book. He reaches too far to make his analysis of Dylan's meanings and thought processes make sense. In so doing, he often makes less sense.

I feel like Hinchey is a Master Thief who has just robbed me of $20.

5-0 out of 5 stars Tells You How It Feels
A fine addition to your Dylan library.One of the few books to deal with Dylan's output with the respect and insight it deserves. Thankfully the book is on the songs rather than the life of Bob Dylan.

With the insight of an academic yet using fully accessible, virtually jargon free, prose Mr. Hinchey's takes us on a journey through Bob Dylan's 1960's work answering the question "How Does It Feel".

A convincing thesis is laid out in the introduction and expounded in the following chapters.You don't have to agree with all the interpretations tostill get a lot out of them.Having said which I have rarely agreed with as many.

5-0 out of 5 stars Superbly illuminating!
It's great to finally read a serious, subtle reading of Dylan's evocative but often mysterious lyrics. Hinchey regards Dylan as a major poet, and his book provides powerful support forthat view. Classics heard many times like "It's AlrightMa (I'm Only Bleeding)" take on richer, brighter colors after reading "Like a Complete Unknown." ... Read more

30. Revolution in the Air: The Songs of Bob Dylan, 1957-1973 (Cappella Books)
by Clinton Heylin
Hardcover: 496 Pages (2009-04-01)
list price: US$29.95 -- used & new: US$18.12
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Asin: 1556528434
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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The first of two volumes, this companion to every song that Bob Dylan ever wrote is by far the most comprehensive book on the words of America’s greatest songwriter. Here you’ll find not just opinionated commentary or literary interpretation, but facts, first and foremost. Clinton Heylin is the world’s leading Dylan biographer and expert, and he has arranged the songs--including a number that have never been performed--in a continually surprising chronology of when they were actually written rather than when they appeared on albums. Using newly discovered manuscripts, anecdotal evidence, and a seemingly limitless knowledge of every Bob Dylan live performance, he has uncovered a wealth of information about the songs, leaving no stone unturned in his research.

            Here we learn that the middle verse of “Blowin’ in the Wind” was written much later than the first and third verses; that “The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll” was based on a complete distortion of the facts of the case; that “Mixed Up Confusion,” despite being Dylan’s first single, was composed later than many of his early masterpieces; that “Fourth Time Around” was a direct response to John Lennon’s “Norwegian Wood”; and much more.

            Reading this volume will fundamentally change how you hear Dylan’s songs and will make you want to revisit the man’s lesser-known masterpieces. This is an essential purchase for every true Bob Dylan fan--and perhaps your most essential purchase, for, as a guide to the man’s work, it will never be surpassed.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (13)

5-0 out of 5 stars Dylan for the lovers, not the pedants.
This book has been "...legitimately trashed by every other reviewer" ?! as W.P Thomas put it.

Selective memory in action there given many of you clearly feel the same way I do about 'Revolution In The Air'. I'd consider myself a 'big' Dylan fan - Seen him live 5 times, read various books/biographies/lyrics etc, own numerous documentaries, have 20+ albums of his (some doubled on vinyl reissues), many of my favourite of his songs are relatively lesser-known (Mama You Been On My Mind, Moonshiner etc), avidly enjoy his excellent radio show...

...You get the picture, maybe not a 'huge' Dylan fan by his fanbase's standards (He does after all attract the most intense scrutiny of his career & personality of any cultural figure, the hungriest & nerdiest of the info-hungry & nerdy), but certainly a 'big' Dylan fan, and I really value this book.

Heylin is unarguably opinionated, but more often than not I found this quite refreshing, light relief amongst the fascinating but inevitably dry recitals of who played what on which track when etc. As for the occassional factual slips & errors that some have used to negate the book's worth, truly almost-all are of concern or note only to those at the more pedantic or academic end of the Dylan fan spectrum. In other words certainly not enough to undermine such a fascinating, illuminating & wonderfully readable & accessible odyssey through the man's life & work as one.

4-0 out of 5 stars "Everybody's Talkin'" About Clint's Sloppy Research
In addition to the other factual errors noted, Mr. H. states that Fred Neil "covered" the Harry Nilsson tune "Everybody's Talkin'" for the film MIDNIGHT COWBOY. In our universe Harry covered Fred's song.
Shame on you Clint for missing an easy lay-up (American basketball jargon).
Also, please show some respect for the late, great John Bauldie. I know you two had your differences, but let it go!
You are a noted author, while John was tragically killed in a helicopter crash in 1996.
I am enjoying your book though.

3-0 out of 5 stars Revolting work in the air

Clinton Heylin, author of "Behind the Shades," is without a doubt

a kick-ass Dylan biographer; unyielding, tenacious and honest in the research

of his subject. That being said, "Revolution in the Air" reads like a never-ending

tome of album liner notes. I bought this book based on a music publication review

indicating it had scads of relevatory information; i.e., "Forever Young'' was a dig

at Neil Young for taking on Dylan's style on "Heart of Gold."

Besides that such inside-knowledge nuggets seem apocryphal in Heylin's

"Revolution," they seem far and few between. If you keep this book on your nightstand,

you'll be sure not to stay up all night _ it's just not that compelling. Then there is the

irritating aspect of subjecting yourself to Heylin's biases: he loathes the Grateful Dead;

obviously Dylan admired them and Garcia was a true friend. Furthermore, he

categorizes gems such as "You Angel You" offPlanet Waves as "slog" intended to

fill out the album. Again, Heylin did a superb warts-and-all biography of Dylan, but

his assessments of Dylan's work are oft-dubious at best.

Then there is the matter of the time frame of "Revolution." Heylin chronicles

1957-1973. By now, that's like "ancient footprints on the Spanish Stairs." The period

has been hashed and re-hashed so often, "Revolution" leaves you longing for current

information. If you're a true Dylanphile, acquire this book to skim it; otherwise

don't bother.

1-0 out of 5 stars Pretentious and boring
I agree with the others here who have pointed out that this book is a disappointment.

The author's massive ego gets in the way. In addition, he manages to take an interesting topic and make it very boring.

Save your money.

2-0 out of 5 stars Academic and dull
Dylan certainly wrote some of the most fascinating music of our time.But Heylin's treatise is so soaked in detail about the first performances and other technicalities that there appears to be little passion for the music itself.Other reviewers take Heylin to task for being factually incorrect; I do not know enough to judge that.I take him to task for making what should be a fascinating subject very dull and academic. After reading the book, I wondered, did Heylin actually like any of these 300 songs? If he did, I sure could not tell from this book. ... Read more

31. Like a Rolling Stone: Bob Dylan at the Crossroads
by Greil Marcus
Paperback: 304 Pages (2006-04-04)
list price: US$14.00 -- used & new: US$4.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 158648382X
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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Greil Marcus's popular appreciation of his, and Bob Dylan's, favorite song--a book that Rolling Stone called "essential insight into the living history of rock & roll."

Greil Marcus has written the definitive biography of the greatest pop single ever made. Recorded in Columbia's Studio A in New York on 16 June 1965, "Like A Rolling Stone" was instantly of its time-and so strong it has escaped time altogether. The musicians gathered in the studio never managed a second successful recording: they caught it once and only once. Then it was gone, arguably never to be bettered in Bob Dylan's countless live performances of the song.

Dylan's career as a folk singer--and the career imposed upon him, his unwanted role as "voice of a generation"--had hit a wall. Marcus recreates the brilliantly competitive pop world of 1965, and the energy, the anger, the thrill and the horror that Bob Dylan turned into a revolutionary six-minute single. Forty years later it remains the signal accomplishment of modern music. It drew to itself disparate traditions of American music and speech; it redrew the map of the country itself; it left behind a world that was not the same. The whole adventure is here. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (23)

2-0 out of 5 stars Under Par Holy Greil
Now I am one of Mr Marcus's fans, his obstruse and poetic whimsy often stimulating further thought. In this instance, while not utterly dismissive, I'm in agreement with most of the negativity posted here. At his best, Marcus's reading of songs, a fascinating seduction into their texture, tone and lyric power, virtually note by note can be exhilerating to the extent that I envy his creative insights. Excess rules with this effort. You just have to shrug at some of the contextural minutia and strained social relevances that he tries to connect to various songs. Up front, the album was pivotal in my development. It was my first LP. Hitherto I was a Pitney ballad devotee. But yes, I was transfixed that Saturday morning when I spun that disc. It wasn't the title track(I'd never heard of it or Dylan other than by reading a commendation in that morning's national rag of ,'Another Side Of'...not available at the local shop, and being deflected to this other,newer disc by the same artist)that hooked me. It was the entire sound, particulary the haunting and mesmerising, Desolation Row, It Takes a lot to Laugh, the outrageous title track, and Ballad of a Thin Man. Goodbye Gene! Marcus's take on these songs is much appreciated. So too his feel for the majestic Sam Cooke's, Change is Gonna Come, my all time favourite song. In all, this is a book I feel no need to return to or recommend...the first time I've admitted that about any of the author's commentary.

2-0 out of 5 stars Greil Marcus flips through his index cards
Greil Marcus has made his name as rock critic by insisting that the tide of History is directly mirrored by the pop music of the period. This can make for exhilarating reading, because Marcus is, if nothing else, an elegant stylist given to lyric evocation. But it is the same elegance that disguises the fact that he comes across a middling Hegelian; the author, amid the declarations about Dylan, The Stones, The Band and their importance to the spontaneous mass revolts of the Sixties, never solidifies his points. He has argued , with occasional lucidity, that the intuitive metaphors of the artist/poet/musician diagnose the ills of the culture better than any bus full of sociologists or philosophers, and has intimated further that history is a progression toward a greater day. Marcus suggests through out his more ponderous tomes--"Lipstick Traces", "Invisible Republic", "The Dustbin of History"
--that the arts in general, and rock and roll in particular, can direct in ways of getting to the brighter day, the next stage of our collective being. The problem , though, is that Marcus is only a compelling writer when the object of study remains a vague cluster of political and aesthetic notions enshrouding specific historical events--he is quite good, at times, in describing creative process and the build of energy as musicians collaborate on a song they're writing and recording, but he drifts into a swamp of inchoate mysticism that will infuriate the reader. Unlike Walter Benjamin, who had mystic proclivities, or even Norman Mailer, likewise of an odd spiritual cast, Marcus does not leave us with a trail of insights, nor is he especially quotable if you had to draw out a sentence or paragraph that embodied a book's thesis. Morris Dickstein could do that, evinced by his classic study of sixites culture "The Gates of Eden". Marcus does not stick around to answer the harder question: what are you driving at?

Marcus, though, isn't the one to draw us the map.But what has been aggravating with Marcus since he left the employ of Rolling Stone and began writing full length books and essays for cultural journals is that he chokes when there's a point to be made--he defers, he sidesteps, he distracts, he rather gracelessly changes the subject. Again, this can be enthralling, especially in a book like his massive "Lipstick Traces The Secret History of the 20th Century" where he assumes some of Guy DeBord's assertions in Society of the Spectacle and situates rock and roll musicians in a counter-tradition of groups that spontaneously develop in resistance to a society's centralized ossification and mounts an attack, through art, on the perceptual filters that blind the masses to their latent genius.

He never quite comes to the part where he satisfyingly resolves all the mounting, swelling, grandly played generalizations that link Elvis, The Sex Pistols and Cabaret Voltaire as sources of insight geared to undermine an oppressive regime, but the reader has fun along the way. Marcus wants to be a combination of Marcuse and Harold Bloom, and he rarely accomplishes anything the singular criticism either of them produced in their respective disciplines, political philosophy and literary criticism, but he does hit the mark often enough to make him a thinker worth coming back to.

One would wonder about the value of coming back to this man's store front, though, if his book Like a Rolling Stone: Bob Dylan at the Crossroads. Marcus is one who has written so much about Dylan, or has absorbed so much material about him, that he can produce a reed-thin on one song and pretends that it is much, much more than what it really is. The problem is a lack of thesis, a conceit Marcus at least pretend to have with his prior volumes; depending entirely on third-hand anecdotes, half-recollected memories and a flurry of details gleaned from any one of the several hundred books about Dylan published in the last 30 years, this amounts to little more than what you'd have if you transcribed a recording of the singer's more intense fans speaking wildly, broadly, intensely amongst themselves, by passing coherence for Sturm and Drang. For the rest of us with a saner appreciation of Dylan's importance , Like A Rolling Stone is messily assembled jumble of notes, press clips and over-told stories; Marcus , obvious enough, attempts an impressionist take on the song, but the smell of rehash doesn't recede, ever

2-0 out of 5 stars In the Immortal Words of Elvis Costello . . .
Writing about music is like dancing about architecture. This was the book that cured me of my belief that you have to finish reading any book you start. You leap at the first chance to escape the drunken bore at a party, right? Putting this book back on the shelf? Same thing.

1-0 out of 5 stars Candidate for the worst rock book (on the best song)
Hard to imagine how this could be worse.Pompous and Flatulent at the same time.BEWARE

4-0 out of 5 stars Marcus on Dylan
This probably a 4 1/2 star book. Marcus is an eminent Dylanologist. He was part of a symposium on Dylan at theSkirbal, near LA.
Marcus not only dissects the Highway 61 Sessions, but goes deeply into a discussion of Blues and R& B Music. He discusses Clyde McPhatter and the various groups that Clyde was part of, which pleased me greatly. (You can Still find the Drifters "White Christmas" on Juke Boxes today.)
Though I didn't understand the section on takes. It seems that none of the 15 takes were satisfactory, so what take was released? 16Th? ... Read more

32. The Songs He Didn't Write: Bob Dylan Under the Influence
by Derek Barker
Paperback: 496 Pages (2009-03-01)
list price: US$23.95 -- used & new: US$12.98
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Asin: 1842404245
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Encyclopedic and exhaustive, this guide to the more than 500 songs Bob Dylan has covered, in concert or on record, details the history of each song and offers an explanation of how he came to perform them. His masterful interpretations range from the more obvious blues, country, folk, and gospel recordings to contemporary writers such as Warren Zevon and John Hiatt. In addition to the listing of these covered songs, this compendium also includes a lengthy section detailing all of the remaining tracks that Dylan has written for others, but which remain unrecorded by the man himself.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
A big part of Dylan's unprecedented allure, beyond his own extraordinary songwriting ability and mesmerizing concert performances, is his gift for uniquely covering hundreds of songs by other talented singers and songwriters, both known and unknown. Until now our knowledge of those songs, their creators, their antecedents and what Dylan did with them was a hodgepodge of missing information, misinformation, mangled information and guesswork. Derek Barker, in this wonderfully written, extraordinarily entertaining and thoroughly informative book, has righted all those wrongs. Thank heavens! The book is structured well, is fun and easy to read, plus, it answers all the questions even the most devote Dylan fan needs answered. I use it as a reference guide for my Dylan class as well as on my Dylan radio show when anyone wants to know whether Bob's covered a song or not, when he covered it, how often and, more importantly, what did he or did not add to it. Complete your Dylan library, buy and love this book, just as I do.

5-0 out of 5 stars Amazing Book On An Overlooked Aspect of Bob Dylan's Work
I've overdosed on Bob Dylan books (have read over 50 of them) to the point where I haven't read one in a couple years. Most discuss interpretations of Dylan's songs from the author's viewpoint (no better than yours when it comes to Dylan), others rehash biographical information that's been around for years. So I almost passed on this excellent book by Derek Barker; I sure am glad I didn't. What pushed me into buying it that I have a great interest in Bob's live performances of traditional and folk covers that he did in the late 80's and early 90's, like the songs from "Good As I Been To You" and "World Gone Wrong", but not limited to just those on the albums. In what is arguably the nadir of Dylan's live shows (where he often butchered his own songs) he would throw in these amazing chestnuts like "Lakes Of Pontchartrain", "Trail Of The Buffalo", "Eileen Aroon", "Barbara Allen" and many others. Many of these covers were only performed once or a few times. If you listen to the live recordings from this half decade you can find this gold amid much other dross. What this book did for me is illuminate the history of all these songs, and every other cover song Dylan recorded or played live. It tells who wrote the original song, where Bob probably heard them and when he played the song live (or at least the first and most recent time). For the hardcore fan this is completely fascinating. It had me pulling out my spindles of live cd's hoping that I had some of these recordings. Quite a lot of us like Dylan for his voice, not in spite of it. Bob Dylan is a great singer and, amazingly enough, these non-Dylan songs are a big part of Bob's legacy. The work in this book is meticulous and obviously a labor of love. It covers almost 50 years! Only someone who has lived and breathed Bob Dylan for decades would care or dare to take on this project and Derek Barker does it admirably. ... Read more

by Jonathan Cott
Paperback: 464 Pages (2007-05-15)
list price: US$14.95 -- used & new: US$13.38
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B000ZJUU2Y
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Direct from the mouth of America’s most celebrated street poet comes a rare and diverse collection of intimate interviews

Bob Dylan: The Essential Interviews features 31 of the most significant and revealing conversations with the singer, gathered in one definitive collection. Among the highlights are the seminal Rolling Stone interviews -- anthologized here for the first time -- by Jann Wenner, Jonathan Cott, Kurt Loder, and Mikal Gilmore, as well as Nat Hentoff’s legendary 1966 Playboy interview. Surprises include Studs Terkel’s radio interview in 1963 on WFMT in Chicago, the interview Dylan gave to screenwriter Jay Cocks when he was a student at Kenyon College in 1964, a 1965 interview with director Nora Ephron, and an interview Sam Shepard turned into a one-act play for Esquire in 1987. Dylan expert Jonathan Cott writes an introduction to this must-have collection of the artist in his own words. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (14)

5-0 out of 5 stars It's Alright Ma (I'm Only Reading).........
People. As you all know I've been a good friend of Bob's since the early days in the folk clubs of NYC. He even took a song of mine at that time. I was known as Metamorpho Von Ronk in my prime. But I didn't mind because today Bob has returned the favor. How else would I afford 5 star hotels while I lecture across the land? I ask you.

In any event, It took me about 2 years to read this. And it's not that it's difficult reading. It's not. It flows evenly. My problem is I start 5 books at the same time and have only so much time to devote to reading. But I did finish this one, and now I feel I must read it again to be sure I didn't miss anything. Dylan is such a complex creature that you have to allow for other levels of thought to guide you through this. And, even at that, you will feel you don't really have an insight into his persona. I do. But I am one of the chosen few and I can't divulge anything for fear of no more free hotel rooms. "Sigh".

Anyway, the book starts off with a radio interview in 1962 (when his star was starting to rise) until 2004. You will find a vast array of formats and publications that were interested in him. He never thought much of all this acclaim, he just did what he was good at - writing songs. But you'll get interviews from radio stations as well as notable publications like The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, and even Playboy (!). Bob Dylan as a sex god - go figure.

The interesting thing I noted about Bob in this book was his way to be a virtual Houdini when it came to interviewers who tried to nail him down, or try to back him into specific meanings or explanations he has conveyed. It's a laugh how he turns it around so the interviewer is made to be specific. I look at Bob as being pure conciousness in the here and now. I think he must be the most aware person on earth. And, if you read this book, you will see how pure Seer thought has been learned by him.

One of the central motifs of his work is finding truth. We learn that he likes that very much. But, like anyone before him who has tried to teach enlightenment, he is mostly misunderstood by the masses. I think people miss his messages sometimes because they don't like the way he sings. That is very hollow, but Dylan just keeps doing what he does best, and that is write songs that beg you to think. He also knows that as an artist he doesn't need to explain anything to you.

If the mind of Dylan interests you at all, this is an excellent book to read. Will you come away with a clearer picture of who he is? Probably not. But, he wants it that way.

Happy Holidays and Buy this book for the myoptic visioned one in your life!

love, Metamorpho ;)

5-0 out of 5 stars Essential
This book is absolutely essential for Dylan fans and everyone who intend to understand Dylan.

4-0 out of 5 stars bob
It's good stuff. It's life experiences. It's a wealth of info that they would not teach you of in college...

5-0 out of 5 stars Watching Dylan Grow
Provides a fascinating portrait of a man attempting to deal cleverly with the exigencies of fame, while retaining his soul.

Particularly interesting for the early interviews, as we see Dylan developing the playful, Dadaesque indirection that he would use with interviewers, and for the interviews with those that accompanied him in his early years--folksters with whom he would drop the guise, and speak clearly and directly about his craft.

Great reading.

4-0 out of 5 stars " A hero is a man who can talk to his drummer"
Thirty interviews over a forty year span are included in this volume. Dylan fans will thus have a lot of fun here. Dylan can be very funny and he also can be just plain kookie. One of his best gigs is his responses to questions that would make him a kind of Savior , political or otherwise of mankind. Here he is usually self- effacing and ironic.
One of the touching bits for me was his telling how as a nineteen year old youngster he took a Greyhound bus each day from Midtown Manhattan to visit Woody Guthrie who was dying of 'Huntington's Chorea'. Guthrie could barely speak . All he could do was give a name of his own song. Dylan says he knew them all and whatever Woody asked he played him.
Dylan really knows and loves popular music and talks in an interview with Sam Shepherd as well as in others of tens of groups I myself and I suspect most people never heard of. In another interesting piece someone asks him about contemporary songwriters and surprisingly he names Shel Silverstein as a real favorite. Also Randy Newman. And he mentions a couple of Paul Simon songs like 'A Bridge over Troubled Water' but then says that Simon has written a lot of flack. But who hasn't?"
I in general believe the Interviews are very interesting when Dylan talks about what he really loves , the Music, and how he makes it and plays it. In one interview he says that he has to play a certain time each day, but that he cannot do twelve- hour practice sessions like a Segovia 'There is a bit about the born- again Dylan which I found a bit distrubing , but I did not find him talking about his alleged reconversion to Judaism. Supposedly one topic he has pretty much avoided is his parents and parental home in Hibbing.
Dylan talks about his songwriting, about how he often throws out the most inspiring lines. It is interesting that the person who along with the Beatles has written the 'lyrics ' most song- listeners of the latter part of the twentieth century 'know' , begins his songs also with the music, the melody. The words come later.
I have no doubt that fans of Dylan will love this collection of interviews and learn much from it.
... Read more

34. Bob Dylan Anthology: Guitar Tab Edition (Music Sales America)
by Music Sales, Bob Dylan
Paperback: 344 Pages (2009-04-01)
list price: US$29.95 -- used & new: US$16.17
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0825627486
Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars
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Includes: All Along The Watchtower, Blowin' In The Wind, A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall, Tangled Up In Blue, Just Like A Woman, Visions Of Johanna, The Times They Are A-Changin', To Make You Feel My Love, and many more in singable, playable song tab arrangements with complete lyrics. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (6)

1-0 out of 5 stars A real piece of garbage
The tab is aweful! You can't really even call it tab because it bears no relation to the notation. It is simply a generic pattern to strum the chords. Ridiculous. Don't be fooled.

1-0 out of 5 stars Wrong.
Some of these songs seem different than the studio versions that I am used to from Highway 61 and Blonde on Blonde.For example, on "Visions of Johanna" this book has it in the key of G.As far as I can tell it's in the key of A.You don't even use the G chord to play the song.The fact that they never tell you when to use a capo is also suspicious.I know it's hard to find tab for some of Dylan's classics but this book is no more helpful than some tab you might find on the internet.It just costs more.

1-0 out of 5 stars Horrible.1 star for the picture on the cover..
This book left me so frustrated.I tried for a week to play some of the songs while listening to the cd's of his, but after some time I just gave up.The tabs are just wrong (supposedly they are right somewhere, but they don't come close the cd versions)

Now then.You have no options but to search the internet and try to find something that sounds close, and then try very hard to listen to the cd and add in little details that you won't find in the internet tab.This is probably a better route anyway because you are growing musically.


1-0 out of 5 stars Terrible and Proud of It
Being not only an avid guitarist but also HUGE fan of the extensive works of Mr. Dylan's I was thrilled to receive this book. Unfortunately my excitement quickly turned to dismay as I began to play through some of the tablature. I immediately discovered from pre-existing knowledge that many of the songs were in the wrong key to start with. On top of that the complete lack of use of a capo or alternate tunings set off a huge red flag, being well aware that Dylan constantly used both. If all of this wasn't bad enough many of the songs aren't even playable. Many of the songs at best slightly (and that is an overstatement) resemble their original counterparts. As a matter of fact I was so angered by the poor quality of this book that I wrote a letter to the publishing company. In this letter I covered many of the things I have said in this review, and also mentioned that the transcriptions would be more at home in a book that is labeled "for easy guitar". This is the ambiguous response I received from Music Sales Editor; Heather Rammage:

When presenting the works of great songwriters it is often the song, not the performance, which is considered most important. In the case of Bob Dylan, whose prolific career spans several decades and whose songs have been recorded by him and countless others many times, it is difficult, if not impossible, to decide upon a definitive version. Throughout his career, Bob Dylan has played the same song in many different keys, with or without a capo, in standard or altered tuning, and with completely different arrangements or entirely new melodies. Dylan¹s ³free² folk style also contributes to the difficulty in transcribing his performances.
These arrangements are meant to be accessible to everyone, in the case of piano/vocal/guitar arrangements, or in other cases to present the most playable versions of classic tunes, with obvious mistakes or questionable anomalies edited out to stay true to the intent, rather than the execution, of each song.

: Apparently this is the best way they could excuse themselves for their rancid piece of literature. Will somebody please explain to me 1. how other people's performances of Dylan's songs would have anything to do with a Bob Dylan tablature book? 2. Although Dylan does perform his songs in different ways, isn't it considered pretty standard to transcribe the version on studio album? 3. If the book states in the title it is arranged for guitar, why does the access of piano and voice matter at all? Heather Rammage, one of the head editors at the book's publishing company, clearly couldn't explain. Do yourself a favor and get a different Bob Dylan guitar book and avoid this set of loose interpretations.

3-0 out of 5 stars Mediocre and unfaithful.
I was very excited about this book when I first saw it -- as a relatively new guitarist and Dylan buff, it looked like it was a good anthology to learn how to play most of Dylan's songs.It does have strumming patterns, chord diagrams, and picking patterns.

However, they dumbed it down even more than that.They ignored the actual way that the song is played, and opted instead for a standard tuning, uncapo'd 'this kind of sounds like the song' approach.(I think they only mention capo'ing one song in the whole book, and I've never seen any manner of alternate tunings in it at all.)It's possible that these are all faithful to some live performance Dylan did some time, as he does have a tendency to play things differently quite often, but many of the tabs seem especially dubious.

The bottom line, if you want to buy a book to play the songs the way Dylan did in the studio recordings, or even in the more prevalent live recordings, pass on this book.Or buy a different book. Or buy the book to get help on rhythm, but consult a webpage (Eyolf Østrem has an excellent such page) for actual tunings, capo's, chords, and, well, everything else.Just don't buy the book expecting it to tell you how to faithfully play the songs, because you'll be sorely disappointed. ... Read more

35. Miss O'Dell: Hard Days and Long Nights with The Beatles, The Stones, Bob Dylan and Eric Clapton
by Chris O'Dell
Paperback: 416 Pages (2010-07-06)
list price: US$16.00 -- used & new: US$5.79
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1416590943
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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* She was in the studio when the Beatles recorded The White Album, Abbey Road, and Let It Be, and she sang in the “Hey Jude” chorus.


* She lived with George Harrison and Pattie Boyd and unwittingly got involved in Pattie’s famous love story with Eric Clapton.


* She’s the subject of Leon Russell’s “Pisces Apple Lady.”


* She worked for the Rolling Stones on their infamous 1972 tour and did a drug run for Keith Richards.


* She’s “the woman down the hall” in Joni Mitchell’s song “Coyote,” the “mystery woman” pictured on the Stones album Exile on Main Street, and the “Miss O’Dell” of George Harrison’s song.


The remarkable, intimate story of an ordinary woman who lived the dream of millions—to be part of rock royalty’s inner circle—Miss O’Dell is a backstage pass to some of the most momentous events in rock history. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

A fun book to read if you're a fan of The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan or Leon Russell. Not as much fun if you're an Eric Clapton or Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young fan as they don't come off quite as well! But the author's honesty about her experiences are what make the book so worthwhile. I had the pleasure of interviewing Chris O'Dell about the book on my "Friends of Dan Music Podcast" which you can find at the iTunes store. In addition to her musical experiences her book also discusses her drug experiences and her close friendships with Pattie Boyd Harrison Clapton, Maureen Starkey, Derek Taylor, Peter Asher and others. Highly recommended for fans of 60's music! ... Read more

36. No Direction Home: The Life and Music of Bob Dylan
by Robert Shelton
Hardcover: 352 Pages (2011-06-15)
list price: US$35.00 -- used & new: US$23.10
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1617130125
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Robert Shelton met Bob Dylan when the young singer first arrived in New York. He became Dylan's friend, champion, and critic. This book, first published in 1986, was hailed as the definitive unauthorized biography of this moody, passionate genius and his world. Dylan gave Shelton access to his parents, Abe and Beatty Zimmerman - whom no other journalist has ever interviewed in depth; to his brother, David; to childhood friends from Hibbing; to fellow students and friends from Minneapolis; and to Suze Rotolo, the muse immortalized on the cover of Freewheelin', among others. No Direction Home took 20 years to complete and received widespread critical acclaim. Two decades on, Dylan's standing is higher than at any time since the 1960s and Shelton's book is now seen as a classic of the genre.Today, everything Bob Dylan does guarantees saturation media coverage, and a new edition of No Direction Home is long overdue. This new edition, published to coincide with Dylan's 70th birthday on May 24, 2011, restores significant parts of Shelton's original manuscript and also includes key images of Dylan throughout his incredible, enduring career, alongside updated footnotes and bibliography, and a new selective discography, making it a must for all Dylan aficionados.Amazon.com Review
Robert Shelton, a critic for the New York Times in1961, caught an early Bob Dylan gig at Folk City in Greenwich Villageand wrote an effusive review for the newspaper. The coverage in theTimes was a huge boost to the career of the then-strugglingfolksinger, and Shelton and Dylan became friends, seeing each otherfrequently around the Village folk scene.When Shelton, in the 1980s,finally got around to finishing his full-length biography of Dylan, hecould draw upon a wealth of insider stories from the early days. Thebook is naturally strongest when describing Dylan's early career, fromhis coffeehouse gigs as a Woody Guthriedisciple to the insanely high artistic peaks of the mid-'60s. Aparticularly engaging passage concerns a freeform interview Sheltonconducted with Dylan as they flew high above the Midwest in early1966; Shelton's memories of Dylan are essential reading forfans. Shelton saw much less of the notoriously private Dylan as theyears passed, and the book loses momentum as he becomes less of aneyewitness and more of a distant observer, though Dylan's story iscredibly told up through the mid-1980s. --Robert McNamara ... Read more

Customer Reviews (14)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Most Sympathetic Critic
Written by the critic widely-credited with launching Dylan's career, Shelton had unusual access to Dylan, his family, and his friends. The result is that interview material is abundant, and the book is exceptionally helpful in understanding Dylan's career. Shelton never quite flies over the material to get a complete view, but he was there, on the ground, going through the Village at the time. It is disorganized but fascinating, filled with wonderful anecdotes but not always discerning in the choice of material. He seems to believe all that people tell him. That makes for a wonderful friend and a great guy but a biographer who remains mostly uncritical.

This is an authentic and valuable portrait for what it is, and what it is is a great book.

--Lawrence J. Epstein, author of Political Folk Music in America from Its Origins to Bob Dylan

5-0 out of 5 stars Who is Bob Dylan?
Who is Bob Dylan? None of the biographies I've read - Sounes, Heylin, Scaduto, and a short book by Toby Thompson (1971) - are by people that really knew him. Shelton is the New York Times reviewer who heard Dylan play in a Greenwich Village coffee house not too long after he came to NY and wrote a very promising review about him, which helped him on his way... Shelton also got to know him, spent time with him, and was able to piece many things together and interview people that were not mentioned in the other books. The interviews and stories are interesting and informative, fill in gaps left by the other books, and we get more of a feeling of Dylan, especially before he came to NY and as he was developing. This is a very well written book. Fans will like it a lot.

5-0 out of 5 stars "No Direction Home: The Live and Music of Bob Dylan"
It was, to me, the best biography of Bob Dylan. Very good writing, never boring or exhaustive with details or ponderings.

5-0 out of 5 stars All sides and aspects of a cherished and popular figure
Expertly written by Robert Shelton (the New York Times music and popular culture reviewer generally credited for "discovering" Dylan in 1961), No Direction Home: The Life And Music Of Bob Dylan is a faithful and definitive biography of the talented artist and his unforgettable music. An extensively detailed chronicle which explores all sides and aspects of a cherished and popular figure in American music, No Direction Home is a welcome addition to 20th Century Music History Studies collections and "must" reading for all Bob Dylan fans.

3-0 out of 5 stars Not the Place to Start . . .
. . .start (of course) with the albums, of course, especially "Freewheelin'," "Highway 61 Revisited," "Blonde on Blonde," and "John Wesley Harding," "Basement Tapes," "Blood on the Tracks," "Bootleg Series Vol 4," and maybe "World Gone Wrong." Then check out "Don't Look Back" on DVD. Shelton's book has a lot of great information about Dylan, but it's not the best organized or most concise biography you'll ever come across (maybe it's the editor who worked on the book's fault [?]). It's also now a bit dated, published in 1986. Clinton Heylin's "Man Behind the Shades" (1991) and Howard Sounes' "Down the Highway" (2001) are both more up-to-date and easier reads. Greil Marcus' "Invisible Republic" (1997)does a better job of placing Dylan's music in a historical context. "No Direction Home" is a sprawling collection of interview excepts, biography, oral history, the author's personal recollections of Dylan, musicology, and literary criticism that never really connects the dots, but there is a lot of great information for the experienced or semi-experienced Dylan enthusiast to wade through ... Read more

37. Song and Dance Man III: The Art of Bob Dylan
by Michael Gray
Paperback: 944 Pages (2002-10-21)
list price: US$39.95
Isbn: 0826463827
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
This classic work is the definitive study of Bob Dylan's 40-year body of songs and recordings. This latest edition offers copious fresh material, including major studies of Dylan's remarkable use of the blues, nursery rhyme, films and the Bible. Unique in its scope and its integration of literature and music, criticism and biography, this highly entertaining and authoritative book has earned exceptional reviews. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (18)

5-0 out of 5 stars times change Dylan stays the same
How could anyone if they are honest say anything nagetive about a book about Dylan. Christ he just got a pulitizer dosen't that say it all. Even if I was not a fan, Even if I had never heard of Dylan,{ if that was possible}I would have to say that the book is well worth the time and money spent.

4-0 out of 5 stars Where was the editor?
It seems like a page of my life has turned: I finished Michael Gray "Song and Dance Man III: The Art of Bob Dylan". At 900 pages including references it is a major tome on Dylan, the blues and folk music. I like the book and found it irritating all at once.

Gray is a musicologist and Dylanologist who gives a detailed look at the art of Dylan's songwriting. He details, often excruciatingly, the sources for songs to the oldest version to the post-WWI versions, to the post WWII versions. It is enlightening to read that material but some editing would have helped the book move along.

Gray discusses Dylan's infatuation with Harry Smith's "Anthology of American Folk Music" which myth has it Dylan stole early in his career from a friend in Minneapolis since he was so enchanted with it a source. I am giving in and will study Smith's 4 volumes to gleen what I can.

I learned quite a bit about song-writing and sourcing from this book. Since I started read this book my own songs have come faster and are better. For that I thank Gray.

The paper cover book weighs too much to hold in you hands for long. Try to find the hardcover so you can lay it on a table or desk. Seriously.

However, he needs editing. Every once in awhile Gray goes on a rant - personal, vituperative criticism of Dylan. Since all that is his taste who cares if he likes Unplugged or not? Unprofessional.

When he is discussing "As Good as I've Been to You" and "World Gone Wrong" Gray analyzes each song to some length; however you can be reading another paragraph before you realize he had finished with one song and is now discussing another. Either write more clearly or use sub-headings.

The book is like that. It feels like the editor was asleep.

Still, now I have to go back and study some parts over.

5-0 out of 5 stars More than passes the test of any book of musical criticism
The only valid test of any book of musical criticism is whether it sends you back to the music with new ears to hear what you missed before.This book passes the test admirably.No matter how much you think you know about Dylan's work, you will learn something new here.You will not only gain added enjoyment from Dylan's acknowledged masterpieces, but may find something of value in songs - indeed, whole albums - that were regarded as inferior by many Dylan fans when they were released.

5-0 out of 5 stars Vade mecum, goes all the way from blues to visionary stars..
If asked at the pearly gates, who was the best poet you ever encountered in your days on earth, I would not hesitate to say with great gladness, Bob Dylan, him of the sacred heart. And if Saint Peter pressed me for the best book of cultural criticism I had encountered in relation to poetry and religious vision, I would say Michael Gray's Song & Dance Man 3: the Art of Bob Dylan, and just sit there in mute prayer and lyric praise.This book gives back to the Dylan visionary blues project much of the joy and politics that went into its lifelong creation, see the chapter on Willy Mctell as "Willy Mctell," santa cleopatra there is nothing more to say on these ghostly trails of poesy, love, and theft.I will just give praise and 10 stars if I could.

5-0 out of 5 stars Absolutely incredible
As an avid fan of rock scholarship (oxymoronical as some still consider the term), I've read many a bio and interpretive book through the years, and I have to say that this one, hands down, is the absolute most amazing one I've ever come across. Only Dylan - with his 40+ albums, 4-decade career, half a thousand songs, countless gigs, and sheer depth of material - could be subject to such a gargantuan examination as this, and Gray milks it for all it's worth. At over 900 pages, this book examines every aspect of Dylan's recorded work. The level of scholarship is almost insane. The footnotes alone are massive (some taking up the majority of a page); one chapter alone contains over 220 of them. This is not a book that attempts to "explain" the songs (Gray knows better than that.) What it does, instead, is give detailed background information on them: shedding light, at long last, on their genesis - showing us what songs, poems, books, movies or what have you may have influenced them. One gets a sense in reading this of Dylan's own vast knowledge of music. We learn here how deeply and thorougly he has mined such treasure troves of art as pre-war blues, folk songs, the Bible (though Gray borders on overkill on this particular subject), poetry of all sorts, and, surprisingly, nursery rhyme, fairy tales, and Hollywood movie dialogue. Some might claim that knowing such things takes the fun or novelty out of simply listening to a song, or of self-interpretation, but surely, it gives an extra layer or two of depth to Dylan's work, allowing you to appreciate them that much more. Some passages are surely revelatory. While some of the chapters are admittedly not as interesting as others, many are enlightening and downright ground-breaking. The chapter on his use of pre-war blues lyrics poetry is a cornucopia of exhaustive reasearch (the footnotes alone in this chapter could almost comprise a book.) Undoubtedly revelatory to many are the chapters on Dylan's use of nursery rhyme and movie dialogue in his lyrics (the use of the latter shines an entirely new light on the Empire Burlesque album.) Another element of the book worth noting is that it doesn't skimp over his too-often-unnecessarily-derided 80's and 90's work (a period where it actually became cool to despise Dylan.) Gray offers excellent analyses of such 80's masterpieces as Blind Willie McTell, Caribbean Wind (three versions!), Foot of Pride, Jokerman, Brownsville Girl, and the entire Oh Mercy album. All of these songs (and more) are thoroughly examined, and lend needed credence to truly excellent Dylan compositions that often do not get the credit they deserve. His 90's albums - Under The Red Sky, Good As I Been To You, World Gone Wrong, and Time Out of Mind - all have thorough chapters dedicated to them as well. The latter chapter I particularly enjoyed. I should also take time out to ackwnoledge not only Gray's parlaying of information, but his sheer excellence of writing. His prose is very, very good and he can be devastatingly funny at times, as well as scholastically serious. He also manages to avoid the two main traps of writing a book like this: hero worship, and promoting your own work through the medium you are trying to interpret. He's not overly idoltary towards Dylan: certainly he gives him much praise (all deserved, of course), but he also issues forth monumental drubbings at times - perhaps even too much at times. For example, Gray is extremely, extremely critical of such things as the Empire Burlesque and Unplugged albums, which is bound to upset some fans. But surely such critical honesty of opinion is preferable to the "Dylan is God and never makes a mistake; bow down and worship his incomparable art" vibe that is prevalent in so many other books of this type. Also, as I said, he manages to avoid the horrible pitfall of pushing his own works through the guise of interpreting Dylan; he wisely barely mentions himself here. Now, all this is not to say that the book is perfect. There are certain drawbacks; personally, I think Gray rides the Bible-influence hobby horse a bit too much, and I disagree with some of his opinions (only natural, and he doesn't overburden us with them), and certain parts of the book do seem a bit long-winded. Also, if you are looking for an in-depth study of what Dylan's lyrics "mean", or for a study of his live performances, then this is not specifically the book for you. However, any, and I mean ANY Dylanophile will want it regardless, as it casts such a deep, illuminating light on so many aspects of his career. There are a lot of books on Bob Dylan available, but this is one of the few truly indispensable ones. Comes absolutely reccommended. ... Read more

38. ISIS: A Bob Dylan Anthology
Paperback: 288 Pages (2004-09-01)
list price: US$17.95 -- used & new: US$153.72
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 190092482X
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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ISIS is the best-selling, longest lasting, most highly acclaimed Dylan fanzine. This ultimate Dylan anthology draws on unpublished interviews and research by the ISIS team together with the best articles culled from the pages of the definitive Bob magazine. New updated edition.

“Astounding . . . Fascinating . . . If you’re more than mildly interested in Bob Dylan, then this is an essential purchase.”—Record Collector

... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

1-0 out of 5 stars Buyer Be Wary
The review above sounds a LOT like a review of the book by Isis magazine reviewer Jim Gillian, which is posted on the Isis site... maybe should be signed "brown nose"...?

5-0 out of 5 stars ISIS: A Bob Dylan Anthology
This is a CRACKERJACK book. Hugely enjoyable and one that I hope is on everyone's wish list.

Excluding the appendices (which include an opinion on "historic" live shows and on "essential" bootlegs), the anthology comprises thirty-three pieces, of which, twelve are either written by Derek alone, or in collaboration with others. And whilst most of the content has of course been drawn from past issues of ISIS Magazine, there are five entirely new essays. Of those that have appeared before, the earliest comes from ISIS #22 and the most recent from ISIS #96.

The structure of the anthology broadly follows Bob's progress through the years, which gives it something of a biographical feel, albeit a particularly selective one. The text is interspersed with photographs of Bob in concert and elsewhere, as well as being liberally sprinkled with "passport" sized photos of others; poster/ticket reproductions; cartoons; band signatures and so on. Collectively these give a good overall impression of Dylan and some of his world.

Derek also writes the introduction, which moves pretty briskly from what the book is about to Derek's own reasons for being "completely captivated" by Dylan. So although he states that "it is (about) a best of selection...arranged in chronological order...(which) can be read as a potted biography... or ...as individual essays," it gets its flavour from Derek's own enthusiasm for and perspective on Dylan. The result is that "ISIS A Bob Dylan Anthology" has a particular coherence that somehow accommodates the inevitably different styles of the other contributors, who, equally inevitably, have their own take on Bob. What emerges is a book drawn from a very rich mix indeed. A bit like Grandma's secret recipe fruitcake, which is stuffed full of goodies, yet is wonderfully digestible. And you always want more...

It helps enormously that Derek writes well. His style is accessible, engaging and inclusive of others. He brings rigour and considerable expertise to bear. This produces pieces that are informed, accurate (or as accurate as anything about Bob Dylan ever can be) and stimulating. At the same time, there is a total absence of malice about his writing, as well as an utter lack of arrogance. This is in marked contrast to some of the recent(ish) works by one or two "world authorities" on Dylan, where what they said was much diminished by how they said it.

Somehow (though I guess careful editing on Derek's part has a lot to do with it), the essays from the other contributors are pretty consistent with Derek's approach. Hence the general coherence of it all. By way of an analogy to illustrate this, it's a bit like listening to a "various artist's" CD, one where the tracks are based on a distinctive theme, rather than one intended to reflect the broad company catalogue.

Turning now to some of the pieces themselves. The opener, "Interview With Abe and Beatty Zimmerman" is prefaced with an introductory note by Ian Woodward. Even for people pretty familiar with the background to the interview and to Shelton's relationship with Dylan, this provides a really helpful context, one that encourages the reader to look at it as though present in the room all those years ago, rather than with the benefit(?) of over thirty years hindsight.

Shelton opens with some questions about the family background and how Abe and Beatty met. They talk about Bob's early years, his childhood ambitions and behaviour and, later, his growing success. To me at least, both Bob's parents, though especially Beatty, come across as pretty open. Oh sure, we know that some things were held back and that others had some sort of "spin" on them, but in general it feels very natural. Perhaps the most poignant, most eloquent moment comes towards the end, when Shelton asks if they think Bob will come back to Hibbing. Abe, who seems to have been looking at pictures of Bob in camp in the summer of 1954, does not answer and, even when prompted, remains silent. Maybe he was reflecting on what had been lost, rather than what had been gained. But who really knows? Three weeks later he died.

It's a fascinating piece that sets the stage for those following, which variously look at (amongst other things) Bob's background and early forays into music making; where the name "Dylan" might have come from; Dave Whittaker's recollections and observations; and early days in London. Then there is "A Chat With Martin Carthy," the other party being Matthew Zuckerman, and a fine job it is too. Carthy seems to enjoy talking about Dylan. He does so without any hint of envy but with a considerable body of knowledge about musical tradition, a real feel for the culture, environment and tensions of the whole early sixties "folk" thing and a lot of affection for a fellow performer, who happens to be Bob Dylan. I could go on but space dictates. The only piece that I did have a bit of difficulty with was, "Robert Johnson and Street Legal," though that was entirely of my own making.

Of past anthologies, many might feel that John Bauldie's 1987 effort "All Across The Telegraph" sets a pretty formidable benchmark. Yes it does, but even allowing for the fact that most comparisons are odious and usually irrelevant, I think that "ISIS A Bob Dylan Anthology" meets and in some ways surpasses it. "All Across The Telegraph" was followed in 1990 by "Wanted Man: In Search of Bob Dylan," so if that is a precedent, maybe we won't have too long to wait for an ISIS Anthology 2. ... Read more

39. Highway 61 Revisited: Bob Dylan's Road from Minnesota to the World
Paperback: 312 Pages (2009-05-15)
list price: US$22.95 -- used & new: US$14.53
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0816661006
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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The young man from Hibbing released Highway 61 Revisited in 1965, and the rest, as they say, is history. Or is it? From his roots in Hibbing, to his rise as a cultural icon in New York, to his prominence on the worldwide stage, Colleen J. Sheehy and Thomas Swiss bring together the most eminent Dylan scholars at work today—as well as people from such far-reaching fields as labor history, African American studies, and Japanese studies—to assess Dylan’s career, influences, and his global impact on music and culture.

The Dylan effect has extended far beyond the United States in recent decades, and the essays here analyze his effect on the people and cultures of the United Kingdom, Italy, and Japan. With a special focus on his Minnesota roots, including Greil Marcus’s spectacular tour of Dylan’s hometown, contributors also take into account his most recent work and Martin Scorsese’s documentary No Direction Home.

The first cultural and historical geography of his dramatic rise, storied career, and unmatched iconic status, Highway 61 Revisited maps the terrain of Bob Dylan’s music in the world.

Contributors: John Barner, U of Minnesota; Daphne Brooks, Princeton U; Court Carney, Stephen F. Austin State U; Alessandro Carrera, U of Houston; Michael Cherlin, U of Minnesota; Marilyn J. Chiat; Susan Clayton; Mick Cochrane, Canisius College; Thomas Crow, New York U; Kevin J. H. Dettmar, Southern Illinois U, Carbondale; Sumanth Gopinath, U of Minnesota; Charles Hughes; C. P. Lee, U of Salford, Manchester, England; Alex Lubet, U of Minnesota; Greil Marcus, U of California, Berkeley; Aldon Lynn Nielsen, Pennsylvania State U; Roberto Polito, The New School; Robert Reginio, Frostburg State U; Heather Stur; Mikiko Tachi, Chiba U, Japan; Gayle Wald, George Washington U; Anne Waldman, Naropa U; David Yaffe, Syracuse U.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Scholarly Addition to the Dylan Literature
Excellent reading for the devotee, this set of essays is in the same league as,'You've Been with The Professors', which I'd also commend. The erudition and literary quality is such, that, like the aforementioned, the pertinence to their primary source may occasionally seem stretched. Whatever, these are well meditated pieces that offer a varied slant on the master manouverer, his sources, his influence and his expression. The pace is set by Greil Marcus's exploration of the significance of Hibbing High on the adolescent Bob, with especial attribution to his English teacher, Boniface Rolfzen. I was particularly attracted to Mick Cochrane's essay on Theme time radio, Alex Lubert's musings on,'Disabling', C P Lee's on the infamous '66 UK tour, the Thomas Crow investigation of the Andy Warhol connexions, and David Yaffe's tracing of the mature Bob which whets my appetite for his forthcoming tome, The Many Roads of Bob Dylan. ... Read more

40. Bob Dylan: Intimate Insights from Friends and Fellow Musicians
by Kathleen Mackay
Hardcover: 256 Pages (2007-03-01)
list price: US$22.95 -- used & new: US$4.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0825673305
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Dylan s friends from Pete Seeger to Bruce Springsteen to Rosanne Cash to Bono to Tom Petty offer insight into the singer-songwriter s artistic genius and personality. This is an oral history of a major musician who played a significant role in America s cultural history. His story is told by the musicians who were at his side during the60s rollicking changes and artistic breakthroughs. Bob Dylan: Musicians on the Man provides a keen portrait of the friendships that helped shape important musicians whose voices influenced our society as a whole. Herein are insights not only into Dylan s elusive personality but into the lives of the major musicians of our times. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (11)

2-0 out of 5 stars Unless this is the first thing you've read about Bob Dylan...
...don't bother purchasing this book.

I don't think that I've read all that much about Dylan, but next to nothing in this book was 'news' to me... it's not much more than a rehash of old, previously published information that has been carefully gathered (and annotated) from multiple places.

On the other hand, by reading this book you will learn lots of little tidbits without having to look elsewhere.

Your choice, but for the price, I'd rather buy another Bob Dylan CD.

2-0 out of 5 stars Aahhh......so disappointing
I am a long time Dylan fan, and have most every book written.....I hoped
this would be interviews with those who know him sharing their thoughts
and insights. But it is just a rehash of previous interviews, statements,
published thoughts, etc. Not an original interview to be found. I have
read all that was in this book elsewhere. I think it is more than a bit
misleading. I do not recommend it.

1-0 out of 5 stars Exploitation with little substance
Whip out a book about Dylan with a cool photo on the cover and a couple of enticing quotes, and you have a good shot at reeling in enough Dylan fans to make a buck. This is a shallow effort that made me feel foolish about falling for another exploitation project. There aren't many intimate details here. In fact, this is largely a clip job wovenwith a collection of puff-piece essays on not particularly forthcoming sources from journalist who should have known just how low down in the profession she was going to release this. More marketing than meat. Don't fall for it.


3-0 out of 5 stars Not worth the money
Sure, there's some "intimate insights" about Bob Dylan in this book, but not much that we haven't read before in other books. However, my primary issue with this book is that there is WAY WAY WAY too much written about the people who are the ones giving the information about Dylan. I mean if you're really interested in the history of "Peter, Paul, and Mary" and if you really want to know how the "Band" got it's start and if knowing trivia about Liam Clancy, Pete Seeger, Kris Kristofferson and others, then this is the book for you. If you want insights about Dylan there are a lot of books out there with MUCH more information. Again, if you're wanting to know more about Bono, Tom Petty, Bruce Springsteen, then I'd suggest buying this book. ... Read more

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