Bob Dylan, An American Story

Posted on Nov 12 2013 - 8:57am by Admin
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Honored Wednesday of the Legion of Honor, the singer in concert at the Grand Rex in Paris and publishes his complete works. His biographer Greil Marcus says his journey in pictures.


The year 2013 marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Never Ending Tour , this endless tour that sees Bob Dylan travel the roads with maniacal force since half of his career. With an average of one hundred concerts a year, the septuagenarian demonstrated a frenzy which none of his peers of the same generation can boast: the Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney and Neil Young certainly continue to occur, but age they slowed from the rates. The man was in Paris for three nights, in the Grand Rex, a room in which he has not played since … 1990. Tomorrow he will receive the Legion d’Honneur AurĂ©lie Filippetti. This decoration which sparked a lively debate last spring, not yet listed in the official agenda of the minister. For the sake of discretion due to the artist.

It is honored or not, he has a album to promote or not, Dylan spends most of his time traveling, flanked by a group whose structure has not changed since 1988: a tightened around combo Lieutenants flying high as Tony Garnier (bass) and Charlie Sexton (guitar). The French guitarist Freddy Koella was part of the orchestra in the former between 2003 and 2004. With them, Dylan produces music as we could hear it in a sleazy bar any corn in the Midwest in the years before the invention of rock’n’roll. To this difference that is one of those who, with some others, have developed modern rock in the 1960s.

Bob Dylan did that make labels. If he spent the last decades to make elusive, it is also not having to answer delusional expectations of a public that has made him the subject of an excessive idolatry. Treaty of Judas in 1966 to be on stage with an electric guitar when he was the symbol of folk engaged, the singer has not stopped since disconcert, even exhausting the patience of the most patient of his scholars.

Phoenix Rock

All because Robert Zimmerman, son of a seller appliances Minnesota, refused to be regarded as the prophet of a generation – the hippies – he despised with all the arrogance of which he is capable. Spiritual son of Woodie Guthrie, it is still considered a descendant of the authors of the beat generation, surrealism, or the poetry of Mallarme and Rimbaud. Although he abandoned the protest songs since 1964, trading words with a social dimension for personal and pictorial texts, Dylan continues to be perceived as an old folk bard shouting themselves hoarse in a harmonica by a large segment of the population World, who preferred the freeze in the image rather than trying to follow the will of successive reinventions provocative rock star, family man quiet, apostle of tradition or wry chronicler of America.

In 1978, in a dramatic volte-face, he appears on stage surrounded by a large orchestra and choir arrangements dripping way Elvis in Las Vegas. It becomes particularly difficult to defend a client, including the battalions of faithful who had previously followed as the Messiah. At the end of a world tour, Ukrainian and Lithuanian Jewish origin turns Christian, ascending devotee. The records he recorded between 1979 and 1981, full of biblical references and sounds gospel among what he did worse. The 1980s lack to be fatal, between overproduced albums and concerts catastrophic. At Live Aid in July 1985 , it is staggering and pale, apparently caught drinking at a concert broadcast to millions of homes. It touches the bottom, while touring with the Grateful Dead veterans two years later, before being reborn from its ashes.

The salvation will come from old friends George Harrison and Tom Petty, who enlist in the adventure as ephemeral as the triumphant Traveling Wilburys . After songs without breath or inspiration, Dylan has been back in its acid and humorous vein. And still understand what he was singing. The start will be even more pronounced in a handful of albums that could burn in its infancy but he makes his fifties came: two collections of traditional songs recorded in an acoustic counting that allows him to find the roots of his music .

At the time of fate Time out of Mind in 1997, Bob Dylan (again) become a gold standard and one of the few rock veterans still able to make the event each disc. With Modern Times, in 2005, he even makes a best-selling career.

The full out today – his first, full of 41 albums, including 35 studio – is cleverly subtitled Volume 1. Where we see that even the most atrocious record of the man have at least one great song: Every Grain of Sand (Shot of Love, 1981) Brownsville Girl (Knocked Out Loaded, 1986) or Death is not the End ( Down in the Groove, 1988). Songs that Dylan is likely to come out of his hat, the air of nothing, and that even the most seasoned put three minutes to recognize.

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