One of the most well-known and influential musicians of the 20th century is Bob Dylan. He was born in Minnesota in 1941, and his music career began in the first decade of the 1960s. Folk and blues traditions had a significant effect on Dylan’s music, but he also integrated elements of rock & roll, country, and gospel.
Dylan’s songwriting was groundbreaking for its time because he used his songs to address social and political concerns in a way that had never been done before. He sang about the Vietnam War, civil rights, and other contentious issues, and his lyrics frequently had a lyrical or allegorical character that made them both understandable and thought-provoking.
By experimenting with many new sounds and genres, Dylan continues to push the limits of lyrics and music throughout his career. He played a significant role in the 1960s folk revival and later contributed to the 1970s singer-songwriter revolution.
Sam Shephard, who accompanied Dylan on the Rolling Thunder Revue tour, made this observation. “Myth is a powerful medium because it talks to the emotions and not to the head. It moves us into an area of mystery. Some myths are poisonous to believe in, but others have the capacity for changing something inside us, even if it’s only for a minute or two. Dylan creates a mythic atmosphere out of the land around us. The land we walk on every day and never see until someone shows it to us”
“Dylan has invented himself, He’s made himself up from scratch. That is, from the things he had around him and inside him. Dylan is an invention of his own mind. The point isn’t to figure him out but to take him in. He gets into you anyway, so why not just take him in? He’s not the first one to have invented himself, but he’s the first one to have invented Dylan.”
Praise was a component of the hand Dylan was ready to exhibit while holding his cards close to his chest as part of the invention of Dylan. So even if you read all the original wanderer has to say, there won’t be anything that will help you tell his other artists apart. He has been motivated to bestow the utmost praise on a select few individuals, nevertheless. Here, we’ve collected the ecstatic reviews of a distinguished trio that we think are deserving.
Paul McCartney reportedly remembered his first encounter with Bob Dylan, “I could feel myself climbing a spiral walkway as I was talking to Dylan. I felt like I was figuring it all out, the meaning of life.”
Dylan also talked about Paul and showed his love. While talking with Rolling Stone in 2007, he said, “I’m in awe of Paul McCartney. He’s about the only one that I am in awe of. But I’m in awe of him, He can do it all and he’s never let up. He’s got the gift for melody; he’s got the rhythm. He can play any instrument. He can scream and shout as good as anybody and he can sing the ballad as good as anybody, you know so… And his melodies are, you know, effortless.”
He added, “That’s what you have to be in awe… I’m in awe of him maybe just because he’s just so damn effortless. I mean I just wish he’d quit, you know? [Laughs] Just everything and anything that comes out of his mouth is just framed in a melody.”
Stevie Wonder was a rising child star in 1962 when Dylan made his debut with his self-titled album. Soon after, at age 13, he would record his smash song. Some rejected Dylan’s youth as a Motown ploy, but Dylan, who was always open-minded, listened with a keen ear.
When Rolling Stone asked him about Stevie in 1989, he said, “If anybody can be called a genius, he can be. I think it has something to do with his ear, not being able to see or whatever.”
Dylan also explained, “I go back with him to about the early ’60s when he was playing at the Apollo with all that Motown stuff. If nothing else, he played the harmonica incredible, I mean truly incredible.”
The folk star gained attention in 1966 when Wonder deviated from the customary pro-poppies Motown attitude imposed by boss Berry Gordy and embraced the civil rights movement head-on with a cover of a Dylan standard. As he clarifies:
“I never knew what to think of him really until he cut ‘Blowin’ In The Wind’. That really blew my mind, and I figured I’d better pay attention. I love everything he does. It’s hard not to, He can do gut-bucket funky stuff really country, and then turn around and do modern-progressive whatever you call it. In fact, he might have invented that.” At last, he concluded, “He is a great mimic, can imitate everybody, doesn’t take himself seriously, and is a true roadhouse musician all the way, with classical overtones, and he does it all with drama and style. I’d like to hear him play with an orchestra. He should probably have his own orchestra.”
Bob Dylan explained to Rolling Stone, “Howlin’ Wolf, to me, was the greatest live act. Because he did not have to move a finger when he performed — if that’s what you’d call it, ‘performing.’”
Dylan continued by saying that he was amazed by Howlin’ Wolf’s ability to raise the roof naturally without ever resorting to any gimmicks or offensiveness. He said, “I don’t like people that jump around, When people think about Elvis moving around — he didn’t jump around. He moved with grace. I love Mick Jagger. I mean, I go back a long ways with him, and I always wish him the best. But to see him jumping around like he does — I don’t give a shit in what age, from Altamont to RFK Stadium — you don’t have to do that, man.”
He added, “It’s still hipper and cooler to be Ray Charles, sittin’ at the piano, not movin’ shit. And still getting across, you know? Pushing rhythm and soul across. It’s got nothin’ to do with jumping around. I mean, what could it possibly have to do with jumping around?”