Bob Dylan, folk-rock legend Release “The Philosophy of Modern Song”

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Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan. Photo: Wikipedia

Jakarta, IO – Nobel laureate and folk-rock legend Bob Dylan will release a new book on songwriting in November, publisher Simon & Schuster said Tuesday. 

The book, titled “The Philosophy of Modern Song,” is the first book of new writing by Dylan in nearly two decades, since “Chronicles, Volume One” (2004). 

Dylan began writing the new book in 2010. “The Philosophy of Modern Song” consists of more than 60 thought-provoking essays on musicians such as Hank Williams and Nina Simone, and covers the topic of songwriting skills, the publisher said. 

“’The Philosophy of Modern Song’ could only have been written by Bob Dylan. His voice is unique and his work conveys a deep appreciation and understanding of the song, the people who brought it to life, and what song means to everyone,” said Simon & Schuster head Jonathan Karp, quoted by AFP on Wednesday. 

Dylan, who exploded in New York folk music in the early 1960s, has sold more than 125 million records worldwide. 

The 80-year-old still has a hectic touring schedule and is currently on a global journey that will continue until 2024. 

In 2020 he released his 39th studio album, “Rough and Rowdy Ways” which was critically acclaimed. He in particular won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2016 for creating new poetic expressions in the American song tradition. 

Born as Robert Allen Zimmerman, May 24, 1941, Dylan is an American singer-songwriter, author and visual artist. Often regarded as one of the greatest songwriters of all time. Dylan has been a major figure in popular culture during a career spanning 60 years. Much of his most celebrated work dates from the 1960s, when songs such as “Blowin’ in the Wind” (1963) and “The Times They Are a-Changin’” (1964) became anthems for the civil rights and anti-war movements. His lyrics during this period incorporated a range of political, social, philosophical, and literary influences, defying pop music conventions and appealing to the burgeoning counterculture. 

Following his self-titled debut album in 1962, mainly comprised of traditional folk songs, Dylan made his breakthrough as a songwriter, with the release of The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan the following year. The album features “Blowin’ in the Wind” and the thematically complex “A Hard Rain’s a-Gonna Fall”. 

Many of his songs adapted the tunes and phraseology of older folk songs. He went on to release the politically charged The Times They Are a-Changin’ and the more lyrically abstract and introspective Another Side of Bob Dylan in 1964. 

In 1965 and 1966, Dylan drew controversy when he adopted electrically amplified rock instrumentation, and in the space of 15 months recorded three of the most important and influential rock albums of the 1960s: Bringing It All Back Home (1965), Highway 61 Revisited (1965) and Blonde on Blonde (1966). His six-minute single “Like a Rolling Stone” (1965) expanded commercial and creative boundaries in popular music. (rp)