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Still on the Road: The Songs of Bob Dylan, 1974-2006
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Still on the Road: The Songs of Bob Dylan, 1974-2006

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  109 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
The second of two volumes, this companion to every song that Bob Dylan ever wrote is not just opinionated commentary or literary interpretation: it consists of facts first and foremost. Together these two volumes form the most comprehensive books available on Dylan's words. Clinton Heylin is the world's leading Dylan biographer and expert, and he has arranged the songs in ...more
Hardcover, 544 pages
Published July 1st 2010 by Chicago Review Press (first published April 1st 2010)
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Paul Bryant
Apr 23, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: bob-dylan
[This review, like this book, continues from the review of Revolution in the Air]


Dylan started his songwriting, tentatively, as a plagiarist and is finishing, magnificently, as a plagiarist.



When you're a folkie you are allowed, nay, expected to steal because that's the folk process. So you take a tune from there and some lines from here and stir em up with a new guitar intro and a harmony et voila, new folk song. So Dylan cranked out a whole l
Oct 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
I think I liked this more than the first volume, mostly because the '60s songs have been discussed to death. They're the first Dylan everyone hears (I assume), and they're often what everyone fixates on. But, as Heylin's two-volume examination of six hundred Dylan originals demonstrates, the man has a lot more worthy music. So a book that works its way from Blood on the Tracks to Modern Times is almost guaranteed to hold some surprises.

First, though, my complaints. As in the first book, Heylin's
Sep 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
Like the first book in this series, "Revolution in the Air," Heylin takes on the forensic task of writing about every Bob Dylan song in an attempt to figure out the order in which Dylan wrote them. Here Heylin tackles 1974-2006, which means he's writing about a few key albums, but also the '80s, unquestionably the most questionable period of Dylan's songwriting career. But that's also much of the fun, since Heylin is working within a fairly untrodden era compared to the well-documented '60s & ...more
Jul 23, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Along with the first volume, this may be the most important book to date about Dylan. Deals chronologically with every song known to be written by Dylan, telling when known the story of its composition and recording. You don't have to always agree with Heylin to appreciate that he's speaking from a place of deep knowledge. Unlike other books about the songs, Heylin doesn't consider them frozen at the time of writing, but also talks about how Bob changed them in performance over the years, with g ...more
Mark A Logan
Jan 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: dylan
Obsessively detailed and extremely informative.
Heylin's opinionated and does a fair bit of second guessing Dylan's decisions
but it's such a fascinating read, that those bits don't detract from the book at all.
James F
Nov 18, 2016 rated it it was ok
Having read Dylan's lyrics, his one novel, and a commentary on the earlier songs, I was hoping when I found this at the library that it would give me a better appreciation of the later songs. Unfortunately, the book is rather heavier on the kind of minutiae about recording sessions, takes, order of tracks, performances and so forth that would be of interest only to a hard core fan. As much as I like much of Dylan, I've never been a "fannish" kind of person.

Even more of a problem, though, is tha
Jan 27, 2017 rated it liked it
I'm a little torn on this one. On the plus side, this is an exhaustively researched deep dive into the songs of Dylan's career's second half. Heylin is an expert and has enough connections to really make this a fascinating trawl. On the negative, Heylin's bias and inability to keep his thoughts to himself was aggravating. Multiple digs at the Grateful Dead and other bands were bad enough, but I was really turned off by his digs at other Dylan researchers. It smacked of self-importance at times. ...more
Jan 21, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: music
A read for the rabid Dylan freak, not the casual fan. Detailed song-by-song analysis of Dylan's canon from Blood on the Tracks to Modern Times. The only problem with this book is the author's insertion of his own very strong opinions about certain songs (or versions of songs), which not all fans may share.
Holly Foley (Procida)
Ah, my non-abandon tendency was stressed through this one. I don't especially like Bob Dylan's music, so one would think this wasn't a great choice for me to read. (One would be right) On the up side, I know so much more about the process of recording songs than I ever imagined.
Richard Hurst
Jan 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Got this book from Brother Steve. I've read Vol 1. and loved it. Makes you want to play all the albums of course Just so informative and some marvellous stories and insights. For Dylan fans only though...
Ryan Gellman
Sep 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Heylin is brilliant, arrogant, knowledgable, frustrating, erudite, opinionated and about 10,000 other things. But I just can't imagine where he gets all of this fascinating information. Both books were a fascinating trip for a Dylan freak.
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