Counting Down Bob Dylan: His 100 Finest Songs Hardcover – 11 Jul 2013
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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 ""
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.
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As for Beviglia’s own insights: they are some of the most engaging and interesting pieces of writing I have read about Dylan, and he has that rare ability to keep things short, without losing depth or clarity. His knowledge of the songs is extensive but what comes through most clearly is his engagement with them – what he has learned about them by hearing, feeling and simply experiencing the songs of the greatest songwriter since Robert Burns. If you are a Bob Dylan fan, buy this book and enjoy the process of reading and arguing or agreeing with the decisions made. If you’re not a Dylan fan yet, this is a great place to start. Either way, Counting Down Bob Dylan is a wonderfully written , utterly engaging, and – most of all – incredibly enjoyable addition to the ever-expanding canon of books about Bob.
Sometimes the magic is in the words, the music, the singing, the performance.... Jim's book takes a clear eye at Dylan's best songs (in his view!) and highlights the key aspects which bring us back to them. His list will provoke debate, as it has done on his Countdown Kid website, as to which songs should be in the list, which out, and which sit at the top of the rankings...but it is done with a light touch. For Dylan fans it is an easy and enjoyable read. Anyone who is getting the Complete Bob Dylan Box Set for Christmas would enjoy picking their way through this book.
nb I saw Bob Dylan at Blackpool Opera House two weeks ago, fantastic, so much charisma..this light still burns !!
Obviously the songs he picks are never going to agree with your own choices, except in part, so you do have to be aware that the very nature of this book will, in all probability, annoy you at times. It's human nature!
Having said that, I would recommend the way he puts across the virtues of each of his choices even if you don't agree with them. A good read!
This however is currently over £13 for a 220-odd page e-book. An absolutely bonkers price that the publisher should be ashamed off. (The price of the hardcover is pretty rum as well to be fair!)