The Philosophy of Modern Song is Bob Dylan's first book of new writing since 2004's Chronicles: Volume One-and since winning the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2016. The audio is narrated by an all-star lineup including Bob Dylan, Jeff Bridges, Steve Buscemi, John Goodman, Oscar Isaac, Helen Mirren, Rita Moreno, Sissy Spacek, Alfre Woodard, Jeffrey Wright, and Ren-e Zellweger!
Dylan, who began working on the book in 2010, offers his extraordinary insight into the nature of popular music. He writes over sixty essays focusing on songs by other artists, spanning from Stephen Foster to Elvis Costello, and in between ranging from Hank Williams to Nina Simone. He analyzes what he calls the trap of easy rhymes, breaks down how the addition of a single syllable can diminish a song, and even explains how bluegrass relates to heavy metal. These essays are written in Dylan's unique prose. They are mysterious and mercurial, poignant and profound, and often laugh-out-loud funny. And while they are ostensibly about music, they are really meditations and reflections on the human condition. Running throughout the book are a series of dream-like riffs that, taken together, resemble an epic poem and add to the work's transcendence.
In 2020, with the release of his outstanding album Rough and Rowdy Ways, Dylan became the first artist to have an album hit the Billboard Top 40 in each decade since the 1960s. The Philosophy of Modern Song contains much of what he has learned about his craft in all those years, and like everything that Dylan does, it is a momentous artistic achievement.
"This momentous work takes listeners deep inside the emotional narratives and cultural ethos behind 60 pop songs created over the past seven decades. Dylan's narration is quick and occasionally indistinct - a by-product of his intensity and in-the-moment engagement. It's a moving experience to hear this musical and literary giant deliver his takes on these iconic songs. His artistic and social sensibilities are in high gear, and the other remarkable cast members all narrate with equal engagement and charisma. They capture what Dylan says about each song, its cultural context, and the life of the writer(s) and artist(s) who wrote and/or performed it. Almost as one voice, the narrators create a flow of energy that adds immeasurably to the impact of Dylan's poetic writing." - Winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award, AudioFile Magazine
UNABRIDGED 6.5 Hrs - 6 CDs