Early Bob Dylan & Opinions on Lykke Li

As Bob Dylan approaches his 70th year, Jim and Greg go back to the beginning. Tune in as they look at Dylan’s folk years – from protest singer to the voice of a generation.

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The music industry’s head is in the clouds. Amazon just announced its cloud-based media server, beating out Google and Apple. This allows people to listen to their music from any device, anywhere, though for now, the server is Android-only. But, as Jim explains, it’s pretty cost-effective for consumers with average size music collections. The real issue is the legality of Cloud Drive. Music labels are already bristling that Amazon didn’t wait to secure licensing deals before launching – an issue that has been holding up its competitors. Jim and Greg smell a lawsuit.

Bob Dylan

heylin

If all that talk about clouds and androids hasn’t made you feel old, get this...Bob Dylan is turning 70 this May. And we here at Sound Opinions feel that this birthday boy deserves not one, but three episodes in his honor. This week is the first installment and focuses on Dylan’s early years as a folkie and protest singer in New York. Dylan moved to Greenwich Village in 1961 at age 19. Within just a few years, he had signed to Columbia Records, teamed up with manager Albert Grossman, released four albums, and become the voice of a generation. Never one to be pigeonholed, Dylan abandoned categories just as soon as he was assigned them. Jim and Greg talk to Dylan expert Clinton Heylin about the singer’s influences during those years and his growth as a songwriter and performer. Clinton recently explored Dylan’s entire song catalog in two companion books, Revolution in the Air and Still on the Road.

Following their conversation, Jim and Greg talk about their favorite Dylan tracks from 1961-1964. Jim chooses a protest song that has remained timeless, and one that Dylan continues to perform, Masters of War. He fell in love with this song, which was released on The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan in 1963, through the many covers of it. Greg goes with a song that is less well-known, but no less impactful. And it showcases Dylan’s strengths as a singer...yes that’s right, singer. Moonshiner is Dylan’s take on a traditional folk song, and as Greg explains, features a sound he would return to in later years. A version was released on The Bootleg Series Vol 1-3.

Want more Dylan? Check out Part 2 and Part 3 of this special series.

Wounded Rhymes Lykke Li

Wounded Rhymes (Deluxe Version)

Swedishsinger Lykke Li has a new album out called Wounded Rhymes. She has again teamed up with fellow Swede Bjorn Yttling of Peter, Bjorn and John. The maturity is leaps and bounds above her previous effort. Greg was impressed with the oomph of her voice and her interesting source material. It’s Phil Spector and doo-wop, but with a wicked tinge. Jim agrees, adding gospel and soul influences to that pot. Wounded Rhymes gets a double Buy It rating.

Greg

One of Dylan’s motivations for moving to New York was to meet his hero Woody Guthrie. And decades later, Guthrie continues to inspire musicians. In fact, Greg says one of the best performances of Wilco’s entire career is their cover of Guthrie’s tune One by One from the 1998 album Mermaid Avenue. And that’s saying something, since Greg literally wrote the book on Wilco. As a result, One by One goes into the Desert Island Jukebox this week.

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