Are any of Bob Dylan's new songs worth very much when comparing them to his classical years?

Bob Dylan has said himself that he cant get anywhere  near the lyrics of songs such as 'Masters of war' and seems to recognize them almost as coming from another person.When I was 16 and heard his music for the first time I was hooked,what he does now seems to pale into insignifance.Shouldn't we remember his great years and forget this watered down version?He would never have made it on the stuff he has produced over the last 15/20 years.Bob Dylan's great songs had poetry,vision and often humour.I cant hear that now, in any sense,and prefer to imagine the new songs dont exist

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Well, I guess I feel what yer saying...but not really.

The work of such writers (Dylan, Cohen, Greg Brown, Bill Morrissey, Guy Clark, etc) is to be consumed, digested, and thought about. I think that's why we listen to them. At least its why I do, anyway. In fact, I like to think the original magazine and this here website were founded on such debate and teeth-sinking analysis.

If I want to simply take a song for what it is I'll listen to Dinah Shore.

I agree , i didn't mean that we shouldn't analyse or think about these songs/artists , just that maybe it's not fair to compare older classics to new stuff. Just enjoy/think about/digest the new stuff on it's own  merits.

Having said that , i have a good friend who loves Bob and hasn't  been on these pages or bought a music magazine in his life , just likes listening to him in the car. His favourite song is Blind Willie McTell but he didn't even know he was a real person until i told him !

Go figure.

Dylan Was a poet,he hung around with poets,now he is a lyricist as far as I can see a la Springsteen etc.Not saying that his new albums are terrible,just that they pale into insignificance.I cant get how Time out of mind(which you all seem to mention) comes close to Blood on the Tracks,Blonde on Blonde,tell me a great piece of imagery on Time out of mind,I mean really-actually try and be specific here.I really do think that when people look back over the last 50 years,a couple of Dylam albums will appear in the top 10 greatest ever,but not the late stuff.Still,I'll have to see you in a another life time to find out!?   

A couple albums in the top 10 greatest ever is pretty good. While Donovan on the other hand might maybe crack the top 500 if some critic was feeling generous that day......................................................ooops, wrong Dylan discussion.

Can you go to the right discussuion.Thanks

Jesus man , LET IT GO !!


"It's not dark yet" and "Highlands" and "Ain't talking" for example easily compete if not surpass, any song from the 60th . It is just different not weaker or  lesser  from what many people loved in his early work.

Poetry is words without music, lyrics are words set to music.  This whole idea of songwriters being poets is one I don't buy into.  Dylan has always been a songwriter, primarily.  His lyrics, IMO, are to be appreciated along with the music, not disected out.  Some would argue that music and rhythm are more primal and expressive for humans than words are and thus can be extremely powerful and evocative.  So when you take the lyrics out of the context of the music, much of their power can be lost.  The lyrics of Its Not Dark Yet, to me, aren't nearly as powerful alone as they are when set to the swampy, late-night, dirge-y mood of the music.  Together, they are as brilliant to me as anything Dylan has ever done.  Here's a pretty good essay on the song:


Even when read without the music, its surprising that any Dylan fan would not be impressed by these words.  Just the first two lines set up an image in my mind as clear as a film scene and then the next two lines tell so much of a story in just a few words.  This is brilliant, brilliant stuff to my ears because its evocative of time, place and mood and its super honest and reveals a huge chunk of Dylan's psyche as the genius and important figure in 20th century American art that he is at this stage of his life.  It says boatloads about what its like to be a person who has stood for all that he has for so many years and to still be alive in this ethically and spiritually bankrupt mainstream America.

  As I said before you are welcome to your opinion, but I'm wondering why you seem to be working so hard to convince others and prove a point?  You can't prove an opinion and you don't need to.  Just because you don't hear the beauty in Dylan's later works doesn't mean it isn't there for many many fans.  I think you are working on a lost cause, dude.  Why not just listen to what you like and forego what you don't?

Shadows are fallin' and I've been here all day
It's too hot to sleep and time is runnin' away
Feel like my soul has turned into steel
I've still got the scars that the sun didn't heal
There's not even room enough to be anywhere
It's not dark yet but it's gettin' there.

Well, my sense of humanity has gone down the drain
Behind every beautiful thing there's been some kind of pain
She wrote me a letter and she wrote it so kind
She put down in writin' what was in her mind
I just don't see why I should even care
It's not dark yet but it's gettin' there.

Well, I've been to London and I been to gay Paris
I've followed the river and I got to the sea
I've been down on the bottom of the world full of lies
I ain't lookin' for nothin' in anyone's eyes
Sometimes my burden is more than I can bear
It's not dark yet but it's gettin' there.

I was born here and I'll die here against my will
I know it looks like I'm movin' but I'm standin' still
Every nerve in my body is so naked and numb
I can't even remember what it was I came here to get away from
Don't even hear the murmur of a prayer
It's not dark yet but it's gettin' there.


that's damn fine imagery to me.

'Don't even hear the murmur of a prayer'....these lyrics would put a new songwriter in the fast lane of critical acclaim IMO...and yet we are discussing if any of Bob's newer songs are worth much...a headscratcher to me...

Specific lyric:

I'll eat when I'm hungry, drink when I'm dry

And live my life on the square

And even if the flesh falls off of my face

I know someone will be there to care

It always means so much

Even the softest touch

 I see nothing to be gained by any explanation

 There are no words that need to be said  - Lovesick



I think these lyrics say it all-no imagery like his old stuff-point proved from my viewpoint.

If you think lyrics like 'I'll eat when I'm hungry,drink when I'm dry' are special then we have different criteria.



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Created by No Depression Feb 17, 2009 at 9:06pm. Last updated by No Depression Sep 24, 2012.