Thursday, May 20, 2010

Dylan resurgence

The 60s was a revelation.

The 70s was a reflection.

The 80s was a deflation.

The 90s was a reflection.

The noughties was a resurgence.

From Oh Mercy, the resurgence was already bubbling under, Under a Red Sky was not half as bad as it was made out to be, not that it was an instant classic either. But then, Time out of Mind just clarified his stance as rock's most important poet.

Neil Young certainly had his comeback in the early nighties, but kinda settled into a groove after that. Dylan, with cracking voice, and being written off by nearly everyone coming into the 90s, was just biding his time. In fact, on Good as I have been and World Gone wrong, he was merely reaching back to his roots. Like every folk troubadour he looked up to, he was merely understanding what went before to go beyond.

That was the fundamental point of doing the never ending tours, to reconnect with the audience, from the biggest of arenas to the most intimate of supper clubs. The 91 Supper Club performances were legendary, they still are.

Then 2001 brought home Love and theft on 911 itself, how symbolic can that be? Coincidence? Either way, it is one of his best collection of tunes. Not because it had epics like Johanna or Desolation, but it reclaimed his confidence in roots music, and gave a nod to the basement tapes sessions. That the 1967 time with the Band and the Big Pink was just a rehearsal for L&T.

Yeah, what was to follow with Modern Times kinda just sealed the deal. Coming full circle for the Judased one. In fact, if anything, Modern Times will be as timeless as it is brilliant. The accusations of plagiarism on this album are totally missing the point. But then again, Dylan has never bothered to explain himself, only expressing himself on record. And what a beautiful record MT is.

But with every peak comes a plateau and subsequent descent. Together thru life is good, sometimes great, but never reaches the peak of the last 2 records. Still, its ways better than his mid 80s records, so that is saying something for someone becoming the oldest artist to top the US charts, and broke the record again in less than 3 years. This is not a singer losing touch, it's a singer songwriter gaining a new whole new generation of fans. A generation fed on Cobain and Coldplay and discovered that even the elder statesman can keep up with the current cream.

Bobfest was coined by NY in the 1992 anniversary concert. Well, bobfest is still in full force today, and hopefully, many more days to come.

PS ... lets just take Christmas in the Heart as a lark and fun as drunken ecstasy as it was meant to be.

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