Bob Dylan - Chronicles Vol One

Wednesday 19th January 2005
Bob Dylan - Chronicles Vol One
Bob Dylan - Chronicles Vol One

STYLE: Biography and Autobiography
RATING 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10
LABEL: Simon & Schuster ISBN 0743230760
FORMAT: Book General book

Reviewed by Mike Rimmer

For an artist as secretive as Bob Dylan to write his own memoirs is an extraordinary thing! Especially when you think of the webs of myth and intrigue that surround him. There have been millions of words penned about him but here it is. Or at least the first volume! As you'd imagine from Dylan's own pen, this is very wordy and it flits about in an abstract fashion from time to time as Dylan remembers, waxes lyrical and poetical and wanders off on delightful tangents! To make matters even more interesting, it isn't strictly chronological either so it starts off in cold New York as a young Dylan has just been signed to a publishing deal but not yet recorded. It then wanders around some pre-fame exploits in the city and plenty of musings about folk singing. The book then fast forwards to the late '60s and his transition from his status as "Spokesman For A Generation" into ordinary songwriter. Then he stops off at the late '80s album 'Oh Mercy' and an in-depth look at that recording and his relationship with Daniel Lanois before returning to New York in the early '60s. It's a rollercoaster, it's an insight into some of his thinking and in turn it's poignant and humorous. Obviously it's beautifully written, pleasing to the mind as you read on and you begin to get an insight into this most enigmatic of artists. However you'll have to wait until a subsequent volume to find out about his explosion to fame in the '60s, his switch from acoustic to electric in the mid-'60s and his conversion to Christ in the late '70s. That's all in future volumes but even so, this is still superb.

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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