Bob Dylan, the greatest songwriter of his time, turns 80 on Monday. A dominant presence for over sixty years, Dylan has left an indelible mark in rock and roll history, in part by not dealing with age and longevity like most of the artists out there are here and gone The New Yorker It has covered him from the start.
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This week, as a birthday celebration, we highlight a selection of pieces that celebrate the musician and his versatility. In The Crackin, Shakin, Breakin ‘Sounds, from 1964, Nat Huntoff visits Dylan in the studio and captures the artist in the early stages of his meteor recording career. (“Dylan looks wired, nervous, boyish, and acts like the merging of Huck Finn and young Woody Guthrie. Whether on or off stage, he appears to barely contain his tremendous energy.”) In “The Wanderer,” Alex Ross follows Dylan on the road through His never-ending tour, which defined the last decades of his seminal performance. (“It’s hard to define what he’s doing: he is both a composer and a performer, and his performances change his songs, so that there is no final or perfect version. Dylan’s legacy will be the sum of thousands of performances, over many decades.”) In Bob Dylan ‘Rough and Rowdy Ways’ Hits Hard, “Amanda Petruch argues that the musician’s latest album, his first original song in eight years, is markedly in line with the cultural moment. In Never Ending Bob Dylan, Howard Fishman remembers how Dylan became a teenage fanatic. Finally, in “Bob on Bob,” Lewis Menand examines the evolution of Dylan’s musical style – from protest songs to pop music. This weekend, relax and explore our catalog of stories about this iconic artist.