Saturday, November 19, 2011

Bob Dylan - Biograph (CBS - 66509)

Here we have a revolutionary man who had a vision to explain all his personal and political feelings, protests and anger through his music. Bob Dylan (Originally Robert Zimmerman) is not mainly famous for his music actually since man of his songs are either borrowed or inspired musically from earlier works. He openly tells this so as well. On the other hand lyrics have always been the extremely powerful side of his works.

It may be really unnecessary to explain about Bob Dylan to an established music listener. Someway or the other, you are bound to meet this man, hear his music and get down into his lyrics. However I personally didn't delve into his music until 3-4 years ago when I had a sudden rush of Blues and Folk in me. Hard to explain, yet I've been listening Blues for a substantial period of my time now. Some books I've read on the subject have also arouse my interest even further. Dylan also got his fair share from this.

I was strolling around Ebay one day when I saw this box set. Next thing I know, I ended paying for it, not with any remorse of course. And I'm sitting on my couch now listening to this fabulous box set. The set consists of various stages of Dylan's recordings as it can be understood from the name, Biograph. It features some of his most famous works like Lay Lady Lay, The Times Are Changin', Blowin' In The Wind, Like A Rolling Stone etc. There is not much need to get into detail with these tracks as they can be found anywhere. The other reality of the box set is more fruitful since it features 18 unreleased tracks and one B side. Now this is a feast.

One important aspect of the box set is the two booklets that come with it. One contains the history of Dylan's life with colorful pictures, details, stories and quotes. The second booklet has proven to be more of importance for me since it directly explains the history behind the tracks and the quotes of Dylan based on almost each song. Knowing the history behind each track has been a pleasure. Interestingly when I was younger (Not that I'm old anyway), I was not so much into learning the history of the songs that I've listened, but the more you listen and experience, the more you are curious about the stories behind the things you listen. It provides a great insight about them and also fills the holes that you can feel. Every stone falls into place. It makes the whole experience more complete and adorable. This is exactly what happens with this box set. Clearly it doesn't have the feeling or the conceptual collectivity of an album. You feel like here and there a couple of times since this is a collection which spans for over a 20 year recording period. Yet you get to feel and witness the starting point of a great artist and how he has developed through the ages. When this artist is Bob Dylan, the whole thing gets a grandiose meaning.

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