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The Lyrics: 1961-2012

4.59  ·  Rating details ·  269 ratings  ·  30 reviews
A major publishing event--for the first time, a beautiful, comprehensive collection of lyrics of music legend and poet Bob Dylan, complete with in-depth annotations by Christopher Ricks.
This definitive collection brings together the entire catalogue of lyrics by Bob Dylan, one of the most legendary songwriters in history. From his early protest songs, like "Blowin' in the
Hardcover, 679 pages
Published November 1st 2016 by Simon Schuster
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Paul Bryant
Oct 20, 2014 marked it as probably-never  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bob-dylan



Defenders of Bob Dylan say – as I do to my profoundly sceptical daughter – well, okay, he does have a funny way of singing (“it’s not singing, it’s talking in a singsong voice – maybe that was singing in the 1960s but people have improved since then” says Georgia) – yes, well, let’s not argue – but he wrote these great songs – listen to the words!

Well, don’t listen to ALL the words, please, because Bob’s internal quality checker qui
Susan Budd
Jul 09, 2016 marked it as not-read
Shelves: music, poetry
This is being reissued in the Fall and I've already pre-ordered mine. It will replace my old paperback Writings and Drawings that only goes up to 1970.

Yes ~ I'm still pumped from last night's amazing performance at Forest Hills Stadium!!!
John Dalton
Feb 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Poet Laureate for a reason.
Jeffrey (Akiva) Savett
I finally finished reading pretty much every page of this massive tome. Dylan is one of my favorite poets first and songwriters second. This book, though pricy, is a work of art in itself. It is HUMONGOUS and heavy, the pages are thick and high quality, and the lyrics, like poems, are presented on their own pages. This leaves a lot of white space which I like. I also appreciated that the editors included footnotes regarding the variations of the lyrics from different recordings. Obviously, as ex ...more
Dec 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've read the lyrics to every Dylan song, and am more convinced than ever of his poetic genius. Still, I can't say I'm finished, as I'll come to this again and again. An American voice as essential as Whitman, as deep and complex as Eliot. ...more
James F
Nov 07, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the most recent edition of Dylan’s official version of all of his lyrics. [Not the 2014 edition which I added the review to, but the 2016 edition, 679 pages, which isn't on Goodreads yet.] The book is my year’s main reading for my Nobel Prize Winners in Literature project; perhaps over the next eleven months I will actually be able to go back and finish the rest of Mario Vargas Llosa and maybe even go back before 2007 as I originally intended (I started the project then with the intentio ...more
Ramzzi Fariñas
He deserved the Nobel Prize. He deserved the highest rank of Rolling Stone's greatest songwriters of all time. He deserved all the accolades he earned and perhaps even burned. He deserved his name to be carved in history.

A reader once quipped after completely reading War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy, “I cannot even finish a one-page essay.” This public observation does not only point the length of Tolstoy’s masterpiece, but its beauty too—in spite the turmoil of writing such length. In relevance to
Nov 21, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The arguments are over now. Each of the great albums is the equivalent of a novel, and there are few who've written a body of novels as inspired. ...more
Nov 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction, poetry
This is a great book if you find Dylan's voice or music distracting. His lyrics stand alone in remarkable testimony to his genius. As good as any poetry anthology i've ever read. ...more
Feb 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Yes, to dance beneath the diamond sky with one hand waving free

Bob Dylan winning the Nobel Prize has been one of the most interesting things to happen to literature recently. The most interesting Nobel laureate since Svetlana Alexievich, no doubt. Discussions arose everywhere. There were all sorts of heated debates concerning whether the man deserved it or not. That can still be debated (on that note, did Ishiguro deserve it? This boy would say no, but what do I know). The important thing howeve
Mar 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A big, beautiful book with everything in it, from early lyrics like "Big City Blues" to the Tempest - 50 years of pop music that transcends the genre. It's all here, and unless you're the sort of person who thought it was a crime to give Dylan the Nobel Prize, you'll find it fascinating. ...more
Dan Durrant
Apr 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
If you've ever doubted that Bob deserved his Nobel, you need to read this book. What a great body of work. ...more
Dec 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
On an otherwise quiet October morning in 2016, the Swedish Academy announced that Bob Dylan had been awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, catching much of the world by surprise. Though Dylan appeared frequently on shortlists for the award, his chances were never anything more than slim--the dream of the contrarian--and the annual disappointment over his lack of recognition always seemed to be delivered with a wistful grin by his supporters. Those who professed a deeper knowledge of the Academy ...more
Aug 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Creo firmemente que este libro debería estar en cada casa del mundo. 1,300 páginas con las letras de casi todo lo grabado y publicado oficialmente por Dylan hasta el año 2012 con Tempest. Faltan muchas melodías de los Bootlegs Series, pero tiene lo básico para sumergirse y disfrutar la poesía de este genio. Algunas traducciones son terribles, pero por fortuna es una edición Bilingüe, y la sección de fun facts al final de cada disco es entretenida.
Con esto cierro mi ciclo de libros de Dylan, sig
Claudia Bluhm
Jun 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
One of our greatest poets and although Dylan doesn't seem to agree, The Master of protest songs. Every English student, writer, song writer, and/or studier of history should read his lyrics. I was lucky to have a teacher at UC a few years back - Dan Coshnear - who included Dylan's lyrics in his class syllabus. Dylan's songs/poems are timeless - reflecting and addressing today's world just as much as they were a mirror of the 1960's. So inspirational. ...more
Rudy Gutierrez
Jan 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I've enjoyed Dylan's music for so long but I had no idea he had even written many of these. Some I recognized right away and as I read them the song played in my head but others I had never heard before and as I read them they flowed like poetry and still was impacting. Great collection body of work. I must have 45 post-it notes to mark my favorites. ...more
Julio Obispo
Jun 09, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: música
Unas traducciones que explicaban que trataban de ser cercanas a los ritmos y tiempos del escrito original.
Es una gran edición; me gustó mucho sus detalles.
La explicación y referencias de las letras me parecieron geniales.
Antonio Delgado
Sep 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Arguably Bob Dylan is one of the greatest modernist poets. His words are the experience, not only of American culture, but of twentieth century cultural production. Not listening or being aware of Dylan is like not being aware of Kafka: nobody comes the same after diving into their work.
Miguel Casillas
Jan 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Bryan Wiebe
May 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Well worth reading.
Rob Melich
Dec 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Astounding output. Middle year’s content didn’t move me, seemed lyrically repetitive, but early and later years are Bobby D.
Arnaldo Neto
Mar 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Um mergulho nas primeiras obras do maior compositor da história. Fantástico!
Dec 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Te amo.
Jan 15, 2017 marked it as to-read
Santa delivered this fine collection last month. The lyrics that earned a Nobel prize for literature.
Gustavo Vazquez
Apr 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Bob Dylan had 5 creative peaks during his career, when he wrote some of the greatest lyrics in the history of mankind. They are: "The freewheelin´ Bob Dylan" and "The times they are a-changin´"; "Bringing it all back home", "Higway 61 revisited" and "Blonde on Blonde; "John Wesley Harding" and "The Basement Tapes"; "Blood on the Tracks"; and "Love and Theft" and "Modern Times" (and if you skip a couple of years, we could add "Tempest") .

But the fact is, even in his other works - some a bit more
Jan 05, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: ginib
Nobel Prize for Literature. A very prestigious award, and after reading through this compilation of his lyrics I can understand why the committee decided as they did. His work is every bit as much poetry as any I have read. And especially what I have read from the more recent award winners.

This book covers 55 years and hundreds of titles. Album covers and images of some of the rough drafts start each “chapter”. His work has definite themes that run throughout its entirety with only minor shift
Dec 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this complete collection of Dylan's song texts after he had been awarded the Nobel prize in literature. I bought the book from Amazon and did not pay attention to that this volume also included German translations of the texts. This did not add much to the reading experience, but it was fun to read some of the better-known texts in translation to German. Dylan has not been covered much into other languages.
I read it from cover to cover in a relatively short time just like I would have rea
rated it it was amazing
Dec 25, 2018
John Mulligan
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Jul 23, 2017
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Bob Dylan (born Robert Allen Zimmerman) is an American singer-songwriter, author, musician, poet, and, of late, disc jockey who has been a major figure in popular music for five decades. Much of Dylan's most celebrated work dates from the 1960s, when he became an informal chronicler and a reluctant figurehead of American unrest. A number of his songs, such as "Blowin' in the Wind" and "The Times T ...more

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