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Published: 2016/02/17
by Larson Sutton

Philippe Margotin, Jean-Michel Guesdon
Bob Dylan All The Songs The Story Behind Every Track

No single musician has had the amount of pages devoted to him like Bob Dylan, leaving many wondering what, if anything, was left to say about the folk legend’s 50 years of recordings. Which is why the arrival of Bob Dylan All the Songs The Story Behind Every Track is, amazingly, neither wholly redundant nor filling a void. At over 700 pages, it is the single most exhaustive, detailed, and complete account of every song Dylan ever wrote or recorded through 2015, and will likely be the only encyclopedic volume necessary for anyone with either the slightest interest in or full-blown obsession with Mr. Zimmerman. With ‘in your headphones’ notes about listening for such minutia as the clicking of a lipstick case against his guitar to myths of recording sessions that may or may never have happened, this unapologetic bible for Dylanologists handles its subject with adoring care. Moving chronologically, it spends about a page or two per song, including bootlegs, and is comprehensive in notating the session, personnel, other versions, and contextual background. With multiple photos on nearly every page, it dodges being dragged down into a text-heavy blur of information, rather it stays fairly light on its feet, figuratively, for a book that weighs over five pounds, literally. A heavy tome for some equally heavy tunes and their maker.

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