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The Songs He Didn't Write: Bob Dylan Under the Influence
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The Songs He Didn't Write: Bob Dylan Under the Influence

4.08 of 5 stars 4.08  ·  rating details  ·  12 ratings  ·  5 reviews
Encyclopedic and exhaustive, this guide to the more than 500 songs Bob Dylan has covered, in concert or on record, details the history of each song and offers an explanation of how he came to perform them. His masterful interpretations range from the more obvious blues, country, folk, and gospel recordings to contemporary writers such as Warren Zevon and John Hiatt. In add ...more
ebook, 496 pages
Published March 1st 2009 by Chrome Dreams (first published September 1st 2008)
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Paul Bryant
Oh yeah we really need a book all about songs didn't write... it's another Dylan Telephone Directory... to which I confess multiple addictions ....but I like Barker's tone :

Dylan has a habit of murdering Paul Simon songs and these three performances certainly do not break the mould.

Old MacDonald Had a Farm : this children's song is about a farmer and his various animals.

I dug this book out of the loft the other day, and I still can't quite see the point of it. But I like it.

Not for the casual fan, but a fun resource for someone with a special interest in Dylan. The book catalogs all the non-Dylan songs that Bob has recorded and played in concert, with information about the original recording artist, discography, and specific places and dates when particular music was performed. It's a big book, filled with tasty detail to fascinate those already whistling the Man's tune.

What sparked my interest in the book was my own experience at a concert in 2002, where Dylan pla
Rodger Jacobs
Review forthcoming for my February books column, The Deconstruction Zone, at Pop Matters but suffice to say that this a rich encyclopedic volume examining Dylan's musical influence through song covers he has either performed live or on various "bootleg" albums. Some of those influences, well-essayed in this exhaustively-researched collection, include African-American greats like Lead Belly, Robert Johnson, Sonny Boy Williams, and Arthur "Big Boy" Cruddup; a few unexpected influences like songwri ...more
I am glad I own this book, and it will live nicely in my music room. But this is not a good book for casual reading; it is more of a reference book. Much information is repeated verbatim if you are reading about songs that happened to be recorded at the same session or performed at the same concert.
This is a reference book and shouldn't be read cover to cover but I got it from the library. I wasn't be able to finish it before it was due so I'll get it another time.

Got to page 154.
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