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

Overview

"The first of two volumes, this companion to every song that Bob Dylan ever wrote is by far the most comprehensive book on the words of America's greatest songwriter. Here you'll find not just opinionated commentary or literary interpretation, but facts, first and foremost. Clinton Heylin is the world's leading Dylan biographer and expert, and he has arranged the songs - including a number that have never been performed - in a continually surprising chronology of when they were actually written rather than when they appeared on albums. Using ...
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Revolution in the Air: The Songs of Bob Dylan, 1957-1973

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Overview

"The first of two volumes, this companion to every song that Bob Dylan ever wrote is by far the most comprehensive book on the words of America's greatest songwriter. Here you'll find not just opinionated commentary or literary interpretation, but facts, first and foremost. Clinton Heylin is the world's leading Dylan biographer and expert, and he has arranged the songs - including a number that have never been performed - in a continually surprising chronology of when they were actually written rather than when they appeared on albums. Using newly discovered manuscripts, anecdotal evidence, and a seemingly limitless knowledge of every Bob Dylan live performance, he has uncovered a wealth of information about the songs, leaving no stone unturned in his research." "Here we learn that the middle verse of "Blowin' in the Wind" was written much later than the first and third verses; that "The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll" was based on a complete distortion of the facts of the case; that "Mixed Up Confusion," despite being Dylan's first single, was composed later than many of his early masterpieces; that "Fourth Time Around" was a direct response to John Lennon's "Norwegian Wood"; and much more." Reading this volume will fundamentally change how you hear Dylan's songs and will make you want to revisit the man's lesser-known masterpieces. This is an essential purchase for every true Bob Dylan fan - and perhaps your most essential purchase, for, as a guide to the man's work, it will never be surpassed.
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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: 9781613743362
  • Publisher: Chicago Review Press, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 4/1/2012
  • Pages: 496
  • Sales rank: 964,547
  • Product dimensions: 5.70 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Clinton Heylin is the author of Bob Dylan: Behind the Shades, So Long as Men Can Breathe: The Untold Story of Shakespeare’s Sonnets, Can You Feel the Silence: Van Morrison, From the Velvets to the Voidoids: The Birth of American Punk, Despite the System: Orson Welles vs. Hollywood, Babylon’s Burning: From Punk to Grunge, The Act You’ve Known for All These Years: A Year in the Life of Sgt. Pepper and Friends, All Yesterday’s Parties: The Velvet Underground in Print, Bob Dylan: The Recording Sessions, and others.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 18, 2012

    The Story Bbehind Every Dylan Song-And More!

    Clinton Heylin brings his encyclopedic knowledge of Bob Dylan' to tell us the story behind every song. One of our our premier "Dylanologists" digs deep into each song, both known and unknown, from 1957-1973. Heylin amplifies on what Dylan was doing that got the results we call the Dylan Canon. This is good stuff for hardcore fans. For example, he describes the time, place and circumstances that resulted in "It's A Hard Rains A'Gonna Fall." it's not the usual story we've been told in the past. This book will expand your knowledge of Bob Dylan and his work enormously.
    Dubious141

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