Bob Dylan, Performing Artist

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Bob Dylan, Performing Artist: The Early Years, 1960-1973
Bob Dylan Performing Artist 01.jpg
Cover of the paperback edition
Author Paul Williams
Country UK
Language English
SubjectMusic Of Bob Dylan
Genre Non-fiction, Criticism
Publisher Omnibus Press
Publication date
May 1, 2004 (2nd edition)
Media typePrint (Hardcover and Paperback)
Pages310 pp
ISBN 978-1-84449-095-0 (2nd edition, paperback)
Bob Dylan, Performing Artist: The Middle Years, 1974-1986
Bob Dylan Performing Artist 02.jpg
Cover of the paperback edition
Author Paul Williams
Country UK
Language English
SubjectMusic Of Bob Dylan
Genre Non-fiction, Criticism
Publisher Omnibus Press
Publication date
June 1, 2004 (2nd edition)
Media typePrint (Hardcover and Paperback)
Pages334 pp
ISBN 1-84449-096-3 (2nd edition, paperback)
Bob Dylan, Performing Artist: Mind Out Of Time,1986-1990 & beyond
Bob Dylan Performing Artist 03.jpg
Cover of the paperback edition
Author Paul Williams
Country UK
Language English
SubjectMusic Of Bob Dylan
Genre Non-fiction, Criticism
Publisher Omnibus Press
Publication date
August 8, 2005(2nd edition)
Media typePrint (Hardcover and Paperback)
Pages416 pp
ISBN 1-84449-831-X

Bob Dylan, Performing Artist is a series of three books written by music critic Paul Williams concerning the music of American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan. Unlike many other books about Dylan, these are not biographical but focus primarily on the performances delivered at various concerts over a period of almost forty years. The performances Williams analyzes were either personally attended or reviewed from audio-tapes (and sometimes from videotapes). In an interview published in Isis magazine's August 1990 issue, Williams told interviewer Derek Barker, "I didn't want to write about the person, I wanted to write about what this person has created, his art, his music." [1] Bob Dylan, Performing Artist is considered one of the leading critical analyses of Dylan's songs and performances.

A book series is a sequence of books having certain characteristics in common that are formally identified together as a group. Book series can be organized in different ways, such as written by the same author, or marketed as a group by their publisher.

Singer-songwriter musician who writes, composes and sings

Singer-songwriters are musicians who write, compose, and perform their own musical material, including lyrics and melodies.

Bob Dylan American singer-songwriter, musician, poet, author, and artist

Bob Dylan is an American singer-songwriter, author, and visual artist who has been a major figure in popular culture for more than fifty years. Much of his most celebrated work dates from the 1960s, when songs such as "Blowin' in the Wind" (1963) and "The Times They Are a-Changin'" (1964) became anthems for the civil rights movement and anti-war movement. His lyrics during this period incorporated a wide range of political, social, philosophical, and literary influences, defied pop-music conventions and appealed to the burgeoning counterculture.

Contents

The Early Years (1960-1973)

The first volume of the Performing Artist series, which covers the years 1960 through 1973, also recounts Dylan's childhood from his birth in May 1941 to August 1959. Early Years ends in December 1973 with Williams' review of the album Planet Waves .

<i>Planet Waves</i> 1974 studio album by Bob Dylan with The Band

Planet Waves is the fourteenth studio album by American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan, released on January 17, 1974 by Asylum Records in the United States and Island Records in the United Kingdom.

The Middle Years (1974-1986)

Middle Years is the second book of the series, covering from January 1974 to September 1986 and ending with a review of the album Knocked Out Loaded .

<i>Knocked Out Loaded</i> 1986 studio album by Bob Dylan

Knocked Out Loaded is the 24th studio album by American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan, released on July 14, 1986 by Columbia Records.

Mind Out Of Time (1986-1990 & beyond)

The last of the three volumes spans from September 1986 through September 1990. As the word "beyond" in the title implies, Mind Out Of Time includes two reviews by Williams of albums recorded after 1990, Time Out of Mind (1997) and Love and Theft (2001). The reviews were previously published in the magazine Crawdaddy! . Williams does not provide an explanation for omitting reviews of other post-1990 albums such as Good as I Been to You and World Gone Wrong .

<i>Time Out of Mind</i> (Bob Dylan album) 1997 studio album by Bob Dylan

Time Out of Mind is the 30th studio album by the American musician Bob Dylan, released on September 30, 1997, by Columbia Records. It was his first double studio album since Self Portrait in 1970. It was also released as a single CD.

<i>Good as I Been to You</i> album by Bob Dylan

Good as I Been to You is the 28th studio album by American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan, released on November 3, 1992, by Columbia Records.

<i>World Gone Wrong</i> 1993 studio album by Bob Dylan

World Gone Wrong is the 29th studio album by American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan, released on October 26, 1993, by Columbia Records.

Reception

All three volumes of Performing Artist were widely acclaimed by critics. Rolling Stone magazine described the series as "Substantial, compelling...a voyage of rediscovery." American poet Allen Ginsberg commented, "Paul Williams historicizes Dylan's genius of American tongue." [2]

<i>Rolling Stone</i> American magazine focusing on popular culture, based in New York City

Rolling Stone is an American monthly magazine that focuses on popular culture. It was founded in San Francisco, California, in 1967 by Jann Wenner, who is still the magazine's publisher, and the music critic Ralph J. Gleason. It was first known for its musical coverage of rock music and for political reporting by Hunter S. Thompson. In the 1990s, the magazine broadened and shifted its focus to a younger readership interested in youth-oriented television shows, film actors, and popular music. It has returned to its traditional mix of content, including music, entertainment, and politics.

Allen Ginsberg American poet and philosopher

Irwin Allen Ginsberg was an American poet, philosopher and writer. As a Columbia College student in the 1940s, he began close friendships with William S. Burroughs and Jack Kerouac, forming the core of the Beat Generation. He vigorously opposed militarism, economic materialism, and sexual repression and was known as embodying various aspects of this counterculture, such as his views on drugs, hostility to bureaucracy and openness to Eastern religions.

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<i>Blood on the Tracks</i> 1975 studio album by Bob Dylan

Blood on the Tracks is the fifteenth studio album by American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan, released on January 20, 1975 by Columbia Records. The album marked Dylan's return to Columbia Records after a two-album stint with Asylum Records. Dylan commenced recording the album in New York City in September 1974. In December, shortly before Columbia was due to release the album, Dylan abruptly re-recorded much of the material in a studio in Minneapolis. The final album contains five tracks from New York and five from Minneapolis.

<i>Highway 61 Revisited</i> 1965 studio album by Bob Dylan

Highway 61 Revisited is the sixth studio album by American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan, released on August 30, 1965 by Columbia Records. Having until then recorded mostly acoustic music, Dylan used rock musicians as his backing band on every track of the album, except for the closing track, the 11-minute ballad "Desolation Row". Critics have focused on the innovative way Dylan combined driving, blues-based music with the subtlety of poetry to create songs that captured the political and cultural chaos of contemporary America. Author Michael Gray has argued that, in an important sense, the 1960s "started" with this album.

<i>Bringing It All Back Home</i> 1965 studio album by Bob Dylan

Bringing It All Back Home is the fifth studio album by American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan. It was released on March 22, 1965, by Columbia Records.

<i>The Freewheelin Bob Dylan</i> 1963 studio album by Bob Dylan

The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan is the second studio album by American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan, released on May 27, 1963 by Columbia Records. Whereas his self-titled debut album Bob Dylan had contained only two original songs, Freewheelin' represented the beginning of Dylan's writing contemporary words to traditional melodies. Eleven of the thirteen songs on the album are Dylan's original compositions. The album opens with "Blowin' in the Wind", which became an anthem of the 1960s, and an international hit for folk trio Peter, Paul & Mary soon after the release of Freewheelin'. The album featured several other songs which came to be regarded as among Dylan's best compositions and classics of the 1960s folk scene: "Girl from the North Country", "Masters of War", "A Hard Rain's a-Gonna Fall" and "Don't Think Twice, It's All Right".

<i>Oh Mercy</i> 1989 studio album by Bob Dylan

Oh Mercy is the 26th studio album by American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan, released on September 18, 1989 by Columbia Records. Produced by Daniel Lanois, it was hailed by critics as a triumph for Dylan, after a string of poorly reviewed albums. Oh Mercy gave Dylan his best chart showing in years, reaching No.  30 on the Billboard charts in the United States and No.  6 in the UK.

<i>Under the Red Sky</i> 1990 studio album by Bob Dylan

Under the Red Sky is the 27th studio album by American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan, released on September 10, 1990 by Columbia Records.

Paul S. Williams was an American music journalist and writer who created Crawdaddy!, the first national US magazine of rock music criticism, in January 1966. He was a leading authority on the works of musicians Bob Dylan, Brian Wilson, and Neil Young, and science fiction writers Philip K. Dick and Theodore Sturgeon.

"Ballad of a Thin Man" is a song written and recorded by Bob Dylan, and released as the final track on Side One of his sixth album, Highway 61 Revisited, in 1965.

Positively 4th Street original song written and composed by Bob Dylan

"Positively 4th Street" is a song written and performed by Bob Dylan, first recorded in New York City on July 29, 1965. It was released as a single by Columbia Records on September 7, 1965, reaching No. 1 on Canada's RPM chart, No. 7 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, and No. 8 on the UK Singles Chart. Rolling Stone magazine ranked the song as No. 206 in their 500 Greatest Songs of All Time list.

Just Like Tom Thumbs Blues Bob Dylan song

"Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues" is a song written and performed by Bob Dylan. It was originally recorded on August 2, 1965, and released on the album Highway 61 Revisited. The song was later released on the compilation album Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits Vol. II and as two separate live versions recorded at concerts in 1966: the first of which appeared on the B-side of Dylan's "I Want You" single, with the second being released on The Bootleg Series Vol. 4: Bob Dylan Live 1966, The "Royal Albert Hall" Concert. The song has been covered by many artists, including Gordon Lightfoot, Nina Simone, Barry McGuire, Judy Collins, Frankie Miller, Linda Ronstadt, the Grateful Dead, Neil Young, The Black Crowes, Townes Van Zandt, and Bryan Ferry. Lightfoot's version was recorded only weeks after Dylan's original had been released and reached #3 on the Canadian RPM singles chart.

"It's All Over Now, Baby Blue" is a song written and performed by Bob Dylan and featured on his Bringing It All Back Home album, released on March 22, 1965 by Columbia Records. The song was recorded on January 15, 1965 with Dylan's acoustic guitar and harmonica and William E. Lee's bass guitar the only instrumentation. The lyrics were heavily influenced by Symbolist poetry and bid farewell to the titular "Baby Blue." There has been much speculation about the real life identity of "Baby Blue", with possibilites including Joan Baez, David Blue, Paul Clayton, Dylan's folk music audience, and even Dylan himself.

"Spanish Harlem Incident" is a song written and performed by Bob Dylan which was released on his 1964 album, Another Side of Bob Dylan, on August 8. The song has been described as "a gorgeous vignette" by critics and been praised for its multilayered, poetic dimensions. When Dylan himself has been questioned about the song's subject matter he has confessed that he has no idea. However, author Paul Williams describes the song as a portrait of a gypsy girl that Dylan has seen only fleetingly but who has completely captivated him. Williams goes on to say that within the context of the song, Dylan is falling in love with not only the gypsy girl but also with the whole idea of gypsies and of himself in love with one.

"Pledging My Time" is a blues song written and recorded by American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan for his 1966 album Blonde on Blonde. The song was recorded on March 8, 1966, in Nashville, Tennessee, with veteran Nashville musicians and Canadian guitarist Robbie Robertson. "Pledging My Time" was released the next month by Columbia Records as the B-side of the single "Rainy Day Women#12 & 35", a hit record in both the United States and Great Britain. The two songs also led off Blonde on Blonde, which was officially released on May 16, 1966, and today is considered among the best albums of all time.

"Lay Down Your Weary Tune" is a song written by Bob Dylan in 1963. He originally recorded it for his album The Times They Are a-Changin', but it was not released until 1985 on the Biograph box set. In the album liner notes, Dylan claims that in the song he was trying to capture the feeling of a Scottish ballad he had just heard on a 78 rpm record. The specific ballad Dylan was referring to has not been identified, but speculation includes "The Water Is Wide", "O Waly, Waly" and "I Wish, I Wish".

"Mama, You Been on My Mind" is a song by American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan. Written in 1964 during a trip to Europe, the song dealt with his recent breakup with his girlfriend, Suze Rotolo. Dylan first recorded the song in June of that year during a session for his album Another Side of Bob Dylan. However, the song was not included on the album, and Dylan's version remained unreleased until 1991. In total, in the 1990s and 2000s four versions were put out on Dylan's Bootleg Series of releases, including two live performances with Joan Baez from 1964 and 1975.

This is a list of books published by and about Bob Dylan.

<i>The Bootleg Series Vol. 11: The Basement Tapes Complete</i> 2014 compilation album by Bob Dylan and the Band

The Bootleg Series Vol. 11: The Basement Tapes Complete is a compilation album of unreleased home recordings made in 1967 by Bob Dylan and the group of musicians that would become The Band, released on Legacy Records November 3, 2014. It is the ninth installment of the Bob Dylan Bootleg Series, available in the six-disc complete set and a two-disc set common to the rest of the series entitled The Basement Tapes Raw.

<i>Shadows in the Night</i> 2015 album by Bob Dylan

Shadows in the Night is the 36th studio album by Bob Dylan, released by Columbia Records on February 3, 2015. The album consists of covers of traditional pop standards made famous by Frank Sinatra, chosen by Dylan. Speaking of his intention behind the album, Dylan stated:

I don't see myself as covering these songs in any way. They've been covered enough. Buried, as a matter a fact. What me and my band are basically doing is uncovering them. Lifting them out of the grave and bringing them into the light of day.

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