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Thursday, December 26, 2013

"Inside Bobby Dylan," A Surprising Angle

According to the popular view, Bob Dylan, acoustic folk/protest star, suddenly decided to go rock 'n roll in 1965.  The new "Llewyn Davis" film chronicles the early 1960s world of the New York folk scene, ending with a glimpse of the Bobster as he was about to break through, on the folk scene, in 196, a year after coming to NYC.  So it may surprise many to learn that Dylan actually "went rock" in that very year, albeit briefly--and even did it for his first single on Columbia.

It was for a track that didn't make his second, star-making album, Freewheelin',  a song he wrote called "Mixed Up Confusion."  It flopped as a single and since it didn't make the album was forgotten or ignored for twenty years.  One version later surfaced on his Biograph compilation, a guitar-heavy track, and now I've discovered an alternate take, with a rocking piano.  "I'm hung over, hung down, hung up." This song probably reflected Bob's real passion at the time--for rock 'n roll, more than folk.  It just took a few more years for him to commit...

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