- Hardcover: 498 pages
- Publisher: Constable; First Edition edition (23 April 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 184901051X
- ISBN-13: 978-1849010511
- Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 4.4 x 24 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 748,967 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Revolution in the Air: The Songs of Bob Dylan 1957-1973 (Songs of Bob Dylan Vol 1) Hardcover – 23 Apr 2009
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A must of every Dylan scholar, but fascinating for dipping into, too (Q Magazine)
Beg, steal, borrow ... a compelling history of Dylan's mercurial songwriting (Mojo, 5-star review)
Better than any biography could ever be, and a crucial Dylan book. (Jonathan Lethem, author of The Fortress of Solitude)
A gripping new book by Dylan scholar Clinton Heylin is so far in the deep end that its borderline insane . . [yet] has been devoured with a ravenous, insatiable appetite, and I have even made notes in the margin. (Mark Ellen, (editor) Word)
True to form, Heylin digs deep - way deep - into the songs, mixing cold hard facts with illuminating anecdotes. (Mark Smith, managing editor, Acoustic Guitar)
A magnum opus that anyone curious about, fascinated by, and devoted to His Master's Voice will want to read and ponder. (Jonathan Cott, author of 'Dylan', and editor, 'Bob Dylan: The Essential Interviews')
Valuable resource (Observer)
Terrifically interesting for Dylan nuts (Sunday Herald)
Manna for completists (Metro)
Another epic work from Heylin (Ham & High)
Heylin's strengths are the depth of his expertise, based on half a lifetime of heavy-duty research, and a lively, literate writing style...an essential purchase...volume two is eagerly awaited. (The Dylan Daily (website))
Exhaustively researched ... thrilling ... briskly entertaining (Time Out 'Book of the Week' 4 star review)
`A gripping new book by Dylan scholar Clinton Heylin so is so far in the deep end that its borderline insane . . [yet] has been devoured with a ravenous, insatiable appetite, and I have even made notes in the margin.' Mark Ellen, WordSee all Product description
Top Customer Reviews
Opinions are of course opinions but they seem to accord well to my tastes.
The other handiness is that in getting an ordered history of the songs you can - nowadays - go back and digitally reassemble albums - for example chopping the last three songs from JWH and moving to NS and adding 'This Wheels on Fire'/'Tears of Rage'/'I shall be released' - which would make an already great album near perfect and improve a weak one imo.
However, like I said, this is an impressive study, documenting every song Dylan penned from high school efforts through to the tracks that appeared on the 'Planet Waves' album. Incredibly well-research, and very informative, it provides some interesting information about the background and writing progress of many timeless songs, some very famous, others very obscure, and some which haven't even been unreleased.
A very useful book for avid fans. Personally, I found myself dipping in and out, 'Revolution in the Air' is certainly not a book that I could read cover-to-cover, but it did make me reach for my Bob Dylan albums, as well as go and purchase more of them.
This magnificent book puts all those out-takes and live versions in a concise historical context.
I totally disagree with some other reviews which make off-kilter character comments about the author. He does have strong opinions but the book would be sterile without them. There are numerous quotes from Dylan himself. Often Dylan is complaining of writers trying to analyse or decode his songs. Heylin largely tries to avoid Lit-Crit style writing but concentrates on verifiable details.
I have been a Dylan fan for 33 years and learnt a huge amount from this splendid book. The highest praise is that it makes you listen to the great songs again and again - in the many different versions available.
I bought this on Kindle. It was that good that I will have to buy the real deal now as well as it is an invaluable work of reference.
Unfortunately however the author, rather than let the books obvious merits speak for themselves appears to find it necessary to tell us how good he is, frequently, and less forgivably how poor pretty much every other Dylan scholar throughout history has been. This monumental arrogance is pretty tedious at times and can become wearing but it shouldn't detract from what is a significant work. Heylin may be as he so often points out, the best there is when it comes to writing about Dylan but my God you wouldn't want to have him round for dinner.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
As a massive Dylan fan I was quite excited at the prospect of reading this book and getting to know the background of the songs I love and plenty that I'll never get to hear for... Read morePublished 9 months ago by Mr. T. D. Excell
Fantastic detail .. love this and its' companion volume. Constant companion for me.Published on 8 Sept. 2014 by Jerapah
cause i enjoyed it but it could all be a joke, maybe Dylan was just messing around having a laugh, but maybe notPublished on 28 Sept. 2013 by R. Codner
There are loads of Bob books, but nothing else gives the depth basic of information like Mr Heylin's book (apart from volume 2 of course!) . Read morePublished on 14 Sept. 2013 by Keni
This book contains all the stories behind the songs that I thrive on. It gives the reader an insight to hundreds of songs by Dylan, with no relevant details spared. Read morePublished on 28 Feb. 2013 by K. Thomson
This is a superb and thorough document, tracing and accounting for all Dylan's songs, released and unreleased, in the period under study. Read morePublished on 13 Oct. 2012 by Terry Wilson