Bob Dylan's Near Perfect Storm

The master songwriter's new record is called Tempest – and it includes both a tribute to John Lennon and an epic chantey on the sinking of the Titanic. A world exclusive preview by Anne Margaret Daniel.

Breathtaking, mythmaking, heartbreaking, the songs and ballads of Bob Dylan's Tempest are composed of intricately patterned rhyme and sound. No other songwriter can marry words and music as richly as Dylan can, and the perfect-ten tracks of this record come straight to us from a bard's ear and a poet's pen.

First, the sound. It’s odd for me that the richness of the melodies, and the expertise of the musicians, headed by Dylan and David Hidalgo, are what I think of first. I teach words, and I love them. It’s strange that I can’t remember more couplets; the whole record resounds with rhyming couplets, and internal rhymes and alliteration too. I was dazzled by great, snappy, unexpected rhymes – bitter tragic rhymes – elegant baroque rhymes – and yet can remember comparatively few.

I think that’s because I was concentrating on the tunes, and the way the words fit into the music so well. It’s always a little game I play with myself when I read for the first time a new poem by someone like Seamus Heaney, who has such a great command of ending and internal rhyme: what’s he gonna rhyme with that? Like Heaney, Dylan’s always headed for the unexpected (one blistering example here: God/firing squad), unless it’s a sentimental song (and then you are indeed going to get moon and June and soon, love and above in the rhymes, though with the unexpected in terms of what happens in the song’s story).

However, because Tempest just plain sounds so good, I have much less of a sense of the lyrics than I normally would. The way Dylan uses words, the command he has over them, and the number of them he knows and deploys to immense effect are all among the things I love most about Dylan.

The sound of this record proves to anyone who’s bitched about Dylan’s music recently that Jack Frost is one hell of a producer. David Hidalgo (whose name got misspelled “Hildago” on Together Through Life – proofreaders please take note) adds so much – it’s like having the quality of a horn section in just one man. The accordion/box standing in for a harmonica faked me out more than once. Hidalgo helps conjure up a Desolation-Rowish feeling on some of the tracks – just the way Charlie McCoy’s guitar could. And Donnie Herron’s fiddle is subtle but bright, to smile over when you catch a glimpse of it from song to song.

The first track, 'Duquesne Whistle', is perfect for the start. What journey doesn’t begin with the whistle of a leaving train? America has such a thing for trains – we strangely think of them as very American, even though in the modern day they’re better run in just about any European country. I think it’s a touch of the Wild West – a landscape Dylan likes to live in, imaginatively, and one that’s so essentially American – with the train as the only way to get to town, the lifeline to “civilization” and Back East.

And there are more good train songs than there are for any other travel genre. Sure, there are some good car songs. Not so much airplane songs. Then you can go back for all the old sea chanteys, most of which I’d bet Dylan knows, but ships these days are too archaic a mode of travel – or a romantic and privileged one. (More about sea chanteys and ballads later; the title track is one). 'Duquesne' is one of those names that are fun as heck to say, if you know how to pronounce it – a town that seems to be lost in the middle of nowhere, but that hooks up to anywhere by train. Even if, as Dylan has it, it’s via Gary, Indiana, where once upon a time The Music Man lived. But which Duquesne is it, anyway? They’re all over the American map – including one in Arizona that’s a ghost town now. (It cracked me up to see that a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania paper has already run an article saying Bob Dylan has a new song about the Duquesne Steel Works and Andrew Carnegie.) The whole sense of the song made me feel like Jay Gatsby, back from the war on that eastbound train, leaving Louisville: “But it was all going by too fast for his blurred eyes and he knew that he had lost that part of it, the freshest and best, forever.” Yet this first song’s not all looking back, and tristesse. As I listened to some of the more genial lines linking the train to women, and the idea of the singer’s baby being on board, I thought of radiant Marilyn Monroe as Sugar Kane in 'Some Like it Hot', singing 'Runnin’ Wild' in the aisles of a southbound train somewhere in the Midwest. I loved the invocation of the “lights of my native land,” and was pleasantly surprised when the train-whistle voice, feminized already, echoes the “mother of our lord.” The ending challenge in Dylan’s light, resonant voice as to whether or not you’ll “know me the next time I come ‘round” is for us all – and yes sir, we’ll know you.

Maybe the best thing of all about 'Duquesne', though, is that it rhymes with “train.” Are critics going to get how rich and eloquent and patterned the rhyming on this record is? I hope so. Dylan is among the best rhymers in the English language since Yeats, who was the best since Byron, who was the best since Pope, who was the best since Shakespeare. And I mean that.

'Soon After Midnight' is when some people’s days begin, true. Here, in the second song, it seems to be a whole brothelful of folks. We’re on Rue Morgue Avenue redux, but this place isn’t as terrifying and life-threatening at all; the setting of 'Soon After Midnight' is pretty mellow, really, and romantic, as such things go. The rhymes make you grin – of course Charlotte the harlot is going to be dressed in scarlet, while “Mary’s in green / I’ve got myself a date with the Faerie Queene” (at least that’s how I’m spelling it, the way Spenser did). This is honky-tonkin’ nostalgia, in the end, and Dylan’s current band has been playing Western-saloon, cowboy-band style long enough now to make it sound like late night in a border town as the words come full circle to the end. The ladies may treat him kindly, but where the singer really wants to be, ma’am, is with you.

'Narrow Way' shook me up a little – dark and gritty and one of which I can’t remember many specific details, because they were wiped away by the ensuing standout song 'Long And Wasted Years'. I remember a general biblical/messianic feel (not exactly unfamiliar, if you’ve always listened to Dylan). But 'Long and Wasted Years' is a punch in the jaw, a shove against the wall, from start to end. The scene here is of a guy in bed with a woman who’s talking in her sleep, saying things she shouldn’t, things for which one day she might end up in jail. There are zinger couplets, patterned internal rhymes here, a trail of linguistic breadcrumbs to a rocking gritty beat that lead from one harsh remarkable image to another. The song’s title being withheld until the end, and then drawn out in the last line in Dylan’s intense, bitingly enunciated voice, is genius.

'Pay in Blood' is also a great song. The Dylan move of someone’s gonna pay, but it ain’t gonna be me, is an old one. He’s slippery, and gets out of the fixes he gets himself into in his songs…most of the time. “Arms and legs, body & bone / I’ll pay in blood, but not my own.” It’s got a taunting, judging tone to it that fits the words perfectly into the tune.

'Scarlet Town' was one of my very favorites. My mother’s family are farmers from western North Carolina, who came there from Scotland (where my many-times-great grandmother was bonnie Annie Laurie) in the 1760s. My grandmother sang me to sleep when I was a child with 'Barbara Allen', her favorite ballad, and it’s always been mine. Not exactly an uplifter, but what ballad is? One of the great evenings of my life was hearing Dylan singing 'Barbara Allen' in the summer of 1988 at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles. Well, I think if Grandma had sung me to sleep with 'Scarlet Town', I’d have been a tad more unsettled than 'Barbara Allen' probably had already made me in my dreams. The tune is gorgeous, and the song sung sweetly and softly, every word crystal clear, enunciated and carefully pronounced. You won’t need a lyric sheet for this record. (I don’t understand people who complain they can’t tell what Dylan’s saying/singing: he’s very precise these days.) Like many of the songs on Tempest, 'Scarlet Town’s' got an archaic feel – and not just because its roots are in an old ballad’s roses and briars. Scarlet Town, where I was born, with its golden leaves and silver thorn, could have come from a Yeats poem of the 1890s. The town itself is far from perfect, with its marble slabs and graveyards and deaths – but, the singer reminds you repeatedly, still you regret leaving it, and you know you’ll come back there some day.

'Early Roman Kings' is a rhyming romp – lecherous and treacherous, peddlers and meddlers. I was laughing through it, and wincing sometimes, too, at the hard images. The Muddy Waters riff that drives 'Mannish Boy', that Muddy in turn got from a hundred older bluesmen, pulls the words along in a river. It’s sort of a voodoo song, with all the kings like Baron Samedis. They’re not in togas or on coins, but in their sharkskin suits, in their top hats and tails, nailed in their coffins (so they can’t get out, presumably, though beware, they DO). All the centuries are jumbled together like tossed cards. Which, when you think about it, is pretty much the way human history goes down, and always will. When the singer starts cautioning you, near the end, that he’s going to start acting like an early Roman king, you’d better stay on your toes. Or, better yet, head for the hills.

'Tin Angel' is another ballad, of which there are, happily, several on this record. Nobody does ballads like Dylan, said Liam Clancy the last time he was in New York – high praise, coming from Clancy. (Then Clancy did his Dylan impression, and very affectionately, too). One of the earliest poetic forms in English, the ballad’s also one of the most enduring and popular. People purely love a song that tells a good story – and, as Richard Thompson likes to say in concert, we especially love ballads when everyone dies in the end, except for whoever the writer/singer of the song is. 'Tin Angel' is Scotland meets Mexico, a borderline Dylan loves: the bonnie bonnie banks of the Rio Grande. There’s a weird love triangle, here, among a woman and two men. I couldn’t quite tell who the woman’s married to, but then maybe neither can she. Both men claim to be at some point, or she calls them at some point, husband. But the plot of 'Tin Angel' is 'The Raggle Taggle Gypsy', or 'Gypsy Davy', with a dash of 'Lord Darnell' thrown in. (It’s also rather Romeo and Juliet. Whenever a woman pulls out a knife and kills herself with it, between two dead lovers, I have to think of poor Juliet. There are several lines in the songs of Tempest that are straight out of Shakespeare). As in 'Early Roman Kings' the diction’s high and low, archaic words and phrasings mixed in with modernspeak.

And why not? We have such a rich language in English – use it all. Dylan’s brilliant to do so. Words don’t go away; we just keep making up more of them, and there’s such a wealth of ones that have fallen out of use. Bring ‘em back. Here, people lower themselves on golden chains, and crumple at the waist like twisted pins. This guy with whom the woman’s run off isn’t so raggle-taggle – she’s not sleeping rough on a riverbank wrapped in a horsehide, but naked in bed in a nice warm room, clinking glasses in front of the fire, when we enter the scene for her last moments. One man shoots the other, who crawls across the floor, dying; she then kills the killer – and herself. It feels fated, like a good ballad: she’s not mourning the dead lover, but quitting (in the sense of quitclaim) the “husband” she’s just stabbed – sort of a self-executed eye for an eye. That they all end up in a heap together, thrown in a hole, seems appropriate.

In all these middle songs, taken together, I remember feeling dangers all around by the end of them. There are harsh phrases (politicians full of piss, bastards, and, somewhere, a “flat-chested junkie whore”) that put you on guard and that really make you listen, and think. Having yourself primed that way, while also irrevocably tapping your toes and rocking to the tunes, is an excellent way to be as you come to realize that the next song is the one about Titanic.

'Tempest' is a flood, less a matter of a particular ship sinking than the waters constantly rising, and rising. From the set-up for this nearly quarter-hour song (the scene of a woman in a saloon, getting ready to sing the song about the Great Ship), with its rolling, flowing 1-2-3 waltz ripple-beat, to the fade-out of its conclusion, 'Tempest' is a mesmerizing ballad. It feels like someone’s dangling a watch in front of your face, swinging it back and forth as what’s going to happen inexorably comes to pass. You know the history of Titanic, you know the stories made of it from novels to recent movies, and you can’t stop it, you just have to sit there and respect it. As you listen, you bear witness. The ship’s watchman is a perfect recurring figure to keep you company, watching along with you (he reminds me of the fez-wearing desk clerk in 'Black Diamond Bay', a cataclysmic ballad also). The watchman’s a fine character for a refrain, seen dozing while dancers circle; seen later as the ship begins to go down; and seen wanting, finally, to send a message to someone when it’s far too late. The images are powerful: the dark cold sky full of stars; John Jacob Astor kissing his darling wife; even Leo and his sketchpad. Leo appears again, with Cleo this time, later in the song. He, and she, will make Dylanologists run amok linking Di Caprio and Cleopatra, I expect: two people famous for being in boats. After all, Cleo has that barge, in which she makes her triumphal entrance for Antony in one of the most famous, doomed, spectacular scenes in all of Shakespeare. What people won’t concentrate on is what’s simplest and happiest for a song: the fact that Leo and Cleo rhyme. The use of the movie Titanic is good, and smart – it shows an awareness, without judging the fact, that Leo’s movie is what Titanic means to most people today. Like me, Dylan’s remembered that stunning scene of the drowned woman in her long gown, floating in the risen waters above the elaborate staircase as if she’s dancing; he refers to it powerfully. Certain lines, like the one about petals falling from the vases of fresh flowers in a first-class area, are particularly lyric. As I listened to this song, though, I thought about Noah and Katrina as much as I did about Titanic. Maybe more. To call it epic isn’t too strong.

After the flood, there’s only one more song to listen to. 'Roll On John' will be the most talked-about track on Tempest, and with good reason. There’s so much going on in it, and it’s truly beautiful. In a first listening I’ve gotten so little of it, but am still very moved by it. The simple, clean refrain, intimated in the title, is reminiscent of the refrain of John Lennon’s own 'Instant Karma'. The use of other Beatles lines, and above all those from William Blake, are magical tributes. 'Roll On John' is an elegy. When you write an elegy paying tribute to one who has died, you use forms and models and all the elegies that have come before. When Milton wrote an elegy for his drowned friend Edward King, he used Greek models and translated lines from odes. When Shelley wrote 'Adonais' for Keats, he used Milton; when Yeats elegized Robert Gregory, he used Shelley; when Auden elegized Yeats, he used Yeats.

The title of this song is taken from an old folk tune Dylan recorded 50 years ago, a song of abandoned love and sunsets and what’s lonesome. The plaint of the refrain of that old tune is that John rolls on so slow. What breaks the heart, here, is the fact that John Lennon shone brightly for such a short time on this earth. Only months older than Dylan, Lennon was just 40 when he was killed. The images in this song go through Lennon’s musical life as a young man, from the Liverpool docks to the Hamburg streets, to the Quarrymen in the cellar – but there are also powerful images of silencing and captivity, things John never, ever put up with. A stanza about slave ships sailing the Atlantic, focusing on a man’s mouth clamped shut, is stunning, as is the companion verse about a modern-day move – both from England to America, and beyond. Lennon has bags to unpack, but he hasn’t, yet; the singer gently reassures him, and us, that “the sooner you leave, the sooner you’ll be back.” This line makes of England, and Manhattan, islands from which Lennon’s gone, and oh, does it make us want him back. The possibilities of life in America are fraught with old-style Western ambush, Indian attack, being shot in the back: painful listening, as you remember that morning in December when most of us heard of Lennon’s death. The final stanza is a gorgeous surprise, tying together the song’s refrain of Lennon’s having burned so bright in a perfect circle of the personal and the poetic:

"Tiger, tiger, burning bright

Pray the Lord my soul to keep

In the forests of the night

Cover him over and let him sleep."

If anyone has a “problem” with the last verse of 'Roll On John' being composed largely of lines from William Blake’s 'The Tyger' and from the prayer most children in John Lennon’s England, and Bob Dylan’s America, used to say every night – if anyone wants to claim this isn’t “original” – they’re pretty shallow uncomprehending types without any sense of the grace of literary history and individual composition. They’re also not listening with their hearts. Bob Dylan is the best proponent, and champion, of tradition and the individual talent writing and singing songs today. That last line before the concluding refrain, “Cover him over and let him sleep,” is so gently and lovingly delivered that it doesn’t need a single word to come past it – and so I end this first listen to a remarkable new record here.

Tempest will be released in Ireland on September 7.

© Hot Press and Anne Margaret Daniel, 2012.

 

Related Articles

Springsteen Releases Statement from Autobiography after Dylan's Nobel Win

Read More

The Greatest Bob Dylan Covers

From Jimi Hendrix, Adele, The Byrds, Rage Against The Machine and Jeff Buckley.

Read More

The Top Bob Dylan Videos

To celebrate all things Dylan today we are digging up the best clips of the folk legend.

Read More

Bob Dylan wins Nobel prize in literature

The man recognised as one of the finest lyricists to ever walk the earth has been awarded the prestigious prize this morning

Read More

Watch: Bob Dylan 1962 Interview Gets The Animated Treatment

The animation was created by PBS series, Blank on Blank.

Read More

Album Review: Bob Dylan Fallen Angels

Second album of old time standards from His Bobness.

Read More

Bob Dylan's newest album to be released later this month

Columbia Records announced yesterday that Dylan's latest album, Fallen Angels, will be released later in the month.

Read More

TV Series Being Developed Based on Bob Dylan's Songs

Amazon Studios and Lionsgate TV are in the process of developing a series based on Bob Dylan's song catalogue

Read More

Bob Dylan announces release of new album Fallen Angels

Icon's 37th studio record slated for May release

Read More

Bob Dylan is recording new album

Dylan is laying down tracks in Capitol Records and they sound “great” according to his long-time engineer Al Schmidtt

Read More

Bob Dylan 1961-64 Exhibition At The Gallery Of Photography

Event premieres exclusive pics from the folk legend's Greenwich Village days

Read More

Legendary Bob Dylan Producer, Bob Johnston dies

Producer to Leonard Cohen and Bob Dylan, Bob Johnston dies

Read More

Jackie Hayden to talk Bob Dylan on Near FM

The Dylanologist and Hot Press legend will be waxing lyrical on the airwaves.

Read More

WATCH: Bob Dylan guests on Letterman

The Late Show host is bowing out in considerable rock 'n' roll style!

Read More

WATCH: New Bob Dylan music video

A tune from Shadows in the Night gets an appropriately noirish video treatment

Read More

Bob Dylan's MusiCares speech in full

Bob Dylan was the recipient of the MusiCares Person of the Year 2015 award designed to "to commend musicians for their artistic achievement in the music industry and dedication to philanthropy". He delivered a 30-minute acceptance speech that was honest, heartwarming and inspirational. Just like the man and his music.  

Read More

Bob Dylan debuts at top of Irish Albums Chart

The 73-year-old shows young singer-songwriters how it's done.

Read More

REVIEW: Bob Dylan – Shadows In The Night

Anne Margaret Daniel's verdict on Dylan's latest collection of covers.

Read More

Bob Dylan debuts new song

Legendary artist releases 'Stay With Me' from forthcoming covers album

Read More

Bob Dylan's Sinatra album arrives next month

Shadows In The Night is out January 30.

Read More

Bob Dylan & The Band 'The Basement Tapes Raw' - Album Review

DYLAN AND THE BAND’S HOLY GRAIL FINALLY SEES THE LIGHT

Read More

Dylan In The Name Of

In a forthcoming Culture Night lecture, legendary Hot Press writer Jackie Hayden will discuss the interweaving legacy of the “two Dylans” – Bob and Thomas – and their influence on him as a young man growing up in consaervative Dublin.

Read More

LIVE REVIEW: Bob Dylan in The O2, Dublin

Not your run-of-the-mill heritage act, the 'Like A Rolling Stone' star might be croakier these days, but he still enjoys the odd spot of chaos.

Read More

Glen Hansard features on Bob Dylan tribute album

Glen Hansard is among those contributing to Bob Dylan In The ’80s: Volume One, which according to ATO Records is deigned to “highlight Dylan’s most ignored, understood, and maligned decade.”

Read More

Watch: Bob Dylan’s interactive ‘Like a Rolling Stone’ video

A new video for the 1965 track has been released in support of The Bob Dylan Complete Album Collection Vol. 1.

Read More

Bob Dylan 'The Bootleg Series Volume 10 - Another Self Portrait'

A Thrilling Dip Into The Dylan Archives

Read More

Musicians and advertising

With the Strypes blasting The Beatles' classic 'Come Together' in an ad for Harley Davidson, we look back at other musicians who've appeared in commercials

Read More

Dylan's artwork to go on display in London

We've seen him turn his hand to prose with the majestic Chronicles in 2005, we obviously heard his many musical masterpieces from his thousand-strong back catalogue of songs, now it's time for the critical glare to turn to Dylan's pastel portraits...

Read More

Strokes duo top Dublin Bob Dylan tribute bill

The good folk at Jameson have announced details of Dylan Fest, a charitable nod to Bob, which takes place on August 9 in the Dublin Academy.

Read More

Bob Dylan hits out at critics

Strong words from the legendary figure...

Read More

LISTEN: Dylan's new album

Free streaming for a limited period!

Read More

Bob Dylan mourns John Lennon on new album

And the master songwriter remembers the Titanic too...

Read More

Bob Dylan and Peter Gabriel for Hop Farm Music Festival

Suede will also play this year's festival.

Read More

Bob Dylan announces Dublin date

The legendary singer is coming to the O2.

Read More

Dylan In The Name Of

To the average person in the street May 24 may be a date like any other. But Bob Dylan fans know differently...

Read More

Bob Dylan admits heroin addiction

The singer-songwriter was addicted to heroin and contemplated suicide in the 60s, it was revealed in a newly discovered interview.

Read More

The work of Bob Dylan to be discussed at academic conference to mark 70th birthday

Bristol University to host one-of-a-kind conference on May 24

Read More

Bob Dylan to headline inagural London Feis

The festival of Irish music returns after 7 years

Read More

Bob Dylan, live at Thomond Park

An animated performance, from a voice that can still mesmerise like no other voice in the universe..

Read More

Hot Press announces Bob Dylan competition winner

Pádraig Hanratty is the winner of our recent Bob Dylan competition - his live review is published in our new issue

Read More

Bob Dylan Live by Robbie Shead

Read More

Bob Dylan Live by Aidan Connolly

OK, so let’s get all this out of the way at the start.

Read More

Bob Dylan Live by Michael Maher

For the thirteenth time in the last decade, Bob Dylan’s Never Ending Tour landed at Irish shores

Read More

Bob Dylan Live by Sinead Burke

The art of storytelling and the home of the quintessential Limerick storyteller, Michael Hogan - The Bard of Thomond, were in safe hands on July 4 when Bob Dylan and his band performed at Thomond Park Stadium.

Read More

Bob Dylan Live by Aia Leu

Read More

Bob Dylan Live by Oliver Regan

How ironic that Bob Dylan, on the final date of his current tour, should blow into the newly refurbished Thomond Park Stadium on one of the windiest days this year.

Read More

Bob Dylan Live by Romy Needham

Read More

Bob Dylan Live by Emma Flynn

As the low lull of the final soundchecks finished, Limericks Last Days of Death Country confidently delivered their set to the assembling crowd in Thomond Park and were met with vigorous applause at the end of memorable favourites like ‘Words’ and ‘Strung Out’.

Read More

Bob Dylan Live by Jack Hussey

After the crowd was adequately warmed up by a blistering 45 minute set by Seasick Steve and his assortment of homemade guitars...

Read More

Bob Dylan Live by Padraig Hanratty

Bob Dylan is a performer reborn. Yet again.

Read More

Folk That: Dyan Fest for Donegal

As if Dylan's show at Thomond Park isn't enough, a County Donegal festival will host the European premiere of a new play about the great man

Read More

Limerick acts compete for Bob Dylan support

The fight to the rock 'n' roll death is taking place this Friday in Dolan's!

Read More

Our Bob Dylan competition has just got a little sweeter!

In addition to our original prize - your chance to review Dylan's Thomond Park gig for Hot Press - we've now added a whopping 45 albums from the singer's back catalogue to the first prize winnings!

Read More

Bob Dylan competition

YOU could be reviewing the legendary singer's Thomond Park gig in July for Hot Press

Read More

Dylan support acts announced

David Gray and Seasick Steve will be joining him in Limerick.

Read More

Bob Dylan plays Limerick

Tickets for the Thomond Park bash will be available next Monday.

Read More

Christmas In The Heart

Dylan in not a grinch shocker

Read More

Dylan Christmas Album!

Columbia Records have announced details of a Bob Dylan album of Christmas songs due for release on October 13.

Read More

Dylan's top sellers

As Bob Dylan's new album Together Through Life goes No.1 in the UK, we have a look HMV's top 5-selling Dylan catalogue recordings...

Read More

Dylan exhibition for Dublin

Fans can see iconic images from the Rolling Thunder Tour.

Read More

The crack is mighty

Folk fans who are too purist about the genre forget that it’s the flaws that make traditional music so wonderfully distinctive in the first place.

Read More

Bob Dylan confirms second 02 date

The legendary Bob Dylan has just announced that he will perform a second gig in the 02 Arena in May

Read More

Bob Dylan for the O2 in May!

The legendary performer makes his first trip to the new newly revamped Dublin venue on May 5th

Read More

Tell Tale Signs- The Bootleg Series Vol. 8: Rare and Unreleased Recordings

The Bobfather’s more recent back pages yield a wealth of riches

Read More

DylanFest hits Donegal

Bob Dylan bands and fans will decend on Moville this week for DylanFest

Read More

Dylan Facebook application a winner

A new Bob Dylan Facebook application is among the smartest pieces of viral advertising yet. That's the view of influential e-media commentators at Techcrunch (who described it as "the coolest Facebook application yet"), Face Reviews and PSFKT – as well as the Sun newspaper.

Read More

Bob Dylan revealed as Phantom FM Sunday night presenter

Bob Dylan has been revealed as the artist who will present a new Sunday night show on Dublin's Phantom 105.2

Read More

Bob Dylan wins Spanish arts award

Bob Dylan may not have won the Nobel Prize for Literature just yet, but with this year's Spanish Asturias Arts Award, he's definitely getting closer.

Read More

Ireland's first ever Bob Dylan Festival

Dylan fans wishing to pay homage to their idol might not consider Donegal their first port of call, but DylanFest 2007 is set to change that.

Read More

Forever young

Annual article: Bright young things like Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen captured the HP critics’ hearts this year, though they somehow neglected Johnny Cash and Mark Lanegan...

Read More

Modern Times

Semi-officially, Modern Times is being touted as the third in a trilogy that began with 1997’s Time Out Of Mind and the follow up Love and Theft. Recorded with his current touring band and produced by Dylan himself, it treads very similar territory sonically with that raw, live feel and no-nonsense, almost 1950’s production that made his last two albums so compelling.

Read More

Source Festival proves to be a hit

The Source Festival in Kilkenny kicked off the first two Dylan dates in Ireland this weekend - though he faced tough competition from support act The Flaming Lips.

Read More

Source Festival times confirmed

If you're off to see the legend that is Bob Dylan play at the Source Festival in Kilkenny this weekend, we've got the full line up and stage times.

Read More

In Bob we trust

He may have been making music for over 40 years, but Bob Dylan remains as vital a force as ever.

Read More

Bob Dylan and The Flaming Lips in double bill

Bob Dylan and the Flaming Lips will perform in a double bill spectacular.

Read More

Bob Dylan live at The Point, Dublin

Lest we forget, for a long time there most of us Dylan-ites were glad just to see the man could get his boots on of a morning, but post Chronicles, the stakes have been upped.

Read More

Mr. Dylan Regrets

An extraordinary letter, written by Bob Dylan, offers a remarkable insight into the greatest songwriter of his generation. It also offers a hugely challenging perspective on the role of the artist.

Read More

Dylan adds second date

With his first show there completely sold-out, Bob Dylan plays a second consecutive night at Dublin’s Point Theatre.

Read More

Bob Dylan lined up for The Point

Bob Dylan’s Never Ending Tour rolls into Dublin again for a by his standards intimate gig in The Point.

Read More

Stoned Again

Why American rock writing has disappeared up its own arse – and the true story of the creation of Bob Dylan's most famous song.

Read More

Shot with love

Belfast, it seems, has just been shot with love

Read More

Live 1964 Concert at the Philharmonic Hall

The sound of history in the making, here’s a warts, gags and all document of young Bobby Dylan, folk hero, in the process of creating a rock revolution.

Read More

The Answer is Blowing on the Line

Some people reckon that Bob Dylan has sold out by flogging his music on a lingerie commercial. but our consumer affairs correspondent disagrees and has some even better ideas for Irish rockers

Read More

Chucky Bob

According to our political correspondent, Bob Dylan’s upcoming gig in Stormont marks a diefinitive end to the war. Hurray!

Read More

Dylan Confirmed For Galway

As revealed exclusively on hotpress.com Bob Dylan has revealed plans to play Galway.

Read More

Bob Dylan For Galway

hotpress.com understands that Bob Dylan is being lined-up for a show in Galway's Pearse Stadium

Read More

The Strokes on Bob Dylan

Fab Moretti, drummer with The Strokes, tells us how Dylan has inspired him.

Read More

Bob Dylan

Having been lucky enough to have witnessed Mr. Zimmerman’s legendary gig in Vicar St. a few years back, it seemed almost inevitable that a trip to this East Wall arena would prove anti-climactic. And so it proved to be.

Read More

Bob Dylan cancels Cork show due to laryngitis

There will be major disappointment for the Bob Dylan fans of Cork tonight, with doctors advising him against performing

Read More

NEWSFLASH! Bob Dylan Ireland-bound

Bob the Great will tour Dublin and Cork this November

Read More

Classic album of the fortnight: Bob Dylan's Blood On The Tracks

Read More

Live 1975 - The Rolling Thunder

Rolling Thunder finds Dylan and his travelling minstrel band reveling in novelty, comradeship, a sense of the mischievous and, most tellingly, the freshness of the then newly released Desire album.

Read More

Love And Theft

For the most part, Love and Theft is made up of two distinct musical strands, blues-based floor-shakers and romantic, ragtimey ballads.

Read More

Bob Dylan

Those more familiar with Dylan’s modus operandi know that he has latterly treated the recorded versions of his songs as mere rough demos and starting points from which he walks a tightrope of adventurous reinvention from which he sometimes topples off.

Read More

World Gone Wrong

BOB DYLAN: “World Gone Wrong” (Columbia)

Read More

The Booting Series. Volumes 1-3. Rare and Unreleased. 1961-1991

Five albums, fifty-eight songs, sixty-eight pages of liner notes, one large container, and a title that's as bone-dry academic as anything you'll find sitting atop a legal document - against that backdrop, perhaps the first and most useful thing to say about Bob in the box is: don't be intimidated!

Read More

WHEN BONO MET BOB

Van Morrison came along too, for a three-way summit organised by Hot Press, backstage at Slane Castle, in the summer of 1984...

Read More

Bringing It All Back Home

Bob Dylan at Slane - The music, the magic, the mayhem and so much more...

Read More
 

Advertise With Us


For information including benefits, key facts, figures and rates for advertising with Hot Press, click below

Advertise

Find us elsewhere