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Walkerman
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« Reply #20 on: December 25, 2014, 05:02:42 PM »

Steve I get your point. Is Dylan by himself mainstream popular - IMO No not really. But is he the biggest influence on all who have been mainstream popular since - IMO he has no equal.  For me its a completely different level - one that I can get immersed in quite complex for my simple mind.

Shakespeare is considered as being the greatest playwright of all time.  Yet I am only familiar with a couple of his works (the ones teachers forced me to read).

Dylan lost me when he followed the crowd with Hurricane.
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« Reply #21 on: December 25, 2014, 05:16:19 PM »

Shakespeare is considered as being the greatest playwright of all time.  Yet I am only familiar with a couple of his works (the ones teachers forced me to read).

Dylan lost me when he followed the crowd with Hurricane.
I again get your point and it rings of truth though to me its one dimensional

Take Dylan out of the equation and music as we know it would be a much different place. I can't think of one other person that would have such an effect, including John Lennon ( but he and his buddies might be a distant second :-)
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« Reply #22 on: December 25, 2014, 05:39:32 PM »

Steve I get your point. Is Dylan by himself mainstream popular - IMO No not really. But is he the biggest influence on all who have been mainstream popular since - IMO he has no equal.  For me its a completely different level - one that I can get immersed in quite complex for my simple mind.

Agreed. A large part of his mystique and a major reason he still matters is exactly because, impossible as it is for him, he has actively eschewed such a position. You know ... voice of a generation, spokeman for the movement, guru, rock star, celebrity, and all. One should watch the film in question, perhaps.
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Walkerman
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« Reply #23 on: December 25, 2014, 06:45:31 PM »

I again get your point and it rings of truth though to me its one dimensional

Take Dylan out of the equation and music as we know it would be a much different place. I can't think of one other person that would have such an effect, including John Lennon ( but he and his buddies might be a distant second :-)

And if the Beatles never existed, not only would music be a much different place, but the WORLD would be a much different place.  Imagine the music of the 60's going foreword if there had been no British invasion.  Imagine our world if there had been no anti-war or peace and love movement.

Seriously, Beatles tribute bands (Rain etc) play all over the world to sell out crowds....ummmmm....when was the last time you saw a Dylan tribute band.  As a matter of fact, I see more really bad reviews of Dylan concerts than I do good ones.

IOW, take Dylan out of the equation, and the music of the early sixties might have been different.  Take the Beatles out of the equation, and we'd still be listening to the singing nun and Frankie Avalon.





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JOYCEfromNS
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« Reply #24 on: December 25, 2014, 07:41:40 PM »

I just feel Dylan had/has a greater influence on the artist who deliver that music. I too luv the Beatles and some of their tribute bands as most everyone does.

To argue who's bigger Dylan or The Beatles was not my point I believe each were huge in particular ways. Not suggesting that Dylans music is liked more on Facebook than The Beatles
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« Reply #25 on: December 25, 2014, 08:57:56 PM »

And if the Beatles never existed, not only would music be a much different place, but the WORLD would be a much different place.  Imagine the music of the 60's going foreword if there had been no British invasion.  Imagine our world if there had been no anti-war or peace and love movement.

Seriously, Beatles tribute bands (Rain etc) play all over the world to sell out crowds....ummmmm....when was the last time you saw a Dylan tribute band.  As a matter of fact, I see more really bad reviews of Dylan concerts than I do good ones.

IOW, take Dylan out of the equation, and the music of the early sixties might have been different.  Take the Beatles out of the equation, and we'd still be listening to the singing nun and Frankie Avalon.







Dylan tribute band? You're kidding me right? The Beatles may be the only group/person more imitated than Bob Dylan and then again maybe not. Most of modern folk/rock/country music is one large Dylan tribute. Like Andrew, however, I won't get into a who's better between the Beatles and Dylan anymore than argue between chocolate and vanilla. I love both of them.

The thing I like the most about Bob Dylan is that he may be the only artist, at least since his very earliest days, ever to succeed on a massive level by never giving people what they want. Never meeting their expectations. By almost always knowing better than his audience, their requirements. By truly not giving a damn what anyone thinks of him. Obsessively, some might say perversely, he refuses to pander to or even acknowledge the audience's wishes. Would anyone disagree that he has combined freedom and success to a degree that no one has ever achieved in the musical arena?
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L07 Shooting Star
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« Reply #26 on: December 26, 2014, 05:23:21 AM »

Very interesting thread.

The Beatles are "imitatable", whereas I would say Dylan is not imitatable in the same sense.  He is too unique and, also, not a "band".  So I don't  think that is a valid criteria for comparing the two in terms of who had the most influence.  Like many, they both had a huge influence on me personally, but in different ways.  I think this is true for their influences on so called "rock" music as well.  Perhaps a more apt comparison would be who's songs have been covered the most by other legitimate artists on their recordings?

At a personal level, I was exposed to the Beatles first.  At that point, I just had to be in a band, write hit songs, make it the top of the charts, get chased by screaming girls et al.  I was only 11 keep in mind.  My brother and a couple of buddies started a so-called band, "The Shooting Stars", incidentally, because we were going to "shoot to the top".   blush  We tried our best to be the next Beatles.  We even wrote a few songs.  I would say I was influenced by the Beatles directly.  They are what made me want to be a professional musician when I grew up.

In the case of Dylan, it was more of an indirect influence; through the Byrds, mostly.  I consider the Byrds to be the closest band to the Beatles that the USA produced at the time.  I had no idea some of their first big hits had been written by Bob Dylan, but I liked those songs better than any Beatle song I had heard up to that time.  To me, they were songs of the type that I would rather write and fit how I wanted to play guitar.  So, yes, I still wanted to be in a band, but now a band more like the Byrds.  The cross-picking guitar style of Roger McGuinn has been the biggest influence on my playing style to this day.

When I heard "Like A Rolling Stone", it was an epiphany for me.  I was a little older by then, and actually could play a few chords on the guitar.  I still hadn't made the connection between Dylan and the Byrds' songs, but from then on, that was the type of song I was going to write.  (at least until some other influences came along).  I thought, "here is something I could do if I was going to be a performer and song-writer".  It inspired me to consider that I might be more suited to simply performing solo, unplugged if you will, singing along with my acoustic guitar as opposed to my dream of being a front man in a band context.  So that is the direction I headed.

It is revealing, in my case, that among the first few songs I ever actually learned to play and sing were "Mr. Tambourine Man", and "It Ain't Me Babe".  In those early years, I didn't have much interest in actually learning any Beatle songs, though I still liked listening to them, of course.  In fact, I learned several Rolling Stones songs before I ever learned to play a Beatles song.  The first of these was "Play With Fire", which is not so unlike a Dylan song, when you think about it.

So where am I going with all this?  I'm just trying to paint a picture of how the two influenced my musical journey at a personal level.  Which one had more influence on music today in general, I don't know if that can ever be answered.  I think the Beatles had much more of an influence on rock (popular?)  music as a genre, and the direction that it went, and maybe even the popular culture than Bob Dylan did.

Dylan's influence, to me, is at a deeper level, but just as important.  He showed how a song could be more than just another "fluffy" re-hash of teenage puppy love.  His songs had a message that you could identify with at a more personal level and made you think.  In that respect, I think he influenced songwriting in general as opposed to popular music in general.  He also brought the so-called "protest" song, or political commentary song, to a new level of popularity where it was on the same level as any other popular song of the times, in terms of exposure to the masses on the radio.  If not for that, I don't know if the Beatles would have turned their direction towards "Tax Man", for example, of if Lennon would have been inspired to write some of the political commentary songs he wrote.  Which came first, "Blowing in the Wind", or  "Eve of Destruction"?

Just riffing on the topic.  Merry Christmas
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Danny
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« Reply #27 on: December 26, 2014, 05:38:03 AM »

Okay,  I'll admit I'm not as bright as y'all but the first song/chord book I bought was a Dylan book. Tambourine Man was the first song I practiced.

      To this day,  other than singing When I'm 64 to my wife,  I haven't tried to learn any Beetles songs. But I continue to learn Dylan songs.


       TO EACH HIS OWN!  
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« Reply #28 on: December 26, 2014, 05:41:29 AM »

Okay,  I'll admit I'm not as bright as y'all but the first song/chord book I bought was a Dylan book. Tambourine Man was the first song I practiced.

      To this day,  other than singing When I'm 64 to my wife,  I haven't tried to learn any Beetles songs. But I continue to learn Dylan songs.


       TO EACH HIS OWN!  

You got that right, Dan.  Merry Christmas 
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"Badges?  We don't need no stinkin' badges."

Became a Shooting Star when I got my 1st guitar.
Back in '66, I was 13 and that was my fix.
Still shooting for stardom after all this time.
If I never make it, I'll still be fine.


 
flatlander
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« Reply #29 on: December 26, 2014, 08:32:16 AM »

Dylan was a big deal in the 60's.....but that was about it.  For sure, he has a huge catalog....but what good is it if no one hears it?
Even if we take it that "no one hears it" meaning most of public.....what difference does it make?  Huge. How many people actively listen to Hendrix?
Or take it back further. How many listen to the blues guys of the 20's and 30's? Or the string band music from that time. Or the early Memphis Rockabilly guys like the Burnette Brothers and more? Even if you said "nobody" those nobodies would be serious and influential musicians and song writers. And you can cool believe, like any pro's, they study the best and emulate to some degree...then spit it back out.
 To me Dylan had/has 2 sides to his genious.  1 was the use of imagery that doesn't spell things right out but lets the listener interpret. This allowed the listener to personalize the song to their life as if he either wrote it for them specifically  or make you think had the ability to just sum up the world perfectly for you. Clever and maybe a little trickery.  That's one thing...then, 2,  to show he can just nail straight ahead
 lyrics right thru your head or heart, he wrote stuff like lay lady lay, tonight I'll be staying here with you, I'll be your baby tonight etc. The former takes imagination. The latter to me more difficult. That is to be able to take make solid as concrete the conveyance of something as fluid as emotions with little wiggle room.  You don't have to think at all. In this case he really does nail your feelings by himself.
  My sister, 10 years older than me, always had Dylan albums around. From the early stuff and into electric era. I listened to them A LOT from the time I was 7 or so until 17 or 18. Not much since but still put what I consider a masterpiece, Blood on the Tracks, on once a year or so. But anyway, I know he is probably the biggest influence on my songwriting.
  Another thing to me is that his singing is way under rated. You can either like his vocal chords or not, but his phrasing is a real talent. Even his simple sounding harmonica sometimes has more going on that you realize. These things become apparent perhaps only when you work on his songs to get down just like he's doing..
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« Reply #30 on: December 26, 2014, 10:20:25 AM »

This thread has been fun reading with lots of great comments. Dylan has made an indelible mark in my opinion. I've always loved his work but was one of those legions of folks that was critical of his vocal quality. Then it hit me several years ago that I actually liked his voice because it
was his voice. The music and the vocal vehicle, for me, became as one. Very unique artist to be sure.   
 
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flatlander
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« Reply #31 on: December 26, 2014, 12:15:20 PM »

And if the Beatles never existed, not only would music be a much different place, but the WORLD would be a much different place.  Imagine the music of the 60's going foreword if there had been no British invasion.  Imagine our world if there had been no anti-war or peace and love movement.

  Take the Beatles out of the equation, and we'd still be listening to the singing nun and Frankie Avalon.
It's kind of funny for me to stand up for Dylan because I have these prejudices against artists that people absolutely worship and put at the alter. Same with Grateful Dead but likewise I would say that Garcia was a great guitar player, at least later on in career, because he had his own instantly recoginizable, original voice on guitar. So for a serious discussion, I have to tell it like I see it with lord Dylan. Music perhaps more than other art forms is SO influenced by those that came before or those that influenced others. Sometimes the original creative forces are barely even known but their influence on music and maybe even the world, is great.  Dylan was a big influence on the Beatles by their own accounts, leading them to their "world will never be the same" originality that started pouring out with what, Rubber Soul? Here's what Lennon said. It was the second point. The first was that Dylan turned them on to pot but whoopty doo. They would have done that anyway and I think drugs affects on creativity are over rated anyway.

 "The second major influence Bob Dylan had on the Beatles was that he freed them from the conventions of pop music. This resulted in an increased use of acoustic rather than electric instruments in Beatles recordings, as well as a dramatic rise in their compositional craftsmanship. “I had a sort of professional songwriter's attitude to writing pop songs,” said John Lennon. “We would turn out a certain style of song for a single... I'd have a separate songwriting John Lennon who wrote songs for the meat market, and I didn’t' consider them (the lyrics or anything) to have any depth at all … Then I started being me about the songs, not writing them objectively, but subjectively. … I'd started thinking about my own emotions. … Instead of projecting myself into a situation, I would try to express what I felt about myself. … It was Dylan who helped me realise that” (Anthology page 158). The difference is clearly discernible in their recorded output from that time. Lennon's “I'm a Loser” off Beatles for Sale, “You've Got to Hide Your Love Away” off Help!, and “In My Life” off Rubber Soul are the obvious examples. Though Dylan's influence was most noticeable in John Lennon, Paul McCartney's songs of the same albums show similar progress. Songs like “I'll Follow the Sun” off Beatles for Sale, and especially “Yesterday” off Help!.
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« Reply #32 on: December 26, 2014, 01:32:18 PM »

A lot of interesting comments. However, anyone claiming that Dylan is not much imitated must not have listened to enough music in the last 50 years. From outright mimicry to honest admiration and inspiration, the history of modern folk/rock/country owes much to the young man from Minnesota. Had anyone heard songs like Dylan was writing? Not his folk songs like It's a Hard Rain's A Gonna Fall, his folk rock like Mr. Tambourine Man or his straight rock'n'roll as in Like A Rolling Stone or Tombstone Blues. Who was doing anything like this in 1960 to 1964 except for those who heard the songs one night and decided to follow in the jingle jangle morning? Who was playing rock'n'roll like the trio of albums from '65 and '66? Who was playing country music like this from 1966 to 1968? Who, other than straight country singers, black bluesmen and Buddy Holly were doing songs they themselves had written, before Dylan made it not only possible but de rigeur? And of those besides Hank Williams and Woody Guthrie who was going much beyond rhyming moon with June? And how many voices that were not traditionally pretty were set free?

So ... Eric Anderson, Barry McGuire, Leonard Cohen, Neil Diamond, Donovan, Cat Stevens, The Byrds, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Grateful Dead, David Bowie, Don McLean, Sonny Bono, Arlo Guthrie, The Band, Jackson Browne, Eric Clapton, Steve Forbert, Jimi Hendrix, Elvis Costello, Chris Smither, Dave Carter, Murray McLaughlin, Tom Petty, Steve Earle, John Prine, John Hiatt, Richard Thompson, Dire Straits ... heck I could go on and on ...  

I don't worship Dylan, I admire him greatly. I certainly don't think he is a perfect human being. He is often difficult, moody and awkward. Some say he can be quite nasty and hostile in person. Others say he is just plain weird. He has been known to purposely blow off an audience who paid a lot of money to see him. He is often unresponsive and needlessly obscure during interviews. He shamelessly stole people's record albums and their ideas and made everything that interested him, his own. Joan Baez claims he often smelled bad. It is claimed that he wooed and seduced those he could use and and abandoned them when they were no longer needed. I merely think he is the greatest voice and songwriter of his time, whether he accepts the mantle or not. Bob Dylan set music free with his thin, wild mercury sound. George Harrison claimed that every one except Dylan would be forgotten in 500 years. I guess time will tell. Just a song and dance man indeed.      
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flatlander
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« Reply #33 on: December 27, 2014, 12:21:32 AM »

Yep, One thing I would maybe wonder about or just doubt is the country stuff. I think he may have taken lead from others in going that direction in with Nashville Skyline. But just like his treatment of blues, he nailed some great country songs..
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« Reply #34 on: December 27, 2014, 01:56:47 PM »

Yep, One thing I would maybe wonder about or just doubt is the country stuff. I think he may have taken lead from others in going that direction in with Nashville Skyline. But just like his treatment of blues, he nailed some great country songs..

Sure, he took the lead from Cash and Haggard and the Bakersfield boys but they were pretty much pure country guys and, unless they had a cross over hit, we young rock fans weren't listening to them much, if at all. Skyline was 1969 but of course two years earlier, John Wesley Harding had a couple of country-ish songs and he was fooling around with country music in the basement in '66 as the Complete Basement Tapes show. Word got around even if no one was hearing it. The Byrds' Sweetheart of the Rodeo was a year after JWH. Gram Parsons left The Byrds and took it farther with the Burritos and then his short careeer. Garcia got a pedal steel and The Grateful Dead went country in 1970 but not much of what they called "country rock" before Dylan.  
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« Reply #35 on: December 28, 2014, 04:37:17 AM »

there's something happening here

and you don't know what it is.

Do you,

Mr. Jones?
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Danny
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« Reply #36 on: December 28, 2014, 06:10:45 AM »

there's something happening here

and you don't know what it is.

Do you,

Mr. Jones?
I want to be Bob Dylan
Mr. Jones wishes he was someone just a little more funky
When everybody loves you son that's just about as funky as you can be...
                                 MR. JONES
Mr Jones and me, we're gonna be big stars
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flatlander
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« Reply #37 on: January 14, 2015, 02:00:04 AM »

Sure, he took the lead from Cash and Haggard and the Bakersfield boys but they were pretty much pure country guys and, unless they had a cross over hit, we young rock fans weren't listening to them much, if at all. Skyline was 1969 but of course two years earlier, John Wesley Harding had a couple of country-ish songs and he was fooling around with country music in the basement in '66 as the Complete Basement Tapes show. Word got around even if no one was hearing it. The Byrds' Sweetheart of the Rodeo was a year after JWH. Gram Parsons left The Byrds and took it farther with the Burritos and then his short careeer. Garcia got a pedal steel and The Grateful went country in 1970 but not much of what they called "country rock" before Dylan.  
This is a great book for the roots of country rock. I read it years ago...     http://books.google.com/books/about/Desperados.html?id=pydnobIDzJEC
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« Reply #38 on: February 24, 2015, 07:53:53 PM »

I was always aware of Bob Dylan and some of his songs but was never an active listener or follower. Because of this thread, I watched "I'm not There" last night on Netflix just to get an idea of what his life was about and I'm glad I did.

I certainly appreciate his brilliance as a song writer which not only drove a generation of artists but changed music across all genres. I'm still not a fan of his own music, but I love how he does things his own way and still managed to be successful.
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« Reply #39 on: February 24, 2015, 08:18:37 PM »

Funny Dylan story from a couple years back:  http://www.alternet.org/culture/bob-dylan-arrested-rookie-cop-who-never-heard-him

I play the Beatles for other folks to listen to.
I play Dylan for me.
 bigrin
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