Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Release Date Set For Dylan’s Tempest

We interrupt our Wordless Wednesday to bring you this special announcement.
Dylan receiving Presidential Medal of Freedom earlier this year.
The news release that I saw at bobdylan.com late Monday began like this:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

NEW BOB DYLAN ALBUM – TEMPEST - SET FOR SEPTEMBER RELEASE

COLLECTION OF TEN NEW BOB DYLAN SONGS
MARKS MUSICIAN’S 50TH ANNIVERSARY AS A RECORDING ARTIST

Columbia Records announced today that Bob Dylan’s new studio album, Tempest, will be released on September 11, 2012. Featuring ten new and original Bob Dylan songs, the release of Tempest coincides with the 50th Anniversary of the artist’s eponymous debut album, which was released by Columbia in 1962.

By the following morning the news stories were criss-crossing the wires. Here are a few features about the album that may be of interest to Dylan fans.

1. This is not the first Dylan album with a 9/11 release date. Love and Theft was also released on 9/11, the actual September 11 of 2001 when the Towers came down. This happens to be my birthday and I was looking forward to going to Barnes & Noble to purchase the CD that week with my birthday money.

So has this date been selected as an attempt to "redeem" the day? Or to underscore it? It hardly seems arbitrary.

2. The release states that this album coincides with the 50th Anniversary of his debut album Bob Dylan, but don't be misled by this. His first album was released in March, more than a half century ago. That is a lot of original music by any measure.

3. Dylan's recent albums, all of them superb, have been produced by Jack Frost, a pseudonym he has been using. Interesting how similar this pseudonym is to the character he played in Masked and Anonymous, Jack Fate.

4. Much has already been made of the fact that The Tempest is the title of Shakespeare's last play. As I have noted elsewhere, it's not a stretch to be comparing Dylan to Shakespeare. Each has been an influential bard, and like "ol' Bill" Dylan's legacy will no doubt continue long past the horizons he's travelled while passing through this earthly realm. 

5. Though the album is set for a September release, individual songs can be purchased today on iTunes. The playlist for Dylan's Tempest is as follows:

1. Duquesne Whistle
2. Soon After Midnight
3. Narrow Way
4. Long And Wasted Years
5. Pay In Blood
6. Scarlet Town
7. Early Roman Kings
8. Tin Angel
9. Tempest
10. Roll On John

According to a Wall Street Journal article on the new album, one of these songs is about the Titanic and the last cut is about John Lennon. Like many artists, Dylan does not try to explain his songs but let's the work speak for itself.

For more links to stories about Tempest and all things Dylan, your best bet is to visit, and then bookmark, ExpectingRain.com

Paintings on this page are by Ed Newman. For more Dylan portraits by the same artist visit my Flickr Dylan Collection.

Wordless Wednesday will return next week at it's regularly scheduled time.

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