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Bob Dylan Performing Artist 1974-1986 The Middle Years
An examination of the music and performances of Bob Dylan, from 1974 to 1986. This analysis provides an in-depth look at Dylan as a performer, exploring his work on stage and in the studio, and looks at the evolution of his style and concerns.
Paperback, 335 pages
Published December 31st 1994 by Omnibus Press
(first published 1992)
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Dec 16, 2014 M. Sarki rated it 5 of 5 stars · review of another edition
This book has been so informative and thought-provoking that I went on and purchased the other two (Paul Williams died before completing his fourth) and I will read those in 2015. But to say this master-work is anything but amazing would be a travesty because of all the hard work, thought, and feeling that obviously went into the labor it took to produce these books on the greatest performer of all-time. Not to mention Bob Dylan being a pretty good singer/songwriter as well.
In November of 2010 I picked up a book on Dylan called Bob Dylan Performing Artist 1986-2001, the last of a three book series (so far) written by Paul Williams (founder of Crawdaddy! magazine). I managed to read the book in the spring of next year and I was really impressed with his writing style which includes many observations on performing and art and a whole logical and personal philosophy about it. I searched long and far in the depths of the Internet for the other two books that precede it ...more
Amazingly connects to the act of performance, Williams loves his subject. He is passionate. He riffs on Dylan's various performances, reminding us just how wonderful the voices of Bob Dylan are. At times, he grows a tad ethereal, but for the most part he listens closely and he has worthwhile insights to share concerning Dylan as singer, songwriter, and performer.
Williams has a great point - Dylan was never about his recordings. Face it - most of them sound like hell. Dylan was about performing. How else could he remain so essential, while singing Tangled Up in Blue for the bazillionth time? Plus, he makes Street Legal seem like an essential collection. How's that for wizardry?
Williams sometimes borders on fanatical, but his enthusiasm, attention to detail, and unique perspective of Dylan -- not primarily as a songwriter, but as a performing artist -- makes this book series a must for any serious Dylanphile.
Librarian note: There is more than one author on goodreads by this name.More about Paul Williams...