"How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live." - Henry David Thoreau
Monday, 16 April 2012
Bob Dylan - Biograph
This is something of an anomaly in terms of the quality of compilation albums. It is probably a truism to say that a collection of all of Bob Dylan’s “good” to “great” songs would probably be four or five times longer than this. But there is always usually something transparent and uncreatively superficial about albums of artists’ “greatest” songs. The real timeless of this novel collection is the songs that have been selected with such creativity and nuance. It is an essentially impossible task to provide a compilation all of Bob Dylan’s stylistic achievement into something concise but unfleeting without deleting some obvious selections. This is a difficult duty, but one that Biograph succeeds in through its gathering of Dylan’s universally known to the obscure: from his derived folk, to his home recordings, to his narratives that will last in the cultural pantheon for at least a century, his self-affirming “Play it fucking loud” recordings, as well as the always continuing eminence of his latter days; it is a platter of Dylan that aesthetically serves to segue and appreciate into his whole catalogue of genreless and sprawling attainment, even when it came before the newly created or discovered.