Book Reviews | October 2022 | Alex Johnson

Bob Dylan Biography Examines Nobel Prize Winner In 7 Songs

Yale University Press

Folk Music: A Boby Dylan Biography in Seven Songs

The work of Bob Dylan including his early poems has become highly collectible and a new profile by Greil Marcus takes a look at the singer and writer's life and work in Folk Music: A Bob Dylan Biography in Seven Songs from Yale University Press.
Marcus says his aim is to tell Dylan’s story through seven of his most transformative songs but also to examine the history of American folk songs and Dylan's relationship with them. Greil's playlist is:

  • Blowin' In The Wind (1962)
  • The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll (1964)
  • Ain't Talking (2006)
  • The Times They Are A-Changin' (1964)
  • Desolation Row (1965)
  • Jim Jones (1992)
  • Murder Most Fould (2020)

Dylan has a new book of his own out in November, The Philosophy of Modern Song, his first collection of new writing since his Chronicles: Volume One memoir appeared in 2004. This will feature more than 60 essays concentrating on songs by other artists, and in particular song lyrics techniques, as well as around 150 photos.

The importance of Dylan's archive was the subject of the cover story in the Winter 2020 edition of Fine Books.