Monday, September 1, 2008


Bob Dylan is still writing brilliant songs, and this is one of them. Dylan fans love to hearken back to days of yore, convinced his best work is well in the past. Geezers mumble about the folk stuff, or Highway 61, or Blonde on Blonde, or Blood on the Tracks. Those were great albums, but things have changed.

Some people hate him for those very songs. The hits. They're too cool, and for them music is about bragging rights--what obscure, rare, impossibly indie act have I discovered that you know nothing about?

The irony is that often the folks who hate Dylan love musicians who have been highly influenced by him. Countless bands cop his style, water him down, steal his lyrics, secretly "discover" him and mine his ore with pick and shovel. People make an entire career out of imitating just one phase of his creative output. Americana, rock, indie, freak-folk, hip hop, and pop all owe him a debt. Toss out the Juno soundtrack and do your homework.

"Things Have Changed" is as good as anything the man has written. Listen to the words.


Anonymous said...

Great song. We expect no less from Mr. Dylan and he satisfies us over and over again as time goes on. The list of songs he has written for other artists and not recorded himself is also impressive. I was middle aged before I found out he wrote House of the Rising Sun and All Along the Watchtower, not to mention so many of the great Joan Baez songs.

Bob Rini said...

This song was released on the soundtrack to "Wonder Boys," which also includes old favorites by John Lennon, Neil Young, Buffalo Springfield, Leonard Cohen, Tim Hardin and others. Dylan received the Academy Award for this song, too.