Bob Dylan

Topics: Bob Dylan, Protest song / Pages: 17 (4168 words) / Published: Jul 14th, 2013
“Only A Pawn In Their Game” - Dylan and The 60s

Josh St.Louis 4944252 HIS 3150 December 5th, 2012 Instructor: Sean Graham
This past September 11th marked the fiftieth-anniversary of the release of

Bob Dylan’s 1962 eponymous album, Bob Dylan. Fittingly, Dylan marked the

occasion with the release of his thirty-fifth studio album, Tempest, an album

Rolling Stone Magazine recently gave five stars, calling it “one of his weirdest

albums’, and adding, “It may also be the single darkest record in Dylan’s catalog”.

Tempest, rather than being an exception to the trend, is a continuation of the

creative resurgence that Dylan has experienced over the past decade, proving that

even though he’s now one of rock music’s elder statesmen, his advancing age has not

turned him into a mere nostalgia act, but rather has served to cement his legacy as a

true musical icon.

Despite his prolific touring schedule and studio output, the period that is still

most often associated with Bob Dylan is the early 1960s, specifically his

involvement with the Civil Rights movement and his influence on the popular

culture of American society. Louis Masur says that, “it was what Dylan sang, said,

did and represented for a few years in the 1960s that continues to draw the public’s

attention and ignite the imaginations of new generations of listeners”. In a three-

year period, Dylan went from being an unknown singer/guitar player to full on

protest anthem composer. As a descendant of Jewish race, Dylan was also able to

sympathize with visible minorities in ways that others were not able to. He wrote

some of the most influential music of the time and would to turn his back on it all,

only to reinvent himself. Masur summarizes it perfectly, saying “Dylan embodied

two revolutions within three years, two seismic cultural shifts. Before they ended,

and ever since, writers have inquired

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