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Bob Dylan – Murder Most Foul

March 30, 2020

Bob Dylan dropped a nearly seventeen-minute epic the other day (3/27/20). The foundation of the song is the Kennedy assassination.  More interesting, it is a mosaic of baby boomer pop references (primarily musical) of the last sixty years. Dylan has created yet another magic trick – he has pulled a masterpiece out of his hat in the midst of a crisis. Is it merely a gorgeous piece of art or is it a message?  Probably both.

So how did Bob deliver this beauty? A tweet of course (that is what septuagenarians do these days).

Greetings to my fans and followers with gratitude for all your support and loyalty across the years.

This is an unreleased song we recorded a while back that you might find interesting.

Stay safe, stay observant and may God be with you.

Bob Dylan

The song is a puzzle – a brain teaser. He weaves the Kennedy assassination nuggets with a list of pop music and culture trivia.  NPR’s music critics Bob Boilen and Ann Powell have attempted to catalog the musical references in the song and it is a huge list.

Sonically it is as beautiful as anything in Dylan’s catalog. Sung in the warm croon of his most recent standards albums, but with pure Dylan phrasing. The arrangement is atmospheric piano, strings, and subtle drums. It is perfect.

So why this song and why now? Bob’s tweet suggests he has been sitting on this gem for a while. My theory is that the Kennedy assassination was a traumatic event that changed everything (it rivals 9/11 for boomers).  This pandemic will and has changed everything. Scarier than war because war is over there – this is here.  What I hear in this boomer litany from Dylan is both sad and hopeful. I guess that is about where we are at this moment in time.  Thank you, Bob, I do find it interesting.

From → Music Reviews

2 Comments
  1. Thanks. As ever Bob has artistic antannae that pick up. On significant events in a unique way.

    Stay well

    Regards Thom

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  1. Bob Dylan – I Contain Multitudes | Axl's Catch Groove

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