The first Nobel Prize in music

Since Bob Dylan is my all time favorite artist, in any medium, I should probably say something here.  (And what medium is he in?  I don’t believe for a moment this is a Nobel Prize in “literature”; this is a music prize—although perhaps the modern English professors say it’s one in the same.)

Tyler has his list of favorite albums, so here is mine:

1.  Live at Royal Albert Hall (1966)  (Actually Manchester)

2.  Blonde on Blonde

3.  Bringing It All Back Home (side two is the peak of his career)

4.  Highway 61 Revisited

5.  Freewheeling Bob Dylan

6.  Another Side of Bob Dylan

7.  Blood on the Tracks

8.  Street Legal  (most underrated, in my view)

9.  Time Out of Mind

10.  New Morning

I generally prefer the visual arts, and don’t have good taste in music.  For instance, I love the sound of Dylan’s voice, whereas Joan Baez singing his songs sounds like nails on a blackboard to me.  Most people seem to believe the opposite.  Go figure.

I’m not a fan of the Nobel Prize in Literature (or the Peace Prize, Academy Awards, etc.) but I guess they are an inevitable part of life. If someone had to win, I’m glad it was Dylan.  We are both from the upper Midwest.

Favorite unreleased songs — She’s Your Lover Now, Blind Willie McTell:

Seen the arrow on the doorpost

Saying, “This land is condemned

All the way from New Orleans

To Jerusalem.”

I traveled through East Texas

Where many martyrs fell

And I know no one can sing the blues

Like Blind Willie McTell

 

Well, I heard the hoot owl singing

As they were taking down the tents

The stars above the barren trees

Were his only audience

Them charcoal gypsy maidens

Can strut their feathers well

But nobody can sing the blues

Like Blind Willie McTell

 

See them big plantations burning

Hear the cracking of the whips

Smell that sweet magnolia blooming

(And) see the ghosts of slavery ships

I can hear them tribes a-moaning

(I can) hear the undertaker’s bell

(Yeah), nobody can sing the blues

Like Blind Willie McTell

.

There’s a woman by the river

With some fine young handsome man

He’s dressed up like a squire

Bootlegged whiskey in his hand

There’s a chain gang on the highway

I can hear them rebels yell

And I know no one can sing the blues

Like Blind Willie McTell

 

Well, God is in heaven

And we all want what’s his

But power and greed and corruptible seed

Seem to be all that there is

I’m gazing out the window

Of the St. James Hotel

And I know no one can sing the blues

Like Blind Willie McTell

PS.  I’d like to see a Venn diagram for the overlap between people who love Bringing it All Back Home, and people who voted for Trump in the primaries.