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Jon Bream: Dylan Disc By Disc

We better talk this over.

On the face of it a cosy chat about Bob’s repertoire, orchestrated by journalist Jon Bream, with a cast of musicians, singer-songwriters and fellow scribes, isn’t a bad idea. Rodney Crowell, Nicole Atkins, Ric Ocasek and dozens more join the discussion, and the conversational tone is okay until the whole thing starts to feel like a quotidian parade.

Bream doesn’t hold a gun to his guests’ heads and force them to say nice things, but they do anyway. By the time talk turns to Shadows In The Night, Dylan’s Sinatra tribute, the reader is exhausted and, frankly, bored, though the usually irascible old git Robert Christgau has some pertinent points to make about New Morning, one of the Dylan albums that doesn’t need forensic dissection.

Dylanologists – gar! – will probably hate it (they hate everything), but the photos are lovely. A bit of a coffee table item this, especially if you’ve got one with a wonky leg.

Max Bell worked for the NME during the golden 70s era before running up and down London’s Fleet Street for The Times and all the other hot-metal dailies. A long stint at the Standard and mags like The Face and GQ kept him honest. Later, Record Collector and Classic Rock called.