Saturday, May 14, 2011

The Jugglers and Clowns Do Tricks For You At Bob Dylan’s Birthday Party

Barely Legal

The May 26 2011 edition of Rolling Stone is 98 pages long. A full quarter of it is devoted to listing Bob Dylan songs.

The Inky Jukebox likes to imagine executives sitting around boardroom tables coming up with ideas and making decisions (though we also realize this is a purely nostalgic spasm that merely serves as a vehicle for the imagination).

Thus it is that we can see a bunch of suits sitting around struggling to produce content suggestions, all of which fall on deaf ears. Jann Wenner is playing with his iPad and suddenly exclaims “Shit! It’s Bob’s 70th coming up on May 24 — shall we send a fruit basket?” “No!” a sub-editor chimes in, seeing his chance to ingratiate himself with The Boss, “Let’s list 70 of Bob’s songs to celebrate, as a sort of birthday card / love letter! And let’s cobble together the usual suspects to come up with the list!” Jann looks up and smiles. “Too risky,” he says. “We all know that ‘Like a Rolling Stone’ is the best Dylan song and we can't guarantee that it will rank that high."

This turns out to be no problemo. Bono has dutifully commented on the OBVIOUS CHOICE. In case anyone misses the point, here’s a quote: “For some, the sixties was a revolution.” The Inky Jukebox is rapt with . . . boredom. The only thing that saves this licky-lick is the photo of Dylan with his harmonica fitted with a cigarette for easy puffs between blows. That’s some sixties shit right there!

There’s nothing much to add about this except to lodge our indignation and disbelief that “Forever Young,” “Lay, Lady, Lay” and “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” appear at 23, 24 and 25 on the list. WTF!!! We know Dylan’s awesome and all that, but there are 22 better songs than these? Really?

In case 70 of Dylan’s songs were not enough (and offers more, including Overlooked Classics and other kinds of lists), The Inky Jukebox would like to offer a favorite of ours that appears on none of them. It from an album completely ignored by the Top 70 listmakers, Street Legal. It is the mighty “Baby, Stop Crying.”

Also appearing on this album is the song “Señor (Tales of Yankee Power)” which has recently been covered with aplomb by Dierks Bentley.

Happy Birthday Bob Dylan. A rolling stone gathers no moss, just memories. 

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