The Tor Guides

Happy birthday Bob!

In Okategoriserade on 24 May, 2011 at 09:47

By the way, that’s a cute hat
And that smile’s so hard to resist

The calendar tells us that it´s 2011 and our forever youngster is turning 70 years old. Somehow it also manages to tell me that I´ve also grown some since my first acquaintance with the Dylan in the early 70s.

Besides the sing-a-long protest songs of the 60s, my first recollection of Dylan was the single George Jackson from 1971 and the soundtrack to Sam Peckinpah´s Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid from 1973, with it´s magnificent Knocking on Heavens Door.

Around that time, as a pop music nerd in my early teens, I pretty much swallowed every bit I could chew but I´d be lying if I said that I was awestruck by him at that time. However my interest in both his music and persona arose greatly with the release of his first album on Asylum Records and his return to collaborating with the BandPlanet Waves and the live album that followed, Before the Flood, both from 1974. Ever since then I´ve been a true believer in him and have been on a never-ending journey through his music from the early 60s till today.

It´s hard to pick a favourite track among all those classic songs but if I would have to pick just the one it´d be the wonderful Sweetheart Like You, from his 22nd studio album Infidels from 1983, produced by himself and Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits fame and with Sly and Robbie as a firm and thumping rhythm support section.

That very album was a return to more secular music after his conversion to Christianity and some albums with religious themes. It was – and is – more polished and thoroughly produced than most of his other albums. The presence of Knopfler, though very subtle, is evident everywhere. I wonder what that album would have sound like if David Bowie, Frank Zappa or Elvis Costello, who all were asked to produce the album, had accepted the offer to co-produce the album.

Mick Taylor plays some beautiful guitar on this lovable song that gives me the chills whenever I hear it. There seem to have been some debating regarding the lyrics – are they too sexist? Are they about Christianity? Or a real sweetheart? Myself I don´t really mind – to me it´s just the most beautiful of songs in a CV that seems to last forever.

Happy birthday Bob!

tp

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