“Well, there’s voices in the night trying to be heard
I’m sitting here listening to every mind-polluting word
I know plenty of people who would put me up for a day or two
Yes, I’m tryin’ to get closer but I’m still a million miles from you” (Bob Dylan)
As of this report, I’ve made it all the way to the year 2001. In Bob Dylan time, that translates to the album Love and Theft. By this point, his voice has lost whatever velvety softness it ever had and has picked up a growly quality, kinda like ol’ Bob’s been gargling with razor blades.
Still, his voice also has a lived-in quality, like it’s from a man who’s been just about everywhere, man, and seen just about everything and lived to tell about it. Not all of it was pretty, but just about all of it makes for some really good songs.
I have to add that I think the Daniel Lanois-produced album Time out of Mind would have made an excellent musical companion to the short-lived TV show Twin Peaks. Particularly the song “Million Miles” sounds like it could have fit perfectly in with a slice of apple pie and a “damn good” cup of coffee. I especially love the reverb on the guitars. (I almost sound like I know what I’m talking about, right?) I think the Grammys got it right when they made this the album of the year way back in 1997.
He also did a couple of throwback albums, entitled Good as I Been to You and World Gone Wrong, that hearken back to when it was just Bob, his guitar, and his harmonica. I thought he did a fantastic cover of the old song “Tomorrow Night,” made famous by Sun Records-era Elvis Presley, among others. The plaintive song brings out the best in Mr. Dylan’s vocal abilities, at least in this writer’s humble opinion.
I only have five albums to go (six if I run across a great deal on his 2015 album or one of his bootlegs that I don’t have). I guess I’ll have to decide after that who to listen to next. Maybe Neil Young?