What's that you say, Jake? We're where? The "Golden Age" of Bob Dylan. Come on, now. You can't be serious. You can't compare Bob Dylan of today with Bob Dylan of yesteryear. What aboutBlood on the TracksorBlonde on BlondeorNashville SkylineorDesire.
Good questions, right? I agree. There are a ton, an absolutetonof fantastic Bob Dylan records. There are even a few spectacular "periods" where the output was amazing. Look at the first few years. While some of the tracks weren't his material, from 1962-1967, Dylan put out 9 records. That's almost 2 per year. And they were incredible. (Gohere to get the full timeline breakdown of Dylan's records.)
Maybe it's because the last 3 Dylan records are the 3 that I "came of age with", but I really think that these 3 can not only "stand up" to any period in his life, I think they are the best collection of 3 records in his career. The three that I am talking about are his last 3 studio records:Time Out of Mindin 1997,Love and Theftin 2001, and the just recently releasedModern Timesin 2006. The first one came out when I was in college, but I didn't really give it the once over until after I graduated. I fell in love immediately. It has those slower numbers like "Love Sick" and "Trying to Get to Heaven",. "Standing in the Doorway", and the devastating "Not Dark Yet" that are just sooooo enjoyable to listen to.
Then, when I was living with my buddies Neil and Matt,Love and Theftcame out. WOW. That shook my musical foundations. I wasn'tthe only one. It was like things I had never heard before, but that I should have. It was rockin', drivin', dancin' music that just came alive. I just about wore that record out on the turntable. (seriously) Tour with this material, Bob did. I think I must have been to 8 different shows in Chicago where he was relying on this record heavily. It was great sounding live. Slightly rearranged, but still pretty straight forward. Good stuff.
Last fall cameModern Times. I grabbed this one as soon as it was released, but it took me a few months to really warm up to it. There are some really great tracks, and this is great driving tunes. Put this on and **zoom** you're already in Champaign. (or where ever you are driving) I've embedded a few songs from these years below. Yes...theWonderBoyscutThings have Changedisn't from one of these 3 records, but it's from this period.
Is Bob Dylan washed up and is his best music from the '60's and 70's? Nope. I really think that to date, this is the best of his career. Will he put out another record? I sure hope so.
Each of these songs are teriffic. If you have a few minutes, go ahead and strap some headphones on. Give all of these a listen. Play one, then open up a new tab and do the rest of your work. You'll hit "play again", I bet. Have at it. Tell me this isn't some of the best music being made anywhere these days.
If there's one you should watch, it should be the first one, because Bob is playing guitar (which he soooo rarely does these days) and he seems to be having a lot of fun. And...it's a cool video. Oh...and if you have time, check out ScarJo in the last video. Yama-hama.