Counting Down Bob Dylan: His 100 Finest Songs is the first publication in a new series titled Counting Down that ranks and discusses the best songs by famous musicians. This foundational volume tackles the iconic Bob Dylan and his nearly 60-year career. Beviglia has scoured Dylan's catalog and has come up with not just a list, but an actual ranking of his best songs from 100 to 1. Unlike other 'best of' lists that can be found online by the hundreds, this publication provides its value in the analysis of each song. Counting Down Bob Dylan does not simply count down one person's opinion of Dylan's best songs, but provides a mini-essay for each song that includes interesting facts, historical information, and more. These mini-essays provide insight into the songs themselves as well as into Dylan as a figure. Beviglia obviously spent quite a bit of time researching these songs...Counting Down Bob Dylan is an entertaining and informational read. The text is very easy to follow and also includes an index and a short list of an additional 100 songs. This book could serve as a great introduction to those interested in Dylan or a great source of previously unknown trivia for Dylan fans. American Reference Books Annual From 'Roll on John,' off the 2012 album Tempest, to 'Sad-Eyed Lady of the Lowlands,' off the 1966 album Blonde on Blonde, Beviglia counts down what he deems to be the 100 best songs written and officially recorded by the legendary Bob Dylan. While necessarily subjective in his selection, he sought to separate songs from any personal relevance they may have for him and also considered such intangibles as cultural impact or staying power. For each song he includes a one-to-two page commentary, examining themes, lyrics, the role of the song in Dylan's career, and other such matters. At the end of the volume, he includes a list of the next 100 best songs of Dylan, sans any commentary. Book News, Inc. I had the opportunity to read the new book by Jim Beviglia called Counting Down Bob Dylan: His 100 Finest Songs and much to my surprise I enjoyed it. What I really liked about it was its format. Beviglia doesn't just do a random countdown of his favorite songs but he writes why he feels the way he does and includes some pretty in-depth stories and song break-downs to back up his explanations. Right away I realized that he researched the subject and is incredibly knowledgeable about music in general. Beviglia writes intelligently and that made this read extremely interesting. He understands music and it's lyrics like few writers I have read. He is able to state his feelings and passion in a way that anyone can understand. Even though I have never heard most of these songs, I am now curious to listen to many of them just to get a better feel for them. Time to get out the iTunes gift-card. ... If you love music you will enjoy how Beviglia breaks each song down by lyrics and the music itself. You will listen to Dylan tunes in a whole new way once you gain an understanding of the songs meanings or implied meanings in some cases. Many of the stories involve other bands and musicians such as The Beatles and Eric Clapton. I think because of that you will savor the book, weather you're a Dylan fan or not. The print version is a hardcover and it is also available for an e-reader. No matter what your taste in rock and roll or folk music Counting Down Bob Dylan: His 100 Finest Songs should prove to be an enjoyable read for all music lovers. I recommend this interesting and insightful book. Scared Stiff Reviews Jim Beviglia's Bob Dylan: His 100 Finest Songs is ideal, in the case of this title, for browsing and reading up on one's favorite tunes of this major American musician and poet. That Dylan has been accorded the latter distinction seems a foregone conclusion. This is a fun read for anyone who has been enthralled by the work of this popular music icon who has been entertaining global audiences for a half-century and is still going strong. The 100 are ranked in ascending order, beginning with 'Roll on John' in last place and honoring 'Sad-Eyed Lady of the Lowlands' as #1. Each song is given two-pages of analysis, commentary, historical background, and justification of occupying a place in this honor role from the singer's oeuvre. A list of the next 100 finest, a bibliography, and an index conclude the volume. -- W. Royal Stokes Jazzhouse Diaries Maintaining that Dylan's music 'is more than a code that needs cracking,' Counting on Dylan repeatedly extols the pleasure principle - and some fans may say, And what's wrong with that? Without giving the game away, I can say that Dylan's material in the 1960s and 70s dominates the higher echelons of Beviglia's top ten and that the number one spot caused a critical spat between Michael Gray and Christopher Ricks. Get a copy of Counting Down Bob Dylan and reconnect with the simple pleasure from the great man's work. The Bridge Counting Down Bob Dylan: His 100 Finest Songs is a work that is bound to spur debate among the throng of the Dylan faithful, so much so that Jim Beviglia instinctively began to duck before the ink on his tome was dry...[It] is a captivating work for the casual observer, the 'Dylanologist,' and those filling all spaces in between. The tracks were chosen from the released catalog and not from unofficial 'bootleg' releases, and each song receives a concise essay. Like a miner seeking gold, Beviglia often strikes a vein of ore in affording proper justification for his picks in his summations. That is not to say that the list is definitive, or that all will nod in agreement with his choices. The charm in such a work is to set a foundation for discussion amongst the passionate. The work is designed to lead the reader into a comparison of his own opinions with those expressed by the author, and those of other fans. Live for Live Music (L4LM)
About the Author
Jim Beviglia writes for the print and online editions of American Songwriter magazine, concentrating on features about classic artists and reviews of new albums. Jim also maintains a blog as his alter ego, The Countdown Kid (http://countdownkid.wordpress.com/), where he counts down the best songs of rock 'n' roll's greatest artists.