Dylan Goes To #1 For The First Time!
As hard as it is to imagine, legendary Singer/Songwriter Bob Dylan has FINALLY hit #1 on the Billboard charts!
As Vulture.com reported with tongue somewhat firmly in cheek:
“A very talented, promising young musician just earned his first No. 1 on the Billboard charts, and he goes by the name of [checks notes] Bob Dylan? Yes, Nobel Prize in Literature holder, Oscar winner, and ten-time Grammy award-winning folk legend Bob Dylan has climbed to the top of the charts for the first time in his career at the tender age of 78. Pitchfork reports that Dylan’s 17-minute song “Murder Most Foul” about the assassination of JFK, which he surprise released last month, now sits atop the Rock Digital Song Sales chart after selling 10,000 downloads within its first week of release.”
And what a masterwork it is!
The reviews have been incredible for this massive tome, which discusses the JFK murder before it goes on to touch on many US pop culture moments of the last 50 years:
“Twas a dark day in Dallas, November ’63
A day that will live on in infamy
President Kennedy was a-ridin’ high
Good day to be livin’ and a good day to die
Being led to the slaughter like a sacrificial lamb
He said, “Wait a minute, boys, you know who I am?”
“Of course we do, we know who you are”
Then they blew off his head while he was still in the car
Shot down like a dog in broad daylight”
Here is this haunting song in its entirety, with lyrics shown as well:
Dylan’s “American Pie!”
In the early 70’s, Singer Don McLean had a massive hit with his anthemic song “American Pie”, which covered what many felt was the history of and impact of popular music on our society.
“Murder Most Foul” seems to be Dylan’s eulogy to pop culture – see how these lyrics touch on so many pop culture references:
“Play Don Henley
Play Glenn Frey
Take it to the limit and let it go by
Play it for Karl Wirsum, too
Looking far, far away at Down Gallow Avenue
Play tragedy, play “Twilight Time”
Take me back to Tulsa to the scene of the crime
Play another one and “Another One Bites the Dust”
Play “The Old Rugged Cross” and “In God We Trust”
Ride the pink horse down that long, lonesome road
Stand there and wait for his head to explode
Play “Mystery Train” for Mr. Mystery
The man who fell down dead like a rootless tree
Play it for the Reverend
Play it for the Pastor
Play it for the dog that got no master
Play Oscar Peterson
Play Stan Getz
Play “Blue Sky”
Play Dickey Betts”
With typical Dylan mystery, the Singer posted this note online and the song dropped without warning – leading to his first #1 song on the Billboard chart.
As Vulture goes on to note:
“Dylan aficionados may cry false at this designation as Dylan has technically reached No. 1 as a song writer for Peter, Paul and Mary’s “Blowin’ in the Wind” in 1963 and the Byrds’ “Mr. Tambourine Man” in 1965. However, this is Bob Dylan’s first No. 1 single on any chart under his own name. He’s had a slew of songs that have reached No. 2, including “Like a Rolling Stone,” “Rainy Day Women #12 & 35,” and “Things Have Changed,” but he’s never breathed the rarefied air that is reserved for the No. 1 slot on his own.”
Bob Dylan is an pop culture icon of course, with a career spanning more than 50 years.
He has made so much incredible music in his career, but this song from the 80’s always struck a chord for me, both musically and lyrically as well.
“What looks large from a distance up close ain’t ever that big…”
Here is the music video for “Tight Connection To My Heart”:
And perhaps most surprising, Dylan wrote the gorgeous ballad “Make You Feel My Love”, from his 1997 Grammy award winning Album Of The Year “Time Out Of Mind”.
This song has been recorded by everyone from Garth Brooks to Billy Joel and Adele – a beautiful love letter…
“When the rain is blowing in your face
And the whole world is on your case
I could offer a warm embrace
To make you feel my love…”
Here is Adele’s cover of the song, this video having been seen more than 168-million times:
What a career!
Or, as Vulture wryly notes:
“Keep an eye out for this guy — we think he’s got a big career ahead of him!”
Of course, the Singer’s career has gone in many unique directions, like the time when he was a member of this “super group”:
Yes, that’s Dylan with George Harrison, Tom Petty, Jeff Lynne and Roy Orbison – the “Traveling Wilburys!”
This band released two rollicking albums of great folk rock – see some of the best music videos here:
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