I don’t mean to slag on Bob Dylan, but it seems to come up with remarkable frequency that he’s quoted as the preeminent songwriter of his generation and one of the most influential artists of his day.

There are entire podcasts devoted to his work, not to mention the documentaries, the radio programs, and writings that all tout his unmatched contributions to music. While I have nothing personal against him – in fact, I like his outlook on peace, love, and change – I just don’t get what the big deal is in terms of his talent (and of course I recognize he’s waaaay more talented than I).

Now it’s certainly possible he’s written songs that I like and just don’t know it – he’s written songs for a lot of people – but as for his own greatest hits, there’s not a one that I really care for.

Maybe it’s another instance where the fuss is all about the lyrics – and for me a song is about music. Lyrics are secondary. If that’s the case, I guess I’ll never understand the appeal. But if anyone can point out a particularly interesting bit of music he’s written (and why they find it interesting), I’d be happy to listen with an open mind.

Until then, I guess my iTunes library will remain Dylan-free. Give me Paul Simon any day.

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2 responses »

  1. Dazzle Rebel says:

    I was once of the same opinion (and am still of the same mind about Elvis – what IS the big deal?) however one fine day in a beer garden I was watching an acoustic act cover Bob Dylan songs and something just clicked. Sometimes you can listen too hard to find something good if you are constantly being told that ‘this is good’ by others, when all you need is time and the right circumstance for you to ‘twig’.

    I had the same thing with Neil Young. In fact its only the last few weeks that I finally ‘get’ what it is with Young. I am still waiting for that to happen with Elvis though.

    The next problem is describing what ‘it’ is, when in fact there is no way to do so. You either get it or you don’t. It’s like being in a weird club or cult and once you become a member you’re in it for life.

    I call it the slow burn. You might not get it and love it right away but once (or if) you do it’s a much tastier dish…

    …who knows maybe I’ll finally ‘get’ Elvis too one day.

    • RoC(k)r says:

      That’s a good way of looking at it, Dazzle Rebel. Maybe I just need to leave it alone and, if it comes it comes. In the meantime, there’s a ton of other music out there that rocks my world.

      I’m with you on Elvis by the way (although there are one or two of his songs that I like).

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