Revolution in the Air: The Songs of Bob Dylan, 1957-1973

Revolution in the Air: The Songs of Bob Dylan, 1957-1973

by Clinton Heylin
     
 

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By far the most comprehensive book on Dylan’s words ever written, including a number of songs that no one has ever heard, this first volume will fundamentally change how these lyrics are interpreted and understood. Arranged in a surprising chronology of when they were actually written rather than when they appeared on albums—the middle verse of

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Overview

By far the most comprehensive book on Dylan’s words ever written, including a number of songs that no one has ever heard, this first volume will fundamentally change how these lyrics are interpreted and understood. Arranged in a surprising chronology of when they were actually written rather than when they appeared on albums—the middle verse of “Blowin’ in the Wind” was written much later than the first and third verses, and the songs on John Wesley Harding were written prior to some of the songs on The Basement Tapes—hundreds of surprising facts are uncovered in this catalog of 300 songs, spanning his career up prior to Blood on the Tracks. Newly discovered manuscripts, anecdotal evidence, and a seemingly limitless knowledge of every Bob Dylan live performance contribute to this definitive resource of the words of a celebrated American singer-songwriter.

Editorial Reviews

acousticguitarclub.ning.com
Sure to whip the fans into a lather . . . illuminating.
Library Journal

These indispensable new books of Bob Dylan criticism carry on important critical traditions. Dettmar's (Is Rock Dead?) compilation of critical essays and reviews, like The Bob Dylan Companion: Four Decades of Commentary and Studio A: The Bob Dylan Reader, among others, is being marketed as a classroom text to support the growing number of college courses offered on Dylan. Its 17 essays are divided between "Perspectives" (e.g., Dylan and religion, Dylan and gender, Dylan as a performer) and "Landmark Albums." In this latter section, an unexpected choice is Infidels(1983), ably critiqued by novelist Jonathan Lethem. The historian Eric Lott writes on Love and Theft(2001), a wickedly appropriate match-up since Dylan took his album title from Lott's book of the same name.

In his fourth book on Dylan, Heylin provides an encyclopedic account of every song written by Dylan, from his juvenile efforts in the late 1950s to songs from Planet Waves in 1973; a second volume is promised. The songs are arranged chronologically, according to the date written, and range in length from a few sentences to several pages. The longer entries are not surprising-e.g., "Like a Rolling Stone" gets eight pages, and "Blowin' in the Wind" gets five. The book's great value is the discovery of many songs that Dylan either never performed or exist only on hard-to-find bootlegs. For each of the 300 songs, the first known performance and studio versions are cited, and Heylin offers analysis from his close reading of Dylan's life and career. This fascinating book is a perfect companion to Heylin's Bob Dylan: The Recording Sessions, 1960-1994 and will have the samehypnotic effect on Dylan fans as Michael Gray's The Bob Dylan Encyclopedia. Like the Cambridge Companion, it is highly recommended for academic libraries.
—Thomas A. Karel

From the Publisher
"Documents the nuts and bolts."  —Rolling Stone

"One of the most important volumes in the already groaning Bookshelf of Bob"  —Houston Press

True to form, Heylin digs deep—way deep—into the songs, mixing cold hard facts with illuminating anecdotes."  —Mark Smith, managing editor, Acoustic Guitar

"A magnum opus that anyone curious about, fascinated by, and devoted to His Master's Voice will want to read and ponder."  —Jonathan Cott, author, Dylan, and editor, Bob Dylan: The Essential Interviews

"An exhaustive look at one of the 20th century's best and prolific songwriters…uncovers tons of info about these timeless tracks."  —Cleveland Scene

"An excellent supplement to a good Dylan biography . . . including Heylin's highly empirical Behind the Shades."  —Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

"Comprehensive . . . obviously written very lovingly."  —PopMatters.com

"Revolution in the Air, like its precursor, Ian McDonald’s Revolution in the Head about the Beatles' recordings, is an invaluable guide to have by your side as you traverse this monstrous body of work."  —NUVO

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781569762684
Publisher:
Chicago Review Press, Incorporated
Publication date:
04/01/2009
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
496
Sales rank:
837,893
File size:
1 MB

What People are saying about this

Mark Smith
True to form, Heylin digs deep—way deep—into the songs, mixing cold hard facts with illuminating anecdotes (Mark Smith, managing editor, Acoustic Guitar)
Jonathan Cott
A magnum opus that anyone curious about, fascinated by, and devoted to His Master's Voice will want to read and ponder. (Jonathan Cott, author, Dylan, and editor, Bob Dylan: The Essential Interviews)
From the Publisher
"An authoritative history of the singer-songwriter’s canon. . . . Sprinkled with Dylan quotes, the entries are thorough, informative, and engaging. Taken together, they provide a fascinating glimpse into the creative process of this enigmatic genius of American song."  —Choice

"Indispensable. . . . Encyclopedic. . . . Fascinating. . . . Hypnotic. . . . Highly recommended."  —Library Journal

"True to form, Heylin digs deep—way deep—into the songs, mixing cold hard facts with illuminating anecdotes."  —Acoustic Guitar

"An excellent supplement to a good Dylan biography."  —Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

"A must for any serious Dylan freak."  —Relix

"One of the most important volumes in the already-groaning Bookshelf of Bob."  —Houston Press

"In Revolution in the Air Clinton Heylin has pored over Bob Dylan's songs—all of them—and has drawn conclusions, not on a wall, but in the first of a two-part magnum opus that anyone curious about, fascinated by, and devoted to His Master's Voice will want to read and ponder."  —Jonathan Cott, author of Dylan and editor of Bob Dylan: The Essential Interviews

"Clinton Heylin [is] the Dylanologist actually worth reading."  —The New York Times

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