Bob Dylan is marking the 50th anniversary of his first Columbia records album, 1962’s eponymous Bob Dylan, with the release of a new album that will feature ten new songs. Will he go back to his folk/protest roots?
The new album, produced by Jack Frost, is Dylan’s 35th studio set and follows 2009’s worldwide best-seller, Together Through Life, according to the label. Musically Dylan has transcended generations.
His four most recent studio albums have been hailed as among the best of his storied career. They include the Platinum-selling Time Out Of Mind from 1997, which won the Grammy for Album Of The Year, while Love and Theft, also platinum selling, won for Best Contemporary Folk album.
But Dylan, 71, was never more explosive or controversial than in his early years, when he led the folk protest movement, however reluctantly, and caused an uproar when he gave up his acoustic guitar for an electrified model.
Dylan has been nothing if not prolific and his music has always seemed to be on the pulse of the nation. With the collapse of the financial system and the onset of the Great Recession, will Dylan take up the cause of the common working man again?
It would be an interesting coda on his career, which has run the gamut from folk, blues, country and gospel to rock and roll, English, Scottish, and Irish folk music and even jazz and swing.
Dylan’s second album, The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan, was released in May 1963 and contained his first protest songs, according to the documentary “No Direction Home.” In the summer of 1965, at the Newport Folk Festival, Dylan performed his first electric set, setting off howls of protest from his folk music fans.
But Dylan has never looked back. The new album will be released Sept. 11.