Bob Dylan has always regarded himself as a songwriter: 'I am my words,' he wrote in 1964.
Distilling a lifetime's passion and study, leading Dylan author, Clinton Heylin charts the development and first moments of genius of this unique artist whose songs changed the world.
From his first attempts at writing, Song to Bridget, in 1957, (apparently for Brigitte Bardot) Bob Dylan always aspired to poetry, yet his role as a writer rather than a performer of his own songs is often overlooked. In over fifty years of creativity he had penned some of the most iconic, and perfect, songs in popular history. Arriving in New York in 1961, the city had an enormous impact on the young artist and, as he established himself amongst the folk clubs and artists, he would produce songs that spoke for a whole generation: Blowing in the Wind, A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall, The Times They Are a Changin', Like a Rolling Stone, and Forever Young.
In Revolution in the Air Clinton Heylin recounts the story of each song as it is written, giving a full appreciation of the songs themselves as well as Dylan the emerging artist. Unlike any other book on Dylan, it charts his rise as a writer, where he gained his inspiration, the burst of energy which produced some of his most famous songs as well as the lesser known stories behind the more iconic verses.
This is an essential book for anyone interested in Dylan and his place in literature. Informative, opinionated, packed with new insights and revelations, this is an instant classic.
Beg, steal, borrow ... a compelling history of Dylan's mercurial song writing. (Mojo)
Better than any biography could ever be, and a crucial Dylan book. (Jonathan Lethem)
A gripping new book by Dylan scholar Clinton Heylin so is so far in the deep end that its borderline insane . . [yet] has been devoured with a ravenous, insatiable appetite, and I have even made notes in the margin. (Mark Ellen Word)
Valuable resource. (Observer)
A magnum opus that anyone curious about, fascinated by, and devoted to His Master's Voice will want to read and ponder. (Jonathan Cott - author, 'Dylan', and editor, 'Bob Dylan: The Essential Interviews')
True to form, Heylin digs deep-way deep-into the songs, mixing cold hard facts with illuminating anecdotes. (Mark Smith, managing editor Acoustic Guitar)
Terrifically interesting for Dylan nuts. (Sunday Herald)