Dylan: Disc By Disc by Jon Bream
It’s no secret that I am a fan of Bob Dylan. Okay, so he doesn’t have the soulful voice that I usually love but he has words that he combined into poem and song. His words have changed over the years, just as he has changed. At first they were in protest, then became electric, religious, etc.
I was disappointed when he became a born again Christian, not that I have anything against it, as long as people don’t preach it to me. That was just it, I was worried he would be preachy about it. He wasn’t after his first album after converting and in fact, I even liked that album. It wasn’t a favorite, but it was good. I don’t even know if he still considers himself religious be it Jewish or Christian.
I thought it a bit funny that he was considered “born again” because he was raised Jewish. In fact, there was a rumor that he went to the same summer camp my parents forced me to go to in Minnesota, Herzl. I remember my last year going there a boy snuck me into his cabin to show me where Bob carved his initials in a bunk bed. “B.Z.”. Were they really his initials, who knows but it was still thrilling for me!
Now flash forward, back to today and I am still a fan. So, when I saw ‘Dylan: Disc by Disc’, I had to have it. Luckily the publisher was happy to send me a copy for review. First let me say this is a beautiful book in terms of the cover and photos within. I am now proudly displaying it on my coffee table. In fact, last week we had friend over and one asked to borrow it. Ha, I told him, “not my Dylan”. He understood and promptly ordered a copy for himself after just browsing through mine.
The book is set up for some well known, some not so well know critics to discuss each album Dylan has done to date. I have every album up to 2012. In fact, we saw a Bob Dylan special on PBS in 2013 and they had a box set of 40 cds during a pledge drive on offer. We bought it, so we even have some duplicates. LOL!
I agree with some of the commentary for each album discussed in the book and also disagree with some. It was really set up a lot like a conversation a bunch of friends would discuss some of their favorite performers except most of those friends have the discussion in their writing, rather than verbal. At first I really liked the writing style but did tire of it, at times. However, that said, I still adored this book, mostly for the photos. It’s just beautifully put together and a nice keepsake for a Bob Dylan fan. I highly recommend it for fans or as a gift to the big Dylan fans in your life!
I received this book for my honest review.
About Jon Bream
Jon Bream, the award-winning critic of the Minneapolis Star Tribune since 1975, has the second longest tenure of any current daily newspaper pop-music critic in the United States. His work has appeared everywhere from the Boston Globe and the Los Angeles Times to Rolling Stone and TV Guide. A native of St. Paul, Minnesota, Bream is the author of the bestselling biographies Prince: Inside the Purple Reign (1984) and Whole Lotta Led Zeppelin: The Illustrated History of the Heaviest Band of All Time (2008). Visit www.jonbream.com.