So after the announcement that Bob Dylan had been awarded the Nobel Prize for literature, I decided to listen to his entire studio catalogue. 37 albums. I made it most of the way through. His last album is not on Spotify (Nederland) yet, but here are the pithy comments I posted to the Music Obscurica group of my progress. And links to (usually) related videos.

1. Usually I try to read something, a poem or a short story at least, but each new recipient of the Nobel in literature. My new goal is to listen to one Dylan album per day for the next few weeks. I listened this morning to Dylan’s first album for the first time. I love lots of Dylan, but was never a completist, and knew most of the songs only from other people’s versions. Back in ’91 or so (follow me here), I saw Diamanda Galas on her solo piano tour. Her intro to this song made mention of the original and to Dylan’s ‘awful’ version of it, and that she was there to reclaim it. I quite like her version, but that night was my introduction to…

Blind Lemon Jefferson: See That My Grave Is Kept Clean:

2. Trying to listen to Bob Dylan’s discography. I know there’s brilliance in the lyrics, but Another Side of Bob Dylan is nearly unlistenable. I listen to some difficult music – I crank up Swans’ Public Castration Is A Good Idea for pleasure, but wow, there’s a hole in the bucket Dylan’s carrying his tunes in. [NB: I apparently didn’t post consistently for the first few]

3. A Dylan A Day #(Buick) 6:

This might be the first in his discography that I actually like. This is partly true because it’s the album of his I probably know best. Have owned more than one copy. These weren’t songs written for someone else to improve/do correctly. These were done well in the first place. The presence of other musicians meant that Dylan actually had to sing in key. And yeah, it’s all good stuff/no filler.

I don’t think I prefer the Dead’s version of Queen Jane, but when I think of the song, I always hear Bob Weir’s vocal:

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