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Bob Dylan: Behind the Shades Revisited Paperback – April 29, 2003
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- Keith R.A. DeCandido, "Library Journal"
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Top Customer Reviews
In tone, Heylin's writing is not as journalistic as Sounes', and more judgmental of Dylan as artist and musician. It draws heavily on interview material with associates and friends of Dylan's, and is significant in giving detailed attention to Dylan's career in the 80's and 90's, which is necessary for anyone seeking to understand Dylan's recent critical resurgence.
Based on his knowledge as the world's pre-eminent Dylan scholar, Heylin gives extensive commentary on Dylan's albums and their recording, a process he has given even greater attention to in his companion book Bob Dylan: The Recording Sessions (1994). This is one of the major differences between Heylin's book and Sounes'. Sounes does not focus so much on Dylan as a musician or even Dylan as a lyricist. Sounes' biography is more, well, biographical, providing tons of anecdotal accounts of Dylan's life and travels, while missing the point - Dylan matters because of his music and his lyrics above all else. His life, so cloaked in mystery and seclusion, is a mystery, and will remain so. A recording artist is ultimately most communicative through their recordings - through what they are, what they're not, and how they are presented to the artist's audience. Sounes attempts to fill in the mystery of Dylan's life, which is ultimately an impossible task, at the expense of communicating any real understanding of his music.Read more ›
Heylin describes Dylan's childhood and adolescence in northern Minnesota. Dylan's origins (both personal and musical) are described; Dylan has been enthusiastic about music at least since his early teens. Heylin provides detailed analysis of Dylan's early influences (mostly American pop icons like Little Richard) and follows his evolution during his early 20s, when he discovered folk and blues. He then proceeds to describe Dylan's artistic heyday during the mid-60's, his late 60s-early 70s hiatus, and his mid-70s resurgence.
One of the most impressive aspects of Heylin's writing is his willingness to discuss Dylan's largely derided work during the 80s-early 90s. While Dylan's work during this era has been understandably ridiculed (though Heylin's interpretation of much from this period is a little more positive than most other critics), his analysis provides essential insight into his subject.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
If I had known that this book concentrated mainly on Dylan's career _after_ his peak, I wouldn't have bought it. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Owsley
Very nice, as expected, my Grandson loved it for Christmas. ThanksPublished 19 months ago by Sara J. Graverson
Such a funny book. Knocks Dylan on his laziness, exalts in his triumphs. Not just another butt-kiss to Bob. You'll love it.Published 21 months ago by Stephen Conn
I have been a Dylan fan since 1973. Bought every album he produced right up to and including "Slow Train Coming". Read morePublished on September 22, 2012 by Dano Maxwell
This book is probably rightfully touted as the definitive Dylan biography. It's exceptionally well researched, and the author is clearly very intelligent. Read morePublished on October 28, 2009 by JG
A must have for any Bob Dylan aficionado. Very detailed and fair record of Dylan.Published on September 19, 2009 by MsNomer
My eldest grandson is really into music and songwriting. He also has recently discovered Bob Dylan. He loves to read as well so I figured it would go over well. Read morePublished on December 26, 2008 by Cherry Scarmardo