Bob Dylan: Talkin’ about my generation!

Bob Dylan's Time out of Mind

Bob Dylan’s Time out of Mind

I am so pleased Bob Dylan was honored with the Nobel Prize for literature. It seems like a validation for my generation.

I think his greatest poetry might have been on his 30th album, “Time Out of Mind.” In 1998, competing agains new artists like Radiohead, Paula Cole, Babyface and the venerable Paul McCartney, the Grammy voters wisely awarded the Album of the Year to Bob Dylan and his producer, Daniel Lanois.

 
I owned Paradise Records from 1994 to 2001. In 1997, when “Time Out of Mind” came out, I listened to it every morning while I did my paperwork. I was attracted at first not by Bob Dylan, but by Daniel Lanois’ production. Lanois is a producing genius.He has a way of making old sounds sound new and he made crusty old Dylan sound fresh. In the end, Dylan’s lyrics spoke to me.
 
Lost love? It’s here in “Standing in the Doorway“:
 
Last night I danced with a stranger
But she just reminded me you were the one
You left me standin’ in the doorway cryin’
In the dark land of the sun
 
If you wonder where Adele, Garth Brooks and Billy Joel found “To Make You Feel My Love,” well, it came from “Time Out Of Mind.”

 

It’s Not Dark Yet” is such a sorrowful song. I suspect only Dylan could’ve have written a song so powerfully about someone who has endured love, loss, pain, sorrow and joy.

Dylan wondered if he had written all the songs worth writing in 1991 when he said, “There was a time when the songs would come three or four at the same time, but those days are long gone…Once in a while, the odd song will come to me like a bulldog at the garden gate and demand to be written. But most of them are rejected out of my mind right away. You get caught up in wondering if anyone really needs to hear it. Maybe a person gets to the point where they have written enough songs. Let someone else write them.”

A classic case of “Too young to die? Too old for rock n’ roll?” Never. God bless Bob Dylan. Now that’s talking about my generation.