He’s unrivalled as a songwriter, but often derided as a singer—which makes this album so curious: the legend lending his craggy pipes to songs associated with Frank Sinatra, one of the greatest vocalists ever. Yet the results are surprisingly affecting, especially on his moving renditions of “What’ll I Do” and “Full Moon and Empty Arms.”
Of all Dylan’s bootlegs—official and unofficial, none has been more attracted more mystique and allure than the over 100 diverse recordings he made with The Band during the summer of ’67. Now they’ve been exhaustively restored and compiled in six- and two-disc collections, including 30 never-bootlegged tracks like the rollicking roadhouse blues “Dress It Up, Better Have It All,” that represents the roots-rock mother lode.
America’s most celebrated singer-songwriter confused fans when he released Self Portrait in 1970. With its folk tunes and pop covers, it wasn’t what people expected. Which was apparently the point: Dylan wanted to shake off his “messiah” image. Critics hated the album, which had been overdubbed with horns, strings and female voices. But the newly released box set Another Self Portrait strips away those sweeteners and adds 35 rarities and unreleased recordings to shed new light on the album. Featuring demos, outtakes and live recordings, it reveals that Dylan was celebrating American music. Traditional songs like “Pretty Saro” are some of his sweetest performances, while the moonshiner’s tale...
The legendary singer-songwriter continues to make magic on his latest, conjuring up an evocative train song (“Duquesne Whistle”) and a heartfelt tribute to John Lennon (“Roll on John”). But his most masterful sleight of hand is the epic title track about the Titanic, which cleverly mixes history and Hollywood, even referencing Leonardo DiCaprio.
Few songwriters have been as prolific—or revered—as Bob Dylan. This 4-CD collection, marking Amnesty International’s 50th anniversary, is a tribute to his artistry, with cover versions by 75 stars of all generations and genres. Diana Krall delivers a tender “Simple Twist of Fate,” while husband Elvis Costello adds a stirring “License to Kill.” The real surprises come from younger artists, including Ke$ha, who sings a touching “Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright,” and K’naan, who bravely reinvents “With God on Our Side.”