What do you think of Woody Guthrie

Bob Dylan did what very, very few singers can - he sang differently than anyone before him. Today we live in a world that is shaped by his singing.

Editor's recommendation

Almost nobody sings like Elvis Presley anymore, but hundreds try to sound like Dylan. When Sam Cooke played Dylan to young Bobby Womack, he didn't know what to do with it. Cooke then explained to him: From now on it no longer matters how beautiful a voice is. What matters is whether you believe her that she is telling the truth.

Bob Dylan sings sad songs without getting sentimental

To understand Dylan's importance as a singer, one has to imagine a world without Tom Waits, Bruce Springsteen, Eddie Vedder, Kurt Cobain, Lucinda Williams and any other vocalist with a grater voice, street dog yelping or blues howl.

The list is long, but Dylan had plenty of role models too, from Allen Ginsberg's recitations of the Talmud in Howl to the dry and dusty humor of Woody Guthrie and the murmur of Lefty Frizell. Iron ore is buried in his voice and the bitter Minnesota winds blow over it.

It's like a clenched fist, which allows Dylan to sing deeply melancholy songs without getting sentimental. Interestingly enough, with age, the fist opens, allowing a little vulnerability. When he sings "Idiot Wind" today, he really does sound like an idiot sometimes.


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The first time I heard Bob Dylan's voice in the dark, on my friend's record player. I was 13 years old. It was the "Greatest Hits" album, his first. The voice sang on modern subjects but sounded ancient at the same time. She looked strangely familiar to Irish ears. At the time we thought America was populated with superheroes, but the people in his songs were anything but that - farmers, people who had been played badly.

The unusual thing about Bob Dylan was that, for a short time in the 1960s, he seemed like the future. He was the voice of a generation that rose against the previous generations. But then he became the voice of all generations, the voice of ghosts - the 1930s, Dust Bowl, Gershwin and Varieté.

Bob Dylan: The preacher was preceded by the pilgrim

These pictures of him in a polka dot shirt, with an afro and pointy shoes - that was a brief flash. He usually puts his voice at the service of more archaic figures. Here are a few of the adjectives I use to describe his voice: howling, tempting, furious, indignant, mocking, pleading, begging, intimidating, confessing, lamenting, moaning, comforting, entertaining, flattering.

A voice like smoke, from cigars or incense, full of mystery and devotion. A voice for every Dylan you may meet, and that's why I never get bored of Bob Dylan - because there are so many of him and all of them are kind of pilgrims. People forget that Bob Dylan had to warm up the audience before Martin Luther King delivered his great “I have a dream” speech - the preacher was preceded by the pilgrim.

"Woe, you think I'm not serious"

Dylan has played so many roles in his songs because that's the way he brings his subjects to life. His closet is overflowing with the shoes of the people wandering through his stories. I love the album "Shot Of Love". Zero production. You sit in a room and listen to him sing. And I like a lot of the songs he recorded with Daniel Lanois - "Series Of Dreams", "Most Of The Time", "Dignity". This is the period that touches me the most, when voice and words become one. No more performance, just life - the dancer becomes a dance, as Yeats said.

Editor's recommendation

Dylan did with singing what Brando did with acting - plowing his way through the tricks and twists to get to art, tearing up the rules laid down by the guild guilds of the Grail, breaking through the fourth wall, getting in front of the Audience planted and growled: "Woe, you think I'm not serious!"

Birthday: May 24, 1941. Most important songs: "Like A Rolling Stone", "Lay Lady Lay", "Visions Of Johanna"

I.Inspiration for: John Lennon, Bruce Springsteen, Patti Smith, Conor Colonel

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